Accio Energy believes its stationary wind energy device trumps wind turbines
Activists concerned with the impact of spinning wind turbine blades on the environment may find comfort in a new concept: wind energy without moving parts.
Alternative energy startup Accio Energy, which recently moved into a 12,000-square-foot complex in Pittsfield Township, is developing a proprietary device that generates electricity by using tubular parts and a watery mist to separate electrical charges.
The stationary device, which will range widely in size depending on the circumstances, doesn’t face the same political issues as wind turbines, Accio co-founder Dawn White said Monday.
Nathan Bomey | AnnArbor.com
Wind turbines sometimes raise the ire of activists due to concerns about their blades' impact on birds and the way they change the view of a local landscape. Accio’s “aerovoltaic” device, which isn’t yet ready for the market, does not have moving parts and would not be visible from the shore in offshore utility uses.
“It’ll be more acceptable for a lot of reasons,” White said Monday.
White, who has previously called Accio’s device the “Model T of wind energy,” made her comments in a closed-door meeting with U.S. Rep. John Dingell, which AnnArbor.com was invited to attend.
Dingell, who also met Monday with software startup InfoReady Corp., was intrigued by the concept of a device that could remove the traditional issues associated with wind turbines.
Dingell pointed out that residents of a Cape Cod community fiercely protested a proposed offshore wind farm until the federal government recently approved the project. He liked Accio’s device and asked White how he could help it along, but he also suggested the wind turbine isn’t going anywhere.
“Probably we’re going to have to use both because regrettably there are political components of this,” he said.
White suggested that politics might be on Accio’s side. For example, the company won't need to import rare metals such as lithium, which is used in batteries for electric vehicles. Instead, the company's device would rely heavily on common tubular parts.
“Making a wind turbine is a great business to have in Michigan, but it takes a lot of retooling and re-education,” she said. “This can take what we already have and put it back to work and create jobs.”