Ireland's NTR buys GE turbines to drive wind-power growth in US

NTR Plc, an Irish developer of roads, power and waste projects, agreed to buy 228 wind turbines from General Electric Co. (GE) for sites in the US states of Oklahoma and Kansas as it focuses on wind investments after exiting the solar industry.

NTR’s Wind Capital Group unit will acquire 134 turbines with 1.5 megawatts of capacity and 94 units with 1.6 megawatts in the first half of next year, the Dublin-based company said today in a written statement.

The Osage and Post Rock projects, totalling 351 megawatts, will increase the unit’s installed capacity in the US to more than 500 megawatts.

NTR, which also has interests in bio-fuels, wrote off the entire value of its investments in solar-thermal energy on Aug. 3 as it posted record full-year losses.

Instead the company is forging ahead with “substantial investments to expand its wind portfolio.

“At a time when many energy projects around the country are on hold, Wind Capital Group is making substantial investments and expanding our operations,” said Ciaran O’Brien, Wind Capital Group’s Chief Executive Officer. “This turbine acquisition sends a clear signal that we have a pipeline of high-quality development projects that we are continuing to translate into strong commercial assets.”

The Osage project in Oklahoma will use GE’s advanced 1-6-100 wind turbine, the world’s most efficient wind turbine when taking into account capacity factor in wind class. The turbine features a 100-meter rotor diameter and offers a 47% increase in swept area, resulting in an 18% increase in annual energy production compared to the previous models.

The GE 1.5-82.5 wind turbines for the Post Rock project in Kansas are members of GE’s family of 1.5 machines, the most widely deployed megawatt class wind turbine in the wind industry with more than 16,500 installed worldwide.

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