GE Decides to Dump Offshore Wind-Power Plans Despite Collecting Millions in Stimulus Funds for Wind Projects
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama’s Economic Advisory Panel, was invited to sit with the First Lady during the president’s speech to Congress this past week. He’s been a strong supporter of the president since he took over the White House and his companies have received plenty of government funds as well.
First lady Michelle Obama (4th L) and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, (2nd R) clap from the front row of the First Lady’s Box before the start of President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington September 8, 2011. Others in the box are: (top row 3rd L- 2nd R) General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, AOL co-founder Steve Case, Permac Industries CEO Darlene Miller and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and (front row L-R) Philip Maung, Gracey Ibarra, Kelcie Fisher,Obama, Joseph Kidd, Biden and Marlena Clark. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)
GE was awarded 44 contracts totaling over $46,000,000 and 44 grants totaling more than $79,000,000 from the Obama-Pelosi $757 billion dollar stimulus package. Millions of dollars in stimulus funds were used by GE in green energy projects.
Today GE announced that it was going to gut its offshore wind-power plans.
General Electric, the U.S.-based industrial giant and leading manufacturer of wind-power turbines, is scaling back efforts to expand its presence in the offshore wind power market.
The rationale: there is no meaningful offshore wind market to speak of – at least not yet.
Given slower-than-expected industry growth, the offshore market may not mature as rapidly as many wind boosters once believed.
In 2009, GE moved into the offshore market by acquiring Norway’s ScanWind, a developer of direct-drive turbines, based in the city of Trondheim.
GE is considering laying off about 40 employees in Norway as it scales-back its offshore operations there, according to reports in Recharge. The company has also suspended plans to construct a manufacturing facility in the United Kingdom indefinitely.
Immelt also said the stimulus would work way back in April 2009.