Clipper Windpower plans to sell 49.5% stake to United Technologies

December 18, 2009

On December 9th, Clipper Windpower announced plans to sell 49.5% stake in the company to Connecticut-based United Technologies Corporation (UTC).  Clipper and GE Wind are the only two U.S. manufacturers of utility-scale wind turbines, respectively supplying 7% and 43% of all wind turbine capacity installed in the U.S. in 2008. The Department of Energy (DOE) has worked with both Clipper and GE, among other companies and organizations, to develop state-of-the-art wind turbine technology capable of generating clean, affordable, reliable, and domestic electricity.

In 2001, Clipper Windpower won a competitively-selected partnership with DOE to develop components for integration into a DOE large wind turbine.  The partnership, supported by a DOE investment of over $9.5 million, resulted in the development of an advanced utility-scale wind turbine, the Clipper Liberty 2.5-MW machine.  The Liberty turbine uses a highly innovative multiple-drive path gearbox feeding four advanced permanent magnet generators, a design which promises to be significantly lighter, less costly, more reliable, and easier to maintain than similarly-sized machines. Clipper installed the first Liberty turbine in 2006 and by January 2009 had manufactured and installed more than 250 turbines.  However, in 2008 Clipper was forced to lay off employees in the wake of the economic downturn, and has since been seeking capital investment worldwide.