Tuesday, January 08, 2008

CPST.............

In 2003, the most massive blackout to hit the U.S. electric power grid plunged much of the Northeast, Midwest, and even parts of Canada into darkness. While it may have made for some cozy times -- despite studies that showed no resultant baby boom nine months later -- businesses that relied upon electricity were left in the dark like everyone else. Total reliance on the grid has inspired many businesses to seek alternative energy sources, including Capstone Turbine.

This small, 20-year-old company manufactures microturbines that produce power on-site, either in conjunction with the grid or as a stand-alone source of power. Capstone's small, 30-kilowatt microturbines can produce enough electricity to power a convenience store. The company also makes several large models, and it recently unveiled the first megawatt microturbine.

Because the turbines can run on a variety of fuels, they can be a low-emission form of energy production. And they need little maintenance, because they require no lubrication. Since its microturbines can also be used in alternative-fuel cars, the company may have a much larger market than just commercial use.

New York City just released regulations for installing microturbines in buildings. With an estimated 79% of greenhouse gases in New York emanating from buildings, the rules -- which Capstone helped the city's task force develop -- might provide additional impetus for sales. Along with the company's "near profitability," that could make 2008 an interesting year for the company.

I like their recent announcement to collaborate with NTT DoComo in powering cell tower sites.

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