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Bladerunners: GE’s Wind Business To Buy Danish Blade Maker For $1.65 Billion

The company that made the world’s largest wind turbine blade will soon join one of the world’s largest makers of wind turbines. GE said today that it plans to acquire LM Wind Power, the Danish maker of rotor blades, for $1.65 billion.

LM Wind is a global leader in wind turbine rotor manufacturing. The company builds blades for the industry’s 1.5- and 2-megawatt, meat-and-potatoes wind turbines as well as 8-megawatt behemoths with rotors spanning 180 meters — more than two football fields.

LM Wind has amassed more than 190 patents and produced 185,000 blades since it opened for business in 1978. Added up, wind turbines with its rotors could produce 77 gigawatts (GW).


Above: A ship loaded with LM Wind’s blades for America’s first offshore windfarm. Top: LM Wind made the world’s largest rotor spanning 180 meters in diameter. Images credit: LM Wind

Thousands of GE turbines on land as well as in the sea are already using LM Wind’s blades. They include the five wind turbines powering America’s first offshore wind farm near Block Island, Rhode Island. “The world is moving to low-carbon electricity, and this trend will only grow stronger,” said Jérôme Pécresse , president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “Our goal is to bring every customer, wherever they are, wind turbines that maximize electricity production while also reducing its cost.”

LM Wind has factories in Denmark, Spain, Poland, Canada, USA, India, China and Brazil. GE’s Pecresse said the acquisition would allow his team to be “more local, have more flexibility and knowledge in turbine design and supply and also add more ability to innovate and reduce costs.”

Pecresse also said that GE, which has been connecting machines to the Industrial Internet, would use software to offer new services for LM Wind’s customers.

GE opened its wind business in 2002 and has shipped more than 30,000 turbines since. The LM Wind deal is the latest GE acquisition in the space, following last year’s purchase of Alstom’s renewable assets.

“Our two organizations are highly complementary, and the transaction positions us well to respond faster to market needs and enhance performance of wind turbines to ultimately reduce the cost of energy,” Pécresse said.

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LM Wind’s rotor’s attached to GE’s Haliade nacelles at America’s first offshore wind farm on Block Island, Block Island. Image credit: Chris New/GE Reports

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