June 26, 2007 / 5:09 PM / 11 years ago

GE unit invests in N.Y. Noble wind power parks

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - General Electric Co.’s (GE.N) GE Energy Financial Services unit will invest in three Noble Environmental Power wind parks that will generate 282 megawatts of power in Upstate New York.

This was the GE unit’s first investment in wind energy in New York, it said in a release.

The projects represent a $564 million investment in renewable energy that will bring an estimated $352 million in new revenue to the regional economies over the next 20 years, GE said.

GE Energy Financial Services said it would invest the Class A equity as the non-managing member, and Noble would invest the Class B equity as the managing member of the wind parks. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to federal and state regulatory approvals.

Noble expects the wind parks to start commercial operation during the fourth quarter.

The 100.5 MW Noble Clinton Wind Park, employing 67 GE 1.5-MW SLE wind turbines, is three miles south of the Canadian border in the town of Clinton in Clinton County.

The 81 MW Noble Ellenburg Wind Park, using 54 GE 1.5-MW SLE turbines, is in Ellenburg in Clinton County.

The 100.5 MW Noble Bliss Wind Park, which uses 67 GE 1.5-MW SLE turbines, is 30 miles southeast of Buffalo in Eagle in Wyoming County.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will buy 95 percent of the Renewable Energy Certificates generated by the three projects under 10-year contracts. NYSERDA, a state agency, purchases the certificates to meet New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that 25 percent of the state’s power come from renewable sources by 2013.

The three wind parks, which will increase the state’s wind energy capacity to 671 MW, will produce enough electricity for more than 93,000 average U.S. homes and will avoid nearly 590,000 tons per year in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel generation.

Noble, of Essex, Connecticut, is a renewable energy company majority owned by JP Morgan Partners, a private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) managed by CCMP Capital. Noble hired Goldman Sachs in May to explore strategic alternatives for the company.

With more than $14 billion in assets, GE Energy Financial Services, of Stamford, Connecticut, invests more than $5 billion annually in the energy and water industries.

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