Wind turbine company seeks investors

Bill Currie
Bill Currie
A Dunedin wind turbine company has given itself a March 31 deadline to get the cash it needs to manufacture turbines for the national and international markets.

Powerhouse Wind is looking for $700,000 to start low-volume production of its single-blade Thinair turbine to supply domestic customers and send demonstration machines overseas.

It has been talking to companies in India, where government subsidies of up to half the project cost encourage small-scale, village-level wind-power generation.

But Powerhouse Wind - based in a small workshop in central Dunedin - needs new investment to outsource parts manufacture, and to assemble and test the machines at a new facility.

Powerhouse Wind director Bill Currie said yesterday recent publicity encouraged inquiries from potential investors but the company was still hunting for investment. It needed that investment for the start of the new financial year to be in a position to ramp up production for New Zealand and international customers.

Dunedin - and New Zealand - manufacturing engineers and fabricators needed to be involved, so it was crucial to have finance and a manufacturing plan ready soon.

"We will keep in contact with the people we've been speaking to overseas, but the key thing now is to take things to the next stage, and build enough to show how well it can work."

Powerhouse Wind executives last year met representatives of companies from the Mumbai area, in India, who wanted to see how the turbine could supply electricity to remote villages.

The company was also keen to sell its turbines in the United Kingdom and Germany, where feed-in tariffs rewarded consumers for returning electricity to the national grid.

The company's turbine and complementary business system won the Otago round of the 2010 New Zealand CleanTech Challenge. It continues to collect data from its Thinair turbine at a property in Waitati.



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