By Isabella Kaminski
GE Energy will supply the wind turbines as part of a new project in one of France's most windy regions. The Fère-Champenoise project will help France move closer to its goal of deriving 23% of its domestic energy from wind power by 2020.
GE has already begun installing the GE2.5-100 wind turbines, which will be used at three sites within the Champagne-Ardennes region: 7 units at Corroy, 6 units at Euvy and five units at Fère-Champenoise. The total capacity of the three sites will be 45 MW.
The Champagne-Ardennes region is particularly well-suited for the development of wind projects because of its high wind potential and large agricultural areas available for turbine installation. More than 580 MW of wind power capacity are already installed in the area, representing 25% of the region’s electricity supply, according to Syndicat des Energies Renouvelable.
The 2.5 MW wind turbines were bought by Fereole, a special-purpose entity owned by Ailenergie, and Corroy Energies, which is owned by independent French developer Valorem.
Jean-Yves Grandidier, President and Founder of Valorem, says: “GE offered a product that is a good match for this region. This turbine offers a very high level of efficiency and annual energy production, thanks to its 100 m rotor diameter.”
Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy Western Europe & North Africa, adds: “Valorem has chosen GE´s most advanced installed wind turbine technology in terms of efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities.”
GE's 2.5 MW series wind turbines are already being used at two of the world´s largest wind projects: CEZ Romania’s Fantanele wind farm, Europe’s largest onshore project, and Caithness Energy’s Shepherds Flat wind project under construction in Oregon, USA.