Wisconsin company buys Windspire assets

The remains of a once-promising Reno-based renewable energy company are headed to rural Wisconsin following a sale out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Windspire Energy, formerly Mariah Power, filed for federal bankruptcy protection in January. The company had gained a great deal of attention for its slim vertical wind turbines and had sales of $11 million in 2010, but revenues plummeted by 75 percent the following year.

Ark Alloy of Wisconsin purchase the entire assets of Windspire and will move light production and office equipment to its headquarters at Reedsburg, says Matt Kouba, president of the custom metal fabrication company.

Windspire had a team of roughly 20 salesmen, electrical engineers and clerical workers employed at its Louie Lane office, Kouba says. Ark Alloy will re-hire several top sales and engineering staffers who will remain in Reno.

"There are a group of guys that develop products, and we fully intend on having a continuous relationship with those folks," he says.

Ark Alloy had worked with the company since 2008, Kouba says. Volatility in the wind-turbine business especially difficulties in federal permitting for commercial wind turbines was a primary factor in Windspire's undoing, he adds.

Kouba had traveled to Reno several times trying to help the company resolve its financial issues, but the final resolution was purchasing Windspire's assets and relocating them.

"I can't have a company in Nevada that I can't control 100 percent while I am here (in Wisconsin)," Kouba says.

Windspire was founded in 2005 as Mariah Power and brought its first product to market in 2008. The company had contracted its manufacturing through MasTech Wind of Manistee, Mich.


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