General Electric Is Pouring Billions Into Wind

General Electric Company is pushing wind research to the next level.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:45PM

Wind

Source: General Electric Company. 

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) announced $10 billion of clean energy investments this week, and wind energy is winding up for more innovation than ever before. General Electric Company has been a major player in wind energy for years -- here's where it's headed next.

The details
General Electric Company's "ecomagination" initiative just got a $10 billion green light from Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt for more research and investments. Understandably, considering the cross-company business has brought in $160 billion in sales and saved General Electric Company itself around $300 million from efficiency improvements. 

The new influx of funds will be split between wind, cutting water use out of fracking, and improving power plant efficiency. For wind energy, General Electric Company hopes to improve its technology in two ways: reduce costs and improve output. 

Wind for the win?
Already, General Electric has made significant inroads with wind technology. The company has 12 different turbines on the market, as well as wind energy storage products designed to make the most of each breeze. 

When General Electric unveiled a new 1.7 MW turbine last May, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) immediately ordered up 59 for a Michigan wind farm. With over 10,000 net MW of wind capacity to its name, NextEra Energy is the undisputed wind leader in North America -- and its choice of General Electric turbines says a lot. 

Offshore advantage
One potential source of major profit in years to come is offshore wind. Government estimates suggest that offshore wind offers more than 4,000,000 MW of capacity -- that's four times our nation's current electricity use. General Electric already offers a massive 4.1 MW turbine ready for offshore use. The model has been in use since 2005 and offers high reliability with low operating expenses. 

Turbine

Source: General Electric Company. 

The Federal Bureau of Ocean Management has been selling off long-term leases to windy ocean areas, and Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) has been gobbling them up. The utility won the auction for 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia last September, and it's currently rooting for another 80,000 acres off the Maryland Coast. Dominion Resources also has a $4.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to conduct more research and run a pilot project -- initiatives that are in line with General Electric's own antics. If offshore wind picks up, General Electric and Dominion Resources will be in perfect opportunities to grab major sales.

The American energy revolution
There's a reason that General Electric isn't pouring all $10 billion into wind. And it's the same reason Dominion Resources isn't closing up shop on land and heading to sea. The American energy revolution relies on a variety of initiatives, and record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg.

For this reason, The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Justin Loiseau owns shares of General Electric Company. The Motley Fool recommends Dominion Resources and owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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