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Wind turbine for the home

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One of the most unusual, yet practical devices launched at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week is Southwest Windpower’s newest and most efficient small wind turbine‚ÄîSkystream 600‚Äîwhich could put wind energy in thousands of homes and businesses worldwide. Developed with the backing of GE, the device could provide up to 80 percent of an average home’s energy requirements.

Southwest Windpower unveiled its newest and most efficient small wind turbine—Skystream 600—which could put wind energy in thousands of homes and businesses worldwide.

Unveiled at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with the backing of GE (NYSE: GE), in Las Vegas, Skystream 600 produces 74% percent more energy for commercial and residential use than its predecessor‚Äîmaking it the most efficient power grid-connected turbine in its class, providing an average of 7,400 kWh of clean, low-cost energy per year per household in 12 mph average annual wind speeds. Depending on the wind resource, siting and energy efficiency, a Skystream 600 could provide up to 80 percent of an average home’s energy requirements. Skystream 600 will be the first fully smart grid-enabled wind turbine when available to the public in March 2011, making it easy for consumers to connect their homes or businesses to wind-generated electricity. With its state-of-the-art interactive Skyview‚Ñ¢ system, users can monitor exactly how much energy the wind turbine is producing from anywhere internet access is available. ‚Through multiple upgrades‚Äîincluding larger blade design, enhanced software and an improved integrated inverter‚ÄîSkystream 600 provides users with a more efficient and affordable small wind system,‚ said Dixon Thayer, chief executive officer of Southwest Windpower. ‚By reducing electric bills, Skystream 600 helps provide affordable independence and stability to users while producing clean energy that won’t hurt the environment.‚ Skystream 600 is part of GE’s ‚home of the future‚ exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show, which showcases innovative products designed to help consumers manage home energy generation, cost and consumption. As the country’s leading supplier of large wind turbines, GE invested in Southwest Windpower, the world’s largest supplier of small wind systems, in early 2009 through its energy investing arm, GE Energy Financial Services. As part of GE’s ecomagination clean energy business strategy to drive growth and solve the world’s energy challenges, GE has committed to invest $10 billion in clean technology R&D by 2015, doubling the amount it spent in the past five years.

“In many applications, Southwest Windpower offers the most economical distributed renewable generation technology,‚ said Kevin Skillern, managing director of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services. ‚Through our investments in the company, GE Energy Financial Services is helping bring this new product to market.‚ Southwest Windpower, based in Flagstaff, Arizona, was founded more than 20 years ago, has 170,000 units installed worldwide and sells 15,000 turbines annually. Over the past four years, Southwest Windpower has grown 3.5 times in annual sales volume. More than 13 million homes in the United States could install a wind turbine. With the development of lower-cost, more efficient systems, Southwest Windpower plans for exponential growth over the next five years.

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