ArborWind successfully finished testing its wind turbine technology this year, and now the Ann Arbor-based firm is aiming to install about a dozen units in Michigan in 2015.
That increase has prompted the 4-year-old company to hire two people over the last year in sales and marketing. It currently has a staff of five employees and an intern, and expects to do some more hiring next year as it starts building wind turbines.
"We're looking at expanding pretty rapidly," says Dilip Nigam, president & CEO of ArborWind
. "We'll probably need more sales and marketing people."
ArborWind is taking the traditional wind turbine design (think pinwheels) and turning it on its ear. ArborWind’s turbine employs a vertical-axis design so it looks like the beater ends of a hand mixer when harnessing the wind. This design enables the turbine to turn regardless of which direction the wind is blowing. Check a video explaining the technology here
"This turbine will last 50 years," Nigam says. "We designed it for that."
Each of ArborWind’s turbines generates 200,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. ArborWind plans to install 11 of them across the state in early 2015 and use that to set the stage for an even bigger growth spurt.
"We want to expand rapidly and do 50 turbines," Nigam says. "Each of those turbines costs more than half a million dollars so it will be a large order."
Source: Dilip Nigam, president & CEO of ArborWind
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.