"We are united by this spirit of change” - Interview with Robert Zwilling, Team Lead of Development

A look behind the scenes of the renewable energy industry: Interview with Robert Zwilling, Team Lead of Development at EPNE.


When did you join our team and how did you end up at EPNE? What did you do before that?

I have been working in the renewable energy sector since 2009 and built solar power plants around the world until 2016. From 2017 to 2022, I mainly worked as a project manager in Asia, particularly in China, and I've been with EPNE since April 2022.


How did you find out about EPNE back then?

Through a current colleague. To be honest, I had no intention to switch jobs at first, but what my colleague told me about EPNE immediately piqued my interest. Even before the concept of the GigawattFactory emerged, the idea of bringing renewables to Lusatia appealed to me right away. The opportunity to work from my home city of Berlin was also very tempting.


You are currently Team Lead of Development. How long have you held this role and what makes this position special?

I have been Team Lead Development since May 2023. The special thing about this role is the opportunity to combine unique projects with leadership tasks and a motivated team. Also, the characters in the team are just as diverse as the different project settings.


That's a good point - how would you describe the management style at EPNE, especially in your position as Team Lead?

The words that spring to mind are openness and trust. These values are actively practised in my team. Because, by trusting my team, I increase their motivation. I point out topics, tasks and goals that need to be achieved - true to the motto: "I tell you what, I don't tell you how". My team appreciates this leap of faith.

If you had to describe the EPNE in one word, what would it be?

Team spirit! What we achieve here as a team is really impressive. Of course, there are several other words that could describe EPNE. For example, the fact that we are a comparatively young company and yet my colleagues have plenty of experience. Now we need to utilise this collective experience in the best way possible. Efficiency is one of our greatest strengths.


When you look back on the last year and a half, what was the most emotional moment for you?

There were indeed many moments - especially with my team. Actually, that was one of the reasons why I transferred to EPNE - I wanted to be part of a team that was keen on change. We are united by this spirit of change , and we do enjoy our work. We also like to meet up after work - naturally that brings us closer together. This team spirit is simply priceless for me!


Let's take a look at your current projects: What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on various projects, for example the realisation of various transformer stations. They are an important element in our plan because progress in the field of renewable energies requires more than just a focus on wind and solar parks. The entire technical infrastructure, particularly the commissioning of transformer stations, plays an essential role here. Just a few days ago, our first substation in Kathlow was equipped with a transformer and is about to be connected to the grid - a great success.

I am also working on a PV project, the solar park in Dissen. This is a solar park with over 200 MWp and a so-called "customised green solar park" - a unique nature and species protection concept by EPNE.


What exactly does "customised green solar park" mean?

The "customised green solar park" is a PV park that integrates particularly well into the existing landscape and even enhances it ecologically. In the case of Dissen, we are talking about a stork village. Here, it is important that renewable energy plants, such as solar parks, blend in well with the landscape and are therefore also accepted by the residents. This is exactly the case with the "customised green solar park". For example, orchards, nesting boxes, wildlife corridors and a variety of flower strips, for which local seeds are used, are embedded in the PV park for ecological enhancement. With this natural barrier, the PV park can practically only be seen from above.


Where do you see yourself in 2030?

Definitely as a part of the GigawattFactory - right in the middle of the renewable energy action! We are aiming to reach the first milestone of the GigawattFactory in 2030. This means that we as a team will have successfully connected a large part of the planned output by then. This will lay the foundation for achieving targets beyond 2030.


Thank you very much for your insights, Robert!


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