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Wind Wire: Turbine wait

GE Energy will not be offering an offshore turbine until 2015 at the earliest and potentially not until 2020, says the company's wind power boss, Vic Abate.

Following the company's purchase of the rights to the direct-drive Scanwind turbine for EUR15 million (Windpower Monthly, September 2009), research and development work on the machine will be conducted within five years, he says. The Scanwind turbine was developed in Norway specifically for offshore use. "We are going to invest a couple of hundred million dollars in getting ready," says Abate. Commenting on GE's decision to buy the technology, Abate stresses there are five years of operating data for 11 machines that GE's technicians can work with. "We could have done direct-drive ourselves, but it would have been slower," he says. GE was attracted by Scanwind's low-maintenance architecture and its proven reliability in a tough wind regime, says Abate. Design work will be continued by engineers in Norway and Sweden. "This is a long-term commitment," Abate says. GE is partnering with Vetco Gray, a division of power industry equipment supplier ABB, on the project.

 

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