AMSC acquires 25% Blade Dynamics share

UK: US wind component manufacturer American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has acquired a 25% stake in UK blade manufacturer Blade Dynamics.

AMSC's 10MW SeaTitan will incorporate Blade Dynamics' blades

Blade Dynamics specialises in building and designing blades for high-power wind turbines in the 5MW+ range. AMSC said the trend for greater capacity turbines was a major factor in the decision to invest in the company.

The deal will allow AMSC to offer Blade Dynamics products to its licensees, which include Hyundai, and its own upcoming 10MW SeaTitan wind turbine.

AMSC founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Yurek said: "The design and manufacturing processes for wind turbine blades have remained fundamentally unchanged for 20 years.

"Today, however, the market is migrating to higher wind turbine power ratings. Onshore wind turbines now exceed 2MW in many locations, and offshore wind farm developers are increasingly seeking wind turbines with power ratings exceeding 5MW. Blade Dynamics presents us – and the entire wind industry – with a game-changing wind turbine blade technology that enhances performance and reduces weight and cost for high power wind turbines."

Another investor is the Dow Chemical Company, which has made a "minor equity investment".

Additionally, Blade Dynamics will set up a new facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. The company has been provided with an incentive package by the state that could eventually be worth up to $30million, dependent on reaching specific investment and job creation milestones.

Speaking about the deal, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said: "Indeed, renewable energy and green manufacturing is one of our target growth industries that will help to diversify our economy, attract more businesses to Louisiana and, most importantly, create more jobs for our people so they can find the same kinds of opportunities here that historically they have had to pursue in places like Dallas, Houston or Atlanta."