FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ.: GE Energy Financial Services and other investors have provided US$10 million to Southwest Windpower, a designer and producer of small wind turbines up to 3 kW. The company will use the funding to accelerate its growth in new markets and

Along with GE Energy Financial Services, other investors included Altira, Rockport Capital Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners and CTTV Investments LLC, the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures.

Much of the growth will center on market expansion and the continued enhancement of Skystream, a residential-scale wind generator. Skystream’s design allows the user to connect directly to the electric grid. GE Energy states that, for a residential home, Skystream can provide anywhere from 40 percent to 90 percent of the home’s electricity, depending on their consumption and wind resource.

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Southwest Windpower is developing new applications for the Skystream system, including commercial uses such as powering light poles for parking lots or municipalities and multiple unit installations for remote electrification.

“The new federal stimulus incentives and the company’s product performance improvements enable Southwest Windpower to offer renewable electricity at attractive rates in different regions of the country,” said Kevin Skillern, managing director and leader of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services.

The U.S. economic stabilization and fiscal stimulus laws enacted in late 2008 and early 2009, which allow consumers and small businesses to take a 30 percent tax credit off the installed cost of a wind turbine, are expected to fuel Southwest Windpower’s continued growth. The American Wind Energy Association predicts the federal incentives, on top of a growing number of state incentives, could help the small-turbine market grow thirty times as large in as few as five years.

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