Arista, Helios partnership yields hybrid solar/wind systems

Arista, Helios partnership yields hybrid solar/wind systemsAnticipating quick growth in a new market, New York-based Arista Power, Inc. (OTCBB: ASPW.OB) and Wisconsin-based Helios Solar Works have formed a strategic partnership to provide hybrid wind and solar systems tied to a battery storage system. Mobile versions of the systems are being sold to the Army and Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others, but the company anticipates that the system’s and the battery’s ability to provide power during peak-rate times will open up a new market.

Through the partnership, Arista Power’s WindTamer wind turbines and its patent-pending Power on Demand system will be paired with Helios’ monocrystalline photovoltaics and customized to meet customers’ needs. The Power on Demand system is capable of handling electricity from multiple energy sources including wind, solar, other renewables and power from the grid.

The systems are designed to use the batteries during peak-use times, and can charge from the grid during off-peak periods, said Arista Power’s Vice President of Investor Relations Cherrie Mahon. In states with peak pricing, like New York and California, this can lead to additional electricity cost reductions.

“It’s a big market. I don’t think anyone’s realized it yet,” Mahon said. “There is no doubt that bringing on solar leads us into a large arena of even more opportunities.”

The company is looking mostly at the light-commercial markets with peak pricing, according to Mahon.

“For them the payback’s going to be relatively quick at about two to three years,” she said.

The first such installation the company has completed is at Advanced Glass Industries. That system has a 3.5-kilowatt wind turbine, 3.5 kilowatts of photovoltaics, and a 75-kilowatt Power on Demand system and cost around $150,000, Mahon said.

Another system recently sold, when completed, will have 10 kilowatts of photovoltaics and a 225-kilowatt demand system. It sold for $319,000.

“The specifics and costs are very hard to nail down, as each facility has different wind/solar capabilities and peak power demands. It’s definitely customized for each customer, not just what inputs they will get, but the cost of the system and how it needs to work for their specific location and needs,” she said.

The Military and government projects are prime examples of customized systems.

“The Army and FBI, at this point they’re interested in mostly off-grid installations. We can set up a few trailers for them or a drop kit. We’re combining small wind turbines with solar and battery solutions to get them powered up when there are no other options,” Mahon said. “We can drop ship them, and the other part they like about them is they can leave them there when they’re done and the community can still use them.”