The direct-drive permanent magnet generator has been a key enabler in the growth of offshore wind in Europe. Their multi-megawatt scalability has brought improved efficiency and lower maintenance costs – but they use large volumes of rare earth magnets, which are scarce, expensive, and sourced almost exclusively from China.
GreenSpur and the ORE Catapult successfully tested a 75kW prototype in autumn 2017. The collaborative partnership has continued with the support of Innovate UK grant funding and the focus is now on testing of a 250kW stage of a 1MW unit during Q1 2019. GreenSpur is also working on multi-MW designs with Warwick Manufacturing Group and plans to release technical data to development partners during 2019. GreenSpur’s revolutionary technology has worldwide export potential and if deployed at to the 2–3GW level could lead to the creation of over 3,000 new jobs: this is a revolutionary UK technology with the potential to have a global impact.