United Technologies Corporation, the Hartford, CT based defense and manufacturing conglomerate which last month placed a $270 million bet to acquire nearly half of Clipper Windpower, the California wind turbine manufacturer, is poised to make more investments in alternative energy.
Speaking at an analysts meeting yesterday and reported in wire service stories today, United’s chief financial officer Greg Hayes termed his company’s pick up of Clipper Windpower PLC “a relatively small bet” for the firm, which also owns jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney and Otis Elevators among its holdings.
Cape and Island residents are familiar with Clipper Windpower as the firm for whom former Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound president and CEO Charles Vinick admitted he was “consulting” while he also fronted the local opposition group’s efforts to stymie Jim Gordon’s offshore Cape Wind project, proposed for Nantucket Sound.
Vinick in the past worked for the late ocean explorer and television celebrity Jacques-Yves Cousteau, then subsequently for Cousteau’s environmental entrepreneur son, Jean-Michel.
The two, Cousteau and Vinick, have also served on the board of Ecosphere Technologies, an environmental and emergency equipment maker once headed by former FEMA director Joe Allbaugh, a long-time associate and ex-chief of staff for former President George W. Bush, when the 43rd president was governor of Texas.
Vinick resigned his Alliance post and returned to California more than a year ago where, according to Internet publicity and Security and Exchange Commission filings, he has been associated with a Clipper Windpower subsidiary developing “ocean current powered” electricity generation technology utilizing underwater turbines.
Vinick’s reported role has been to handle “government relations” and to spearhead the firm’s lobbying efforts, according to the company’s web site publicity.
United’s CFO, Greg Hayes, is being quoted in published reports today as signaling that his company’s acquisition of Clipper Windpower paves the way for other major energy investments.
“We’ve been looking at alternative energy for a long time,” Hayes said, according to Associated Press reporting and other sources. “We’ve always liked the space.”
“We see the movement towards clean energy as a space that we can participate in with the technologies that we have,” he said.
With the Clipper Windpower deal, the AP is reporting, United can expand its power generation business and “enter the high growth windpower industry.”
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