Clipper Windpower

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Clipper Windpower
Type Subsidiary
Industry Renewable Power
Founded 2001, State of Delaware
Headquarters Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
Key people Bob Loyd, CEO
Products Wind turbines
Employees About 300
Parent Platinum Equity LLC

Clipper Windpower is a wind turbine manufacturing company founded in 2001 by James G.P. Dehlsen, who also founded Zond in 1980.[1] In December 2010 Clipper Windpower was acquired by United Technologies Corporation. It was sold in 2012 to Platinum Equity LLC.[2] The company is doing great and is making money. [3]


In September, 2007 Clipper Windpower, based in California, received an Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the design and development of its 2.5 MW Liberty Wind Turbine, one of the largest wind turbines manufactured in the U.S. at the time. The turbine was developed under a partnership with DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Commercial sales started in June 2006 for the new Liberty turbine and (mostly contingent) orders for more than 5,600 MW (2,240 units) for deliveries in 2007 through 2011 had been booked.[4][dated info] Clipper Windpower had an agreement with BP Energy to supply the 2.5 MW turbines for the proposed 5,050 MW Titan Wind Project in South Dakota.

Acquisition by United Technologies[edit]

On December 10, 2009, it was announced that Connecticut-based United Technologies Corporation would acquire a 49.5% stake in Clipper Windpower by purchasing 84.3 million new shares and 21.8 million shares from current shareholders for £126.5 million. Clipper has stated that this equity purchase "will significantly strengthen its balance sheet and enable it to enhance its operations and pursue its strategic initiatives".[5][6][7] On Monday 18 October 2010, UTC agreed with Clipper to acquire the rest of the company,[8] a transaction that was completed in December 2010 for a total cost of approximately $385 million.[9] On March 15, 2012, United Technologies announced their intent to sell Clipper Windpower. Their 2010 acquisition was described by CFO Greg Hayes as a "mistake".[2] United Technologies' sudden about-face is attributed to the fact that it doesn't fit into their new aerospace-mostly business model.

Offshore wind energy turbine[edit]

Clipper WindPower turbines installed at the Oaxaca I Lamatalaventosa Wind Farm in Mexico.

In April, 2008 Clipper Windpower announced plans to develop a large wind energy turbine[10] in Blyth, Northumberland in the United Kingdom. Being developed for offshore use, each turbine would be rated at around 7.5 MW and would be roughly double the size of the largest turbines used in commercial offshore wind farms at that time (Siemens 3.6 MW turbine).[11] According to the British Wind Energy Association, electrical power for a city the size of Newcastle upon Tyne could be supplied by as few as 20 of the turbines.[12]

Clipper Windpower Marine had started construction of a 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft) offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Neptune Estate, Tyne in 2010. The factory would have been used to develop and build blades for the Britannia project, a 10 MW offshore wind turbine prototype under development by Clipper and scheduled for deployment in late 2012.[13] However, Clipper stopped development of the 10 MW in August 2011 after parent United Technologies deemed the financial crisis as too severe, and has paid £1.6 million of aid back to The Crown Estate.[14]


Clipper now has manufacturing facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the United States to manufacture replacement parts for its Liberty wind turbine.[15] The company discontinued manufacturing new turbines in Cedar Rapids in 2012.[3]

James Dehlsen was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2008, and has received the Prince Henri Monpezat Medal of Honor in 1985.[1][16]

There is a number of research labs that work on modifying the Clipper wind turbine design. Navid Goudarzi et al. have worked on a novel multiple-generator drivetrain that proposes employing different rated generators.[17][18][19]


  1. ^ a b Clipper Chairman inducted into Environmental Hall of Fame North American Windpower, 12 December 2008. Retrieved: 23 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ a b [2]
  4. ^ Largest Wind Turbine Manufactured in U.S. Gets Energy Award
  5. ^ Clipper Windpower Gets GBP126.5 Million Investment From United Tech
  6. ^ Clipper says UTC to buy 49.5 percent stake
  7. ^ United Technology flies to the rescue of Clipper Windpower
  8. ^ UTC to acquire remaining interest in Clipper Windpower North American Windpower, 18 October 2010. Retrieved: 23 October 2010.
  9. ^ United Technologies Corporation Annual Report, 2010, pp. 28–29, 61, retrieved May 12, 2011 
  10. ^ World’s largest offshore wind energy turbine to be developed in North England
  11. ^ Wilkes, Justin. The European offshore wind industry - key trends and statistics 2009 page 4 EWEA, January 2010. Retrieved: 23 October 2010.
  12. ^ realpower 12 OFFSHORE WIND: TREND TOWARDS SCALING UP - page 33
  13. ^ "Clipper to construct wind turbine factory". New Statesman. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Andersen, Flemming Thestrup. Clipper drops giant turbine, 25 August 2011. Accessed: 29 September 2011.
  15. ^ Cedar Rapids turbine manufacturing
  16. ^ Award, 2004. Retrieved: 23 October 2010.
  17. ^ | journal = Key Engineering Materials | title = Offshore and Onshore Wind Energy Conversion: The Potential of a Novel Multiple-Generator Drivetrain | author = Navid Goudarzi, Wei dong Zhu | date = April 2013 | volume = 569 | page = 644-651 | url =
  18. ^ | journal = International Journal of Dynamics and Control | title = A Review on the Development of the Wind Turbine Generators across the World | author = Navid Goudarzi | publisher = Springer | date = June 2013 | volume = 1 | issue = 2 | page = 192-202 | url =
  19. ^ | journal = ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition | title = A Review of the Development of Wind Turbine Generators Across the World | author = Navid Goudarzi, Weidong Zhu | publisher = ASME | date = November 2012 | volume = 4 | Paper No: IMECE2012-88615 | page = pp. 1257-1265 | url =

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