Axpo Group strengthens its wind and solar business

12.09.2022 - Expanding renewable energies domestically and abroad is an important pillar of the Axpo strategy. After ten years of development, Axpo is integrating the wind and solar business into two in-house divisions to support the ambition of continuing to make a substantial contribution to the expansion of climate-friendly power production. Katja Stommel, CEO of the Axpo subsidiary Volkswind, will become the Head of the new Wind division. Antoine Millioud will take over as the Head of the Solar division. He has also been appointed the CEO of Axpo's subsidiary Urbasolar.

As the largest producer of renewable energies in Switzerland, Axpo recognised the need for renewable energy early on. In addition to continuous investments in hydropower, the wind and solar energy business was systematically developed under the direction of Christoph Sutter, Head Renewables at Axpo.

The strategic acquisition of the wind developer Volkswind in the year 2015 and the solar developer Urbasolar in the year 2019 enabled Axpo to contribute to the expansion of climate-friendly power production on a European scale. Over the years, the two subsidiaries were developed to become strong growing competence centres for wind and solar energy. Today, over 500 of Axpo's nearly 5000 employees work in these two areas. As consequence of the strong growth in the two business fields, Axpo has established a wind and a solar division within its organisation. "With this step, we want to underpin the importance of the wind and solar business areas, and send out a clear signal for our strategy in the area of renewables," says Andy Heiz, Head Business Area Generation & Distribution and Deputy CEO.

Christoph Sutter was instrumental in advancing and defining the development and expansion of renewable energies at Axpo over the last ten years. He has decided to leave the company in the fall of 2022 and return to his profession as an independent entrepreneur in the area of renewable energies and climate protection.

Katja Stommel, CEO of the Axpo subsidiary Volkswind, will take over as the Head of the Wind division as of 1 October 2022. With Antoine Millioud, Axpo has found an experienced leader to head up the Solar division. He will begin the position in the fall of 2022. 

About Katja Stommel

Katja Stommel (52), German, has been the CEO of the Axpo subsidiary Volkswind since 2015. Volkswind is a leading wind farm developer and operator in Germany and France. She founded Volkswind together with two partners in 1993 and successively developed the company over the years.

In 2015, the Axpo Group took over Volkswind. Under the direction of Katja Stommel the company has continued to grow in its core markets Germany and France, as well as in niche markets such as Romania. Katja Stommel and her team have realised over 80 wind farm projects with an installed capacity totalling over 1,350 MW in Germany and France.

Katja Stommel is a banking professional and holds a degree in Mathematics.

About Antoine Millioud

Antoine Millioud (53), Swiss, has been the CEO of aventron, a leading Swiss producer of renewable energies, since 2013. In this function, Millioud increased the company's renewable power production portfolio tenfold to 700 MW through the construction and acquisition of solar, hydro and wind power plants.

Previously, he was in charge of Holding Management at IWB. In this role, he was responsible for the acquisition of over 200 MW in solar and wind projects and for the supervision of IWB holdings in large-scale Swiss hydropower.

Together with the Australian Family Office Transfield Holdings, he worked in the area of international private equity transactions in the energy and real estate sector for many years. Other positions as a management consultant at AT Kearney in Sydney and as a project manager with Alstom Power (today GE) in Baden round-off his long-standing experience. Antoine Millioud holds a  degree in Mechanical Engineering from the ETH and also has an MBA from INSEAD.

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