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United Wind closes $8m in series B funding

CTBR Staff Writer Published 08 March 2016

United Wind has closed an $8m Series B financing led by Statoil Energy Ventures and Forum Equity Partners.

This financing enables United Wind to offer its unique, industry-leading WindLease program to new markets, empowering more customers throughout the Midwestern U.S. and beyond to save on electricity costs by harvesting their on-site wind energy through a fixed rate, 20-year maintenance-free lease without any initial out-of-pocket costs required from the customer.

United Wind, founder CEO Russell Tencer said: "Rural property owners throughout the U.S. have a massive opportunity to save on electricity costs by deploying distributed wind energy technology."

"This financing, coupled with our recent closing of a $200m sponsor equity commitment from Forum Equity Partners, enables United Wind to deliver on the promise of an affordable and sustainable energy future in rural communities."

The round of financing is led by Statoil Energy Ventures, the renewables-focused corporate venture unit of Statoil ASA, Norway's largest energy provider, and Toronto's Forum Equity Partners, an alternative investment management and development firm focused on energy and renewables, infrastructure and real estate.

A representative from Forum and Statoil will each be appointed to United Wind's board of directors. The deal is the first for Statoil Energy Ventures since announcing a $200M fund to finance renewable energy companies and projects.

Statoil Energy Ventures will also work with United Wind to help roll out Windlease over time into other international markets where Statoil ASA already has an operating footprint.

Forum Equity Partners recently partnered with United Wind in a separate deal, backing its WindLease program with a $200M sponsor equity commitment.

Statoil vice president and Statoil Energy Ventures, managing director, Gareth Burns said:"Statoil is committed to wind energy, as demonstrated by our strong position in offshore wind."

"Today's investment in United Wind secures an early entry in a company driving the growth of the distributed wind market in the United States."

Forum Equity Partners founder and CEO, Richard Abboud said: "We are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to accelerating the growth of United Wind's platform with this direct investment in the company."

"Forum continues to see tremendous growth potential in the innovative WindLease model and we look forward to working collaboratively with Statoil to support United Wind's further expansion into high growth markets."

According to the US Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), by 2030 there will be 23.7 million properties suitable for distributed wind, representing a potential for 1,100 GW of generating capacity in the U.S.

DWEA also estimates that other related market segments, such as community wind, wind gardens, and virtual metered systems, could boost the potential for non-windfarm wind-generated energy to 1,400 GW.

The energy production potential for the 1,100 GW in 2030 is estimated at 2,900 TWh which is 70% of the net electricity generation in the U.S. in 2014.

Source: Company Press Release