Robin Vanderheijden

Robin in numbers

meters high
MWh per turbine

My story

After ten years of life at sea and then a number of years in offshore oil and gas, I can now tell friends and family that I live off the wind! Together with six colleagues, I am responsible for the Prinses Ariane Windpark re-powering and expansion project north of Amsterdam.

The windfarm has 82 turbines, each almost 120 meters high at the site. My role includes making adjustments to the software and performing inspections and upgrades of the mechanical and electrical systems. And of course we also fix faults. Each of these turbines can deliver 3.6 megawatts of electrical power per hour, so standing still is very expensive!

I’m also active on other onshore windfarms in the Netherlands as High voltage “authorized person” where I’m responsible of the electrical safety on site.

Fantastic technology

Fossil fuels are running out, so we have to develop new energy sources and in this job I can help make that happen. Wind is a fantastic technology with an exciting future and it also gives me the opportunity to work with a lot of freedom. There is no-one looking over my shoulder all the time when I’m standing at the top of a turbine.
My team based in a really nice building on an old glider airfield, with more than enough workplaces, parking and charging stations. And I live just 15 kilometers from work

Young industry

My work is flexible and varied so it’s not a job where I’m going to the same office every day and drinking coffee from the same mug. The technology is important to me in my role but it’s also about being outside, working in a young industry, and in an organization where there is an open culture where safety is one of the most important topics and many opportunities for growth. I am listened to and my initiative is appreciated and I receive a lot in return from Vattenfall.

I have an active life outside of work and like tinkering with classic vehicles such as my old Volkswagen Buggy and also really enjoy windsurfing. And of course I also spend time with my two daughters. When a commercial for Vattenfall comes on TV, they always shout: “Daddy, you work there!”

Robin works within:


Career path

This is a new project for Vattenfall and is not yet fully in service so some of my time is spent developing work instructions and setting up the organization to support it, from the management system to the spare parts warehouse.
I was keen to develop my experience further in the energy sector and also wanted to make the switch to sustainable energy. I joined OWEZ, one of the first offshore wind farms in the Netherlands, and spent two years carrying out safety and maintenance tasks.
After my studies in Mechatronics, Hydraulics and Pneumatics I worked for ten years in the Royal Netherlands Navy’s technical department. At the end of my naval career I moved into the offshore oil and gas sector as a production engineer on a platform.