Shooting the Breeze with Nordic Windpower

February 15th, 2007 |
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Wind-turbine manufacturing company Nordic Windpower was one many clean technology companies at the Cleantech Venture Forum in New York. In this podcast, NWP Chairman and CEO Steve Taber talks about the company’s goals, how its products differ from its competitors’ and his thoughts on Cleantech.

The Cleantech Forum is right around the corner, February 19-22, in San Francisco. The San Francisco Cleantech Forum brings together more than 600 top investors, companies and thought-leaders for two days of unparalleled networking and cutting edge exchange. Register here.

Transcript:

Host: Rio Pesino – PodTech

Guest: Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

Rio Pesino – PodTech

This is Rio Pesino for Podtech.net, I am here with Steve Taber who is the Chairman and CEO of Nordic Windpower, welcome to the Podcast.

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

Thank you Rio very much, it’s a great pleasure.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Steve, first question, go and tell our listeners what your company is, and what do they do, what’s your company all about?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

We are a wind-turbine manufacturing company, we manufacture turbines based on a very innovative Swedish technology, and what is innovative about this technology is that the equipment is simple and reliable and low in cost. If you think of our competitors as being Ferraris we are a Volvo. We may not be the sexiest machine, but we are absolutely predictable and reliable. We give years and years of trouble free operation with minimum maintenance and low cost.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Now, what makes your product different than your competitors?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

The main design which our competitors have followed is a rigid massive design, which is very heavy. It’s over engineered, it’s very heavy and it responds rigidly to the wind. Our design is designed to be flexible, so that it flexes with the wind. So, eccentric forces from turbulence are dissipated harmlessly, so that the turbine itself can be operated in a very low stress environment. That saves us weight, it saves us failures, maintenance problems and ultimately gives us a bottom line cost that is anywhere from 10% to 30%.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Now, I noticed your Windpower system has two blades as opposed to three?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

Well, two blades have a number of advantages. It saves weight; it makes the design much more elegant in its ability to respond flexibly and passively to the wind. Like I say, the three-bladed turbine is a rigid design, it’s kind of like an ocean liner, the two-bladed design is kind of like a sail boat. It goes with the wind rather than fighting against the wind.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

What’s your existing customer base?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

The existing customer base right now is entirely in Sweden and of Swedish utilities. What we’re doing with this company is introducing the technology to the United States and here our customers will be the established Wind power developers in utilities and the community energy movement. There’s a great deal of growth right now in that sector of the industry in the United States. Communities, farmers, school districts, small towns, Swedish districts and things like that, they’re all trying to put or many of them are trying to put up a few turbines, one, two or three turbines where they can use it as a revenue source to help their basic bottom line.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Now, what are the some of the challenges you guys are facing bring your product here to the United States, if any?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

Well, the first challenge and the challenge which brings me here today to the Cleantech Forum is the challenge of having enough money. We don’t personally have enough money to fund this, we need about $10 million on our Balance Sheet in order to get our company up and running and sustain our growth curve, so that’s challenge number one. We are confident, we will solve that challenge because right now renewable energy is such a high growth industry that there’re a lot of real smart investors that are trying to get in it, so I’m confident we’ll get over that.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Now in regards to Cleantech, what are your thoughts on this event overall?

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

I am hugely impressed; this is a Cracker Jack organization. I mean at this organization, one of the very smart things they do is that they invite all their investors but they screen the entrepreneurs very carefully so there’s only a handful of companies here in comparison to several hundred investors. So, that I think makes for an environment in which the investors don’t feel beleaguered and in which the companies that do, that are fortunate enough to be selected to come, can have a courteous reception from anybody I’ve talked to. I really admire this organization, my hat is off to Nick and Loren and everybody to put this together.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Steve, I appreciate the Podcast, thanks a lot for the time, and goodbye.

Steve Taber – Nordic Windpower

Thank you; it’s been a great pleasure.

Rio Pesino – PodTech

Alright.

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