With ACRE’s help, United Wind pivoted from a wind data analytics company to a company that found a market pain point and designed a distributed wind solution to fit.
The CEO, Russell Tencer, had observed that farmers preferred wind to solar for on site generation, due to its small footprint, but often couldn’t afford the first cost.
Borrowing from the solar power purchase agreement (PPA) model, United Wind created WindLease, a system that eradicated the first cost of building small wind turbines and allowed for distributed wind generation to serve the needs of farmers. This business model innovation, effectively the Solar City of wind, broke the mold for wind project finance and has allowed United Wind to commence a wind rollout that could have a profound effect on the adoption of small wind.
United Wind secured $13.5 million for project financing from US Bank and the NY Green Bank, a New York State sponsored financial entity bridging private sector partnerships to accelerate the growth of clean energy throughout the state. Following that success, the NY Green Bank provided United Wind with an additional $4 million revolving line of credit. United Wind was also awarded $25 million by GSG Energy Finance to install an additional 150 wind turbines around the United States throughout the course of a year.
In 2016, United Wind received $200 million in project equity capital from Forum Equity Partners. Subsequently, Statoil Energy Ventures (Norwegian) , Total (French) and TEPCO (Japanese) have all participated in a large Series B funding. In short, United Wind has redesigned the wind energy industry by pioneering both a distributed wind and a wind-leasing model and is well positioned to roll their solution out globally.