David Brown teams up for role in wind power technology drive

Yorkshire gearing firm David Brown has signed an industrial partnership with wind energy technology company NGenTec.

Huddersfield-based David Brown will provide manufacturing expertise and testing services for the first prototype of NGenTec's new wind turbine generator, in return for an equity stake.

The collaboration aims to bring a number of products to the offshore market by 2013, in advance of the major offshore wind deployments expected in 2015.

The agreement follows the announcement in December last year that NGenTec had secured 2m funding from Amsterdam-based SET Venture Partners and Scottish Enterprise's Scottish Co-investment Fund and a grant of 800,000 from the UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change. NGenTec is a spin-out company from Edinburgh University's School of Engineering.

The company, which was incorporated in 2009, aims to become a leading UK manufacturer of generators and associated engineering services to the renewables sector.

Clyde Blowers, which owns David Brown, is a Glasgow based owner of engineering companies which is expanding its presence in renewables.

Ian Farquhar, David Brown's managing director of wind energy, said: "Customers in the wind market are increasingly considering a broader range of technologies for their wind turbine drivetrains.

"David Brown strives to work at the forefront of wind turbine technology – with partners like NGenTec.

"Doing so will enable David Brown to offer broader solutions to our customers in the future."

Derek Shepherd, NGenTec's non-executive chairman, founder and acting chief executive, added: "The industrial partnership with a high-quality engineering manufacturer with global reach is a long-term relationship which will considerably strengthen our position in the marketplace. We see huge advantages to both parties in ensuring that NGenTec becomes the preferred supplier of direct drive generators to the offshore wind energy market, which in the UK is valued at 70bn over the next 10 years."

Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy, said: "I want the UK to be the world's number one destination for the research, development and deployment of offshore wind turbine technologies.

"I am pleased that our support for NGenTec has resulted in a partnership with a global player that could lead to investment and jobs in the UK."

NGenTec has developed a step-change in generator technology. The company is working on a 1MW prototype of its 'C-Gen' generator, but ultimately hopes to prove its technology at 10MW scale and beyond. The direct drive generator eliminates magnetic forces between moving and stationary parts of the turbine.