Showcasing at the three-day EWEA Offshore 2011 wind energy exhibition, Scottish company NGenTec, which designs and supplies permanent magnet generators for wind turbines, will be unveiling plans to build and test generator technology which produces “maximum energy at a minimum cost”.

As part of the trial, six full-scale 1MW prototype generators will be stacked along the turbine shaft to create a 6MW machine, before being subjected to testing. This follows a successful test by NGenTec against all performance parameters in three scaled-down prototypes – one of which was tested on a wind turbine.

An independent analysis of the technology has estimated a cost saving of almost £1m for a 6MW offshore wind turbine using NGenTec’s generator technology, compared to a traditional permanent magnet generator over the course of the turbine’s lifespan.

NGenTec’s chief executive officer Dr Makhlouf Benatmane, said: “There is tremendous potential in Scotland’s nascent offshore wind industry, but we also are attracting considerable interest from several turbine manufacturers which operate globally in the onshore and offshore market.”

Offering his support of offshore wind energy projects, Prime minister David Cameron has called on groups such as investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to join the UK’s renewable energy revolution and invest in large offshore wind projects.

Speaking yesterday (November 28) at a conference in London, Mr Cameron and other ministers met with potential investors in offshore wind projects to establish what can be done to increase investment in this area.

It is estimated that the UK needs around £200bn of investment in new energy infrastructure to help reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and boost energy security, which the Government hopes will come from sources beyond the UK’s current major energy suppliers.

Mr Cameron, said: “I see offshore wind as a significant energy and industrial opportunity for the UK, and one that I am determined to seize. I believe the UK will remain the world’s most attractive offshore wind market for many years to come. We have abundant natural advantages and a world-leading marine engineering base.

“The Coalition Government strongly supports the growth of renewable energy in order to help diversify and decarbonise our long term energy mix.”

Minister of state for energy Charles Hendry, added: “Getting new capital into projects like offshore wind farms is the difference between getting them off the drawing board and into the water, creating jobs and stimulating growth.

“We have invited potential investors to London today to make the case for offshore wind as a stable, long-term and lucrative investment opportunity. The UK is a global leader in offshore wind and if people are not seriously considering investing here then I want to know why”.

Carys Matthews

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