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Converteam and SSE develop offshore wind technologies

Converteam and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will jointly develop fully direct current (DC) technologies aiming to reduce total cost of ownership of offshore wind power generation and distribution by 10-20%.

With support from the UK Government’s Environmental Transformation Fund, a permanent magnet generator version of Converteam’s Active Stator generator technology will be created to form a full-scale test facility which will be exposed to the worst case dynamic conditions identified by SSE for offshore wind.

Once sufficiently tested – expected early 2012 – it will be manufactured by Converteam in Scotland and England.

Although initially targeted at the UK Crown Estate Round 3 offshore wind sites, the technology is applicable to all utility-scale wind power generation, and is expected to spread throughout the global offshore and onshore renewables sector, Converteam says.

Steve Raynor, Converteam Senior Vice-President Northern Europe, says: “The advent of the offshore wind power station demands innovation from the whole supplier base. Converteam have supported SSE for many years, as they researched the implications of higher renewables penetration, and are delighted to be co-operating with SSE on this game-changing technological development which will contribute significantly to affordable offshore wind power.”

SSE Director of Offshore Renewables, Jim Smith, adds: “SSE is committed to becoming a major participant in the offshore wind market. Our current projects and our success in securing development rights from The Crown Estate underline this, and our investments in research show that we are at the forefront in the creation of the right technology. We believe that this agreement with Converteam is a further significant step towards achieving our ambitious business objectives.”

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