GE is joining forces with a company planning to develop one gigawatt — that’s 1,000 megawatts — of wind-energy projects across India. GE Energy...

GE is joining forces with a company planning to develop one gigawatt — that’s 1,000 megawatts — of wind-energy projects across India.

GE Energy Financial Services and India-based Greenko Group both plan to invest in a new venture to increase wind power across India. GE will invest $50 million — its first renewable energy investment in India — to help Greenko develop 500 megawatts of wind projects, while Greenko has committed $65 million to the effort. Five hundred megawatts is enough to power around 875,000 average Indian households and displace some 700,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The joint venture, Greenko Wind Project Private Limited, will operate as a subsidiary of Greenko.

“This investment expands GE’s presence in one of the world’s fastest growing power markets with a local, proven renewable energy developer,” said Raghuveer Kurada, managing director and leader of India at GE Energy Financial Services.

Greenko Wind’s first project, the 65-megawatt Ratnagiri wind farm in Maharashtra, is planned for completion in December and will use GE’s 1.6-megawatt turbines. The turbines, specifically designed for low and medium wind speeds, will be assembled at GE’s facility in Pune, India.

With an average growth rate of 30 percent, wind energy is the fastest growing clean energy source in India, according to Greenko. The company estimates that less than 25 percent of the country’s wind energy potential — estimated at 45,000 megawatts — has been harnessed to date.

The Indian government has set a goal of generating 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Founded in 2006, Greenko currently operates 183 megawatts of contracted energy capacity across India, including seven hydroelectric power plants, six biomass facilities and one gas/liquid fuel-based power plant. It has a further 1,600 megawatts of projects under development.

Greenbang