GE Renewable Energy to Equip First Commercial U.S. Integrated Solar-Wind Hybrid Project

23 February 2017

GE Renewable Energy announced today that it has been selected to supply equipment for the first commercial integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the industry. The 4.6MW community based project in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, developed by Juhl Energy, will use two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business supported by 1MW of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business. The project is expected to enter commercial operation in August, 2017.

The project will use GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy (WiSE) technology platform – developed through GE’s Global Research Center - to integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter directly so both wind and solar share all the same balance of plant, increasing system net capacity by 3-4% and annual energy production by up to 10%. The hybrid design gives the project the ability to produce power when it is most needed. Basically, the solar provides summer peak energy, and the wind provides winter peak energy.

Pete McCabe, President & CEO, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy, said, “By leveraging the complementary nature of wind and solar, this unique project shows how GE is driving technology innovation that will help customers deliver more renewable energy in an even more efficient manner.”

Dan Juhl, CEO of Juhl Energy, said, “Most energy experts agree that distributed generation will play a major role in the implementation of renewable energy in the US electrical market in the years to come. Juhl Energy’s package design, with the GE hybrid technology, can economically blend clean, renewable energy into the grid at lower cost, plus add reliability to the system.”

The global market for Hybrid Solar Wind projects could reach USD $1.47 billion by 2024, according to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc. U.S. hybrid solar wind market size was valued at USD $195 million in 2015 and is estimated to reach over USD $300 million by 2024.

GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 57,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity by supplying more than 30,000 GE wind turbines in more than 35 different countries. This new contract demonstrates GE’s ability to provide a full range of technology solutions that help balance the intermittent nature of both wind and solar power.