Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released their 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report summarizing 2013 industry highlights, including the advent of third-party financing, which is expected to positively affect the market in subsequent years. The purpose of the report is to help guide future investments and decisions by industry players, including utilities, government agencies, and other interested parties.
“It’s a common sense solution and, we believe, a game changer for the distributed wind market.”
Distributed wind, which accounted for 80% of last year’s U.S. wind turbine installations, is the installation of turbines to offset all or a portion of local energy consumption. Differentiated from power generated at large wind farms, distributed wind projects’ power is used at homes, farms, and businesses, allowing these property owners to benefit from reduced electric bills.
While 2013 had 30.4 megawatts (MW) of distributed wind capacity added, the report indicates that installed distributed wind capacity will be higher in 2014, in part due to new leasing options introduced to the market. “The most promising 2013 development was the initial emergence of third-party financing offerings for distributed wind,” read the report. “Most industry leaders consider leasing and related business models as a primary opportunity for reducing the resource, financial, and operational risks to customers and supporting a more level playing field, building on the success of solar PV.”
United Wind is the market leader in distributed wind leasing, having introduced its WindLease™ offering late last year. Their WindLease™ gives customers low cost, fixed energy prices for 20 years with a production guarantee and maintenance coverage for the lease term.
With more than 60 customers thus far and an expectation of over 100 by year end, the company has seen considerable adoption in just its first 8 months. To put these numbers into perspective, since entering the Central and Western New York market, where their operations are currently focused, United Wind has added more small wind customers than the last 6 years combined.
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