Gordon Proven

I’d like to remember Gordon Proven, the brilliant inventor, and creator of Proven Energy.  I only seem to have this one photo of Gordon from the early 1990s in his old factory in Kilmarnock. 


Gordon built a really heavy duty wind turbine that can outlast all the others.  Here is a photo of one of his first efforts, more than twenty years ago.

At that time he used a geared induction motor, but he did some research into permanent magnet alternators and adopted a very good toroidal design that has served well to this day.  His blade pitch control system is unique.

Gordon Proven passed away peacefully on Saturday, at home and with the family beside him.   He had been living with motor neurone disease for more than 5 years, and still fighting to the end.  I have fond memories of his ingenuity, generosity and humour.

About hugh

I live off-grid in NW Scotland and have spent my life playing with wind turbines. I also love small hydros. Hands on renewable energy is my thing and I like to learn and to share my experiences.
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14 Responses to Gordon Proven

  1. Mike (Mac) Cunningham says:

    Gordon and I were childhood pals until he went onto higher education. I recall how we would talk to one another, from his bedroom window to mine a distance of over 90 metres, via empty tin cans connected with string pulled taut. His talent for innovation was apparent even then. I saw him when he attended my wedding in Huddersfield in 1969, then we lost contact until I visited home from Hampshire and called into his premises at the Moorfield Industrial Estate. Then I was surprised and delighted to catch his appearance as a judge on an episode of Channel 4’s Scrap Heap Challenge many years later. I am deeply saddened that my childhood pal has now gone and the world has lost one of it’s great characters.

  2. Mary Harris says:

    I remember Gordon from when he installed the first turbine on Pabay in the early 1980’s. I recall his passion for alternative energy after working at Dounray and his passion for sailing for which he would down tools on a good day

  3. Sad to learn about Gordon’s passing. We’ve worked together years ago on a fibre reinforced version of his PP blades. Holding the perfect material in my hands right now for his application…but too late now 🙁
    I’ll cherish my memories of him.

  4. Benny Pandian says:

    Great man! I spent a week with him at Klimranock , he taught me basics and installation techniques need to be followed for implementation. He picked from the Airport and provided support to me until my stay in Scotaland. May his soul rest in peace.

  5. Graham Barton says:

    I am so sad to have belatedly learnt both of Gordon’s death and of the fate of his wonderful company. I had the enormous pleasure and privilege to work with Gordon a decade ago when I worked for Shell and together we pioneered the first ever wind-powered gas platform in the southern north sea ; a world first still much cited by Shell in its promotional material. We have all lost a great inventor, innovator and inspirer, a man of the greatest humanity, and a friend.

  6. Tim Cotter says:

    His turbines have transformed rural life in the Falkland Islands. A lasting memorial to Gordon.

  7. Philip Proven says:

    I am Gordon’s cousin and have known him all his life. He was born in Chorlton Village and my sister Irene baby sat him when he was a baby. His father was an engineer and his brother , my father, was an engineer and he grew up among all the bits and pieces these two invented all of the time. True to the traditions of the Proven family Gordon was destined to continue this inventive talent. He did, and made a huge contribution to the the innovation of new systems in the wind generation industry. He also had my dad’s and his dad’s sense of humor. I will miss him enormously.

    • George Ross says:

      My name is George Ross I worked with Gordan at Peterhead Power Station in the early eighties just before he left Backcocj Bristols. He was my boss I was on site with him on my own I was chief commissioning Engineer like Gordan I also attended Strathclyde University. He and his his wife Suzanne came to my home and gave me all the information I required to take up a post at Benghazi North Power station. In the early ninetees I again worked with Gordan who helped me in the design and manufacturing of a change over bar management system I developed in the 1990sI stayed with his family for a week while we worked in his factory together. He developed the first electronic controller for the system. I was shocked to find in 2016 Gordan had suffered and died.in 2011. Girdan was an inspiration to everyone who worked with him and I was privileged to have spent a short part of my life with Gordan. I live in Thailand now married to a Thai lady I would like you to speak with Suzanne and let her know I have never forgotten my time with Gotdam and with her family. I am currently writing a series of books and Gotcan features in these books and will never be forgotten. If Suzanne or her children who I also remember wants to communicate please give them my email address [email protected]. I am 74 in January 2024 have been blessed with very good health with no issues and have longevity in my mothers DNA who lived to an age of 97.

  8. sanjeev says:

    Sad news Hugh, may his soul Rest in Peace.

  9. Heidi Proven says:

    Thank you Hugh…. I remember well the blade in the photo, the jumper (!), the humour and the giant of a man x

  10. Tom Hart says:

    Indeed. A visionary… I hope Kingspan are worthy beneficiaries…

  11. Joao says:

    A terrible disease, rest in Peace.

  12. Indeed sad news… I have been lucky enough to have worked under his wing for 3 years. Great inventor and character

  13. Sad news regarding his passing, Ive worked for npower 5 years now and studdied many people in detail regarding how they built the turbines by hand. This is a sad day as a lot of skills and knowledge have been lost but hopefully the people who have been taught the methods will continue to use them wisely.

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