North East firms have the opportunity to hear the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer outline plans for production in the UK.
Wind energy technology company NGenTec has signed an industrial partnership with global gearing firm David Brown, owned by Clyde Blowers.
Under the terms of the agreement David Brown will provide manufacturing expertise and testing services for the first 1MW prototype of NGenTec’s innovative new wind turbine generator, in return for an equity stake. The collaboration aims to bring multi –MW products to the offshore market by 2013, in advance of the major offshore wind deployments expected in 2015.
The agreement follows the announcement in December 2010 that NGenTec had secured £2 million funding from Amsterdam-based SET Venture Partners and Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund and a grant of £800,000 from the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
NGenTec is a spin-out company from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, where the technology was pioneered by the firm’s founders, Dr Markus Mueller and Dr Alasdair McDonald. The company, which was incorporated in 2009, aims to become a leading UK manufacturer of generators and associated engineering services to the renewables sector.
Clyde Blowers is a Glasgow based owner of engineering companies which is committed to expand its presence in renewables. It has made significant progress in the wind energy market through David Brown – a company that thrives on developing solutions for mission critical gearing applications such as wind turbines.
Derek Shepherd, NGenTec’s non-executive chairman, founder and acting CEO, said:
“The industrial partnership with a high-quality engineering manufacturer with global reach is a long-term relationship which will considerably strengthen our position in the marketplace. We see huge advantages to both parties in ensuring that NGenTec becomes the preferred supplier of direct drive generators to the offshore wind energy market, which in the UK is valued at £70 billion over the next 10 years.”
Jim McColl, Clyde Blowers chairman said:
“I am pleased to support a Scottish based engineering company with innovative technology that is targeting the high growth wind sector. Industrial partnerships like this can bring home-grown technology to market more quickly and can create the next generation of high value manufacturing companies in the UK and globally.”
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy said:
“I want the UK to be the world’s number one destination for the research, development and deployment of offshore wind turbine technologies.
“I am pleased that our support for NGenTec has resulted in a partnership with a global player that could lead to investment and jobs in the UK.”
NGenTec has developed a step-change in generator technology which is targeting a fast-growing marketplace. The company is working on a 1MW prototype of its ‘C-Gen’ generator, but ultimately expects to prove its technology at 10MW scale and beyond.
The novel direct drive generator eliminates magnetic forces between moving and stationary parts of the turbine. It is up to 50 per cent lighter than other direct drive permanent magnet generators, and its modular design lends itself to be cost effective and highly reliable. It is designed to be efficient through its full operating range.
C-Gen is also an ideal technology for wave and tidal generation applications.
Ian Farquhar, David Brown’s Managing Director of Wind Energy, said:
“Customers in the wind market are increasingly considering a broader range of technologies for their wind turbine drivetrains. David Brown strives to work at the forefront of wind turbine technology – with partners like NGenTec. Doing so will enable David Brown to offer broader solutions to our customers in the future.”