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GE enters growing offshore wind market

Times Union|Larry Rulison|September 15, 2009
New YorkGeneral

General Electric Co. grabbed a major foothold into Europe's growing offshore wind market Monday by completing the acquisition of a Norwegian wind turbine company. The $18 million deal for ScanWind was originally announced last month.


Acquisition of Norwegian firm may mean local jobs as foreign market grows

SCHENECTADY -- General Electric Co. grabbed a major foothold into Europe's growing offshore wind market Monday by completing the acquisition of a Norwegian wind turbine company.

The $18 million deal for ScanWind was originally announced last month. But Victor Abate, the head of GE Energy's Schenectady-based renewable energy unit, announced at an industry conference in Sweden today that the deal had been completed.

"The acquisition of ScanWind is an important step in our strategy to place GE in a strong position in the growing offshore wind segment," Abate said at the European Offshore Wind Conference in Stockholm.

ScanWind employs 41 people and has operations in both Trondheim, Norway and Karlstad, Sweden. The company designed and developed 11 wind turbines operating off the coast of Norway.

The acquisition significantly adds to GE's wind turbine portfolio that includes 1.5 megawatt and 2.5 megawatt turbines used on land. Offshore wind farms in the ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     
Acquisition of Norwegian firm may mean local jobs as foreign market grows

SCHENECTADY -- General Electric Co. grabbed a major foothold into Europe's growing offshore wind market Monday by completing the acquisition of a Norwegian wind turbine company.

The $18 million deal for ScanWind was originally announced last month. But Victor Abate, the head of GE Energy's Schenectady-based renewable energy unit, announced at an industry conference in Sweden today that the deal had been completed.

"The acquisition of ScanWind is an important step in our strategy to place GE in a strong position in the growing offshore wind segment," Abate said at the European Offshore Wind Conference in Stockholm.

ScanWind employs 41 people and has operations in both Trondheim, Norway and Karlstad, Sweden. The company designed and developed 11 wind turbines operating off the coast of Norway.

The acquisition significantly adds to GE's wind turbine portfolio that includes 1.5 megawatt and 2.5 megawatt turbines used on land. Offshore wind farms in the ocean require larger turbines, and ScanWind has been developing 3.5 megawatt turbines that GE will now have the expertise to design and sell. GE has previously been involved in a pilot offshore project off the coast of Ireland, and researchers at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna have been trying to develop wind turbines that could be as large as five or seven megawatts.

The offshore wind market is also exploding in Europe. GE says that the offshore wind market is expected to grow from an installed based of 1.5 gigawatts to 30 gigawatts by 2020, a 20-fold increase.

The Financial Times said in a story in Monday's edition that GE was planning to set up offshore wind turbine manufacturing facilities in Europe to serve this growing market, "potentially creating thousands of new" design and manufacturing jobs.

The question is how much that surge into Europe will impact Schenectady, where GE's wind operations are headquartered. Hundreds of turbine design and service employees are located in Schenectady, although manufacturing is done elsewhere.

GE Energy spokeswoman Milissa Rocker said the initial job growth will likely be abroad where ScanWind's operations are located. "This is a long-term thing," Rocker said. "There will be jobs. But initially they'll be in Europe."

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:http://www.timesunion.com/Asp…

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