Offshore wind head resigns from Vattenfall

The Swedish utility's managing director for Denmark and divisional head of offshore wind is leaving the company.

Photo: Vattenfall

Michael Simmelsgaard has resigned from Vattenfall.

In a press release, the Swedish utility writes that its head of offshore wind and managing director of Denmark is leaving the company after two years on the job.

"Michael has been one the leading forces behind the growth of our offshore wind business. I would like to thank him for his engagement and energy during these last years. The development toward subsidy-free offshore wind bears his mark," says Vattenfall Senior Vice President, Business Area Wind, Gunnar Groebler in the statement.

Simmelsgaard was recruited after having worked for a shorter period in a leading position in Ørsted's offshore wind unit. He originally held the title of vice president, Strategic Projects & Partnering, at Vattenfall's newly established offshore wind division before being promoted two years after to lead the business area. Similarly, in 2017 he became managing director of the company's Danish business following Ole Bigum Nielsen's resignation after an 18-month tenure.

"Vattenfall has developed a strong offshore wind business with an unbelievable pipeline of interesting projects. I am honored to have been a part of this competent and energetic team. They are among the best offshore wind developers in the world and are showing the way toward a fossil-free life within one generation," Simmelsgaard writes in connection with his resignation.

His replacement as managing director for Denmark is Jacob Nørgaard Andersen, who holds the title of head of engineering. The incoming offshore wind unit head has not yet been disclosed.

Many projects have been secured during Simmelsgaard's time with the utility, for instance, in the Netherlands, where Vattenfall became the first company to win a zero-subsidy bid for the Hollandse Kust project tender, which required participants to enter unsubsidized bids – but also in Denmark, where the Swedish utility maintained its several years of dominance by securing the coastal Vesterhav projects as well as Kriegers Flak.

However, Vattenfall has also been challenged on the Danish market, particularly regarding its coastal projects, which were postponed by around three years earlier in 2019 after the Danish Energy Board of Appeal decided to require additional environmental impact assessments for the project. Meanwhile, the Swedish state-owned energy company is the only major player to have kept itself way from budding markets in East Asia and the US.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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