We started RENewed Wind and Solar because we don’t think quality renewable energy equipment should sit in a warehouse — or worse, go to a landfill. We think there’s a better way. Reuse.
Reusing Renewable Energy Products
David Blittersdorf | RENewed Wind and Solar
Can you give us some background on yourself and your experience in the Renewable Energy Industry.
I have spent my life dedicated to renewable energy, ever since I built my first wind turbine at age 14. In 1981 I completed a mechanical engineering degree, and then founded NRG Systems. Over the next 23 years, we developed the business into a global leader in wind measurement technology, during which time I served as both board president and treasurer of the American Wind Energy Association. I stepped down as CEO of NRG Systems in 2004 to start AllEarth Renewables.
At AllEarth Renewables we created the AllEarth Solar Tracker, an industry leading dual-axis solar tracker that uses GPS and wireless technology to follow the sun throughout the day, producing up to 45 percent more energy than rooftop solar. We’ve manufactured and installed more than 6,000 solar tracker systems used for residential and commercial installations all over the country.
Tell us about RENewed Wind and Solar and why you decided to start this company.
It’s really pretty simple. Renewable energy is all about using resources wisely, for us and for the generations coming after us. Every renewable energy company acquires assets that are useful at one time, but as the company evolves may no longer serve a purpose. We noticed that there wasn’t a good marketplace out there for this kind of used and pre-owned wind and solar equipment.
We started RENewed Wind and Solar because we don’t think quality renewable energy equipment should sit in a warehouse — or worse, go to a landfill. We think there’s a better way. Reuse. We want these resources in the hands of people who can put them to good use as soon as possible.
How do you find and select the products that you will sell on the website?
I’ve been in the renewable energy business for almost four decades. My companies have proven themselves to be innovative leaders in the industry by constantly innovating our products, our thinking, and our goals.
Along the way, we have acquired a variety of wind and solar equipment that is still in great condition, but isn’t being actively used. For the launch of RENewed, we selected assets from our inventory that perform well over time and have been well-cared-for.
What kind of testing might a product go through before being offered for sale on the website?
We rigorously test the functionality and certify the performance of every piece of equipment that we sell to value-seeking partners. Wind sensors are tested and calibrated at the certified wind tunnel of our partner facility, Aeolus Labs. I started Aeolus Labs in 2013, when John Obermeier retired and closed the doors of OTECH Engineering, a renowned wind testing and certification company in California. Aeolus Labs brought the newest and most capable of OTECH’s wind tunnels to our new lab in Bristol, Vermont. Along with the equipment, Aeolus Labs benefited greatly from the extensive knowledge and experience developed by John Obermeier over his many years in the industry.
The current engineering team at AllEarth Renewables are the same folks who were the original designers for most of the wind measurement equipment we are re-selling. We have more than 120 combined years of experience!
The wind measurement systems we are making available have a proven record of success. They have previously been deployed and redeployed around the region to help build new wind farms, including the 10 MW Georgia Mountain Community Wind that we built here in Vermont.
Can you give us some examples of the products currently available for sale on the website?
We sell all the equipment that is needed to outfit a 60 meter meteorological tower, pre-owned photovoltaic panels, and offer both rental and ownership options for Triton Wind Profilers. Be on the lookout for more products that will come available in the near future, and feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may have just the product that you’re looking for but haven’t listed it yet. If not, we likely know where to find it.
What kind of savings over a new product are being offered?
Many of our products are being offered at more than 60% below their retail price, depending on condition. From recalibrated anemometers to second-life solar panels, we offer bargain prices on all of the high quality pre-owned, refurbished, and never-before-used wind and solar equipment that we sell.
Why do you think there hasn’t been a big marketplace for used renewable energy products before?
This is a great question. In the renewable energy industry, we care deeply about not wasting resources. Given the opportunity, I know many others in the renewable industry would want their used products deployed and put to good use helping the planet. We believe RENewed can provide this opportunity.
We are coming to a time when there is a critical mass of used products available in the marketplace, so it is feasible for a company like ours to begin a venture like this. There is certainly a niche for this company and we hope the demands for this sort of operation increase with time as the demand for brand new products levels off or drops.
What is your vision for this company? Where do you see it 5 or 10 years down the road?
We plan to continue to obtain and distribute high quality renewable assets to eco-conscious consumers, giving used wind and solar equipment another productive life. We live in a resource limited world, so we hope to minimize the unnecessary manufacturing of items that are already in existence and instead create opportunities for productive re-use. Being in the renewable energy sector, we should all hold ourselves to high standards, and focus on reducing our combined impacts. If a piece of renewable energy equipment is still useful, we think it should be out in the world helping to reduce carbon and produce clean energy for our planet.
About RENewed Wind and Solar
Headquartered in Williston, Vermont, AllEarth Renewables is the creator and manufacturer of the AllEarth Solar Tracker, an industry leading dual-axis solar tracker that uses innovative GPS and wireless technology to follow the sun throughout the day, producing up to 45 percent more energy than rooftop solar. The company has manufactured and installed more than 6,000 solar tracker systems used for residential and commercial installations around the country.
AllEarth Renewables is dedicated to bringing clean, renewable energy to businesses, farms, municipalities and homeowners to help lessen our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce green-house gas emissions. The company brings new, more efficient energy solutions to market - from community wind farms to solar generation and community passenger rail transportation.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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