updated 12/10/2009 8:56:29 AM ET 2009-12-10T13:56:29

General Electric Co. on Thursday said it has received a $1.4 billion contract to supply wind turbines and related services for a wind farm project that is expected to be the largest ever.

The company says the order from independent power producer Caithness Energy is its largest for its 2.5xl wind turbines. It will install 338 of the turbines, which are already in use in Europe and Asia, between 2011 and 2012.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal, which is owned by General Electric).

The 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat project, located in Oregon, has received most of the government permits it needs to run.

Caithness Energy estimates that the project will inject $16 million of direct economic benefits into Oregon on an annual basis, and will employ 400 workers during construction and 35 during operation. Construction will start next year and is expected to be finished in 2012.

GE will also supply 10 years of operational and maintenance services.

Under three 20-year power purchase agreements, the Shepherds Flat wind farm will supply renewable energy to Southern California Edison, an Edison International company. Using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency methodology, the companies estimate that the project will provide enough clean energy to power about 235,000 average California households, avoiding more than 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

General Electric has 10,000 worldwide wind turbine installations comprising more than 15,000 megawatts of capacity, according to the company's Web site. The company has wind manufacturing and assembly facilities in Germany, Spain, China, Canada and the United States.

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