Wind wire: Hara acquisition

Hara XEMC Windpower, a joint venture between wind turbine manufacturers XEMC of China and Harakosan of Japan, has acquired Dutch developer of offshore wind turbines Darwind, strengthening the Asian company's foothold in the European market.

By buying Darwind, Hara XEMC acquires a 2 MW direct-drive turbine product line as well as 5 MW technology in development. The Dutch subsidiary, renamed XEMC Darwind BV, plans to install prototypes of the 5 MW unit in 2010. Hara XEMC has already installed more than 150 units of its own 2 MW turbines in China where, according to Darwind, the machines are the largest wind turbines in mass production. Darwind in 2006 came under the umbrella of Dutch renewables holding company Econcern, but went up for sale after its parent entered receivership in late May (Windpower Monthly, July 2009). Japanese Harakosan's experience in Europe dates back years. Its first wind turbines, with 50% Finnish technology, were installed in Finland in 2007 (Windpower Monthly, November 2007). In a direct-drive turbine, the rotor is connected directly to a slow-speed generator rather than using a gearbox to step up the speed of the rotor to that of the generator input shaft.