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Harnessing the Wind for Your Home

Borrum Energy Solutions

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 13. Climate Action

Overview

Borrum Energy Solutions is driven to help Canadians harvest wind on a micro scale, in order to reduce the carbon footprint and electricity costs of the average household. The main product, the Anorra micro-generation wind turbine, has made harvesting wind easier than ever before for rural homeowners and remote communities (Borrum, 2022). By creating a new way to harvest clean energy Borrum has met SDG goals #6, #7, 11#, and #13.

Authors

Tyler Ristagno

Tyler Ristagno

Sean Urquhart

Sean Urquhart

Kathryn Verge

Kathryn Verge

Luke Turner

Luke Turner

School

Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University

Professors

Kent Williams

Kent Williams

Sandi Stewart

Sandi Stewart

Innovation

Borrum’s main product, the Anorra Wind Turbine, advances microgeneration technology to offer a new way to power Canadian homes. The Anorra product line innovates renewable energy for Canadians by creating a product that complements solar panels, a market well established in Canada while providing unique advantages over other microgeneration options. The Annora provides a renewable energy option to Canadian climates that do not get year-round sun. Additionally, where solar panels become less effective due to long Canadian winters, the Annora benefits year-round from the reliable northern wind. Another innovation of the Anorra is the ease at which it can be assembled at home. Based on the Ikea business model, the simplicity of construction for the Anorra provides an easy-to-use renewable energy option to customers that other microgeneration solutions do not. The Annora can also be disassembled and taken down in the event of extreme weather that would destroy other renewable energy options. Borrum is also partnered with the engineering programs at the University of Waterloo and Guelph to keep providing innovation to the field of microgeneration renewable energy solutions.

Harnessing the Wind for Your Home

Inspiration

Odilon Lemieux, the CEO, and founder of Borrum, mentioned that he was inspired to start his company, creating the Anorra, after studying for his MBA. During his degree, Odilon conducted a project on industrial wind turbines that really caught his interest, and wondered, as an entrepreneur, how he could succeed with renewable energy (personal communication, July 11, 2022). Considering the high barriers to entry into the industrial turbine and solar markets due to the high initial capital investments and competition respectively, the options to enter the renewable energy sector were slim. During the interview he mentioned, “one day my wife made the suggestion ‘what about small wind turbines?’”(personal communication, July 11, 2022). This then led to the question of what does micro-generation wind look like, and if there was a niche market to capitalize on within Canada? Odilon said that he started looking at northern communities in Canada where poverty was higher and electricity was not reliable. He learned that many northern Indigenous communities get electricity mostly from burning fossil fuels, which is not cheap (personal communication, July 11, 2022). This is what birthed the original idea of the Anorra and Borrum as a company. Borrum Energy Solutions then set out with the goal of creating a microgeneration wind turbine that was simple enough for anyone to set up and install, thus allowing customers to reduce fossil fuel/grid dependency and reduce costs. Odilon stated that, although this was the initial company goal, the company later realized the importance of reducing Co2 emissions, making it another pillar of the company (personal communication, July 11, 2022).

Overall impact

Borrum Energy Solutions targets several Sustainable Development Goals. SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy, and SDG 13, Climate Action, are the main objectives of the company, given the low carbon operations of its products, the Anorra and Anorra Plus. Wind energy is a clean and unlimited energy source, which releases no waste into our atmosphere or water systems. Additionally, wind microgeneration is the lowest cost option for renewable electricity generation and can also be paired well with other renewable sources to make hybrid systems (personal communication, July 11, 2022). With the Anorra you can see an investment payback in the range of five to ten years and with the Anorra Plus a range of seven to ten years (Borrum Energy Solutions - Home Wind Turbines, n.d.). Borrum Energy Solutions offers affordable products to micro-generate clean energy for households and remote communities.

Additionally, Borrum’s products can be utilized to tackle SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation. A lot of remote places within Canada do not have the electrical infrastructure to run filtration systems for their water supply. This is a serious problem that many Canadians are not aware of, and Borrum provides a cost-efficient way to provide remote communities with the electrical capabilities to consume clean water. The Anorra enables remote customers to charge batteries and store energy to be used in water filtration in the most remote places across Canada (personal communication, July 11, 2022). This includes Northern Canada since the Anorra is designed to withstand the harsh Canadian climate of temperatures as low as -50°C (Borrum Energy Solutions - Home Wind Turbines, n.d.).

Borrum’s mission also aims to tackle SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. Particularly in remote communities, Borrum’s products aim to provide customers with the ability to micro-generate electricity to cut down their dependence on the electrical grid which is predominantly powered by fossil fuels across Canada (personal communication, July 11, 2022). Remote communities can implement Borrum’s solutions into their infrastructure to build a self-sustaining community that is less reliant on fossil fuel energy. Implementing the Anorra, enables customers to reduce their carbon footprint and power their homes in a much more sustainable fashion, which can have positive economic effects in the future including the ability to sell their power back to the grid and the ability to sell carbon credits(personal communication, July 11, 2022).

Business benefit

Borrum Energy Solutions proudly supports the Canadian economy by producing about 85% of its materials in Canada (personal communication, July 11, 2022). This asset attracts a large proportion of its customer base who are eager to support the local economy, as they are currently the only micro-generation wind turbine company primarily using Canadian materials. The company has chosen to create installation guides that support low literacy levels, which, according to Odilon, sets itself apart from the competition. This idea has allowed Borrum to target Northern Canada, where they offer an achievable solution to create a net-positive impact. By quickly pursuing the niche micro-generation wind turbine market, Odilon believes Borrum has been able to acquire unique opportunities and sell itself as a “complimentary” purchase to solar panels, a device already established in the global market (personal communication, July 11, 2022). Their business model is scalable, and Odilon projects Borrum would like to expand their work into Alaska and Greenland in the foreseeable future (personal communication, July 11, 2022). The company’s unique grasp on a niche market will help Borrum stand out and succeed.

Social and environmental benefit

Borrum Energy Solutions is dedicated to providing renewable energy using its products to lower consumers' carbon footprint. Borrum did a full analysis on the Annora regarding the number of carbon emissions the manufacturing process creates, compared to the carbon emissions saved by using the product. They found that after 3 years of use, the Annora will have “broken even” on carbon emissions. Given that the product life span is 25 years (Borrum, 2022) the product undoubtedly provides a net reduction in carbon emissions to its users. Additionally, the remote homes and cottages that the Annora is designed to power end up spending 84% of energy costs (personal communication, July 11, 2022) due to transmission and distribution. By having your dwelling directly powered by an Annora wind turbine, you save money, and energy by skipping transmission and distribution entirely. Combined with Borrum’s “easy to construct” business model making the product accessible to more people than other renewable energy solutions, the Annora has the potential to greatly decrease the Carbon footprint of the average Canadian (personal communication, July 11, 2022). In the future, the microgeneration wind turbine technology can be used outside of providing energy to homes and can be adopted into everyday society to take traffic and street lights off the grid.

Interview

Odilon Lemieux, CEO

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Borrum Energy Solutions

Borrum Energy Solutions

Waterloo, CA

Business Website: https://borrumenergysolutions.ca/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Founded by Odilon Lemieux, Borrum Energy Solutions (BES) is a relatively new and small engineering firm based out of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. BES is driven to help Canadians harvest wind on a micro scale, in order to reduce the carbon footprint and electricity costs of the average household. BES’ main product, the Anorra micro-generation wind turbine, has made harvesting wind easier than ever before for rural homeowners and remote communities (Borrum, 2022).