Renewable energy company B9 Energy O&M Ltd is aiming to win business in the US by setting up an office in Invest Northern Ireland’s Technology and Development Centre in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Larne based company is a UK specialist in the operation and maintenance of utility scale wind farms, providing scheduled maintenance and emergency services using the latest remote technology.
B9 has identified opportunities in the US market resulting from the growing demand for renewable energy alternatives to increasingly expensive oil and gas sources. Business Development Manager, Chanda Kapande will be based in the Boston office working to put B9 in a position to tap into the major growth potential it anticipates, and to implement the company strategy to become a major player in the US wind industry.
B9 currently operates 36 wind farms throughout the UK and Ireland, and is one of the biggest operators in the UK, employing 34 people. The company is also developing its first wind farm in Alberta, Canada.
Ian Harvey, B9’s Finance Director, says: “We provide an expert service in the operation and maintenance of wind turbines that is not readily available in the US. Our initial research shows that the demand for these services already exists and will grow steadily as the large number of wind farms in the planning stage come into operation throughout the country.
“Boston is an ideal location for us to set up in initially, not only because many of the schemes in the pipeline are along the Eastern seaboard, but also because the city is a major transport hub and will enable us to reach other projects across the US.
“We will also benefit enormously from the advice and practical support about doing business in the US that the centre’s experienced team can provide. This expertise will enable us to position ourselves to the best advantage in this huge marketplace. For instance, we intend to recruit and train engineers to provide the same quality of services in the US as we offer in our home markets. To achieve this we will need advice on recruitment and employment procedures,” he adds.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director says: “Staff at our Technology and Development Centres in Boston, Denver and Dubai are all experienced business people who have a wealth of knowledge of use to Northern Irish companies seeking to successfully develop opportunities in these markets.
“To date they have helped over 50 companies from Northern Ireland in areas such as lead generation, networking opportunities, market data, banking requirements, recruitment and the preparation of brochures for the relevant market. As a result of this very practical support, companies using the centres developed business worth around ₤40 million in 2004/05.”