About Us

Our Mission & Goals

Our Mission

Wind Harvest International’s mission is to offer cost-effective and durable vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs), develop new markets for wind energy, and integrate VAWTs into wind farms in order to optimize land use and energy production.



1. Certify and sell WHI Harvester VAWTs globally.

2.  License our technology and patents, so that by 2030, 100,000 MWs of VAWTs are producing renewable energy around the world while significantly helping in the effort to fight climate change.

3.  Research and determine how to place VAWTs in different topographies, so that the output of surrounding HAWTs can be safely maximized by the integration of VAWTs into the understories of new and existing wind farms without harming wildlife.




WHI Harvester 70 prototype, Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, Denmark

Our Team

Our team is a small group that is supported by expert consultants and partners with years of experience in their fields.

Boog Bookey

Financial Manager

Cornelius Fitzgerald

Chief Executive Officer

Peder Hansen

Chief Engineer

Dr. David Malcolm

Senior Engineer

Fitzgerald, Olson, Ojeda, Malcolm and Wolf after a couple days of meetings in Palm Springs, with Mount San Jacinto in the background. Palm Springs, Calif., 2017

Dr. Ariana Marshall

Caribbean Representative

Jeff Olson

SolidWorks Engineer

Antonio Ojeda

Lead Engineer

Kelsey Wolf-Cloud

Administration and Project Analysis

Bookey and Ojeda in Sausalito, with San Francisco in the background.

Kevin Wolf

Chief Operating Officer

History of Wind Harvest

A Story of Innovation, Integrity, and Tenacity

“Engineering for wind energy turbines is like trying to build a car that has the characteristics of a Prius, a Ferrari, and a tractor, with the price tag of a Hyundai.”
- Bob Thomas, WHI Co-Founder and Design Engineer

Three people of imagination and foresight founded Wind Harvest Company. In 1971, Bob Thomas, aeronautical engineer and inventor, Sam Francis, internationally renowned artist, and George Wagner, attorney and environmental activist, met in a seminar given by Dr. James Kirsch, an analyst who studied with Dr. Carl Jung. They shared a common respect for the way innovation comes into the world, by a vision, by hard work and by tenacity.

Around the time of their first meeting, Thomas had a vivid dream in which he was dangling over the precipice of a sandstone cliff, holding on by his fingers. Before him was a mysterious repeated star pattern carved into the earth. Thomas shared this dream image with Dr. Kirsch and his friends Francis and Wagner. Dr. Kirsch responded, “This dream needs to be acted upon.”

With that encouragement, Thomas began to experiment with various designs of a small vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) derived from his dream image. After some discussion and initial proof that “stators” on the points of a star could increase the wind speeds reaching the VAWT blades, Dr. Kirsch, Francis and Wagner agreed to make a financial investment to form the Wind Harvest Company (1976), whose purpose was to allow Thomas to pursue the work of designing and field testing the “Windstar” turbines.

Varying the design features and creating different prototype turbines for field testing advanced the effort. In 1980, Thomas stopped working on the Wind Harvest VAWTs when he was asked by then-Governor Jerry Brown to head up the California Energy Commission's (CEC) wind energy program.

Thomas’s work at the CEC is highly regarded by historians of those decades—he shaped the new policies and the relationships that brought in the players, resources, and financial support for the burgeoning young wind industry. Working internationally with Danish turbine manufacturers and others, he acquired a respect for the utility of large HAWTs. Yet, he retained his belief that huge opportunities would be lost by not pursuing R&D on VAWTs.

New rounds of prototyping and research began again in 1983 after Thomas returned to work full time with Wind Harvest. Unfortunately, President Reagan and the new Republican governor of California eliminated support for wind and renewable energy, so the company had no clear opportunities to bring its new VAWTs into commercial production and sales.  Nevertheless, Wagner and Francis were able to bring in more investors to fund the new iterations of the company’s Windstar VAWTs, which Thomas created with the help of his son Dean.

