Inventors of game-changing technology with the potential to achieve huge cuts in the cost of offshore wind have won a major industry award.
Essex-based GreenSpur Renewables was presented with the Rushlight Wind Power Award for its direct drive permanent magnet generator (DD-PMG) generator, which uses inexpensive ferrite instead of expensive rare earth magnets.
The company is the first beneficiary of the £6million SCORE grant fund programme to be named an award-winner.
Co-directors Andrew Hine and Hugh-Peter Kelly were presented with their certificate by guest of honour John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, at the awards’ 10th anniversary ceremony at the Royal College of Surgeons.
Mr Hine said: “For GreenSpur to be recognised at this stage of its development as a key innovator within the wind energy sector is hugely significant, especially as we are about to embark on scaling our technology to multi-MW levels.
“We will be testing a 75kW unit at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s test centre in Blyth. We see this as the start of a long and productive relationship with the Catapult and plan to test much larger units at the centre over the next 18 months.”
Peter MacDonald, Head of Engineering for ORE Catapult, said: “Our world-leading, open-access test and demonstration facilities and engineering expertise support innovative SMEs like GreenSpur, significantly reducing the time and cost of bringing new, disruptive technologies to market.”
SCORE is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and can offer grant funding of up to £50,000, and business support, to small and medium sized businesses.
Rob Bush, SCORE project manager at Nwes, said: “This technology has caused much excitement within SCORE and the grant panel. We are thrilled it is now award-winning and are proud to have been able to assist its development.”
The Rushlight Awards are designed to support and promote all the latest clean technologies, innovations, initiatives and deployment projects throughout UK, Ireland and internationally.
Clean technology – cleantech – is one of the UK’s most dynamic sectors, estimated to be worth more than £120 billion and employing nearly one million people in the UK.
Johnathan Reynolds, Director of SCORE delivery partner Nautilus Associates, said “The SCORE fund is now really gathering momentum with some incredible innovations coming through. I am delighted to see the rapid progress GreenSpur is making with their scalable unit, including the use of ORE Catapult’s test and demonstration facilities.”
GreenSpur developed a 2KW prototype of its generator with the help of a grant from the first £2.5m SCORE fund. A second grant of £50,000 from the current fund, launched last year, has helped the company scale up to a 75KW unit.
Its vision is to have its low-cost DD-PMG in testing at multi-MW levels within two to three years. The company plans to work closely with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to develop a generator suitable for market adoption.
Ferrites are abundant, accessible and cheap to source, promising huge savings by eliminating the industry-wide reliance on Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB), the scarce and expensive rare magnet used in existing generator designs.
Rob Bush said “We are now taking the SCORE fund on tour around the region to find more potential award winning companies that we can support with grant funding and technical advice available from SCORE.”
*The SCORE grant fund is staging roadshows across the region for businesses to find out more about SCORE grants.
- 6 April, 9-11, University of Suffolk, Ipswich
- 20 April, 9-11, Council Chamber, Weeley, Harwich
- 27 April, 9-11, Beacon Innovation Centre, Gorleston
- 4 May, 9-11, Old Court House, Thurrock
- 11 May, 9-11, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge
- 18 May, 9-11 OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft