Early stage investment firm Low Carbon Accelerator(LCA) has announced it has increased its equity stake in wind turbine firm Proven Energy with a further investment of £500,000.
The investment, the second cash injection in the space of three months, will be drawn down in two tranches, the first being £200,000 as of 30th March 2009.
After the full investment of £500,000, LCA's equity ownership of Proven Energy will be 49.83% with a total investment of £7.15 million.
Last December, LCA ploughed £1.7 million into the Ayrshire-based company - including the conversion of a £700,000 loan into equity
Proven Energy is a market-leading manufacturer of small-scale, high-performance wind turbines in the UK. Proven's clients include Sainsbury, BT, T-Mobile and Shell, for whom it provides marine-grade, explosion proof wind-turbines to power offshore gas platforms in the North Sea.
The investment comes at a time of continued high demand for Proven Energy turbines globally. This has been supported by regulatory and legislative incentives such as a doubling of the UK's Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) available for small-scale wind as of April 1st 2009, feed-in tariff plans in the UK, Ireland and Italy, as well as capital grant programmes in Australia and the USA.
The new investment will be used to accelerate the product development of the enhanced 6kW and 15kW turbines; upgrade the production quality-control systems to improve yields; and expand the senior management team for the next phase of growth.
Proven Energy has expanded rapidly since LCA's first investment in 2006 enjoying annualised sales growth averaging over 50% for the last three years. It now supplies its range of 2.5kW, 6kW and 15kW turbines to over 30 countries worldwide and holds a market leading position in the UK and an expanding presence in Australia and New Zealand. The US remains a strong target market with orders having increased five-fold during 2008.
Its turbines are acknowledged as some of the most robust and reliable on the market. Eight Proven Energy turbines were sold in the past year to power the Belgian Antarctic Research Station. The robust design of the machine enables continuous operation and power output during severe storms and extreme heat or freezing conditions.
Andrew Affleck, executive chairman at Low Carbon Investors, the investment manager for Low Carbon Accelerator, said: "Proven Energy is a rare yet striking example of a successful UK engineering and manufacturing firm exporting to a global market - exactly the sort of business we are proud to support.
“Demand for Proven's wind turbines has remained strong despite the economic downturn and Proven Energy is well poised to capitalise on this now and over the coming years. The underpinning drivers behind the low carbon sector mean that it is one of the few markets that is still delivering growth right now. Proven is a perfect example of this."