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GE's Pensacola assembly plant advances wind power in Florida

GE’s Pensacola assembly plant plays a key role in advancing wind power.

GE’s Wind Energy plant in Pensacola assembles 2.5 megawatt turbines, each with the capacity to provide the annual power needs for up to 1,500 homes. The 300,000-sq.-ft. plant, which overlooks Pensacola Bay, is the only wind turbine manufacturer in Florida.

“We are seeing some strong volume in the U.S. wind energy market,” says plant manager Gary Wiesner. “We’re using data gathered from the wind turbines we manufactured five to 10 years ago to drive down cost of wind energy. As a result, our wind turbines have gotten progressively larger and more powerful,” says Wiesner.

Pensacola Wind Energy has a strong partnership and intern program with the University of West Florida and actively recruits military veterans, says Wiesner, a veteran himself.

GE’s Wind Role

  • GE is the largest wind power supplier in the U.S., with nearly 400 projects and an operating capacity exceeding 40 gigawatts, enough energy to power 11 million homes.
  • Total contribution to the U.S. power grid from wind energy in 2018 was above 7%, up from about 2% in 2012.
  • Florida is among several southeastern states that have no operational utility-scale wind facilities.
  • Texas is the largest generator of wind energy. The state boasts more than 13,350 wind turbines that supply 16% of the state’s power needs to 7.28 million homes.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

 

Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.

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