Submitted by: General Electric Company
Posted: May 10, 2002 – 12:00 AM EST
ATLANTA, Georgia - GE Power Systems today officially entered the wind power industry, announcing that its acquisition of certain assets of Enron Wind Corp. has been completed.
The new GE business, GE Wind Energy (www.gewindenergy.com), will be headed by Steven Zwolinski, who has been serving as general manager of GE Global Hydro.
GE announced in February its intent to acquire the global supplier of wind turbine generators. Over the past three months, all bankruptcy court and regulatory approvals required to complete the acquisition have been received.
"The wind power industry offers tremendous opportunities for growth and continued technology development," said Zwolinski. "There are synergies from several GE businesses, in areas such as plastics, transportation gearing applications and power controls, that can be applied to wind turbine technology. Our Six Sigma quality procedures can drive further improvements in wind turbine generators. And our global sales force can deliver the latest wind power technologies to regions throughout the world."
Zwolinski continued, "Adding these valuable wind resources to GE Power Systems' line of environmentally friendly power generation options supports our on-going commitment to provide customers with the broadest possible range of clean energy solutions for the 21st century."
The wind energy sector is expected to grow about 20 percent a year, with an emphasis on Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. While Europe has been a focus of wind power activity, opportunities remain in places like France and Italy, which have very little wind power at this point. GE also will look for opportunities to expand wind power technology into other regions of the world, such as Japan and China, Zwolinski noted.
GE has acquired Enron Wind's fully integrated wind power capabilities including power plant design, engineering and site selection, and operation and maintenance services. Enron's line of wind turbine generators includes units with outputs of 750 and 900 kilowatts and 1.5 megawatts, while larger systems of 3.2 and 3.6 megawatts are in development. Existing wind farm assets will remain with Enron.
The advanced technology acquired by GE has played a key role in the development of large turbines for on-shore and off-shore applications. The company's largest machine, a 3.6-megawatt system, is being tested on the coast of Spain. The development of larger and more efficient wind power systems is making the technology a more cost-competitive power generation option.
The headquarters location of GE Wind Energy has not been finalized but the acquired business has 1,600 employees worldwide with operations in Tehachapi, California and manufacturing operations there and in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Zwolinski, who has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, joined GE in 1982. In addition to GE Hydro, his recent positions have included president and CEO of GE Energy Parts, Inc., general manager of GE's Global Service Center Network, and Quality Leader for the Six Sigma initiative.
GE Power Systems (www.gepower.com) is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation technology, energy services and management systems with 2001 revenues exceeding $20 billion. GE Power Systems provides equipment, services and management solutions across the power generation, oil and gas, distributed power and energy rental industries.