Offshore wind turbine manufactures are increasingly adopting direct drive generators to upscale machine size in order to reduce cost. However, existing direct drive generators rely on rare earth magnets to produce electricity. These are scarce, expensive and sourced almost exclusively from China. In addition, there is competition for magnet supply from other fast growing industries, including defence, computing and electric vehicles. Added to this, extracting and processing these metals is environmentally damaging.
Essex-based GreenSpur Renewables is working on a generator that uses ferrite magnets, which are abundant, considerably less expensive and can be manufactured in the UK, opening up the potential for significant job creation and investment.
ORE Catapult has signed a collaboration agreement with GreenSpur and helped the team secure funding to build a 250kW generator that will be tested at our innovation and research centre in Blyth.
Learn more about GreenSpur’s potential to create hundreds of jobs in the UK and massively reduce the cost of producing energy from offshore windfarms in our next series of Game Changers’ films.