Go, go GE?

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Adam Barber
August 8, 2011
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Go, go GE?

Eighteen months ago, GE announced plans to spend about $450m over the next ten years, to expand its wind turbine business in Europe.

The investment commitment was intended to finance engineering, manufacturing and service facilities in a number of locations. With $100m allocated for its Norwegian research and development centre that has been working on its much-anticipated 4MW offshore unit.

For a firm that had almost exclusively focused on selling its 1.5MW turbine into the North American domestic market, no one was under any doubt that it was a bold move.

The company had built its reputation around a single series unit and as a result, had developed significant American muscle. But that wasn’t so over in Europe. Here, continental manufacturers had been left to their own devices – both on and offshore.

However, with the US market maturing and with an increasing pressure on margins, GE had no choice but to look further afield for growth. So it started taking Europe seriously and it opened its cheque book.

Scroll forwards eighteen months and GE executives will be pleased to see the Romanian wind farm deal go through – even if it has been achieved through a Prowind partnership and through further concessions on grid connectivity support. The deal will see the business ship a further 120 turbines and will bring cheer to the sales team.

However, with the likes of Siemens entering $1bn North Sea contracts with ABB, the question is, are Eastern European onshore deals really enough?

Eighteen months ago, GE announced plans to spend about $450m over the next ten years, to expand its wind turbine business in Europe.

The investment commitment was intended to finance engineering, manufacturing and service facilities in a number of locations. With $100m allocated for its Norwegian research and development centre that has been working on its much-anticipated 4MW offshore unit.

For a firm that had almost exclusively focused on selling its 1.5MW turbine into the North American domestic market, no one was under any doubt that it was a bold move.

The company had built its reputation around a single series unit and as a result, had developed significant American muscle. But that wasn’t so over in Europe. Here, continental manufacturers had been left to their own devices – both on and offshore.

However, with the US market maturing and with an increasing pressure on margins, GE had no choice but to look further afield for growth. So it started taking Europe seriously and it opened its cheque book.

Scroll forwards eighteen months and GE executives will be pleased to see the Romanian wind farm deal go through – even if it has been achieved through a Prowind partnership and through further concessions on grid connectivity support. The deal will see the business ship a further 120 turbines and will bring cheer to the sales team.

However, with the likes of Siemens entering $1bn North Sea contracts with ABB, the question is, are Eastern European onshore deals really enough?

Eighteen months ago, GE announced plans to spend about $450m over the next ten years, to expand its wind turbine business in Europe.

The investment commitment was intended to finance engineering, manufacturing and service facilities in a number of locations. With $100m allocated for its Norwegian research and development centre that has been working on its much-anticipated 4MW offshore unit.

For a firm that had almost exclusively focused on selling its 1.5MW turbine into the North American domestic market, no one was under any doubt that it was a bold move.

The company had built its reputation around a single series unit and as a result, had developed significant American muscle. But that wasn’t so over in Europe. Here, continental manufacturers had been left to their own devices – both on and offshore.

However, with the US market maturing and with an increasing pressure on margins, GE had no choice but to look further afield for growth. So it started taking Europe seriously and it opened its cheque book.

Scroll forwards eighteen months and GE executives will be pleased to see the Romanian wind farm deal go through – even if it has been achieved through a Prowind partnership and through further concessions on grid connectivity support. The deal will see the business ship a further 120 turbines and will bring cheer to the sales team.

However, with the likes of Siemens entering $1bn North Sea contracts with ABB, the question is, are Eastern European onshore deals really enough?

Eighteen months ago, GE announced plans to spend about $450m over the next ten years, to expand its wind turbine business in Europe.

The investment commitment was intended to finance engineering, manufacturing and service facilities in a number of locations. With $100m allocated for its Norwegian research and development centre that has been working on its much-anticipated 4MW offshore unit.

For a firm that had almost exclusively focused on selling its 1.5MW turbine into the North American domestic market, no one was under any doubt that it was a bold move.

The company had built its reputation around a single series unit and as a result, had developed significant American muscle. But that wasn’t so over in Europe. Here, continental manufacturers had been left to their own devices – both on and offshore.

However, with the US market maturing and with an increasing pressure on margins, GE had no choice but to look further afield for growth. So it started taking Europe seriously and it opened its cheque book.

Scroll forwards eighteen months and GE executives will be pleased to see the Romanian wind farm deal go through – even if it has been achieved through a Prowind partnership and through further concessions on grid connectivity support. The deal will see the business ship a further 120 turbines and will bring cheer to the sales team.

However, with the likes of Siemens entering $1bn North Sea contracts with ABB, the question is, are Eastern European onshore deals really enough?

Eighteen months ago, GE announced plans to spend about $450m over the next ten years, to expand its wind turbine business in Europe.

The investment commitment was intended to finance engineering, manufacturing and service facilities in a number of locations. With $100m allocated for its Norwegian research and development centre that has been working on its much-anticipated 4MW offshore unit.

For a firm that had almost exclusively focused on selling its 1.5MW turbine into the North American domestic market, no one was under any doubt that it was a bold move.

The company had built its reputation around a single series unit and as a result, had developed significant American muscle. But that wasn’t so over in Europe. Here, continental manufacturers had been left to their own devices – both on and offshore.

However, with the US market maturing and with an increasing pressure on margins, GE had no choice but to look further afield for growth. So it started taking Europe seriously and it opened its cheque book.

Scroll forwards eighteen months and GE executives will be pleased to see the Romanian wind farm deal go through – even if it has been achieved through a Prowind partnership and through further concessions on grid connectivity support. The deal will see the business ship a further 120 turbines and will bring cheer to the sales team.

However, with the likes of Siemens entering $1bn North Sea contracts with ABB, the question is, are Eastern European onshore deals really enough?

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.