GE has opened a new wind energy services center in Bahia, Brazil.
The company said the facility, the first of two service centers it will open in Brazil this year, will enable it to more quickly and efficiently put local expertise to work in meeting the country's growing demand for advanced wind energy services.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, wind energy is one of Brazil’s fastest growing energy sources and the country has become a leader in the South American wind energy market.
GE has 450 wind turbine units installed in Brazil and the company is expected to be the top wind turbine supplier in the country by the end of the year with over 1 GW of installed capacity, half of which will be installed near the new service center in Bahia.
“The opening of this wind services center builds on GE’s near century long relationship with Brazil,” said Jean-Claude Robert, general manager of Latin America for GE’s renewable energy business. “We are proud to be working closely with the people of Bahia to provide the technology and services necessary to pursue the country’s significant wind energy opportunities. Our new service center expands our already deep local expertise and enables us to more efficiently provide industry-leading service to our customers.”
The center in Bahia, as well as a second scheduled to open in Rio Grande do Norte later this year, are part of GE’s larger services strategy, which puts advanced technology and local expertise to work for customers. The service centers represent a $1.5 million investment in Brazil and will employ more than 100 service technicians.
Engineers at the new facilities will monitor wind operations and weather, as well as dispatch local technicians to wind farms to perform maintenance and maintain a store of essential parts. Engineers and technicians at the Bahia service center will focus their work on GE’s 1.6-82.5 and 1.85-82.5 wind turbines, which incorporate cutting-edge software and other mechanical components that allow for increased power production while maintaining a 20-year design life.
GE will leverage the new service centers to partner with Brazilian technical schools to teach the next generation of wind energy engineers and technicians the skills they will need to succeed in this growing industry.
The global energy firm will provide hands-on learning opportunities at the service centers led by in-country trainers, donate equipment to technical schools, form new internship opportunities and open GE’s leading internal trainings for wind energy to qualifying students.
“Wind is an increasingly critical part of Brazil’s energy mix,” said Aldo Vacaflores, services leader for Brazil, GE Power & Water. “The country has enjoyed tremendous expansion of the wind industry over the past few years and GE’s new service center will help our customers put wind to work in smarter and more efficient ways while expanding the country’s corps of trained wind professionals.”