Signaling its continuing commitment to developing and delivering cleaner, more-efficient energy solutions for the world, GE has officially dedicated a $45 million Renewable Energy Global Headquarters in Schenectady, New York. “The dedication of our new, state of the art global headquarters represents our ongoing mission to provide renewable energy solutions that will help meet both the world’s energy and environmental needs,” says Victor Abate, vice president, renewable energy for GE Power & Water. “It also stands as an important symbol of the rapid growth and success of our renewable energy business. When we entered the wind energy industry in 2002, it was a $200 million business for us. Today it has grown significantly, with revenues topping $6 billion.”
The event also marked the installation of GE’s 13,500th wind turbine globally, further demonstrating the continued growth of GE’s renewable energy business. GE is the largest supplier of wind turbines in North America, and the company’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine is the most widely used wind turbine in the world. GE’s global installed fleet now generates enough electricity to power nearly six-million U.S. homes. The establishment of the Renewable Energy Global Headquarters has spurred the creation of more than 650 new jobs in Schenectady, 150 more than originally anticipated and a year ahead of schedule.
Without long-term, supportive policy, however, the continued growth of the U.S. wind industry could be jeopardized, Abate notes. “The establishment of a federal renewable electricity standard (RES) with strong near-term goals would provide the stability and support needed to encourage investors and drive growth in the U.S. wind industry,” he says. “This ongoing growth would continue the momentum experienced by the industry over the last several years, creating needed U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
Abate urged Congress to heed President Obama’s call during the State of the Union address to pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill that could help create jobs and make America energy independent. “If our elected officials, the public, and the energy industry work together, the U.S. can provide the global leadership needed to solve the world’s clean energy challenges and create American jobs.”
GE’s new Renewable Energy Global Headquarters meets federal Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standards and will be 20-percent more energy efficient than required by New York State building standards. Features include low-water faucets and improved insulation, energy efficient hot water boilers and air conditioning system, energy efficient larger windows, bike racks, and preferred parking for hybrid vehicles.
A 48-kilowatt GE solar system installed nearby helps to power the building, and a four-story atrium houses a scale model wind turbine and interactive displays featuring GE’s renewable energy technologies. A Remote Operations Center is one of two global facilities that provides continuous monitoring and diagnostic services for GE’s installed base of wind turbines and solar power electronics.
For more information visit www.ge.com.