Endurance Wind Power Has Seen the Wind… and the Opportunity it Brings

Renewable energy is taking off, and with it so is BC’s Endurance Wind Power. To seize a larger share of the 214 billion dollar global renewables market, the company set up a manufacturing facility initially in Surrey B.C. and a second one in the U.K. to be closer to its European customer base. It hasn’t looked back since.

“To be competitive in wind, you need to be global,” says Endurance CEO Glenn Johnson. “When we started out, oceans lay between us and our customers. We’ve bridged that gap by investing directly overseas.”

Endurance isn’t alone in recognizing the power of Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA). In the past decade, Canadian foreign affiliate sales have grown at twice the rate of Canadian exports, reaching $484 billion in 2011. Establishing operations abroad allows Canadian companies like Endurance to expand into new markets, be closer to their customers, and lower the costs of transportation and labour.

“To be competitive in wind, you need to be global,” says Endurance CEO Glenn Johnson. “When we started out, oceans lay between us and our customers. We’ve bridged that gap by investing directly overseas.”

Export Development Canada (EDC) was instrumental in helping Endurance access the financing it needed to establish its U.K. operation—and to acquire the original turbine technology platform on which it has built its business.

“We had the vision. We needed the means.”

Endurance Wind Power got its start in 2007. After setting up a test facility, the company set out to acquire a foundational turbine technology. It was a tough go.

“We were young and didn’t have a track record,” Johnson says. “Working with EDC, we were able to secure a proper lending facility, and that opened the doors for us.”

Using a line of credit from its bank, guaranteed by EDC, Endurance was able to purchase its world-class E-Series turbine technology. The quiet, efficient turbine produces 100,000 to 250,000 kilowatt hours per year, and isn’t dependent on high-wind locations. To put this into perspective, the annual energy production from this turbine technology is enough to power a dairy farm, a school or light industry. It became the company’s flagship product.

Since then, Endurance has made a name for itself on the global stage, providing both wind turbines and clean, sustainable power to farmers and other small enterprises, helping them stabilize their power supply and manage their energy costs.

From a team of 10 in 2008, Endurance has grown into an enterprise of more than 150 employees and deployed more than 750 turbines throughout the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada and the United States.

Endurance grows from equipment maker to energy reseller

Endurance has diversified its business model so that in addition to selling turbines it now also uses its own technology to generate power and sell that energy to customers.

“Our turbines were producing so much energy, we realized there was an opportunity to become an energy provider as well,” Johnson says. “We set up 20-year land leases with farmers, install a turbine, and sell energy back to them at a fixed, stable rate over the contract period.”

The energy reseller portion of its business model provides Endurance with a predictable, long-term revenue stream separate from the turbine sales cycle—and further stability for growth.

“For us, the decision to diversify our business model has been a game-changer,” says Johnson. “Starting as a smaller Canadian company, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve on the world stage.”

Toward new regions

True to its name, Endurance shows no sign of slowing down. With the United Kingdom as its largest market to date, the company is considering new opportunities in other parts of the world.

Reflecting on what ultimately sets the company apart, Johnson says: “We don’t build wind farms,” Johnson is quick to clarify. “We farm wind.” The company’s small-scale approach to wind power generation—close to the customer and in harmony with the landscape—embodies the full meaning of the word “sustainable” in Johnson’s mind.

Equipped with ground-breaking turbine technology and the support of EDC, Johnson says Endurance stands to be a prevalent long-term force in the renewable energy industry. As it continues to expand into new markets, its innovative sustainable energy will be changing the world for decades to come.

Categories Clean Technologies, Infrastructure & Construction

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