At the end of 2005, Kevin Wolf began to work full time for WHC after having acted as a consultant during the previous five years. The first objective was to create Wind Harvest International, a new entity. This was completed in the middle of 2006 with support from more than 90 percent of WHC's shareholders. The next years saw Thomas work on designing a much larger version of the Windstar VAWT. Meanwhile, Wolf and Wagner raised more capital to embark on the first modeling of the coupled vortex effect, which would lay the groundwork for the modern H-type design found in the WHI Harvester series of VAWTs.

WHI's Series A Round of investment was closed in 2012. That capital was used in testing the Windstar 636G-3 in Finland to confirm some of the results of the computer modeling. New European engineers were brought on board, who then built on the work of Thomas and the latest computer modeling results to design and build the Harvester v1.0 prototype and test it at the Nordic Folkecenter in Denmark. At that time, Cornelius (Con) Fitzgerald, now CEO, also joined the company and brought his business skills to help.

In winter of 2018, WHI is working to raise capital to fully certify and commercialize the Harvester VAWT that will open up the “understory” wind farm market. It is seeking projects sites for sales and installations in 2019. It is open to licensing opportunities. It is seeking grant opportunities. It is continuing in the long Wind Harvest history of steadily moving forward.

We now dream of immense numbers of arrays of whirling VAWT “stars” using the synergy of coupled vortices and the earth-wind boundary layer to help us climb back up the precipice, on the edge of which we are collectively hanging, and create a better future for all life on planet Earth.

Bob Thomas, George Wagner and Sam Francis at a Wind Harvest Company board meeting, 1988.
The renowned Abstract Expressionist artist Sam Francis painted this to depict the Windstar turbine from a view above it that could see the wind whirling through the five stators that form a star pattern. It was used as the logo for the Wind Harvest Company and is the basis for the design of WHI's current logo.

WHI Prototypes

Camarillo Model, Camarillo and Bald Mountain, Calif.
Installed 1976

Windstar 256, Sandberg, Calif.
Installed 1979

Windstar 480-4, Concord, Calif.
Installed 1984

Windstar 480-5, Antelope Valley, Calif.
Installed 1986

Windstar Model 530, Whitewater, Calif.
Installed Spring 1988, removed Jan. 1994

Windstar Model 1066, Whitewater, Calif.
Installed Feb. 1991, removed Jan. 1994

Model 530G -The Vortex Turbine Array, North Palm Springs, Calif.
Installed 2001 and 2002

Model 636G-3, Lilla Bakstar, Finland
Installed 2012 and 2013

Our Founders

Wind Harvest Company was first formed in 1976. Its shareholders voted to form Wind Harvest International in 2005.  Francis, Thomas, and Wagner started  WHC. Thomas, Wagner and Wolf started WHI.

Sam Francis

(1923 - 1994)
Inspiration and Financier

Bob Thomas

(1933-2019) Founding Engineer and Board Member

George Wagner

(1932 - 2015)
Founding President;
Business Development

Kevin Wolf

Chief Operating Officer

On the left is Sam Francis, internationally renowned painter. George Wagner, the attorney and environmental activist, is in the middle. Smiling on the right is Bob Thomas, aeronautical engineer and inventor. The year is 1985. The location is the Windstar 480 VAWT project site in Concord, Calif.

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in Wind Harvest International. Do you have suggestions for us? Have a question or comment about our product or our website? We want to hear from you. For the quickest response, use the email address below that corresponds to the subject you’re writing about. Don’t know where your topic fits, or have lots of questions on multiple topics? Address your email to any of those listed, and we’ll make sure it gets directed to the right person. Then, if needed, we will happily arrange a time for the right person to talk with you.

Thank you—we look forward to hearing from you.

The WHI Team

General questions or questions about several topics may be sent to this address. This is the place to send comments, suggestions or corrections for our website. Also, if you want to help build the windharvest.com library of information on VAWTs, or if you can help us improve the accuracy of the information on our website or in our literature, use this address.

If you are interested in any aspect of sales, from finding project sites to purchasing one of our G168 VAWT Systems, contact us at this address. This is also the address to use for licensing-related issues.

Phone (530) 341-3173

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