GE confirms buy-out of Blade Dynamics

UNITED STATES: GE has confirmed the acquisition of Blade Dynamics, the British-based pioneer of modular blade design.

Blade Dynamics' prototype 78-metre modular blade of epoxy resin, balsa core and glass-fibre

Blade Dynamics will now become part of GE Renewables, the new division created from GE's takeover of Alstom's wind business.

In a statement from the US-based firm, GE said: "GE has made the strategic decision to acquire Blade Dynamics, a small but growing technology company specializing in the development of modular blades for wind turbines.

"At GE, research and development is a key part of our long-term strategy. In our ongoing pursuit of cutting-edge wind technologies, we have followed recent advancements in composite manufacturing with great interest, and we believe modular blades could potentially become a transformational technology for the industry.

"Modular blades offer scalable blade architecture, enabling lower cost manufacturing methods and a more cost-effective long-term solution for logistics challenges associated with transporting current blade technology. We are excited to welcome the Blade Dynamics team to GE."

Earlier this year, Blade Dynamics unveiled a prototype 78-metre modular blade aimed at the offshore market. it is now being rigged up for fatigue testing at the ORE Catapult centre in Blyth, UK.

The company started work on the D78 blade late in 2012, winning £15.5 million (€21.5 million) in development funds from the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), a state and private venture research partnership, following a competition for proposals to "address the current high generating costs of the UK's offshore wind energy sector".

GE's financial and industrial muscle should accelerate the blade's development from prototype to production.