UL Certification in Hand, Southwest Windpower Ships Its Newest Residential-Scale Wind Generator, the Skystream 3.7, to Eager Customers

In an Unprecedented Step, Company Receives UL Certification for the Skystream's Built-In Inverter

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., Nov. 21 -- Today Southwest Windpower announced it has received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification for a key component of its 1.8kW-rated Skystream 3.7 residential-scale wind generator. UL certified the Skystream's inverter, a device that converts wind energy into household power. This is the first UL certification for an inverter that is built into a small-scale residential wind generator (10 kW or less). The company is now shipping product to eager customers.

"We're now shipping Skystream to eager customers and dealers," said Andy Kruse, Southwest Windpower's co-founder and VP of business development. "UL certification of Skystream is an important step for the residential wind power industry." A wind generator with a built-in inverter is an unprecedented step for the small-scale residential wind industry as it significantly decreases the cost of wind systems and simplifies the installation process. Small wind turbines have been traditionally designed for either off-grid, battery- charging applications or to be plugged into a separate inverter for grid connection. The integration of the inverter, as in Skystream, significantly reduces both the cost of the system and the time it takes to install a wind generator.

"The Skystream wind turbine can play a crucial role in the emerging home power market," said Jim Green of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo. "This design is a great combination of cost, performance, and noise reduction in a small wind turbine." NREL, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Technology Program, has been a partner with Southwest Windpower on the development of the Skystream wind turbine since 2000.

Skystream is a fully-integrated wind generator "appliance" designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market. Skystream is a streamlined, plug-and-play technology with no battery or external electronics required that connects directly to the home. When the wind is not blowing, the home is powered by the electric utility. When the wind is blowing, the Skystream delivers power to the house and sends any unused power into the electric grid. This causes the electric meter to spin backwards and allows homeowners to receive a credit on their electric bill, if the utility allows "net metering."

Electric utilities require UL certification for all inverters that feed power into the electric grid. The inverter inside Southwest Windpower's Skystream was granted UL certification for compliance with standard UL1741 / IEEE1547 after passing a series of tests. UL tests include anti-islanding, automatic power export cessation in response to grid variations, moisture immunity, electrical hazard risk elimination, safe operation during electrical surge, elevated temperature operation, and safe design and construction. UL certification helps improve the safety of the electric grid and also the safety of electrical line workers in times of grid failure, repair and maintenance.

About Southwest Windpower

Flagstaff Arizona-based Southwest Windpower is the world's largest producer of small wind generators (400 to 3000 watts). The 20-year old company has been a pioneer in the development of wind technology and has produced over 90,000 generators that provide power to residential homes, remote cabins, telecom transmitters, offshore platforms, water pumping and sailboats. Southwest Windpower's newest wind turbine, the Skystream 3.7, is the first fully-integrated wind generator designed specifically for the grid-connected residential market. Southwest Windpower distributes in more than 88 countries. On the Web: skystreamenergy.com .

Source: Southwest Windpower

Wei-Jean Garland of Porter Novelli
wei-jean.garland@porternovelli.com, for Southwest Windpower

Web site: http://skystreamenergy.com/

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