"Chancen Kapital was set up to help young companies with innovative ideas get a foothold in the market," says Gerd Seel, director and owner of 60% of Seewind. Most of the new companies it supported, however, went bankrupt. "Only Seewind has been successful and Chancen wanted to close itself down. But it had to dispose of its stake in Seewind first."
Towards the end, Chancen no longer "had the power" to contribute to Seewind, Seel says. In contrast, the new stake holders support the turbine company "with heart and soul." Griebl already operates three Seewind 100 kW units and is planning to install five of the 750 kW model. Bold, whose company employs some 400 people, has not only financial strength but is prepared to "inject more capital into Seewind when necessary." Seewind has a nominal capital of DEM 425,000 and expects to reach sales of some DEM 10 million this year.
Series production of the 750 kW turbine is starting almost exactly a year after the prototype was installed. The turbine was developed in co-operation with Danish firm Wind World. Four to six will be installed by the end of the year in Seewind's home state of Baden-Württemberg and in North Rhine Westfalia.
Meantime, five 110 kW machines are to be installed at Darlow in Poland, with another bound for French-speaking Guadeloupe. The link to France is through a project at Calais, where a 100 kW Seewind turbine has been turning at the technical college since 1997.
Seewind expects to have a 1 MW turbine with a rotor diameter of 54 metres on the market by the autumn. This machine is also being developed with Wind World, which was recently taken over by NEG Micon. The co-operation contract with Wind World will be unaffected by the NEG Micon takeover, says Seel.