2-B turbine gets $37m test warchest

Dutch-UK offshore wind turbine designer 2-B Energy has secured an investment package of some €26.5m ($36.8m) to drive ahead development of its innovative two-bladed, downwind concept.

The funding will underpin plans to erect a prototype onshore in the Netherlands and carry out testing by 2015, followed by installation of a pair of the downwind machines in the waters off Methil, Scotland.

The funding consortium backing 2-B Energy's concept, which promises to carve 35% out of the current cost of offshore wind energy, is made up a group of multi-national private and public sector partners, including investment bank Truffle Capital, venture capitalist PPM Oost, oil major Shell, Rabobank, Dutch enterprise agency AgentschapNL, and the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change and Scottish Enterprise.

"There is clearly a need for greater COE [cost of energy] reduction if offshore wind is to become sustainable. Our state-of-the-art design has potential to be a significant contributor in reaching this goal and with this new injection of funding we will be able to really drive forward our ambitious business plans both in the Netherlands and in Scotland," says 2-B Energy chief operating officer Mikael Jakobsson.

The 2-B concept, purpose-designed for the 6MW turbine class, is built around a 140 metre-diameter two-bladed rotor, steel tower and integrated lattice structure jacket. The turbine features a helipad for offshore access.

The minimalist design is engineered using a "lifetime approach" that reduces the number of components lower operation and maintenance costs.