Projects scheduled in seven states
GE Energy recently announced that it has secured contracts to supply more than 750MW of wind turbines for new 2004-2005 projects in the United States and has received commitments for another 750MW. Altogether, the projects, which will be located in Iowa, Minnesota, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, and California, are valued at more than $1.3 billion. All of the projects will use GE's 1.5-MW wind turbines, which are the largest wind turbines assembled in the United States.
Steve Zwolinski, chief executive officer of GE Energy’s wind energy division, says that because of the federal government’s extension of the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, there will be an increase in wind energy installations. “Many leading developers of wind projects now are encouraged to move forward with their plans to significantly increase the country’s supply of wind electricity,” Zwolinski says. With the extension, the tax credit will remain in place through December 2005.
The tax credit provides a 1.8 cent-per-kW credit (adjusted annually for inflation) for electricity produced during the first 20 years of a wind project’s operation. According to American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) executive director Randall Swisher, the extension puts about $3 billion in wind energy investments back on track across the United States.