Germany

Germany

A stake in offshore turbine development -- Germans join ABB

German renewable energy developer BVT Energie und Umwelttechnik is the latest company to get involved in an initiative with electrical giant ABB to develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind turbine via Dutch technology development company Zephyros, founded last year to develop a direct drive 1.5-2 MW turbine for offshore use.

A German renewable energy developer is the latest company to get involved in an initiative with electrical giant ABB to develop a state-of-the-art offshore wind turbine. BVT Energie und Umwelttechnik has bought a stake in Dutch technology development company Zephyros, founded last year to develop a direct drive 1.5-2 MW turbine for offshore use. BVT and turbine manufacturer Lagerwey now own equal stakes in the company, with a Dutch bank holding the remaining 5%.

ABB is a key member of the development consortium. ABB Synchronous Machines is developing the permanent magnet generator for Zephyros and ABB Automation Group the converter. A high voltage output of 3 kV rather than 690 V has been chosen "to allow the use of one inverter system for more than one turbine, and improve grid connection potential," according to Lagerwey, which is responsible for the tower, nacelle and hub design. ABB is working on concepts for high voltage connection of wind farms through its Windformer program (Windpower Monthly, April 2001).

Others in the consortium are Mammoet van Seumeren, which will take care of transport and installation, including a built-in hoist. Dutch Polymarin is supplying the blades, Prolion Sales the control system and Water Wind Technology the nacelle and hub assembly.

The Zephyros project is based in Lagerwey's home town of Barneveld. BVT's stake in the initiative "opens up possibilities for further investments in planned offshore projects off the Dutch coast," says the company's Erich Hau. A Zephyros prototype is planned for Maasvlakte near Rotterdam, and series production is to scheduled to begin next year.

The stake in Zephyros is BVT's first investment in wind technology. It intends to devote 15% of capital, or EUR 4 million, to investments in technology development, including Zephyros, after a recent private placement raised capital by around EUR 12 million to some EUR 21 million, says Claudia Pregler of BVT.

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