EWEA 2011: Alstom Wind goes offshore

Alstom has developed the permanent magnet direct drive wind power generator in collaboration with the conversian specialist Converteam. The first two offshore wind turbine prototypes will be installed onshore and offshore in Europe during the winter of 2011 and 2012.

As with all of Alstom's wind turbines, the offshore turbine will feature the Alstom Pure Torque technology, which is said to divert unwanted stresses reaching the tower.

A pres-series of the offshore wind turbine is expected in 2013 with full series production in 2014.

The blades are being developed together with LM Wind Power.

Alfonso Faubel, Alstom Power's WInd Business Vice President, said at EWEA 2011 that they are looking at potential manufacturing sites across Europe. It appears that perhaps the UK and France could be strong candidates as the 6 MW offshore wind turbine should be ready for the UK's Round 3 and France's expected offshore wind tender around 2014.

He says Alstom has seperated the main rotor and the generator to protect the drive train of the permanent magnet direct drive offshore wind turbine, connected through an elastic coupling. The link eto the structure, however, is solid.

Faubel told press that the turbine generates up to 40% more electricity per kg of material used in the turbine.

Talking about foundations, Faubel said the offshore wind turbines could be used with monopiles, jackets and floating foundations. The company is going to participate in a Spanish project for designing floating wind turbine structures.

Belwind demonstration

Alstom also announced a collaboration with Belgian wind farm developer Belwind for its 6 MW offshore wind turbine as part of a 40 MW demonstration project in Belgium.

The project is calling for EU funding under the NER300 scheme, and would be developed during 2012-2015 at Phase 2 of the Belwind wind farm on the Bligh Bank near Zeebrugge in Flanders.