Aeronautica to build sub-megawatt turbines

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Eyeing an under-served market for mid-sized wind turbines, Aeronautica Windpower of Massachusetts plans to begin building and shipping 225 kW and 750 kW machines before the end of this year through a licensing agreement with Norwin, a small Danish turbine design company. "It's a full technology transfer -- the design, the supply chain relationships, the factory set up and training," says Aeronautica's Brian Kuhn. "The deal gives us a licence to manufacture and market in all of North America, the Caribbean and Central America and first right of refusal in South America." Aeronautica will start building machines at a facility it currently uses for its turbine refurbishing business and Kuhn says letters of intent are with buyers for the first 15 machines. The company is seeking an incentive laden deal that includes factory space large enough to employ 100 workers and produce 300 of each model per year. "Where we locate the facility is going to depend on what kind of packages are being offered," Kuhn says. "Right now we have five states we're looking at." Aeronautica is counting on a mix of private equity and debt for financing. Blades will come from LM Glasfiber in India until a US deal can be struck. The 225 kW machines will sell for $460,000, while the 750 kW model will cost $1.25 million including tower, nacelle and blades.

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