GE said at least 1,248 of the new turbines will be installed in North and South America over the next two years, and the 1.6-100 has been selected for 10 new projects in the past month alone. (Earlier this month, we reported that 94 of these turbines would be used at an Illinois wind-power project.)
What's so special about the 1.6-100?
It's bigger, of course! GE has increased the rotor diameter on its 1.6 model from 82.5 meters to 100 meters - equivalent to 33 stories. This change increases the turbine's swept area by 47 percent over previous turbines in its class.
According to GE, the result is a 19 percent increase in annual energy production at wind speeds of 7.5 meters per second, making the 1.6-100 capable of performing at moderate (Class II) wind speed levels in a Class III (low-wind) environment.
This means that the turbine might make wind power development economical in areas not previously suitable for wind farms.
"The strong industry acceptance of our 1.6-100 wind turbine underscores the continuing confidence of our customers in our technology," said Victor Abate, vice president-renewable energy for GE Power & Water.
"We set out to change the industry, proving that with technology advancements, we could significantly improve the economics of wind. Our 1.6-100 has allowed our customers to develop wind farms in lower wind speed sites that were previously not viable."