The Italian government has awarded a EUR 7.7 million grant to a consortium working on the development of a hybrid concrete/steel 3.5 MW offshore wind turbine suitable for the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Led by the Italian research and development arm of Dutch firm Blue H, the Project Geoma consortium also includes Blue H Sky Saver, Ansaldo Sistemi Industrial, Società Gamma Antivibrante and Progeco, electricity and energy research institute CESI Ricerca, the Università Federico II in Naples and France's EADS Astrium. Just over a year ago, Blue H installed a demonstration floating offshore wind turbine platform off the coast of Apulia, complete with an old 80 kW Dutch Lagerwey turbine. It is installing a 2 MW wind turbine in Brindisi, the first in its planned 90 MW Tricase offshore wind farm. The grant was made under the government's Industria 2015 program, designed to encourage research and development in environment-friendly technology. Out of 30 recipients, two were wind power projects, with a second grant going to Leitwind, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Bolzano. Leitwind gets EUR 5.6 million to develop two versions of a 3 MW, direct drive, synchronised turbine, with a permanent magnet generator, over the next three years. One version, with a single generator, is being designed for offshore use. The other, with two 1.5 MW generators, is being designed for use at high altitudes or at sites where turbine installation is logistically challenging. Leitwind says the knowledge and technology obtained through the 3 MW turbine project will allow it to carry out advanced feasibility studies on a turbine in the 5-6 MW class.
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