General Electric (NYSE: GE) recently announced that the company has installed 300 wind turbines in Brazil, with another 600 units to come over the following two years. The announcement occurred at the recent Brazil Windpower Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the nation's 10th anniversary in the wind industry.
GE plans to invest $1.5 million in Brazil by opening two local service centers by 2014. The centers, which will employ more than 100 service techs, will be situated in Rio Grande do Norte and Bahia.
From the press release:
GE’s commitment to quality execution is its number one priority. “Execution is a differentiator for GE,” says Jean-Claude Robert, general manager of Latin America for GE’s renewable energy business. “We have delivered all of our projects on schedule, which allows our customers to meet their PPA requirements.”
The company's 1.85-82.5 turbine is built specifically to address Brazil’s wind conditions and is based on GE’s 1.5 megawatt platform. The system forms part of GE’s $2 billion investment in renewables, and the 1.85-82.5 is designed to meet and exceed the 98.5 percent availability of GE’s 1.5 megawatt platform according to the press release. Ultimately, the system aims to provide an economical solution by making for fewer turbines per wind farm.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, Brazil had 583 megawatts of installed wind power capacity in 2011. That means the country now has in excess of 1,500 megawatts, or an increase of 63 percent from the year before. Brazil is seen as one of the most exciting onshore wind markets for at least the coming five years.
GE has had a longstanding presence in Brazil, and it opened its first wind energy office in Sao Paulo in 2009. The office brings together a mix of GE’s global workforce of engineers, logistics personnel, and field techs, while also focusing on local employment.