PROVIDENCE – Jeffrey Grybowski, the face of offshore wind in Rhode Island for more than a decade, is stepping down as co-CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind.
Grybowski is leaving the Danish company less than a year after it bought Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind for $510 million. The North Kingstown native plans to remain in Rhode Island, advise Ørsted and create a new startup, according to a company spokesperson.
“A decade ago, I started on this quest to establish a prominent place for offshore wind in America’s energy future. Rhode Island provided the leadership with the first project, and I’m proud to say that offshore wind’s time is now here,” said Grybowski in a statement.
During a phone interview, Grybowski said the whole endeavor felt like an “overnight success that took a decade.”
He helped guide Deepwater Wind in creating the first operational offshore wind farm in the United States. The project, a five turbine, 30-megawatt wind farm off Block Island, was key in proving the industry could work in the United States. Currently, offshore wind energy is more prevalent in Europe.
The company has since secured additional contracts to build projects in other states.
“Jeff is one of the pioneers of the offshore wind industry in the U.S., and his achievements are respected across the industry,” said Thomas Brostrom, CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind, in a statement. “He built an outstanding company at Deepwater Wind and we thank him for his contributions in helping Ørsted build the leading offshore wind platform.”
Grybowski told WPRI 12 he plans to take the rest of the summer off, and then has some ideas he’d like to explore in the area of emerging technologies related to energy.
“I don’t have a lot to share now,” he said. “But I have some ideas that I’ll be talking about with people in the coming months.”
Grybowski’s exit will not change the company’s commitment to expand its offices in Providence, according to the company, which said it recently signed a lease to triple its capacity.
The leadership team will remain the same with the exception of Grybowski, according to the company.
“Ørsted is a world-class company and one of the leaders in creating a green energy future for our world. With Ørsted’s leadership, offshore wind in America has a bright future,” said Grybowski.