Oregon company has big plans for small wind
The small wind industry is poised to swell in the next several years, according to manufacturers and industry analysts. But to really take off, projects must overcome siting, permitting and financing hurdles.
The company manufactures and installs small wind power devices ranging from 2.5 kilowatts to 10 kilowatts sizes for grid-connected and off-grid power systems. Through its new “Buy Direct” program Xzeres handles all the steps involved in getting a system up and running, including site assessment, permitting, financing, installation and support.
While many solar companies offer full-service solutions, including financing and help obtaining state and federal rebates, small wind systems are generally sold through dealer channels, according to David Baker, Xzeres chairman.
“We’re focused on becoming a global renewable energy systems provider, not just selling systems,” Baker said.
In the United States, that means helping customers overcome permitting hurdles that vary by county, Baker said. The company is also counting on strong overseas markets in Europe, Asia and Australia, where governments are more supportive of small wind.
The United States market for small wind -- turbines of less than 100-kilowatt capacity -- grew 15 percent in 2009, with about 10,000 new units representing about $82 million in sales, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. The group credited federal incentives, including the 30 percent investment tax credit for fueling recent growth. Meanwhile, a 2009 report from Pike Research predicts that globally the small wind market could grow to $412 million in 2013, up from $203 million last year.