GE Invests in Acciona’s Dakotan Wind Farm
GE Energy Financial Services, an investor in energy and water industries and a business unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), is investing $141 million into a wind farm. This wind farm is owned by a Spanish renewable energy developer and wind turbine manufacturer named Acciona. This Tatanka Wind Farm, on the North Dakota-South Dakota border, will power 60,000 homes. It is estimated that this $141-million-wind-farm will generate 180-megawatts of electricity. GE recently crossed the $4 billion mark with a $100 million investment in three wind farms in New York.
Why GE is investing in a competitor’s wind farm? Because GE is fully acquainted with the fact that a vast market is still lying untapped— the company had $12 billion in backlog orders earlier this year. And foreign energy players like Acciona Energy, which is part of the Spanish corporate giant Acciona Group, are scrambling to get a slice of America’s wind energy pie.
The Tatanka wind farm is Acciona’s first wind farm in North America. This Spanish firm is also producing turbines in Iowa so that it has a solid foundation for expansion in North American alternative energy business.
The American Wind Energy Association estimates that North Dakota is the no. 1 state for wind energy potential. Resources can be used to produce 1,210 billion kilowatt hours of energy annually. This will be equivalent to 40 percent of US electricity needs. South Dakota, with 1,030 kilowatt hours, is No. 4 for wind energy potential. “The Dakotas” have low population and great wind energy potential and combination of these two factors make it possible to wind energy to the rest of Midwest.
When the farm will be fully operational it will stop the emission of around 550,000 tons-a-year of greenhouse gases. It is equivalent to taking 90,000 cars off the road. We can easily conclude that even the big market players are aware of the tomorrow’s needs and the non invincibility of the fossil fuels but at the same time they are exhibiting their commitment for clean energy and environment.