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American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC), a technology company headquartered in Westborough, Mass., and TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co. (TWMC), a motor and generator manufacturer headquartered in Round Rock, Texas, have formed a research joint venture to develop high-temperature superconductor (HTS) and related technologies for high-power, direct drive wind generators for offshore wind farms.

Direct drive wind generator systems that use HTS wire instead of copper wire for the generator's rotor are intended to be much smaller, lighter and more efficient than conventional generators and gearboxes. According to the companies, the net effect is expected to be a lower cost of wind-generated electricity, particularly for offshore wind farms.

AMSC and TWMC received an award from the National Institute of Science and Technology's Advanced Technology Program, which is providing $3.4 million in funding toward the $6.8 million research project to be conducted under the joint venture.

Hybrid Energy Innovations 2015

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