News Release from GE Renewable Energy


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Also Being Installed for One of Country's First Wind Repowering Efforts

ROME, ITALY – One of the largest wind power installations in Italy, based on GE Energy technology, was completed in June of this year. GE's wind turbine technology also is being used for a second project that is one of the country's first wind repowering efforts and will enter service in November, GE reported today at Eolica Expo Mediterranean 2005.

Both sites, the 36-unit Littigheddu project in Sardinia and the four-unit Collarmele repowering project in Abruzzo, are owned by Enel SpA, the largest electric utility in Italy. Both projects also utilize GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, which are among the most widely used megawatt-class wind turbines in the global energy industry, with more than 3,200 installed worldwide totaling more than 4,800 megawatts of capacity.

One of the largest single installations of wind turbines in the country, the Littigheddu project has been in service since June and has been operating at more than 98% availability. The project adds 54 megawatts of wind power capacity to Italy's electricity grid.

The 6-megawatt Collarmele repowering project will provide for the replacement of 36 smaller and older wind turbines with four GE 1.5-megawatt machines. The repowering effort will provide several benefits, including the replacement of outdated wind turbines with more efficient machines and better utilization of available ground space (more megawatts of power per square meter.)

Planning for the construction phase of the Collarmele project includes efforts to minimize any impact on the fauna of the region. The four new wind turbines are scheduled to enter operation by the end of November.

The Littigheddu and Collarmele projects support the Italian government's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol as well as the European Union's goal to produce 22% of Europe's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010. Much of that power is expected to come from wind energy. Currently, Italy's installed wind energy capacity is 1,125 megawatts. According to BTM Consult, a Danish wind energy consultancy, more than 3,200 megawatts of wind energy are forecast to be installed in Italy by 2009.

"We are pleased to have been selected to supply wind turbines for these milestone projects," said Robert Gleitz, general manager of GE Energy's wind segment. "GE Energy has a well-established service network in Italy, and is committed to providing its Italian customers with the highest level of products and services."

In total, General Electric employs more than 6,700 people across 11 businesses in Italy, including GE's oil and gas group that operates its global headquarters out of Florence. GE's European wind energy operations also are supported by the GE Global Research Center-Europe in Munich, Germany. One of the central missions of the new center is to further increase the reliability and performance of wind turbines.

In addition, earlier this year GE launched ecomagination, a commitment to the development of cleaner, more efficient technologies including wind power. Ecomagination is at the forefront of the company's business initiatives.
GE Energy

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