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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