This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 27, 2002

General Electric Buys Enron Wind, Buoys U.S. Wind Industry

GE Power Systems — a General Electric company — announced last week that it plans to buy Enron Wind from its parent company, the bankrupt Enron Corporation. GE Power Systems will take ownership of the Enron's wind turbine manufacturing and marketing operations, but not the wind facilities owned or operated by Enron. The news was a relief to the U.S. wind energy industry, which feared that one of the largest U.S. wind turbine manufacturers — the seventh largest in the world — would be sold to a company overseas. If approved by bankruptcy court, the deal should be finalized in April. See the press releases from Enron and General Electric on the Enron Wind Web site.

Meanwhile, the progress on U.S. wind power installations has slowed dramatically this year. One of the few recent wind power additions was a single 900-kilowatt wind turbine installed near Valley City, North Dakota, by Minnkota Power Cooperative. Power from the turbine will be sold through the utility's green power program. Commissioned in late January, the turbine holds the honor of being the first utility- scale wind turbine in North Dakota. See the Minnkota press release.

Despite the slowdown, larger wind power installations are still being planned and pursued by several companies. Endless Energy Corporation, for instance, has announced plans to install a 7-turbine wind facility near Manchester, Vermont, and a 29-turbine facility near Stratton, Maine. Combined, the two facilities could generate enough electricity to power 35,000 New England homes. The company hopes to install the Vermont facility this summer. See the Endless Energy Web site.