Somewhat surprisingly, one of the most efficient wind turbines on the market is coming from Finland. A good reason for us to shed some light on WinWinD and their excellent products. Jari Varjotie, the COO of WinWinD, took some time out of his schedule to answer my questions.
WinWinD was established in 2000 in the city of Oulu in Finland. The founder, Jouko Tiuraniemi, has a long career in the field of energy. In 1995 Tiuraniemi started to think about a new, highly efficient wind turbine, as he realized that the key to success was not to try to compete on their terms with the Germans and Danes who were dominating the market, but to create a turbine that would be technically superior. WinWinD chose the Multibrid technology as basis for the WWD turbine, and going forward with the Multibrid low speed technology was the first strategically important decision for the company. In 2001 the WWD-1 wind turbine pilot project was completed. The WWD-3, a 3 Megawatt turbine, followed in 2004.
WinWinD employs over 230 persons in Finland. Additionally, the company employs almost 300 persons in India, where it has a turbine and blade factory. WinWinD is ISO 9000 certified and aims at getting ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified during this year, showing that also small companies can successfully implement an environmental and quality management system. To top it off, the new factory in Hamina will be powered in part by electricity coming from WinWinD’s own wind turbines, which are situated in the Hamina wind park. Similar plans are in the pipeline for the factory in India.
The majority owner of WinWinD is Sterling Infotech Group from India, and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is a significant minority owner. Masdar invested in WinWinD last year a whopping 120 million €, which is a lot in Finnish standards. The Finnish government owned Industry Investment is another minority owner, and additionally some key employees own some shares of the company. Jari told me that WinWinD’s biggest customers are PVO Innopower Oy in Finland, Eesti Energia in Estonia, Skellefteå Kraft in Sweden and the French wind park developer Innovent. Asked about how the economic crisis has effected the company, Jari told me that he believes every company has met effects of the economic crisis in their business in one way or another. WinWinD also has seen these effects, mainly in longer lead times to make deals with the customers who in turn need to increase their efforts to get the financing for their wind parks.
I have followed WinWinD’s development over the last few years, and am very glad to see that the high quality and innovative product is developing well and that the company is growing at a steady pace – turnover last year was close to 70 million €. With a technical lifetime of 20 years of their turbines and a 24 hour worldwide maintenance service I believe WinWinD has a winning concept which will prove itself in the marketplace. Wind energy is growing in importance in today’s energy mix, and also in Finland wind energy is becoming more popular. The fact that the wind turbines are produced in part in Finland and that the company is cooperating on different levels with Finnish companies is a big plus in my book. I think that the new factory in Hamina, which will be in the same location as the Google data centre, will help WinWind to become more known and grow their business.
The Guest Blogger, Hendrik Morkel, is half Dutch/ half German and has lived in the Netherlands, Germany, Honduras and Spain.
Living in Finland since 2002, he has a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Management and a Master’s degree in Corporate Environmental Management.
He liked Finland so much that he decided to stay, and established Korpi Consulting, an environmental management consultancy focused on helping SMEs to optimize their environmental performance.