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Devens firm buys into turbine maker

Associated Press / August 18, 2010

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NEW ORLEANS — A new partner in Blade Dynamics Ltd. says the company will build advanced wind turbine blades in New Orleans, creating at least 600 jobs over the next decade.

Devens, Mass.-based American Superconductor Corp., which builds equipment for power generators and utilities, acquired 25 percent of Blade Dynamics for $8 million yesterday.

American Superconductor says space at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility will be used for the project.

Louisiana is providing an incentive package of up to $30 million that will be based upon meeting capital investments and job-creation standards.

The state has been seeking tenants for Michoud, where Lockheed Martin Corp. is ending the production of fuel tanks for the space shuttle program.

Dow Chemical Co., through its venture capital group, also made a small equity investment in Blade Dynamics, which was founded in Great Britain in 2007. Blade Dynamics said it has developed designs to increase the efficiency and performance of high-power turbines to generate power on a larger scale.

American Superconductor’s chief executive, Greg Yured, said Blade Dynamics provides “a game-changing wind turbine blade technology.’’