WIND ENERGY For GE, Mitsubishi, et al, opportunity is blowin’ in the wind

Nov 01, 2007 | 10:52 AM |

Wind energy is booming across North America, and that means good business for companies making the wind-generating structures and their parts.

"It's definitely growing—2007 is expected to be the largest ever in terms of installed capacity," said an American Wind Energy Association spokeswoman. Global titans making turbines for windmills—like General Electric Co., Fairfield, Conn., Mitsubishi Corp., Tokyo; and Siemens AG, Munich, Germany—are the obvious beneficiaries of the worldwide interest in wind power. GE had the largest share of the U.S. market in 2006, she said. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Randers, Denmark, came in second in terms of the number of installed turbines, although the Danish company is a larger provider than GE on a global basis.

But big companies like GE are only part of the wind energy picture. Often, a developer buys land for a windmill project and handles regulatory and other processes; the developer then contracts with a company like GE to provide the structures; that company, in turn, contracts with others to make the huge towers that support the turbines, the blades that harness the wind and the gearboxes and other parts that help generate electricity. Those smaller suppliers also are picking up steam.....

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