The GE unit, along with Noble Environmental Power, its partner in the three-farm deal, has invested in more than 80 percent of the state's wind capacity. By 2010, GE Energy Financial Services expects renewable energy to comprise as much as a quarter of its overall energy and water portfolio, compared to 10 percent in 2006.
"We have reached the $4 billion milestone just five months after hitting $3 billion, confirming that renewable energy is our fastest-growing business," Alex Urquhart, president and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services, said in a statement.
Construction started last month on the wind farms. When finished later this year, they'll generate a total of 330 megawatts. Combined with Noble's Bellmont wind farm, the projects will pump more than $300 million into the local economies in which the farms will operate. A GE study released last month concluded that tax revenues generated by wind farms offsets the value of federal tax credits.
"Local people have already been hired to construct the wind farms, build and plow the roads, and eventually maintain the projects," said Kevin Walsh, GE Energy Financial Services' managing director. "As we showed in a study we released last month, wind farms will create tax revenues for local and federal governments."