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United Kingdom

Private investor joins forces with developer Wind Direct to install turbines at 50 sites

Private equity investor HgCapital has joined forces with British firm Wind Direct to install turbines at up to 50 sites over the next three years. Wind Direct is a renewable energy company specialising in building and operating wind turbines at industrial sites in Britain. It is a partnership between wind farm developer Wind Prospect, grid integration specialist Econnect and energy marketer Optimum Energy. Wind Direct undertakes development, permitting, installation, financing and operation of the turbines; customers receive electricity from the on-site turbines at a discount to market prices, fixed for eight to ten years, and with no capital outlay. HgCapital has made an initial investment of £4.6 million in working capital and long term equity, with an option to invest a further £15.4 million over the next three years. Its initial investment includes 100% of the financing to build Wind Direct's first project, a 4 MW wind farm at Eastman Chemical Company's Voridian division site in Cumbria which will supply a large proportion of Voridian's electricity needs. The project uses 2 MW Repower turbines and will be operational in late 2006. "Wind Direct is a ground breaking opportunity," says HgCapital's Tom Murley. "It offers industry a simple, cost-effective and one stop solution to ever-increasing energy prices. It has the best management, technical and execution team in the business and, with HgCapital's backing, the financial resources to deliver that solution."

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