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Empire wind state of mind: Rob’s story

10 May 2021

Rob, bp’s vice president of asset management offshore wind, believes the wind farm projects will really make a difference for bp and the world

It’s the job interview question most people dread. But not bp’s Rob Jonkergouw. He knows exactly what he’d like to be doing in the not too distant future  ̶  looking out to the US Atlantic, squinting into the distance to watch rotor blades turn and, with each revolution, helping to deliver new energy to New York. 


“I can’t wait for that moment,” says Rob.

Rob, bp’s vice president of asset management offshore wind, is in charge of the team managing the company’s stake in Empire and Beacon, the two-gigawatt (GW) and 2.4GW offshore wind farms being developed off the US East Coast.
Working on bp’s ground-breaking $1.1-billion investment in a joint venture with Equinor, the Norwegian operator of the offshore wind assets. Rob believes the projects will provide major wins – for bp, which will accelerate its understanding of offshore wind technology; for Equinor, which benefits from bp’s expertise in the US energy market; as well as for the people of New York, as not only will they receive cleaner energy, but we will also develop a leading offshore wind industry hub, bringing jobs and investment to the area.

“It’s a win, win, win,” says Rob. 


The opportunity is the latest step for Rob, who joined bp early in his career. He managed bp’s entry into the UK Emissions Trading Scheme – then, the world's first CO2 trading system, before going on to develop bp’s onshore wind farm development strategy. This work was instrumental in the group’s latest significant shift into offshore wind.  

bp aims to have developed around 50GW of net renewable generating capacity by 2030 – a 20-fold increase from 2019.

Rob isn’t daunted by the goal. “One of the reasons I joined bp in the first instance was because I felt it was a company where you could foresee being able to make a difference,” he says. 

He believes the wind farm projects are a sign of bp’s intent to deploy its abilities and expertise, managing supply chains and integrating low carbon technologies with its trading functions across a global stage. 

“Our intent is serious and now it’s about rolling up our sleeves and delivering. That has its opportunities and its challenges, but for bp and the world, this can really make a big difference. We have a lot to offer.”

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