Orsted has named David Hardy as its new president and chief operating officer for North America where he will oversee “development to operation” of its fast-growing US portfolio of offshore wind farms.

Hardy was previously with German wind turbine OEM Senvion where he served as executive director and chief sales officer. His resume also includes executive positions in sales and account management at Vestas North America and General Electric.

The Danish developer has emerged as the early-stage US industry’s pacesetter having been awarded almost 3GW of capacity by the Atlantic states of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

Orsted and rival regional players, mostly European, have increased efforts to hire senior managers here in anticipation federal regulators will begin permitting projects at the end of this year, led by the pioneering 800MW Vineyard Wind off the southern coast of Massachusetts. Several of Orsted’s planned arrays, including Skipjack, Revolution Wind and South Fork, could be next.

Aside from overseeing multi-billion-dollar projects, offshore wind companies expect their corporate leaders to establish fluid working relationships with the region’s governors, who are strong supporters, their administrations, state and shoreline community officials and other stakeholders, as well manage public expectations of what the industry can deliver.

Investment in the US offshore wind power industry is on track to eclipse that going into the country’s offshore oil & gas sector within five years as the turbine build-out off its Atlantic seaboard grows to over 20GW by 2030, according to recent research from Rystad Energy.

The US Energy Information Administration estimates the potential for offshore wind power off the lower-50 states’ coasts at 7,200TWh. Fully developed, this resource would translate into hundreds of projects of a scale similar to those already sanctioned, with Rystad calculating each development would call for investments of an average $3bn. (Copyright)