AMSC pays Euro 190 million for power technologies company

"The Switch" is a leading supplier of megawatt-class permanent magnet generator and full-power converter packages that capture power from sources such as wind and solar.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

AMSC's growth in recent years has primarily been driven by the sale of wind turbine core electrical components and full wind turbine electrical control systems (ECS) to AMSC subsidiary Windtec licensees and strategic partners.

The Switch provides an existing channel for power electronics and control system sales to other global wind turbine manufacturers, focusing on the production of power converter systems (PCS) - which are a subsystem of full wind turbine ECS. By joining forces with The Switch, AMSC hopes to enhance the performance and reduce the cost of its PCS and ECS offerings. The Switch currently offers PCS's with power ratings ranging from 1 megawatt (MW) to 6 MW.

The Switch also opens a new addressable market opportunity exceeding US$1 billion annually with its portfolio of proprietary permanent magnet generators (PMG). PMG are a new class of generators that are utilised inside an increasing number of both geared and direct drive wind turbines. The Switch today offers low-, medium- and high-speed PMG up to 6 MW in power rating. These PMG systems, already used by several companies in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, will extend the technology portfolio currently available to Windtec customers and increase AMSC's potential value per MW of wind power. AMSC also expects to leverage The Switch's background in advanced synchronous generators to commercialise superconductor generators for direct drive SeaTitan wind turbines.

"....The combination of The Switch and AMSC will provide significant additional value for our customers, partners and investors," said Greg Yurek, founder and chief executive officer of AMSC. "Both AMSC and The Switch are well positioned in Asia, which is now the world's largest and fastest growing wind power market. Our combined company is expected to be serving China's three largest wind turbine manufacturers - Sinovel, Goldwind and Dongfang - in various capacities".

For calendar year 2010, The Switch generated approximately US$179 million in total revenue and approximately US$15 million in net income.



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