Company Awarded $1 Million State GrantAeroCity LLC today introduced Hudson Valley business and government leaders to its urban rooftop “Aerotecture” wind turbine, an engineering installation to be followed by the manufacture of demonstration units in Kingston, N.Y., early next year. The company also announced that it has received notice of a $1 million grant from New York State.
AeroCity Debuts Urban Wind Power Turbine
“The Poughkeepsie installation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) award are significant steps leading to the manufacturing of wind power generators suitable for placement on multi-story buildings and bridges. They can help New York City achieve Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ambitious alternative energy vision,” said AeroCity President Bill Jacoby.
In contrast to most wind-farm propeller-driven generators, the Aerotecture turbine, with its unusual DNA-like helical blade, will deliver energy directly to the building on which it is mounted, rather than to utilities via transmission lines. This means that the turbine need only compete with the retail price of power (currently over 20 cents per kilowatt hour in New York City) rather than with the wholesale price (closer to five cents); and it can offer the building owner assurance against price increases for the life of the turbine. Multiple turbines will contribute to meeting a building’s total power needs.
At today’s event, organized by the technology business accelerator Hudson Valley Center for Innovation, Inc., (HVCFI), Sarah Osgood, a representative of NYSERDA, announced that her organization has awarded AeroCity the grant to fund product improvements. Jacoby commented, “The grant will fund an aggressive program that will establish AeroCity as the clear leader in the field of metropolitan area wind power.”
Investment Firm Retained
Jacoby also announced that the firm has entered into an agreement with Tencer & Solomon LLC, investment bankers. “This is a major step forward for AeroCity. Tencer & Solomon brings strategic, tactical and operational planning, along with assistance in reaching potential investors,” said Jacoby, adding that Tencer is already in advanced discussions with several investment groups on AeroCity’s behalf.
The company announced that it has begun taking orders for AeroCity’s first-generation turbines, to be manufactured starting early next year. “Many building owners have contacted us over the past year, expressing their interest in purchasing Aerotecture turbines. We are preparing for our first manufacturing run of demonstration models to meet orders received by December 15.”
The basic AeroCity unit will have a rated capacity of 1.5 kW. Multiple units can be linked together to provide supplemental power. The units are also highly compatible with solar panels. Installations normally will require an elevation of at least five stories above the ground. Units can be placed in horizontal rows or stacked vertically, and can also work when suspended — as on a bridge.
The helical rotor enables the turbine to work well in the turbulent and variable wind conditions in cities, and to produce power at low wind speeds.
The turbine was developed and patented by William S. Becker of Aerotecture International, Inc. in Chicago. AeroCity, based in Lake Katrine, N.Y., an affiliate of Direct Global Power, Inc., holds the license to manufacture and sell the Aerotecture technology. The demonstration turbines made during the first manufacturing run will produce not only power but also data to be used to document and optimize the product’s performance and reduce future manufacturing costs.
New York Collaboration
“AeroCity is part of a growing network of technology collaborators in New York, many from the Hudson Valley,” Jacoby said. “Their presence helps us, and we help them, by generating employment and contracts in the emerging renewable energy business.”
Many of the organizations that are collaborating with AeroCity were brought together through the Cleantech Acceleration Program (CAP(TM)) of HVCFI, as well as the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center.
About AeroCity LLC
AeroCity manufactures and markets the Aerotecture vertical axis wind turbine, which is well-suited for urban rooftop use. It is silent, performs well in variable and turbulent wind, and can be installed vertically or horizontally in modular units, allowing building owners to maximize the amount of renewable energy generated on a roof.