Nordic Windpower, a Berkeley, Calif. maker of lightweight, two-blade wind turbines for renewable energy generation, has just raised $12.06 million of an anticipated $30.15 million round of equity, according to a filing with the SEC. This is a great start to 2010 for the company, which saw its first sales (PDF) and a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy last year.
The company just shipped its first turbines from its brand new Idaho manufacturing facility at the start of December (PDF). This new round of equity should give it the runway it needs to ramp up production there and find new customers and partnerships for its product.
It also secures the $16 million in federal stimulus loans from the DOE, which was initially announced in July as a “conditional commitment” — meaning that the company would need to successfully raise a third round of funding and hit certain milestones to get its cash. Now it looks like a safe bet, covering 80 percent of the cost of the Idaho plant, which has the capacity to turn out 150-megawatts worth of turbines annually.
Nordic is different from many of the other turbine manufacturers in the market because its turbines are lighter, and (at least the company claims) 10 percent cheaper to build, ship and operate. Each turbine it sells generates about 1 megawatt of energy — enough to power up to 1,000 homes. Most of them are targeted for use in 20 to 40-megawatt wind farms used to power government and municipal facilities like schools and military bases. But this may change as more utilities seek out renewable power purchase agreements.
Nordic’s first turbines to come off the assembly line were sent to Rocha, Uruguay as part of the Nuevo Manantial Wind Farm. The farm is replacing a fossil-fuel based electric plant, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the region, and will be run by Uruguayan utility UTE. Nordic says it has contracts for 16 more of them to be delivered in early 2010.
2009 was also a year of honors for the company (PDF), which nabbed a spot on GoingGreen’s Top 100 list, and walked away with the Global Cleantech 100 Award at the prestigious Cleantech Forum in Boston.
Nordic has now raised more than $28 million to date. It is backed by Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Novus Energy Partners, Goldman Sachs, Impax Asset Management, Pulsar Energy Capital, and I2BF Venture Capital.