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DOE to Back Wind Turbine Generator Dev’t Projects

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has earmarked $8 million in funds to support eight projects that will cover the development of lightweight wind turbine generators for offshore and tall wind usage. The awardees will design generators that can reach up to 10 megawatts and support offshore applications.

DOE noted American Superconductor Corp. and General Electric will build generators that will use superconducting windings to yield stronger magnetic fields while WEG Energy will develop a magnet direct drive lightweight generator that will employ less rare earth materials.

The department seeks to lower the cost of wind generation by 10 to 25 percent and produce generators that are 50 percent smaller and lighter through the effort. Each awardee will secure $500,000 in funds, while one project may receive up to $6.5 million to assemble and test a scaled prototype within a wind turbine.