Gaia-Wind is a manufacturer of small wind turbines for moderate wind speed sites. Headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, the company has grown from its original roots in Denmark to have representation throughout the U.K. and Europe, as well as Japan, Australia, Israel, the United States, and the South Pacific.
The privately held company produced its first wind turbine in 1993, and has more than 1,000 wind turbines installed. In Denmark, 77 Gaia-Wind turbines have been running for more than 10 years. As of 2014, the first turbine manufactured has been operational for 20 years.
Gaia-Wind operations manager Craig Jones says, “Our wind turbine is designed to generate high levels of energy from medium- and low- wind-speed sites, and is ideally suited to farms, rural homes, businesses, and organizations with significant land banks. The Gaia-Wind 133 turbine is the first U.K. product of this capacity to achieve the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation, an internationally recognized quality assurance standard.”
For its first seven years, Kestrel Renewable Energy (KRE) was operated from a small factory in Johannesburg, South Africa. All design and development was done by the original owner, James Carpy. In 2006, Eveready SA acquired the company. All Kestrels are completely manufactured in South Africa.
All of the models in Kestrel’s line have been produced since 2004 and were upgraded between 2007 and 2012 with investment from Eveready. In the last 15 years, more than 5,000 Kestrels have been put in service around the world. According to Carpy, the Kestrel line includes “patented, highly reliable blade pitch control; a sealed generator with proper thermal management, heavy-duty construction, robustness; and general high reliability.”
Kingspan Wind acquired some of the assets from former wind turbine manufacturer Proven Energy of Scotland, and has combined patented, high-performance technology with long-standing expertise in the energy sector. The company is part of Kingspan Environmental, specializing in renewable energy generation, water management, and pollution prevention.
Original Proven (now KW3 and KW6) wind turbines have been in service for more than 20 years. More than 4,500 turbines have been installed in more than 60 countries, and on each continent. Kingspan marketing specialist Beata Paciejuk reports that, “Kingspan Wind turbines offer maximum energy capture and provide consistent optimum performance even in the fiercest of storms, due to their patented blade hinge design.”
Northern Power Systems (NPS) started in 1974 as North Wind Power Co. In 1978, North Wind developed its HR2 2.2 kW wind turbine. This small wind turbine soon gained international market acceptance as one of the most rugged, high-reliability wind turbines available. More than 600 HR2 (and its successor, HR3) wind turbines were sold over approximately 20 years of production.
In 2008, the Vermont-based, privately held company was acquired by its current owners, who have invested more than $100 million into NPS’s products and technology. Since then, NPS has sold more than 400 of its 60 and 100 kW grid-tied wind turbines.
Jesse Wijnberg, NPS global marketing manager, says, “Originally developed in partnership with NASA and designed for remote and isolated sites, NPS turbines have an innovative, gearless direct-drive design; permanent-magnet generator; best-in-class reliability; and pleasing aesthetics.”