From hotel lobbies to the international wind power market

From hotel lobbies to the international wind power market

17 Apr 2023

"So, you crossed the Atlantic with your sailboat?"

"Yes, and I built it with my father when I was a kid."

"And are you sure that you can produce a sailboat or a blade for a wind turbine with the same skills?"

"Sure yes, I can."

In celebration of the World Entrepreneurship Day, which took place this past weekend, from Nabla Wind Hub we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at our beginnings.

More or less, this was the discussion that Carlo Durante, now CEO of NWH, and Giovanni Manni, now heading of our newly born HPC, had in 2011 the very first time they met. At that time, Carlo was leading the most innovative and independent Italian wind energy developer, that he founded, while Giovanni was in charge of the Manufacturing Quality for the key Italian boatbuilder. One of the two had the vision that wind energy could have changed the course of energy, the other was able to turn ideas into real products. What both had in mind was that performance improvement was achievable on most of the existing turbines from advanced blade design: it was the birth of Reblading, and eTaBlades.

Some time later, at the beginning of 2014, Nabla Wind Power was established in Vitoria-Gasteiz, a small town located in the Basque Country. Started-up by two former colleagues that used to work for wind turbine manufacturing companies who realized that there was a market opportunity in extending the life of wind turbines, Nabla soon became the market pioneer in the idea of Wind Farm Life Extension. "We used to meet in hotel lobbies because we didn’t have an office, and we worked from home" states Ruben Ruiz de Gordejuela, currently CTO of NWH.

Fast-forward two years, both companies were in high demand for public conferences, and it was in one of these occasions that Carlo and Ruben, both guest speakers, met, and by the end of that first meeting the idea of combining performance improvement and life extension took life.

"That is the beautiful thing of being entrepreneurs: connecting the dots on the go. The Redevelopment concept for wind farms was born and still is the company’s core business." Carlo Durante

Soon the two entrepreneurs are hired in the Board of Directors of ROMOWind in 2018, with the clear idea to once again connect the dots trying to add the iSpin within the Redevelopment concept as the key sensor for data analytics: measuring choices and results.

In 2021, slowed a bit by the 2020 COVID pandemics, the long-awaited union of the three companies (eTaBlades, ROMOWind and Nabla Wind Power) backed by an investment fund strongly believing in the Redevelopment vision, was becoming a reality. We joined forces to become one single group, that is our Nabla Wind Hub.

It took us a bit, but the idea was clear since 2016, almost completed in 2018, and executed in 2021.

Redevelopment is now our key business line: the ability to enhance the value of aging assets that cannot or fail to be repowered.

NWH at the Wind Europe (2022)

Today we operate in more than 13 countries, with 600 wind farms assessed, 1200 nabla sensors, and more than 2000 installed blades. We are almost 100 employees with different nationalities and cultures, located in seven different subsidiaries in five different countries.

Moreover, our manufacturing ability is so distinctive that we have just established a dedicated company, called HPC – High Performance Composites, to manufacture our products and to go back to the composite roots of boatbuilding, where some of the key brands are now asking us to manufacture their fabulous boats.

The demand for our services has grown steadily since the company’s beginnings, in response to a need for optimization in a context of uncertain tariffs, increasingly tight margins and a difficult repowering environment; and aftermath of the COVID pandemic, under the current energy crisis, the demand has skyrocketed, keeping pace with the new investments in wind power that are taking place around the world.

Thanks to our entrepreneurial approach, which our investor has kept as a key resource, the redevelopment concept has grown, and we continue to work to make wind energy a winning source of energy in the long term.