Mariah Power & MasTech Forge Agreement To Begin Volume Manufacturing Of Small Wind Power Systems

December 03, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

MasTech Manufacturing and Mariah Power announced a five-year agreement to begin volume manufacturing and distribution of what the companies say is the only small wind power system that will be able to supply world markets. The vertical axis wind turbine, well suited for residential and small commercial applications, is called WINDSPIRE®. The 30-foot tall, propeller-free turbine that harnesses the power of wind was recognized in "Best in What’s New" in the green tech category by Popular Science in its December 2008 issue.

With its near silent operation, the 1.2kW Windspire will supply about 25% of a home’s power needs, or about 2000 kilowatt-hours per year in areas with an average wind speed of 12 mph. The first Windspires will be rolling off MasTech’s production line in March 2009 and 1,000 units per month will be manufactured and sold by the end of 2009.

The two companies will also introduce new products in 2009, including a battery-charging solution, a Low Wind Windspire that generates substantial power in areas with 10 mph average winds, and a more powerful Windspire that supplies 100% of the power needed by an average home.

Over 4,000 Windspire’s have been ordered. The company expects to create at least 116 new jobs for the business by 2011. MasTech will oversee manufacturing and distribution. Mariah will manage sales, marketing and new product development and testing.

The Windspire is currently priced at $4995, excluding shipping, and is said to provide a payback to most purchasers within ten years, excluding tax breaks and incentives that many states and municipalities now provide to encourage alternative energy and a decreased reliance upon fossil fuels. The product can be installed by a homeowner in about two hours.

"Windspire’s unique features make it head and shoulders above any other small wind generating system on the market today," said John Holcomb, General Manager of MasTech Manufacturing’s Manistee Divisions. "This is the only product I know of that lets people world-wide reduce their carbon footprint on our environment. Windspire is as much about today’s energy challenges as it is about the health and quality of life of our kids and grandkids."

"We chose Manistee and Michigan over several other locations in the nation," said Mike Hess, CEO of Mariah Power. "Michigan has a legacy of making quality products out of steel, and in MasTech we found something more: a company with unparalleled expertise in automation and diversification. In addition to MasTech, we found a strong community with a great deal of enthusiasm that was committed to bringing our business to Manistee and Michigan."

Hess said that 75% of Windspire sales are expected to overseas markets. "China has over 70 million people who are not connected to the national electricity grid, Five million people in Latin America and Mexico are without power. And a Windspire can produce about 44% of the power required by a home in Japan and 57% of the power needed by a European home."