GE Energy has added the technology of wind turbine drive trains to its renewable energy technology portfolio by closing a deal to buy Norway-based ScanWind from Morphic Technologies.

The deal is part of GE’s strategy to boost its position in Europe’s rapidly growing offshore wind power industry. The USA-based firm says that the acquisition will help it to address the sector’s need for reduced maintenance and increased reliability.

ScanWind is a developer of advanced drive train and control technologies that eliminate the need for gearboxes in wind turbines. Its products are aimed at the offshore sector, and are currently being demonstrated in 11 turbines operating on the Norwegian coast.

“We are impressed by ScanWind’s simple, solid, reliable design and by the team of people who developed it,” said Victor Abate, Vice President of Renewable Energy for GE Energy.

Abate also noted that ScanWind’s technology would help to improve the reliability of offshore units. “This is particularly important for the growth of the offshore wind industry, where project economics are strongly affected by turbine design and reliability.”

GE says that the ScanWind technology will join its family of wind turbines, which include a 1.5 MW, 2.5 MW and 3.6 MW series. It is planning to enhance the technology by leveraging its existing wind turbine expertise, supply chain and global research capabilities.