Second Wind to move manufacturing to larger Newton site

Second Wind Inc. is expanding its production of wind energy measuring equipment with a move to a larger manufacturing facility in Newton next Tuesday.

Larry Letteney, CEO of the Somerville-based company, said in an interview that the facility will help the company meet growing demand for its equipment, which is used to gather the wind data that is crucial for designing wind energy projects.

Second Wind has invested just under $1 million on making the move to the 20,000-square-foot facility on Riverdale Avenue in Newton, Letteney said. It will replace the company’s current 15,000-square-foot production facility in Somerville.

Second Wind has hired five new employees to work at the Newton facility, which will be staffed by a total of 15 people, Letteney said. The facility will account for several dozen additional hires in coming years, he said.

Second Wind was founded in 1980 as a boutique company providing wind resource assessment equipment, Letteney said, but re-cast itself in 2007 with the launch of the Triton Sonic Wind Profiler.

The Triton contains a “sodar” system, which works like radar but detects sound waves instead of radio waves. The sodar system works in conjunction with the company’s SkyServe service, which lets customers see their wind data on the web in near-real time.

Second Wind has sold nearly 200 Triton systems for use in 15 countries and now has 65 percent of the market for remote sensing technology for wind, Letteney said. The company will be able to produce between 1,000 and 2,000 Triton systems per year at the Newton facility, he said.

Second Wind currently employs 60 people and expects to hire an additional 75 people over the next three years, Letteney said.

The company’s next planned expansion is to move into the services business for wind turbines, he said. The plan is to offer a service that would compare wind data with actual power output data, to provide analysis on the operations of the wind turbines and determine if there were any problems or damage, Letteney said. “It’s effectively like getting an annual checkup,” he said.

Second Wind plans to begin piloting the service soon and have the service commercially available by the second quarter of next year, according to Letteney.

The company is seeking to raise a $10 million Series C round to aid the expansion into the new territory and help to accelerate the company’s core business, he said.

The company hopes to close the round by the end of the year, he said.

By Kyle Alspach,