Direct drive interest -- Signs from Gamesa

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Spanish wind turbine giant, Gamesa Eólica, is giving tantalising signals of its possible entry into direct drive technology. In a EUR 5.8 million deal earlier this year, the company exercised its 100% purchase option on Spanish electric motor and generator manufacturing firm, Cantarey Reinosa (Windpower Monthly, December 2002). "Apart from its experience in conventional generators in the wind sector, Cantarey has experience in making multipole systems for use in direct drive turbines," Gamesa stated. Although Gamesa has not confirmed intentions to produce direct drive machines, the company does say it is dedicating a "large part of its budget to R&D." Until recently, the only Spanish manufacturer to produce direct drive turbines has been Gamesa Eólica's neighbour in Pamplona, MTorres, currently running three prototypes in Navarra.

The world leader in direct drive technology, Germany's Enercon, has also set up a facility in Valencia -- initially to supply turbines to developer Guadalaviar, which has won approval for a business plant to develop 608 MW of wind power in the region. Cantarey's former owner was Dutch holding group Buce Industries, which bought the factory from Swiss engineering group ABB in January 2000.

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