klimaVest: Asset Managerin Andrea

Why they love what they do Interview with our klimaVest asset managers

12.01.2022 5 Reading Time

klimaVest: Redakteurin Annemarie Fountoukas
Annemarie Fountoukas

About the asset managers

Two asset managers talk about their interesting work with klimaVest, report on their biggest challenges and explain why they love their job so much.

klimaVest: Asset Managerin Andrea

Andrea Vercoulen

She joined Commerz Real 13 years ago in the Financing department and has been responsible for the commercial asset management of renewable energies for 12 years. Before joining CR, she completed a banking apprenticeship as well as a degree at the Frankfurt School of Finance and worked as a loan clerk in Luxembourg for 7 years.

klimaVest: Asset Manager Christopher

Christopher Herten

has been part of the CR technical asset management team since 1 May 2021. Prior to this, the state-certified electrical engineer gained 14 years of experience in the field of renewable energies – including at wpd – and completed his further training as a Master Professional of Technical Management (CCI) part-time.

The interview

Andrea and Chris, as asset managers, you are responsible for our klimaVest assets. What exactly do you do and how do your tasks differ?

Andrea: Very generally, I am responsible for the commercial side and Chris covers the technical side of asset management. We are the perfect dream team, so to speak. 

Chris: That’s right, my tasks include, for example, controlling the technical operations managers and the technical performance of the solar parks and wind farms, agreeing on repair measures or the annual inspection of the plants. I am currently responsible for the wind farms in the klimaVest portfolio. 

Andrea: And I am responsible for all the major commercial issues relating to wind farms and solar parks. This includes lease settlements, all issues relating to the refinancing banks, electricity tax, liquidity planning and control as well as changes or new contracts (e.g. usage contracts, financing contracts, electricity supply contracts). Chris’ and my tasks repeatedly overlap, for example in the coordination and commissioning of repair measures, the commissioning of appraisers or in the case of technical issues that have an impact on earnings. 

What does a typical working day look like for you?

Chris: A lot of my work is in controlling the performance of the assets. I am in constant contact with the technical managers and sometimes also with the manufacturers. From time to time, I also accompany our technical service providers at and on the plants. I also work closely with our acquisition department to acquire new assets for the klimaVest portfolio. In addition, there are often special topics, such as the organisation of expert opinions at the end of the warranty period, in order to assess the condition of the plant and, if necessary, to report defects to the manufacturer. 

Andrea: It never gets boring. I don't actually have a typical working day. Currently, our main focus is on implementing legislative changes, such as the implementation of demand-driven night-time identification for wind turbines and the implementation of the new feed-in management system, Redispatch 2.0. This is currently a concern for the entire industry. 

What exactly are you currently working on and what are your biggest challenges? 

Chris: As Andrea just said, one of our biggest challenges at the moment is the introduction of Redispatch 2.0. To better understand this, let me explain. The security of electrical supply is very important in Germany and it is a global leader in terms of availability. This is made possible by the overarching management of all energy suppliers, which has so far related to purely conventional power plants under the name Redispatch 1.0. For this purpose, the energy requirements of each region are forecast on a daily basis and corresponding schedules are drawn up for all power plants. Due to the strong growth in renewable energies, this system will be reformed on 1 October of this year and expanded to include all generation plants >100 kW. This amendment to the law was adopted relatively quickly in March of this year and is currently a challenge for the entire industry. At the heart of this is the continuous exchange of data so that the schedules can be created in good time and as accurately as possible and so that security of supply can also be guaranteed in the future. For us as asset managers, this means that we will find appropriate market players for implementation and ongoing support, conduct contract negotiations and ultimately commission them. Depending on the infrastructure used, this circumstance sometimes poses great challenges, but we will master them on time – not least thanks to our fantastic, overarching cooperation.

Do you have a favourite asset?

Andrea: Without a doubt this has to be the newly acquired Meri project. Solar is simply fun – who doesn't like the sun! Due to its location in Spain, new tasks are once again being carried out because we are also in a different legal and regulatory environment here. This makes the working day extremely varied and exciting. 

Chris: In addition, with Meri we have not only acquired two existing parks, but also a project development in which we can still play an active role in the design of technical components. As I am still relatively new to the company, I have of course not yet had time to grow particularly fond of any particular project, but there is now a contender – one of my first tasks was to assist in the acquisition phase of the Finnish wind farm Kuuronkallio, which was already advanced at the time, and to incorporate my experience. With this asset, klimaVest has acquired a great project with 14 turbines from the market-leading manufacturer Vestas. The location of the 4.2 MW plant presents new exciting challenges, such as lower winter temperatures, different air pressures, different wind loads or weeks of darkness in winter. I look forward to managing the asset in accordance with these special circumstances and eagerly await the ongoing operations in the coming years. 

Andrea: But of course, we are closely connected to all our assets and look after every single project with care and professionalism. 

Why did you choose this job?

Chris: In 2007, I joined the renewable energies industry, which was still new at the time, but I quickly learned to love the entire environment. Simply the fact that even identically constructed systems can have diverse requirements makes for a varied and exciting day's work. In addition, renewable energy generation has become a part of me and is becoming more important every day in view of climate change. 

Andrea: Of course, also because it is an exciting environment, with new challenges and changes every day. It never gets boring because there are actually always new topics on the table – whether it's helping our landlords with small things or big issues like changes in the law. It is also incredibly fun to be part of this great team and klimaVest and thus contribute to the energy transition.

We look after every single project with care and professionalism.
klimaVest: Asset Managerin Andrea
Andrea Vercoulen
Senior Asset Manager
Windrad aus Vogelperspektive mit Nebel


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