United Wind Inc. of Brooklyn, NY has confirmed US$200 million in funding from Toronto-based Forum Equity Partners for a business model that involves leasing wind turbines for local use by farms and rural homes.
The dollars will fund about 1,000 small and medium wind projects in the northeastern and Midwestern U.S., using turbines that would cost about $80,000 each to buy outright. The projects would allow rural property owners to meet 50 to 100% of their electricity needs, with no up-front payment for the generators.
“Small wind turbines work best on large properties, generally an acre or more, where wind is abundant,” Reuters reports. “The turbines are far smaller than the massive ones seen in a typical industrial wind farms.”
The Distributed Wind Energy Association expects its members’ output to grow from a gigawatt in 2015 to 30 GW by 2030. “To have a leasing model like what United Wind is coming up with is huge,” said Executive Director Jennifer Jenkins. “You see where solar is now and they are there because of this model.” (h/t to InsideClimate News for pointing us to this story)