Leaving Winnipeg with our Vertical Axis Wind Turbine strapped to the back of the truck, we looked at ourselves and wondered how we got on this road. Don’t get me wrong, we know how to find the trans-Canada highway east out of Winnipeg. What I mean is; we wondered how we ended up agreeing to pitch in front of five self-made millionaires and convince them to invest in Global Wind Group Inc.
So there we were leaving Winnipeg with gas prices at record levels hauling a load that is the EXACT opposite of aerodynamic. I so desperately wished we were driving an electric truck and could let the turbine free-spin. We traveled the longer route through Canada since we could only imagine the conversation with the border guard. If you’ve ever done the drive across the northern shore of Lake Superior you’ll know what I’m talking about when I describe it as beautiful desolation. We quickly learned that gas stations are an oasis in an endless desert of trees.
The response we got from people across Northern Ontario were split 50-50 between, “Oh boy, you are going to be on T.V.!”, and “Please give me your card, we are desperate to get away from diesel electricity”. Both were nice to hear, but never took the sting off the $130 fill-ups.
One of our primary target markets are customers using diesel for electricity. We felt their pump pain every time we stopped. One station we pulled skipped the pleasantries and opened with “Have you seen our price, and are you sure you want the gas?” Off-grid diesel generators produce roughly 3kWh/L of diesel, giving you a straight price of $0.40/kWh. Add in the price of delivery and generator maintenance, and diesel electricity is quickly going the way of the dinosaurs whose remains run those generators.
We spent the evening before the taping in a suburb of Toronto and drove in during rush hour. We had a laugh every time we saw a bleary eyed commuter snap out of their morning daze and realize they were driving beside a piece of cutting edge micro-wind technology. We pulled off the Gardiner Expressway onto Spadina, and drove north to Front Street to unload the turbine into CBC broadcast studio. The wide open streets of Winnipeg were replaced by the tight, congested honking streets of Toronto, and we had finally arrived. “Was the Dragon’s Den ready for Global Wind Group and the ZuS vertical-axis wind turbine?” Tune in to the next season to find out.