GE Renewable Energy has named General Electric veteran Heiner Markhoff as vice president and CEO of its Grid Solutions unit

“Building a strong Grid business is vital to our mission to make renewable energy affordable, reliable and accessible,” said Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy, adding Markhoff will “drive our efforts to deliver mission-critical technology for our customers and profitable growth for our company.”

Markhoff spent 23 years at GE in various executive roles before leaving in 2017 to head Suez Water Technologies & Solutions, a position he held until 2019. He will be based in Paris.

Grid Solutions helps customers bring green electrons to electrical networks and includes manufacturing power, distribution and specialist transformers, and digital products that support GE engineering worldwide.

It will play a core role in GE’s offshore wind ambitions by providing converters and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology that will enable transport of power generated at sea by the 12MW Haliade-X – the world’s largest – and other turbines along so-called electrical superhighways to distant inland converter facilities.

GE is counting on the Haliade-X, whose commercial launch is scheduled in 2021, to both give it a strong presence in the fast-growing offshore wind market and help return Renewable Energy to profitability.

The Haliade-X received huge boosts to its prospects in the latter part of 2019 with orders to equip the 3.6GW Dogger Bank project in the UK, the largest offshore wind array globally, and 1.2GW of US developments in Maryland and New Jersey.