US investment in UK wind

Posted on 19 Aug 2010 by The Manufacturer

American Superconductor has announced it has acquired a 25% stake in Isle of Wight-based wind turbine company, Blade Dynamics.

The UK designer and manufacturer of advanced wind turbine blades sold the stake for $8 million in cash plus one seat on the company’s board.

Blade Dynamics designs increase efficiency and performance of high power wind turbine blades. Dow Chemical (DOW) also purchased a minority stake in the company.

“The design and manufacturing processes for wind turbine blades have remained fundamentally unchanged for 20 years,” says American Superconductor (AMSC) CEO, Greg Yurek. “Today, however, the market is migrating to higher wind turbine power ratings. Onshore wind turbines now exceed 2 MW in many locations, and offshore wind farm developers are increasingly seeking wind turbines with power ratings exceeding 5MW.

“Blade Dynamics presents us – and the entire wind industry – with a game-changing wind turbine blade technology that enhances performance and reduces weight and cost for high power wind turbines. We view this as a compelling investment and expect many wind turbine manufacturers, including our own AMSC Windtec licensees, to quickly migrate to the Blade Dynamics solution to avail themselves of these competitive advantages.

“In fact, AMSC Windtec and Blade Dynamics engineers have already been working in close collaboration to optimize blades for AMSC Windtec turbine designs,” added Yurek.