Wpd offshore wind unit becomes Skyborn Renewables as GIP takeover closes

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has completed its acquisition of German developer Wpd’s offshore wind unit and rebranded the unit as Skyborn Renewables.

Wpd's 288MW Butendiek wind farm in the German North Sea
Wpd's 288MW Butendiek wind farm in the German North Sea

The US infrastructure investor has retained Wpd Offshore’s former managing director Achim Berge Olsen as CEO of the rebranded venture, while also swooping for senior hires from offshore wind turbine makers and project developers.

Skyborn is helping to develop more than 30GW of offshore wind capacity in Taiwan, Sweden, Romania, France, Japan and Germany. It plans to open an office in Hamburg.

Renewables developer Wpd was an early mover in offshore wind, helping to develop the 48.3MW EnBW Baltic 1 EnBW Baltic 1 (48.3MW) OffshoreRostock, Baltic Sea, Germany, Europe Click to see full details project, which was commissioned in German waters in 2011. It later developed other operational projects off the coasts of Germany and the Netherlands.

CEO Achim Berge Olsen said: “Skyborn Renewables will combine the team’s experience with GIP’s financial strength and track record of investing in renewables assets to the deployment of offshore wind energy for the benefit of future generations.”

GIP announced the move for Wpd Offshore in May.

Olsen will be supported by a newly appointed management team with senior figures from wind turbine manufacturers and offshore wind project developers.

The team includes: 

  • João Metelo as chief investment and financial officer. Metelo most recently worked as a senior adviser at GIP, but has also held senior roles at floating specialist Principle Power and developer EDP Renewables;
  • Morten Melin will join Skyborn as co-chief operating officer in March 2023. He most recently served as executive vice president for construction at Canadian developer Northland Power, and has also held roles at Ørsted (then Dong Energy) and vessels supplier A2Sea.
  • Thomas Karst as co-chief operating officer. Karst most recently worked as head of offshore sales and projects at Siemens Gamesa, but has also held roles at Vestas (then MHI Vestas), and Nordex.
  • Lars Muck as chief technology officer. Muck worked most recently as business manager at Seaway Offshore Cables.
  • And Cathrin Browne will join as general counsel in November 2022. Most recently she was lead legal counsel at Ørsted, and also held roles at assorted law firms.

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