By John DeFore
Green Right Now
Plenty of utopian alternative energy schemes remain out of reach right now due to economies of scale and slow-developing technology, but one California company is eager to convince the world its wares are ready for prime time.
WePOWER, LLC, whose products are planned for use in that green Times Square billboard we discussed not long ago, recently announced it can mass produce up to half a million wind turbines in the U.S. in a year.
In its full news release, the company doesn’t promise that it will actually deliver that many units in the next 12 months; it simply asserts that the capacity is there, should consumers be willing to buy that many, thanks to a “pultrusion” process that “involving pulling raw materials through a heated steel-forming die.” It goes on to boast that putting 500,000 of its turbines into use could, depending on wind speeds, power between 200,000 and a million homes per year.
The turbines in question are the PacWind model, a small-scale unit that, according to the company, has many advantages to more familiar turbine designs. According to WePOWER literature, the PacWind requires no maintenance, operates silently, and is so sensitive to wind — it “can capture and create energy from multi-directional winds as low as 3mph and survive wind speeds in excess of 147mph” — that it can be used almost anywhere, not just out on some West Texas plain.
Oh, and they’re pretty.
Company spokesman Joe Perello won’t release sales figures, but foresees rising demand — particularly from homeowners — “once the marketplace understands the versatility and feasibility” of the product. And, importantly, once they realize this isn’t just for millionaires bitten by the green bug: “Our base model Seahawk,” he reports, “is priced at about $5,500 and can be installed for under $2,000.”
“Of course,” he continues, “the cost is less when you account for state rebates, federal tax credits, the electricity you don’t have to buy and any carbon credits that can be sold.”
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