updated 3/8/2011 9:16:55 AM ET 2011-03-08T14:16:55

HOUSTON and TAMPA, Fla., March 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Electric Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AETI) and Emergya Wind Technologies (EWT) today at the Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo North America 2011 announced AETI's direct-drive wind converter and its successful deployment for Emergya Wind Technologies in multiple locations including Alaska.

The wind energy converter, designed to meet US grid-tie requirements, low-voltage ride-through, dynamic VAR control and anti-islanding capabilities, incorporates the latest in power conversion technology. The system is also designed for international grid deployments. The AETI wind converter system utilizes back-to-back inverters to convert the direct-drive generator variable voltage and frequency output to 60HZ AC grid power. The system has the capabilities to work with weak grids for distributed power applications and utilizes a filter to meet IEEE and IEC power quality standards.

"The EWT team is pleased with the success and performance of the AETI converter system," said Eric Bakker, Chief Executive Officer of Emergya Wind Technologies. "This system has been reliable throughout the past year and continues to produce at a very high power output."

The EWT wind turbine generator uses direct-drive technology to eliminate the gear box, resulting in fewer moving parts to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

The rugged, reliable converter developed by AETI is an excellent complement to the simple, elegant direct-drive wind turbine technology, and offers customers a high performance and high availability wind turbine asset.

The AETI power converter architecture scales from 900KW to 3MW and above and supports both direct-drive and double-fed inductor generator (DFIG) wind turbines. The 900KW wind energy conversion system is optimal for distributed power locations like army bases, hospitals, universities and small cities, which continue to benefit from subsidies for community wind energy generation.

"By working closely with EWT, the AETI technical team has developed a superior converter system for their direct-drive wind turbine," said James Steffek, President, M&I Electric, an AETI company. "We transferred technology previously created and utilized by AETI in the oil and gas and marine markets to help move the renewable energy market forward."

American Electric Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:AETI) is the premium supplier of custom-designed power delivery solutions to the traditional and renewable energy industries. AETI offers M&I Electric™ power distribution and control products, electrical services, and E&I construction services, as well as American Access Technologies zone enclosures, and Omega Metals custom fabrication services. South Coast Electric Systems L.L.C., a subsidiary, services Gulf Coast marine and vessel customers. AETI is headquartered in Houston and has global sales, support and manufacturing operations in Beaumont, Texas, Keystone Heights, Fla. and Bay St. Louis, Miss. In addition, AETI has minority interests in three joint ventures which have facilities located in Xian, China, Macae, Brazil and Singapore. AETI's SEC filings, news and product/service information are available at www.aeti.com

Emergya Wind Technologies (EWT) is a Dutch wind turbine supplier specialized in the development and the manufacturing of advanced high-quality direct drive (gearless) wind turbines. Our 750 KW and 900 KW models feature a variety of rotor diameters and hub heights. The key assets together formed a strong basis on which EWT commenced commercial operations in February 2004. EWT is determined to become one of the world's leading suppliers of high-performance, direct drive wind turbines.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for the historical and present factual information contained herein, the matters set forth in this document, including statements regarding the anticipated joint venture with Wiscom Systems are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are many risks, uncertainties and other factors that can prevent the achievement of our goals or cause results to differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements including, without limitation, receipt of required governmental approvals, entering into formal joint venture agreement, the risks inherent in doing business outside of the U. S. such as political, social and economic instability, currency fluctuations and conversion restrictions. These and other risks which may impact management's expectations are described in greater detail in filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future events make it clear that any of the anticipated results expressed or implied herein will not be realized.

CONTACT: Media Contacts:
         Ward Creative Communications for
         American Electric Technologies, Inc.
         Shanta Mauney
         713-869-0707
         smauney@wardcc.com
         Catie Jenschke
         cjenschke@wardcc.com
         
         Investor Contacts:
         American Electric Technologies, Inc.
         Frank Pierce
         713-644-8182
         investorrelations@aeti.com

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