Case study

Endurance Wind Power invests in the UK with help from UKTI

UKTI helps Canadian wind turbine manufacturer Endurance Wind Power establish a new factory and European headquarters in the West Midlands.

Wind turbine
Wind turbine

Endurance Wind Power’s success in selling its 50 kW turbine to the UK market led it to consider opening a UK manufacturing facility. Help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) enabled it to set up a factory in the UK and make the most of having a UK headquarters.

Dave Rankin, Managing Director, Endurance Wind Power UK said,

UKTI has been a real door opener for us in the UK and in potential export markets.

New markets

Endurance is well established in the US and Canadian market and decided to develop its business overseas.

It researched other countries with a significant wind resource and a strong interest in renewable energy in 2010. The company learned that the UK was launching a feed-in-tariff scheme whereby energy users who generate their own renewable electricity receive payments. Turbine distributors in the UK confirmed there was a market for its 50 kW turbine.

Endurance quickly set up a successful network of qualified dealers. Over 500 of its wind turbines have been sold in the UK alone. This success suggested that it would be worth opening a UK manufacturing facility.

Read our guide on why overseas companies set up in the UK.

Help from UKTI

Endurance contacted the British Consulate in Vancouver in 2011 to find out more about the help available to foreign companies looking to invest in the UK. The company was referred to advisers at UKTI. Dave Rankin requested assistance looking for a factory site.

UKTI advisers then offered assessments of potential properties around Birmingham, including advice on pricing and information about the area.

UKTI provided advice about recruitment, including salary information and cost of living data. It also advised on visa applications. UKTI introduced Endurance to local consultants who gave further advice on setting up in the UK.

Dave Rankin said,

UKTI was helpful from the outset, acting as our eyes and ears on the ground.

They have knowledge and insight into the local market that we would not have had access to otherwise. They have a great network and introduced us to relevant contacts for professional services as well as representatives from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

All in all, UKTI gave us a better understanding of how we could make the most of a headquarters in the UK. Our UKTI advisers were always available when we had questions, and we were able to get useful and timely information so we could make informed decisions.

Grand opening

Endurance moved into its new factory space in Worcestershire in 2012. The new factory has capacity to manufacture up to 100 turbines a year with this year’s output already pre-sold.

It held a grand launch party in March 2014 with Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Barker opening the factory.

The factory has a staff of 40 which is expected to grow to around 100 over the coming year.

Exporting from the UK

Endurance is now looking into using its new UK headquarters as a stepping stone to European markets.

UKTI supported an initial market visit to Estonia in February 2014, providing advice about the local market and introducing Dave Rankin to a potential distributor. Endurance also plans to work with UKTI as it further explores the logistics of exporting its UK manufactured turbines to EU markets and further afield, including Mexico.

Dave Rankin said,

UKTI has been a real door opener for us in the UK and in potential export markets.

With 75% of our sales now coming from the UK, we feel fortunate that we were able to tap into this market with the right product at the right time. Doing business in the UK has proved to be easier than we expected. There are so many cultural and business similarities to Canada that we have felt comfortable here from the beginning.

Our experience has been extremely positive and we look forward to working with UKTI as we continue to expand our business.

Endurance Wind Power

Headquartered in British Columbia Endurance Wind Power was started by a team of experienced engineers. Endurance sells through a large distributor network. Its customers are mainly farmers located in areas with a reliable amount of wind. It has offices in Canada, the UK and Denmark and a staff of 155.

Fast facts

Company: Endurance Wind Power

Industry: Energy

Country of origin: Canada

Investment location: Hartlebury, Worcestershire

Website: www.endurancewindpower.co.uk

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Published 22 September 2014