"We are setting sail!" - Interview with Madeline Krohn
You are one of the first EPNE team members, how did you join our team?
When EPNE put together the first team, it was very clear to me that I wanted to be a part of this big and important story that EPNE launched three years ago.
I had already developed a fascination for renewables and their technical challenges on the way to a climate-neutral energy supply during my studies (I studied industrial engineering with a focus on renewable energies).
I started at EPNE as a working student and wrote my master's thesis on Germany's expansion potential for floating solar plants. This is an incredibly exciting and new area and the results of the master's thesis confirmed that the opencast lakes in eastern Germany show great potential. For future energy supply, floating PV could become the fourth cornerstone of the energy transition.
I then became a project developer. What was particularly appealing to me was the enormous project potential on already secured land and the opportunity to develop large and innovative solar and wind energy projects there. In this position, together with my colleague, who is a very experienced and networked project manager, I developed both a wind and a solar project from scratch and brought them to the approval phase.
During this time, I was able to learn a lot, not least because of our project management philosophy: the project tandems have complete project responsibility until construction begins. This promotes the idea of ownership and builds up profound know-how.
You have already seen a few projects at EPNE, which one are you currently working on?
I have been working in Strategy & Business Development since the beginning of the year. We deal a lot with the future and how we align ourselves as a company to drive the most important project of our generation.
That is why my daily business includes developing interdisciplinary concepts and strategic elements that are always geared towards the overarching goal – namely the energy transition in the opencast mining regions.
If you describe EPNE in one word, which one is it?
It is impressive what you have experienced over the years and flexibility is definitely an appropriate word. What is your "most inspiring moment" during your time at EPNE?
The moment that inspired me the most certainly was when I understood that we are not just a small, inconspicuous project developer with a cool office in Berlin setting up a few wind and PV parks. Instead, we are in the process of completely transforming the energy system in former opencast lignite mining areas. This is why our significant contributions in shaping the German energy transition extend far beyond Lusatia.
We are doing everything we can to create a future in which we and the following generations can enjoy not only a secure energy supply, but nature as we experience it today.
It was precisely at this point that I realized that flexibility is a top priority for us: If the goals get bigger, so do we – and the goals are enormous! This quote spontaneously comes to mind: "When the wind of change blows, some seek shelter in the harbour while others set sail" - we set sail!