GE Energy to invest US$50 mn to develop wind energy projects across India
Written by James   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Bangalore: GE Energy Financial Services and Indian-based Greenko Group plc have agreed to invest in a new venture to develop wind energy projects across India. Greenko has committed US$65 million for the venture, a newly created subsidiary of Greenko, known as Greenko Wind Project Private Limited.

The GE unit will invest US$50 million – its first renewable energy investment in India – to support the development of 500 megawatts of wind projects out of Greenko’s planned development of one gigawatt of wind projects in India.

Greenko is currently developing a pipeline of wind projects in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan, which the new venture, an Indian holding company and Greenko subsidiary specifically set up to develop wind projects, will own. The first project, the 65-megawatt Ratnagiri wind farm in Maharashtra, is planned for completion in December and will use GE’s 1.6-megawatt turbines. The wind turbines, specifically designed for low and medium wind speeds, will be assembled at GE’s facility in Pune, India.

Once operational, a 500-megawatt wind portfolio could generate enough renewable electricity to power 875,000 average Indian households and displace 700,000 tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 137,000 average US cars off the road.

“This investment expands GE’s presence in one of the world’s fastest growing power markets with a local, proven renewable energy developer,” said Raghuveer Kurada, managing director and leader of India at GE Energy Financial Services. “In addition to capital, GE Energy Financial Services brings deep wind and other renewable energy expertise gained by building a US$6 billion portfolio of renewable energy investments worldwide.”

“Wind power is an increasingly important part of the Indian energy market, and through our partnership with GE, a global energy leader, we are well positioned to play an important role in helping to meet the country’s energy needs with clean power using advanced technology,” said Mr. Anil Kumar Chalamalasetty, CEO and Managing Director of Greenko.
Greenko estimates that with an average growth rate of 30 percent, wind energy is the fastest growing clean energy source in India. The company estimates that less than 25 percent of the country’s wind energy potential – estimated at 45,000 megawatts – has been harnessed to date. The Indian government has set a renewable energy target of 15 percent by 2020 and provided what Greenko believes is a strong and clear policy framework to support the continued expansion of renewable energy sources.

Formed in 2006, Greenko operates 183 megawatts of contracted energy capacity across India, including seven hydroelectric power, six biomass and one gas/liquid fuel-based plant and has 1,600 megawatts of projects under development, including 1,000 megawatts of wind projects. The company has 750 full-time employees, with offices in Hyderabad, New Delhi and Bangalore.

GE’s presence in India dates back to 1902, when the company installed India’s first hydropower plant. The company has established a significant footprint across key locations in India with over 14,000 employees.

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