How has your role evolved at Parkwind?
In the beginning, I was mainly focusing on the technicalities of our fleet of turbines. Gradually, my job has become much wider, addressing challenges and interests of many different stakeholders. The skills one learns in an engineering education can be applied to so much more than to one would assume, and this has become clear during the past years at Parkwind. Now I am responsible for the team behind the O&M of 201 offshore wind turbines. We need to ensure maximum operability of our turbines while optimizing maintainability and keeping all our stakeholders in mind. From performance analysis and R&D projects to optimizing scheduled maintenance and joining offshore troubleshooting, we do a whole variety of tasks.
What is it like to work in the operations and maintenance team?
Our work is partially done onshore, partially offshore. Especially the offshore part leaves its mark on how we experience our work and our colleagues. An offshore working day can only be successful if it’s done as a team. You go out together, you come home together. The professionalism and skills of your colleagues will give you a safe and comfortable work environment, but only if you embrace them in your comfort zone and build a mutual trust relationship. As in the end, it remains a remote work environment. This collegiality is carried forward in our onshore work as well. The combination onshore-offshore enables this unique bond with colleagues which makes us more a ‘family’ than colleagues. The team spirit is incredible.
What is it like to work offshore?
I’m a passionate kitesurfer and each time I go out, I feel very humble because I taste the forces of nature. It’s a power that is beyond your imagination and control. When you’re out at sea and close to the turbines, it’s the same feeling. Even if it’s calm and a beautiful flat sea, you still are astonished by the power that is signed out by these giants. Then you take the elevator up, go into the nacelle, open the hatch, step out, look around you and think “This is an impressive setting in which I work.” That feeling and fascination never goes away.
What is life like at Parkwind?
There’s a great amount of trust from management to every layer in the organization to take on responsibilities, to take on new challenges, and to grasp good opportunities. This has given me the space and openness to grow the way I want while contributing to the companies goals. The company goals are not only about the business plan. There is room to work on the bigger picture, from building a sustainable relation with the environment to contributing to a stable energy supply the energy market. We work in renewable energy and we try contribute to the needs of all stakeholders.
What is challenging about your work?
In operations and maintenance, our production plant is remote. You cannot just walk from your desk to your machines and see what’s going on. You have to rely on the information that comes from offshore teams and find the optimum between building a trust relationship and supervising/controlling. That’s a true challenge.
How is Parkwind viewed in the industry?
I would say “Big enough to have impact, small enough to be swift and agile.” Parkwind is very respected as a small young company playing between the giant utility companies and being able to have an impact on the world of offshore wind. I don’t think there are a lot of companies of the size of Parkwind that are able to do that.