Innovation Instigators Sustainable City

Ronald Gdovic

Ron Gdovic. Photo credit: Green Building Alliance

Ronald Gdovic is the driving force behind WindStax’s revolutionary system of wind turbines. What sets their wind turbines apart is that they are vertical and can be installed in unexpected places within cities—even on bridges.

A recent turbine installation in Ventura Beach, California. Courtesy of WindStax.

WindStax’s turbines are also non-directional and need only small amounts of wind, including speeds as low as five miles per hour.

A view of WindStax’s turbines powering the EnergyFlow art exhibit on the Rachel Carson Bridge, courtesy of WindStax

WindStax’s turbines create their own microgrids that use batteries to store the generated energy, which “smooths the cycles of supply and demand.” Additionally, their ZeroFirst technology helps customers transition between power sources “seamlessly.” Customers can use different alternative energy sources, while still having public power as a fallback.

Gdovic’s unique vision for WindStax extends to his unique way of seeing Pittsburgh—through colors. According to Gdovic “Pittsburgh’s green innovation status is Seaweed Green – a dark shade of brown and green. We want to be green innovators but our vision is blurred by our rusty past.”

He goes on to say that while Pittsburgh is excelling in the realm of sustainable building practices, it is lagging in other sustainable development efforts, particularly alternative energy. This lag is detrimental to the community because well-educated graduates of the green innovation programs at local universities are finding jobs elsewhere. Gdovic adds that “it is no secret that the Pittsburgh region is notoriously difficult to move from startup to commercialization without outside assistance,” making it even harder to retain talent.

As for his vision for Pittsburgh’s green future, Gdovic sees Emerald Green, “a deep, rich, brilliant shade of green.” He believes that

WindStax’s Zero First technology, courtesy of WindStax

Pittsburgh “will continue to grow its clean and green technology industries and opportunities…. working somewhere in the middle of the transition to a natural gas economy, distributed energy generation, smart grids, and power distribution.”

Windstax remains on the forefront, broadening their vision of alternative energy options including developing and owning generation facilities. Windstax is opening a west coast office, and currently has a new distributor in Africa and a new contract with the US Navy.

Gdovic believes “this expansion of the scope of markets will help put Pittsburgh on the global map of clean tech industries and create opportunities here for bright minds and new ideas in alternative energy.”