GE Renewable to Equip First Commercial U.S. Solar+Wind Hybrid Project

Paris-based GE Renewable Energy announced on February 22 that it would supply equipment for what it called the first commercial, integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the industry.

The 4.6-MW community-based project – which will be developed by Juhl Energy in Red Lake Falls, in northwestern Minnesota – will use two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business; supported by 1MW of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business.

The hybrid design will give the project the ability to produce power when it is most needed. Basically, the solar provides summer peak energy, and the wind provides winter peak energy.

 The project will use GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy (WiSE) technology platform  – developed at GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York – to integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter directly so both wind and solar share all the same balance of plant, increasing system net capacity by 3 percent to 4 percent; and annual energy production, by up to 10% percent.

GE’s CEO of Onshore Wind, Pete McCabe, said, “By leveraging the complementary nature of wind and solar, this unique project shows how GE is driving technology innovation that will help customers deliver more renewable energy in an even more efficient manner.”

 Dan Juhl, CEO of Juhl Energy, said, “Most energy experts agree that distributed generation will play a major role in the implementation of renewable energy in the US electrical market in the years to come. Juhl Energy’s package design, with the GE hybrid technology, can economically blend clean, renewable energy into the grid at lower cost, plus add reliability to the system.”

GE Renewable Energy said it has installed more than 57,000 MW of wind power capacity by supplying more than 30,000 GE wind turbines in more than 35 different countries.

This project is expected to enter commercial operation this coming August.

Internal changes

In related news, GE Renewable Energy announced on February 16 the creation of a Renewable Energy Services Business, a new horizontal initiative that will work with the Onshore Wind, Offshore Wind, and Hydropower businesses to provide more customer value and integrated solutions for the industry.

Anne McEntee has been named VP, Renewable Energy Services Business. In this newly created position, McEntee will work closely with each GE Renewable Energy service organization, as well as the Digital team, to improve GE’s capabilities. Prior to assuming this role, McEntee led the Onshore Wind business, a role she held since 2013, and also held the role of CEO of Flow and Process Technologies and Power Services.

Pete McCabe will succeed McEntee as CEO of Onshore Wind. McCabe is a 22-year veteran of GE and a GE Company Officer, most recently serving as the VP of Global Services Organization (GSO). GSO is a $2.2 billion unit of GE Transportation committed to improving critical customer outcomes.

Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy said, “The creation of a Services offering is critical for our business to be even smarter, more efficient, and faster”

McEntee and McCabe’s appointments were effective as of February 1.

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