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German turbines made in Quebec -- First sale

Montreal-based AAER Systems Inc has entered into a C$35 million agreement for the sale of 17 of its A1500-77 1.5 MW wind turbines to Katabatic Power in British Columbia (BC). The turbines will be delivered during the last quarter of 2007 for use at Katabatic's Mount Hays wind project near Prince Rupert, a project that was one of the winners in BC Hydro's 2006 call for tenders.

"AAER's turbine technology is proven in the field and is ideally designed for the outstanding wind resource along the BC coast," says Katabatic's Jonathan Raymond. Katabatic also retains the option to buy an additional 17 turbines from AAER in 2008.

AAER, listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, holds the North American licence for German developed Fuhrländer-Pfleiderer technology. The Katabatic sale is its first, says Daniel Charette, the company's vice president of sales and business development. The company is planning to open manufacturing facilities in Quebec in 2007, although the location of its factory has yet to be announced.

AAER's plan is to assemble nacelles and manufacture blades at the facility. It expects to produce 30 turbines, all 1.5 MW machines, next year. It will add 1 MW and 2 MW turbines to its line in following years, bumping total production to 110 turbines in 2008, 210 in 2009 and 230 in 2010. At full production, the facility is expected to produce at least 400 nacelles and 1200 blades a year. The company is targeting the Americas, the United Kingdom and France as its major markets, says Charette.

AAER first announced plans to build a wind turbine facility in Quebec in late 2002 (Windpower Monthly, November 2002). At that time, manufacturing was expected to begin in fall 2003.

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