GE Power Conversion has successfully manufactured the first serial permanent magnet generator (PMG) in GE Renewable’s offshore wind factory in Saint-Nazaire, France. Inaugurated in late 2014, the factory has the capacity to manufacture 100 generators per year.

As the first series, 300 generators are to be manufactured on-site. The first completed generator is to be installed in GE’s Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine in Denmark. The turbine’s power yield is 15% higher than other same-generation wind turbines with each capable of powering 5,000 households per year.

An air-cushion system moves generators within the plant, eliminating the need of cranes. A test bench ensures every generator coming out of the assembly line is ready to be deployed.

“The factory in Saint Nazaire is the first offshore wind manufacturing site in France. It is a milestone in the nation’s energy history.” says Frederic Maenhaut, renewables executive, GE Power Conversion.

One of the world’s largest generators ever built, the 6MW PMG’s direct drive system has no mechanical gearbox coupled to the generator. Low component count increases equipment reliability, enabling higher energy efficiency, and increased turbine availability.

The generator is split into three electrical circuits, a high level of redundancy that enables the turbine to continuously produce power even in degraded mode. This is critical for offshore wind as stormy weather and treacherous water can delay repair work.

GE’s PMGs have been previously selected to be installed on Block Island, America’s first offshore wind farm, which will help generate 30MW of electricity in 2016. www.ge.com

Motion Industries to acquire Missouri Power Transmission

Motion Industries, subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., has acquired Missouri Power Transmission. The transaction took place on March 1, 2016.

Missouri Power Transmission has been a distributor of power transmission equipment and industrial supplies since 1970. The company specializes in chains, sprockets, bearings, seals, electric motors and controls, belting, and related industrial parts. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri Power Transmission services customers from 15 branch and affiliate offices. Their machine shop performs services including gearbox repair, shafting (keyed and plain), welding, and customized machining and millwork.

With annual sales of $4.6 billion, Motion Industries distributes bearings, mechanical power transmission, electrical and industrial automation, hydraulic and industrial hose, hydraulic and pneumatic components, industrial products, safety products, and material handling. www.motionindustries.com

Harvest Technology, Alliance BioEnergy Plus boost ethanol output

After testing at Alliance BioEnergy Plus’ (ALLM) ethanol plant in Illinois, Harvesting Technology’s CoProMax process added more than $17 million to the bottom-line when combined with ALLM’s CTS process of an existing corn ethanol plant, without bringing in outside cellulosic feedstock.

The CoProMax system eliminates thin stillage and extracts nearly 3x the distillers corn oil (DCO) than what is typical. In addition, it provides both a high-protein distillers grain – with protein levels in excess of 45% – as well as a high-fiber distillers grain, which contains 75% of the available corn kernel fiber. The distillers grains with high levels of corn kernel fiber can be converted through the CTS unit, extracting even more DCO.

The combined system offers low capital and operating expenses while retaining the ability to add outside feedstocks for even more cellulosic ethanol output.

ALLM and Harvesting Technology will seek to license/sell a bolt-on solution for existing ethanol plants. www.harvesttech.com

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DOE invests $40 million to improve clean energy materials

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Materials Network (EMN), National Laboratory-led initiative will leverage $40 million in federal funding to tackle one of the major barriers to widespread commercialization of clean energy technologies – the design, testing, and production of advanced materials. By strengthening industry access to the scientific and technical advanced materials innovation resources available at DOE’s National Labs, the network will help bring these materials to market more quickly.

“Manufacturing better materials for clean energy products has the potential to revolutionize whole industries, but only a small fraction of the materials investigated in the laboratory currently make it to widespread market deployment,” says DOE Under Secretary Franklin (Lynn) Orr. “By bringing together American manufacturing expertise, academic leadership in discovering new materials, and the exceptional capabilities of DOE’s National Labs, the Energy Materials Network can spark a revolution in commercializing clean energy materials.”

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is providing the funding to establish EMN’s four initial National Laboratory-led consortia and solicit proposals for collaborative research and development projects with industry and academia.

Each EMN consortium will bring together National Labs, industry, and academia to focus on specific classes of materials aligned with industry’s most pressing challenges related to materials for clean energy technologies. www.energy.gov

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Nearly 140 wind projects awarded turbine contracts in the second half of 2015

Navigant Research reports that in the second half of 2015, more than 12GW of capacity was awarded to wind turbine contracts for projects globally. Europe led all regions with just more than 5GW of capacity in orders, North America had just less than 2.8GW, and Asia Pacific had slightly more than 2GW. In all, nearly 140 projects throughout 25 countries were awarded turbine contracts from July to December 2015.

“Wind turbine orders tracked in the second half of 2015 show substantial business activity across all top and mid-tier turbine vendors,” says Adam Wilson, research associate with Navigant Research. “The top countries for order volume are in the key markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, but activity is also strong in Brazil and India, where turbine vendors are competing for geographic diversification. Notably, one vendor that was barely on the radar a couple years ago in India is now showing significant activity in that market.”

Siemens and Vestas led turbine order vendors in total capacity in the second half of 2015, General Electric, Gamesa, and MHI Vestas (offshore wind joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) rounded out the top five.

The Wind Turbine Order Tracker 1Q16 report tracks public wind turbine orders between July and December 2015, providing an analysis of orders by region, country, and vendor. A detailed examination of turbine components such as rotor diameter, turbine rating, and specific power is provided, and the report offers a comparison of the onshore and offshore wind markets. www.navigantresearch.com