BROOKLYN, N.Y., March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- United Wind, a leading provider of distributed wind energy solutions, announced today that it 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.
"Rural property owners throughout the U.S. have a massive opportunity to save on electricity costs by deploying distributed wind energy technology," said Russell Tencer, Founder and CEO of United Wind. "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 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," says Gareth Burns, vice president in Statoil and managing director of Statoil Energy Ventures.
"We are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to accelerating the growth of United Wind's platform with this direct investment in the company," said Richard Abboud, Forum's Founder and CEO. "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.
About United Wind
United Wind is a leading provider of low-cost distributed wind energy through its WindLease program. Founded on the belief that wind energy must be affordable and accessible to compete with conventional, less sustainable energy sources, United Wind provides customers with low-cost wind energy options that make sense for today and the future. For more information visit: http://www.unitedwind.com.
About Statoil Energy Ventures
Statoil Energy Ventures (SEV) is the corporate venture unit of Statoil dedicated to investments in growth-phase renewable energy companies. The $200m fund allows for investments in three strategic areas: supporting our current operations in renewables, positioning in renewable growth opportunities, and exploring new high impact technologies and business models. The acquisition of interest marks Statoil Energy Ventures' first investment. For more information visit: http://innovate.statoil.com
About Forum Equity Partners
Forum Equity Partners is a privately owned alternative investment management and development firm with a focus on renewable energy, infrastructure and real estate. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada with offices in the U.S., and in excess of $1 billion in assets under management, Forum is committed to achieving aggressive growth through innovation and continued performance as top tier developer, investor and manager. For more information, please visit: http://www.forumequitypartners.com
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SOURCE United Wind