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Windstream Updates City Council on Recent Company Activity

Dan Bates, president and CEO of Windstream Technologies, recently gave an update on his company's activities at the North Vernon City Council meeting. / Photo: Barry Wright
Dan Bates, president and CEO of Windstream Technologies, recently gave an update on his company's activities at the North Vernon City Council meeting. / Photo: Barry Wright

Business seems to be doing really well at Windstream Technologies in North Vernon.

Dan Bates, the company's president and CEO, recently told the North Vernon City Council that the company now employs 31 full and part-time employees, and thanks to the demand for the company's wind turbines and purchase orders, he is looking to add 10 to 15 more jobs to meet worldwide demand.

Bates says a lot of the company's sales are coming out of the Third World right now. He says Windstream recently signed a deal with the government-owned utility in Jamaica to become its distribution partner for 13 countries in the Caribbean and to sell his wind turbines.

Bates noted discussions are underway with the Royal Transportation Authority in Dubai to set up a project for 200,000 street lights that will be run from renewable energy. He says "mini hot spots" will be set up using a solar mill system to run 10 lights tied to their existing infrastructure. He says the authority will be switching from sodium to LED lamps, and the first test should be done in November.

"They're going to do all the wiring, they're doing the installations and we'll bring a couple of guys over to show them how to set it up, and it's a project that is in concert with the Royal Transportation Authority, my colleagues over there at Royal Partners and LG Electronics," Bates said. "So we are very excited about that. Phase I is about a half-a-billion dollar project, and there's scheduled to be about four phases of it."

Bates also told the council the company is now in the bidding process in Peru to become part of a rural electrification project. He feels confident that after the first of the year Windstream will get a part of that contract, but not all of it. Bates noted they now have a memorandum of understanding with a Peruvian government bank to provide power to rural areas of the country.

"Energy is very near and dear to the Peruvians because outside of the city, they don't have any," Bates said. "You go to Lima and it's like being in New York. You go 20 miles outside of Lima and there's no grid. So they're trying to bring those outlining rural areas up to 2013 or 14 or 15 standards as they deploy this."

Bates says they have also been approved by a large cement company in India to do a site assessment to see how much solar and wind is available to provide power to its 17 facilities. He says Windstream is also involved in a $6 billion Indian government project to provide broadband Internet to rural areas for education and information.

"All of these are off grid, or as I should say most of them are off grid," Bates said. "We have five pilot test sites up with them right now. So BBNL is looking at our technology to provide the energy to drive these 'hot spots' if you will like a Starbucks is Wi-Fi connected, these are going to be satellite connected, off grid, and they've got to have battery backup and solar and wind. They want to do a hybrid."

He says India wants to do 250,000 spots and hopes Windstream will get some of that.

During the meeting, council member Brian Hatfield asked Bates when the city was going to start seeing the money the city loaned him in 2011 to get his company going. Bates says he is making consistent payments on the 10-year, $1.4 million loan now and hopes to have it paid off by the first quarter of next year.

Bates told the council in the beginning that he had some back vendor debt, but he's been able to get out of that hole and now are paying them on time. He says the company is now working its way back into some credit terms with many of them.

Bates says what Windstream is trying to do is be consistent in making its payments monthly so that it will not only make its bi-yearly payment but also whittle away at the back payment and do it more consistently on a cash flow basis.

Last Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:01:43 AM

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