Former Ørsted CEO to head up Macquarie wind strategy

Samuel Leupold joins Green Investment Group after five years at the helm of the Danish firm, which he left in February 2018.

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has hired a former chief executive of wind power at Denmark’s Ørsted to lead its global wind strategy.

Samuel Leupold has joined GIG in the newly created role of chairman of wind energy. GIG said he would be tasked with leading the group’s onshore and offshore wind efforts globally, including its “growing development activity”.

Leupold left Ørsted in February 2018 after a five-year spell at the Danish wind giant. He was at the forefront of the company’s transformation from a relatively new player in the market to the world’s leading wind investor. During his time at Ørsted, the company entered into a partnership with Macquarie in Taiwan.

GIG has invested in 14 offshore wind projects, totalling more than 4.5GW of capacity in Europe and emerging markets. It has also supported more than 1GW of onshore wind sites in North America and Europe over the past two years, focusing on PPA-backed assets. GIG made its most recent wind investment last July when it closed a €270 million deal for the 235MW Överturinge onshore wind project in Sweden.

“Taking on more development risk is an evolution of our model,” Ed Northam, head of GIG in Europe, told Infrastructure Investor at the time. “That’s where we think we’re needed and can play a role.”

GIG’s most recent offshore wind investment was in March 2018 when it secured a 25 percent stake in the UK’s 210MW Westermost Rough site. UK pension USS also acquired a 25 percent stake, with the remaining 50 percent being held by Ørsted.

The deal came a month after Leupold departed Ørsted. His new role is his first since resigning from the Danish firm to spend more time with his family.