New Vestas chief has long history in energy

Chris Brown, former Chief Operating Officer for the City of Detroit, will take over Vestas' North American operations.

New Vestas Americas President Chris Brown. 

After two years trying to rewrite the city of Detroit’s finances, organizational structure and street lighting system, Chris Brown returns to an industry he knows well.

Brown, 52, on Monday was appointed president of Vestas Americas, the Portland-based U.S. sales and service headquarters of Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas A/S.

Brown spent 16 years in various senior management positions before joining Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s administration in January 2011.

That includes positions as as senior vice president of Singapore Power, managing director of Singapore Power International, director of Asia operations for Entergy Corp. and counsel for Constellation Energy.

More recently, he was an executive vice president with DTE Energy Resources, a division of Detroit-based utility DTE Energy, until he left in 2005 to form Deepwater Wind LLC, a startup offshore wind energy company.

Deepwater later moved from Michigan to Rhode Island, where it is working to develop a handful of large-scale offshore wind farms for major East Coast markets. Brown left Deepwater in 2008 shortly after the company was selected by the state of Rhode Island to build a $1.5 billion offshore wind farm off the state’s coast, according to a Providence Journal report.

Vestas issued a brief biography stating that Brown’s experience includes creating strategies around solar, wind, industrial-scale biomass, landfill gas, coal mine methane, carbon dioxide offset trading, and carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

According to report on, Brown also worked as a senior advisor in Michigan's Office of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth, was a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office, and has been a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering.

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