Tax credits aid turbine maker

A Newton refurbisher of small wind turbines has received $157,000 in federal tax credits to help it shift into making new turbines.

Enertech, 1800 S.E. 14th St. on the city's southeast side, is already in the process of designing and building the new turbines.

The federal government on Friday announced the award of $2.3 billion in tax credits for 183 projects in 43 states in an effort to create jobs and boost development of wind energy, solar energy and energy conservation industries.

Enertech president Dale Jones said he expects to have a 40-kilowatt model ready to sell by late May.

Such small models are aimed at factories, schools or farms, rather than commercial wind farms.

Enertech will use the tax credits to offset some of the expense of buying new tooling for newly designed fiberglass turbine blades and the heavy machinery needed to assemble and move the turbine nacelles.

"Every little bit helps," he said. "It really does. It helps to recoup the cost in the tooling. We've got a lot of money invested in that."

Other than the blades, Enertech will buy components from suppliers and assemble the turbines, Jones said.

Jones said the company, which has 11 workers, expects to produce about 100 turbines in 2010.

"That may be low," he said. "We're already getting a backlog of orders."

If that unfolds as expected, the company will need to hire between three and six workers this year.