First wind turbine produced at GE Vernova’s NY facility

GE Vernova says it has received nearly 10 GW of orders and amassed more than 4 million operating hours globally for this turbine platform.
November 17, 2023
First wind turbine produced at GE Vernova’s NY facility

GE Vernova’s Onshore Wind business announced that it has completed the first onshore wind turbine produced on its new wind manufacturing assembly line in Schenectady, NY.

The facility manufactures and assembles GE Vernova’s 6.1-158 onshore wind turbine. With tip heights reaching almost 200 meters the unit is the largest onshore turbine ever to be manufactured in the US.

Components to be assembled for the 6.1-158 onshore wind turbines include the machine head, hub and drive train. The turbine is designed for low-to-medium wind speeds and is equipped with a carbon two-piece blade design, which the company said offers “improved logistics and increased output from hard-to-reach sites.”

The expansion of the GE facility, which was first announced in May 2023, was enabled by the increase in market demand for renewable energy created by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), GE Vernova said. The IRA also provides tax credits for manufacturers who produce nacelle components in the US and to projects that meet domestic content requirements, provisions that will support the $50 million investment GE made in the new facility. New York State has also agreed to provide up to $2.5 million though Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Program.

As the facility completes its ramp-up, 200 employees will manufacture and assemble components for over 100 units of GE Vernova’s 6MW onshore turbine next year, the company said. The new manufacturing assembly line is in the same building where GE Vernova continues to manufacture steam turbines and generators for its gas business, leveraging skillsets and learnings across businesses. The company assembles wind turbine components for its other workhorse onshore wind turbine, the 3 MW platform, at a facility in Pensacola, Florida.

GE Vernova says it has received nearly 10 GW of orders and amassed more than 4 million operating hours globally for this turbine platform.

The U.S. offshore wind industry has recently been plagued by rising costs and uncertainty, trends that have affected the onshore industry as well. Last year, GE announced plans to lay off hundreds of workers from its onshore wind unit, including 20% of employees based in the United States, as part of a strategy overhaul, according to a report from Reuters.

Rising costs, supply chain constraints, and policy uncertainty in the U.S. market have plagued wind manufacturers over the past several years. The risk of clean energy tax credits phasing down last year tamped down development activity, though those credits were restored and extended for 10 years in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The rate of onshore wind deployment has also been winding down in recent years, according to the DOE’s yearly Land-Based Wind Market Report. The U.S. added 8.5 GW of wind power capacity in 2022, totaling $12 billion of investment, compared to 13.4 GW and $20 billion in 2021, and 16.8 GW and $24.6 billion in 2020.

GE recently announced that it plans to spin off its energy business, GE Vernova, at the beginning of the second quarter of 2024, subject to final approval from the company’s board and other customary conditions.

GE’s existing energy portfolio will fall under GE Vernova following the split. Its portfolio includes natural gas, hydro, nuclear, and steam power technology and services; offshore and onshore wind services and turbine manufacturing; grid modernization software; grid equipment, services, and systems; solar + storage solutions; and accelerator and research services.

Courtesy: Renewable Energy World

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