Extreme weather conditions require special products

Canada Senvion

With more than 3,400 employees, Senvion is represented by subsidiaries, participations and sales partners in European markets such as France, Belgium, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Italy and Portugal. We are also active worldwide – such as in the USA, India and Australia as well as Canada, where we have our headquarters in Montreal, offices in Toronto and Vancouver and a blade production facility in Welland, Ontario. We now have more than 300 employees in Canada. The first one was Helmut Herold, who is now Managing Director of Senvion in North America.

Helmut Herold, Managing Director North America

We started as a small team. Today, we are one of the five leading providers on the market.


Helmut Herold,
Managing Director North America

Market entry

MM82 MM92 Saint-Robert-Bellarmin

“I can still clearly remember 2008,” grins Herold. The market opportunities in the country were huge, and a single small subsidiary had been set up in 2007.

This meant that the 39-year-old was constantly flying between the company’s headquarters in Hamburg and the global sites of the potential customer.

Negotiations lasted a year and a half, and the outcome was impressive: On 26 November 2009, we landed our biggest master agreement to date with a capacity of up to 954 megawatts for five wind-energy projects in the province of Quebec.

2nd place for Senvion

So Herold finally packed his suitcase and moved to Canada with his family. He tells of the early days: “We quickly put together a small team. Everyone took care of everything. I used to say my tasks were like playing lucky dip – everything was in there, from financial accounting, sales and contract negotiations to HR matters.”

Today, we are one of the five leading providers on the market: In 2013, we connected about 400 megawatts to the grid, putting us in second place in terms of new installations per year.

“Made in Germany” combined with local colour

MM92 RivRenard

German engineering is a big seller in Canada. At the same time, it is extremely important to listen very carefully, be flexible and respond to the sensitivities of the market.

In Quebec, where 90 per cent of all Senvion employees in Canada are now based, energy policy is heavily geared towards wind energy.

In Ontario, politicians are now keen to introduce even more wind energy into the state because industry in the region has the biggest energy requirement in the country.

Politicians in British Columbia now also recognise the potential for wind energy. Dialogue with the local decision-makers is very important in Canada, although energy policy is the sole preserve of the provinces.

Success here requires an active local presence.

Products specifically for this market

MM92 RivRenard

The kinds of extreme weather conditions that can affect large parts of Canada require special products. For instance, we have always installed a special cold climate version (CCV) of our MM82 and MM92.

With features such as low-temperature steel, this version remains fully functional even at temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius, under extreme temperature fluctuations and in the damp Canadian weather conditions with lots of ice and snow. This applies throughout the guaranteed service life of 25 years.

We have also announced the 3.0M122 as a 60-hertz variant specifically for the Canadian market. In terms of grid stability, we have adapted the 3.2M114 to the new, high requirements of the electrically insulated overall system in Quebec.

At the same time, the 3.XM series marks the vision for the near future: “I want to bring the technological advantage provided by this series to Canada as soon as possible,” says Herold.


The last years were an extraordinary time in Canada in many respects. The foundations for the blade production facility in Welland, Ontario, were laid in April 2013. Delivery of the first blade will take place in the second quarter of 2014. In December 2013, we reached the notable milestone of 550 installed megawatts in the province of Quebec within just two years, a massive achievement for the Canadian team.

Construction work on the Rivière-du-Moulin wind farm in Quebec also started in this fiscal year. With a total of 350 megawatts, the biggest single project in our company’s history is taking shape there.

Still lots to do

Helmut Herold was named “Personality of the Year” for the wind-energy industry in Quebec in 2014. In addition, Recharge magazine chose him as one of 40 people under the age of 40 who are helping to change the global energy landscape.

The award is part of the 4040 initiative, which identifies young pioneers in the new energies worldwide. These awards make Herold happy, but they also set the bar high for him: “Past successes are important references. A good foundation for claiming a long-term place among the three main manufacturers in Canada,” says Herold.