I sold my wind turbine to Arena Capital Partners
Cornish farmer Nick sold his Endurance E-3120 turbine to Arena Capital Partners in March 2019. Talking to Earthmill Maintenance’s Oliver Leake, he reflects on how he found the process and how he feels now the turbine has been sold.
Tell me about your farm…
The farm is located in mid Cornwall. It was passed down from my grandfather but has been operating as a tenanted farm. We are now taking a change in direction and focusing on tourism.
When did you have your turbine in-stalled?
It was installed by Bristol based TGC Renewables in December 2012. Delays in the planning process meant we missed out on a better Feed-in Tariff rate by just a few days.
And how did the turbine perform?
Despite the lower FiT rate, we have a windy site and the turbine had paid for it-self within 5 years. For the first few years it performed really well however after Endurance folded, insurance cover became tricky and the maintenance costs also began to rise as some components failed. We had to replace the yaw motor and then following a spring tube failure we had to replace the blades with a refurbished set which were supplied by Earthmill Maintenance.
So how did you come to selling to Arena Capital Partners?
I had met Ed Kenny-Levick from Arena around 12 months before we began the process. He explained that they would buy the turbine for fixed lump sum and then pay a ground rent going forward but at that point in time it wasn’t the best option for us.
Fast forward a year and our plans for the farm had changed. We wanted to make the most of the tourism industry here in Cornwall. That combined with the turbine having had the issues mentioned and insurers reluctant to pay out, I decided to give Ed a call.
How simple was the process to sell to Arena?
There was a large amount of paperwork and information gathering involved as you would expect for something like this as due diligence needs to be done. Luckily I have plenty of experience in dealing in this kind of thing through my work so it was reason-ably straight forward – Ed was very helpful in providing guidance and direction as well as the team at Earthmill Maintenance who helped by extracting data relating to the turbine’s historical performance.
How long was the process from start to finish?
In total it took around 12 months for the sale to be completed however it would have been much faster if not for us having an issue with the refurbished blade set which needed resolving before the sale could be completed.
What did you use the money for?
We invested the money into converting some of the farm buildings into holiday lets. We still have access to cheap energy from the turbine; we pay Arena the export rate for the electricity that we use on site. We also receive a quarterly payment for continuing to host the turbine on our land.
How do you feel now the turbine has exchanged hands?
I’m certainly less stressed when the turbine breakdowns it’s no longer my responsibility to fork out for repairs and there are no financial worries.
Would you recommend selling to Arena?
If selling a turbine suited somebody’s needs like it did for me, then I would definitely recommend selling to Arena. They were always helpful and straight forward to deal with and gave me what I believe was a competitive price.
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