SCHENECTADY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE (NYSE: GE) will supply 300 megawatts of its latest wind turbine technology including operation and maintenance services for the Settlers Trail Wind Farm in Iroquois County, Illinois, and the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm in Iroquois and Ford Counties in Illinois. E.ON Climate & Renewables, NA (ECRNA) is developing the projects.
A total of 188 GE 1.6 wind turbines, which represent the latest evolution of the company’s wind turbine technology, will power the Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail wind farms. The new units will be covered under an existing ECRNA-GE operation and maintenance service agreement, which will maximize turbine availability and production across ECRNA’s installed base of GE wind turbines in the United States.
The GE wind turbines—94 at each wind farm—will be spread across several thousand acres of rural farmland in northeast Illinois. At full capacity, the wind farms will generate enough power for approximately 115,000 U.S. households.
“Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail are examples of how wind projects can bring jobs, rental income for farmers and property tax benefits to rural regions,” said Steve Trenholm, CEO, ECRNA. “These projects also will help Illinois move closer to meeting its Renewables Portfolio Standard requirement to have 25 percent of the state’s power supplied by renewable energy resources by 2024-2025.”
According to a recent study by Illinois State University’s Center for Renewable Energy, Illinois wind farms have created more than 9,900 full-time construction jobs and nearly 500 permanent positions in rural areas of the state. Operating wind farms also have provided $18 million in local property taxes and $8.3 million in rental income to farmers and landowners.
“We are proud to be a part of Illinois’ growing number of wind turbines and our 1.6 megawatt technology is a great fit for the wind regime delivering efficient, clean energy production to the community,” said Victor Abate, vice president of GE’s Renewable Energy business. “Supported by our latest service offerings, Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail will be a reliable source of energy as well as a welcome boost for the rural economy of Illinois.”
GE’s 1.6-megawatt wind turbines have evolved from the proven experience of the company’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine technology, the workhorse of the global wind power industry with more than 16,000 units installed worldwide. The 1.6 machines for Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail will feature 82.5-meter diameter rotors with 80-meter towers.
Projects like Settlers Trail and Pioneer Trail are helping Illinois become a wind powerhouse. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Illinois has moved up to sixth in the United States in wind energy production, with more than 2,286 megawatts of installed wind power capacity at the end of March 2011. In particular, the northern and central parts of the state offer wind speeds that make wind farms economically viable. More importantly, these sites are near existing high-voltage power lines, enabling cost-effective transmission to Chicago and other major Midwestern population centers.
E.ON Climate & Renewables is a leading developer of renewable energy projects worldwide. Its parent company is E.ON of Germany, one of the world’s largest energy companies.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.
E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) is responsible for the E.ON group’s renewable energy and environmental protection activities around the world. Tapping renewable energy sources offers enormous alternatives, both from a business perspective and for the environment. E.ON Climate & Renewables will be investing €2.6 billion in renewable energy and environmental protection projects from 2011 – 2013 to expand the share of renewable energy in E.ON’s portfolio for the long term. E.ON has thus taken a leading role in developing renewable energy sources worldwide. For more information, please visit www.eon.com/renewables.