AMSC buys 25% stake in UK blade company

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has acquired a 25% ownership position in Blade Dynamics Ltd, a wind turbine blade designer and manufacturer, for US$8 million.

Dow Chemical Company, through its Venture Capital group, has also made a minority equity investment in Blade Dynamics, which is based in the UK.

“Blade Dynamics has developed unique and proprietary structural designs and manufacturing methods aimed at overcoming critical barriers that are facing today’s wind industry,” says Blade Dynamics Founder and CEO Paul Rudling.

AMSC Founder and CEO Greg Yurek, adds: “The design and manufacturing processes for wind turbine blades have remained fundamentally unchanged for 20 years.

“Today, however, the market is migrating to higher wind turbine power ratings. Onshore wind turbines now exceed 2 MW in many locations, and offshore wind farm developers are increasingly seeking wind turbines with power ratings exceeding 5 MW. Blade Dynamics presents us – and the entire wind industry – with a game-changing wind turbine blade technology that enhances performance and reduces weight and cost for high power wind turbines.”

AMSC expects that Blade Dynamics technology will provide a compelling blade platform for the company’s 10 MW SeaTitan superconductor wind turbines.

New Orleans welcome

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) is providing an incentive package to help Blade Dynamics establish and operate a manufacturing facility in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The incentive package is worth up to US$30m and is contingent on the company meeting certain capital investment and job creation milestones.

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power