New name and new start

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Tacke Windpower Inc, the former Canadian subsidiary of bankrupt German parent Tacke Windtechnik, has become an independent, wholly owned Canadian company, adopting the name Huron Windpower Inc from December 1.

"We've ceased to represent Tacke in Germany for wind turbines, but we're still a supplier of wind turbine blades to them," states Helge Wittholz, the former president of Tacke Windpower. Wittholz continues as president of Huron. In Germany, Tacke has been bought by an Enron subsidiary and renamed Tacke Windenergie GmbH. Wittholz suggests that Huron might also contract to supply turbine blades in the future to Zond in California, another Enron subsidiary. "Now we're no longer connected to a wind turbine manufacturer, which makes it easier for us to supply blades to others. They were always hesitant to buy from their competitor."

Huron has a contract with Natural Resources Canada to develop blades for a Canadian cold weather version of a 25 kW turbine made by French Vergnet. "We also have a production order from Wenvor Vergnet," says Wittholz. Huron will manufacture the nacelle cover and spinner, too.

Huron's turbine blade manufacturing facility in south-western Ontario at Huron Park resumed operation in November with a workforce of 47 after a hiatus which began in July with the bankruptcy of Tacke. Huron also began shipping in November. The firm previously supplied several hundred blades to Tacke in Germany.

Tacke Windpower was founded in May 1994, and began manufacturing operations in 1995. Its major achievement was the supply of a 600 kW cold weather modified wind turbine to Ontario Hydro, commissioned at Kincardine in October 1995 and still the largest in Ontario.

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