Vertical Wind Energy sets up in North East with £1m of backing
26th August 2009
Northern Ireland Wind power solutions company Vertical Wind Energy
(VWE) is expanding into North East England following a £1 million
venture capital investment round.
VWE is being backed
by North East venture capital firm NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI)
and said it would use the capital to set up a base in the North East
and double its workforce, after having identified the region as a key
area for renewables. The investment will also enable the company to
fulfil a pipeline of orders and accelerate the development of new
The company has developed a vertical axis wind turbine
for the micro-wind generation market that can deliver power at a number
of output ratings ranging from three to 25 kilowatt (KW) and, which the
company claims, is the most cost-effective currently on the market.
ceo Tony Gordon said the company was attracted to the North East
because of "the region’s strategic commitment to all forms of wind
generation and the strong skills base."
The investment round of £1.2 million was led by NSEI alongside Clarendon Fund
Managers, management and a local syndicate of private investors
represented by Tiger Corporate Finance.
Alex Buchan, Investment manager at NSEI, said the micro-generation
market was "very attractive" at the moment, because feed-in tariffs –
that promise to make small-scale renewable energy generation
viable – are set to be introduced in April 2010.
"We believe that VWE has an
extremely robust and cost effective technology which will – for the
first time – allow businesses and domestic customers to invest in
renewable energy with a realistic payback, subject to site
suitability,” he said.
said the availability of funding from NorthStar and the help it gave
the company in
building the investment round was vital to its commercial success. The
company said it would launch a 6KW turbine later this year on
the back of this investment round. It said it will also be working with
local fabricators to manufacture key components
bringing more wind generation-related manufacturing into the region.