Belgian wind farm developer Belwind will collaborate with French engineering group Alstom, which will contribute a total of 40 megawatts of power to the former’s wind farm project in Bligh Bank on the Belgian continental shelf, using the latter’s 55 six-megawatt offshore wind turbines.
Alstom will utilize Alstom Pure Torque, a 6-MW direct drive offshore wind turbine, to contribute 40 MW to the second phase of Belwind’s wind project totaling 165 MW. The project would be developed over the period 2012-2015.
The first phase, built on a sandbank in the North Sea in December 2010, also had a total capacity of 165 MW, supplying clean power to over 175,000 houses and cutting 270,000 tons of carbon emissions. Both phases totaled 330 MW.
The Alstom Pure Torque is an offshore wind technology intended for reliability and increased energy yield to cut electricity costs. The turbine’s rotor is supported by a cast frame which runs through the hub.
Addressing the common problem of gearboxes, the new wind technology can withstand wind turbulence protecting the mechanism’s drive train. This design effectively transfers the bending loads to the tower preventing damage to the nacelle, which contains the key energy-generating components of the turbine.
The offshore wind turbine also features an advanced high density direct drive permanent magnet generator. With this feature, the technology is made lightweight and more compact compared to the conventional wind turbines. The turbine also boasts long blades which enable the turbine to deliver high energy yield.
Currently, proponents of the Belwind wind farm project are seeking funding from the European Union’s New Entrants’ Reserve 300 Scheme. Under the scheme, low carbon and renewable energy demonstration projects will be given grants.