A pioneer of the wind industry whose business shaped one of today’s most successful sector leaders has taken on a new cross-company role with the group and a seat on the board.
Willie Dawson has become Business Development Director of 3sun Group – the company that acquired his business, Dawson Energy, in 2010 – with a wide-reaching brief across all its six divisions.
Growth plans for the fast-expanding 3sun Group include developing wider service packages, exploring new niche markets and partnering with other suppliers, building on its global reputation for supplying highly-skilled technicians to wind farm projects and building long term relationships with clients.
“The time is now right for me to take a more prominent and wider role in the group and come to the front line after a few years in a support role as the company’s technical authority,” said Mr Dawson, who set up Dawson Energy in 2001.
When he sold to Great Yarmouth-based 3sun Group seven years ago it had 70 employees. In 2013, when he sold his final 25% shares to the group, there were 151 employees.
“For 3sun, the industry is vibrant. The cost of offshore wind is falling dramatically, which is encouraging more investors into the industry and means more activity in the offshore sector in the North Sea for years to come for companies like 3sun that are very established players in the supply chain.
“We will be facing increased competition but our track record indicates we have a reputation and maturity which means we are well positioned for the future.”
3sun Group chief executive Graham Hacon said Mr Dawson had always been integral to the group and would be a major addition to the board as the company moved into a new chapter.
“Willie has contributed much to the company. He is a highly-respected figure in the renewable energy industry and a true pioneer in his field.
“His knowledge, expertise and rapport with contacts in the energy world will be a huge asset to developing the wider work of the 3sun group as we move into a busy and exciting era.”
Mr Dawson, 48, started in onshore wind during its early development, with Dawson Energy transitioning to offshore wind. Some technicians have been with him since he started in Scotland.
“Within 3sun Group, we have continued to be what we always were – a supplier of specialist onshore and offshore installation and O&M services that puts our customers at the heart of our business. We are very much a people business.
The expertise of 3sun Group’s other divisions added “arms and legs” to the core body of technician supply work putting the company ahead of increasing competition, he said.
“We can offer a much broader package, handling all aspects of work. 3sun Inspection Services is very strong and we can train customers and staff as well through the 3sun Academy.”
“3sun Group offers multiple scopes of services. For example, between the Rampion and Galloper offshore wind farm contracts we are doing the whole range of 3sun Group services.”
“On Rampion, we are supplying three or four scopes of work, including offshore installation, bolt tensioning on the transition pieces and inspection services.
“Meanwhile, for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, we are completing pre-assembly, a part of our offer we are not doing on Rampion.”
Mr Dawson said his style was to spend time “on the shop floor.”
“It’s important to me that I am on site talking to technicians and customers, discussing solutions and operations.
“It takes years to build up a network of contacts, which is a platform for opening doors. Now I can use them to good effect again, not just for Dawson Energy, but across the whole 3sun Group offer.”
Mr Hacon set up 3sun Group 10 years ago offering services to the oil & gas industry. Today, more than 90% of its work is in renewables after Mr Dawson, who lives in Bergen, Norway, sold the business.
“I was juggling a growing business in the UK and a growing young family in Norway. Now is the time to be back at the forefront.”