SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL—June 27, 2013—GE (NYSE: GE), one of the world's leading wind turbine suppliers with more than 20,000 units installed, today announced the opening of a new wind energy services center in Bahia, Brazil. This facility, the first of two service centers opening in Brazil this year, enables GE to more quickly and efficiently put local expertise to work for customers, responding to rapidly growing demand for advanced wind energy services.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, wind energy is one of Brazil’s fastest growing energy sources and the country has become a leader in the South American wind energy market. GE has been a trusted partner of Brazil, helping meet the country’s energy demand growth through advanced technology and services. GE has 450 wind turbine units installed in Brazil and the company is expected to be the top wind turbine supplier in the country by the end of the year with over 1 GW of installed capacity, half of which will be installed near the new service center in Bahia.
“It’s important for Renova that GE strengthens its services presence in Brazil,” said Mathias Becker, CEO of Renova. “The establishment of a local center with skilled wind technicians based here in Bahia will help us drive availability and our ability to provide more reliable power to the grid in Brazil.”
“The opening of this wind services center builds on GE’s near century long relationship with Brazil,” said Jean-Claude Robert, general manager of Latin America for GE’s renewable energy business. “We are proud to be working closely with the people of Bahia to provide the technology and services necessary to pursue the country’s significant wind energy opportunities. Our new service center expands our already deep local expertise and enables us to more efficiently provide industry-leading service to our customers.”
The center in Bahia, as well as a second scheduled to open in Rio Grande do Norte later this year, are part of GE’s larger services strategy, which puts advanced technology and local expertise to work for customers. The service centers represent a $1.5 million investment in Brazil and will employ more than 100 service technicians. Engineers at the new facilities will monitor wind operations and weather, as well as dispatch local technicians to wind farms to perform maintenance and maintain a store of essential parts. Engineers and technicians at the Bahia service center will focus their work on GE’s 1.6-82.5 and 1.85-82.5 wind turbines, which incorporate cutting-edge software and other mechanical components that allow for increased power production while maintaining a 20-year design life.
GE will leverage the new service centers to partner with Brazilian technical schools to teach the next generation of wind energy engineers and technicians the skills they will need to succeed in this growing industry. GE will provide hands-on learning opportunities at the service centers led by in-country trainers, donate equipment to technical schools, form new internship opportunities and open GE’s leading internal trainings for wind energy to qualifying students.
“Wind is an increasingly critical part of Brazil’s energy mix,” said Aldo Vacaflores, services leader for Brazil, GE Power & Water. “The country has enjoyed tremendous expansion of the wind industry over the past few years and GE’s new service center will help our customers put wind to work in smarter and more efficient ways while expanding the country’s corps of trained wind professionals.”
GE has had a presence in Brazil since 1919 and, today, employs more than 8,000 people in the country. The company has operations throughout Brazil, including in Bahia, São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. The local team leverages GE’s global expertise of engineers, field service technicians and logistics excellence to ensure the highest quality and strongest execution is on point for customers in Brazil.
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GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar, biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy, Thermal Products and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.
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