Prorsum invests in Spanish offshore wind specialist Eolos

01 October 2019 4 min. read

Swiss private equity group Prorsum has completed a significant capital injection in Eolos, a Spanish company that provides measurements services to the offshore wind industry.

The participation is Eolos’ second funding since its inception in 2014, when the Barcelona-based company received start-up funding from EIT InnoEnergy, a Dutch investor focused on sustainable energy start-ups. 

Over the past five years, Eolos has grown its team to a size of 17 full-time employees, on the back of a track record that includes delivering wind measurements for offshore developers such as Nyserda, EDPR and Iberdrola. In the past year, the Spanish company has secured new projects in Ireland, South Korea and the United States. 

Performing wind assessments is a key step of wind energy investment and planning. More accurate data blows more wind into the business case – the wind energy potential of the site – of an offshore site, providing investors better information prior to making their final investment decision. Such data also supports planning activities, including spacing of the wind turbines and the setup of maintenance and repair plans.Prorsum invests in offshore wind specialist EolosEolos captures wind measurements through its LiDAR buoy*, a buoy that has an autonomous wind, wave and current measuring system and oceanographic instrumentation, which allows it to perform measurements at heights of more than 200 meters above the sea level at much lower costs than conventional bottom-fixed offshore met masts. 

According to Rajai Aghabi, the chief executive officer and founder of Eolos, growing demand for offshore wind in particular in Europe, North America and Asia is providing with a “great growth” opportunity. “This capital raising will allow us to better serve our clients and expand our global footprint.” 

An industry with tailwinds

A report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows that the global offshore wind market has grown by an average of 21% each year since 2013, reaching total installations of 23 GW. Based on current policies and expected auctions and tenders, as well as a broader drive for renewable energy, double-digit growth is expected in the coming years, with 165 GW of new power expected to be installed up to 2030. 

Aghabi believes Eolos is well positioned to tap into this growth due to the growing number of floating offshore wind sites in deep water sites, making an even stronger case for Eolos’ site-specific floating LiDAR buoys.

Jeroen van der Veer, formerly the chief executive officer of energy giant Shell and board member of Prorsum, shares Aghabi remarks. “Eolos provides reliable and cost-effective wind measurements by using floating LiDAR instead of a traditional wind mast that requires lengthy permitting phases. With this differentiating technology, Eolos significantly contributes to reducing the development time of an offshore wind farm without compromising the quality of the data provided.” 

“Offshore wind farms play a central role in the large-scale adoption of renewable energy. Eolos significantly contributes to reducing the development time of an offshore wind farm.”
– Jeroen van der Veer

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, however Prorsum is now the largest shareholder of the Spanish energy player. “Eolos has over the past years become one of the market leaders in the turn-key floating LiDAR segment, and works for some of the biggest utilities active in the offshore wind industry. We are excited to be on board,” commented Otto von Troschke, the founder of the Swiss company.

During the transaction, Eolos was advised by JBR Corporate Finance, a Dutch financial advisory boutique. JBR’s dealmakers – Ronald van Rijn and Harold Brummelhuis – assisted with deal structuring, financial modelling, the setup of the information memorandum, marketing to (potential) investors and negotiations. Buy-side dealmakers have at the time of writing not been revealed.

* There are two types of remote sensing systems on the market to measure wind. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instruments use light to measure the wind characteristics, while SoDAR (Sonic Detection and Ranging) instruments measure the wind conditions by means of sound.