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GE Energy's Wind Turbine Technology Selected for Largest Wind Project in Turkey

A new, 130-megawatt wind power project in southeastern Turkey will be the world's largest installation of GE Energy's latest 2,5xl wind turbine technology and will more than double the country's installed wind capacity.

GE will provide 52 of the 2.5xl machines to Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S. for the wind park in Bahce, about 40 kilometers from Osmaniye province. This will be the largest wind power project to date in Turkey. The project's estimated annual electricity production of 500 million kilowatt-hours will be purchased by independent power consumers.

Interest in wind-generated electricity has been increasing in Turkey. According to the European Wind Energy Association, the country had 84 megawatts of installed wind capacity at the beginning of 2007, an increase of 65 megawatts from the start of 2006.

The 2.5xl wind turbines will be manufactured at GE Energy's facilities in Salzbergen, Germany and Noblejas, Spain and shipped to the project site for installation beginning in March of 2008.

The owner/operator of the new wind park, Zorlu Enerji Elektrik Uretim A.S., is owned by Zorlu Group and is the newest and fastest growing member of the group. The Zorlu Group is one of the largest corporate groups in Turkey, and its companies are active worldwide principally in the areas of textiles, electronics manufacturing, energy and real estate.

Ahmet Zorlu, Chairman of The Zorlu Group, said: "Renewable energy investments are a priority for our company, and the new Bahce project with GE is a major step toward our goal to increase the wind energy portion of our renewables portfolio."

Greater energy output and increased efficiency are among the key features of the new 2.5xl wind turbine. The new machine's rotor diameter of 100 meters is an increase of 12 meters over the current 2.5-megawatt wind turbine, and is the largest GE wind turbine available for onshore applications.

Compared to the previous machine, the 2.5xl offers a five-point increase in capacity factor and a 12-percent increase in annual energy yield. It also has the capability to operate at sites with average wind speeds of up to 8.5 meters per second.

"The 2.5xl has been designed to meet the immediate requirements of the European Union, where the lack of available land constrains the size of projects," said Victor Abate, president-renewables for GE Energy. "Our goal is for the 2.5xl to become an industry standard for multi-megawatt machines."

Introduced last year, the enhanced 2.5xl is the next generation for GE Energy's fleet of wind turbines. A 2.5-megawatt validation machine has been operating at Wieringermeer in the Netherlands since 2004. Originally installed and commissioned with an 88-meter rotor diameter, in August of 2006 this wind turbine was modified with the 100-meter rotor and other new 2.5xl features.

The 2.5xl builds on the success of GE's 1.5-megawatt units, one of the world's most widely used megawatt-class wind turbines with more than 6,000 units in service worldwide.

GE Energy's wind turbine technology is a major component of ecomagination, a GE corporate-wide initiative to develop and market technologies that will help customers address pressing environmental challenges.

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