Veli-Matti Lehtinen

Financial Analyst, Project Development, Wärtsilä Energy Business

Helsinki, Finland

1 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Finland


An ever-growing Energy Talent

The phrase ‘it’s a small world’ seems to be more than a cliché. At least if you ask Veli-Matti Lehtinen, who moved from Australia to Finland just to shake hands with his childhood neighbour who happened to join Wärtsilä on the very same day with him. After 15 years apart, the similar career aspirations of the two came as quite a surprise – but catching up and reconnecting with an old friend has naturally made the work even more fun.

“I joined the company through the first-ever Energy Talent program where Wärtsilä was looking for fresh graduates with a hunger to grow their energy expertise. I had just finalised my studies in Australia and was looking for positions in the energy industry. When seeing the open Energy Talent position, I knew immediately that it was made for me,” Veli-Matti recalls.

Now, Veli-Matti works as a Financial Analyst within a team that develops energy projects for the Americas. “We structure investments for projects that utilise Wärtsilä’s technology. The objective is to pursue strategic project opportunities where Wärtsilä can support beyond the sale of the equipment used for power generation,” Veli-Matti describes. “My role as a Financial Analyst is to evaluate these opportunities from the financial perspective, such as the financial feasibility of a project.”

Fortunately, the Energy Talent program has fulfilled Veli-Matti’s expectations; the opportunity to learn daily and to grow one’s own expertise with mentoring colleagues as well as helpful team mates are making the journey fun and rewarding. Still, there is one moment that stands out from these joys. “For now, the most exciting moment has been when I presented my first financial analysis for a project that combined engines, energy storage and renewable energy sources. After all that hard work, it was rewarding to realize the level of trust that was given to my work, even if I hadn’t been with the company for that long.”

Since then, Veli-Matti has made quite a few of these calculations – most significant for him being the ones which help nations to plan their path towards 100% renewable energy. “The best part of working here is the passion and dedication you feel every day from people around you when we, as a team, work towards our 100% renewable vision. I can see my own piece of contribution so clearly as we’ve figured out best solutions, for example, for a Caribbean island wanting to transition to a more renewable energy future,” he describes.

As Veli-Matti sees Wärtsilä’s expertise of integrating renewable energy to the energy mix from close-by, he thinks the company should start looking at new opportunities in difficult markets and areas where the steps towards renewable future are not so obvious. Educating markets about the opportunities of power integration does pay off – Veli-Matti has seen it himself. “It was a real eye-opener when I realised for the first time how flexibility provided by Wärtsilä technologies can change the way our customers see renewable energy integration – even in a system where it was previously thought impossible or at least economically unfeasible. This made our vision more real to me – and confirmed my thinking that it is more than just a fancy phrase.”

With its 100% renewable energy future, Veli-Matti sees Wärtsilä taking a significant responsibility. “Wärtsilä has already made major efforts to educate the world about the future that lies ahead and has changed its business model to better fit with the complexity of today and the future. We need to make the best possible effort to make the world understand the value we can bring with our solutions,” he says.

“Besides, we need to be equipped to handle new business opportunities that may now seem to be out of our core business. What does the future hold? No one knows, but what’s for sure is that everyone wants renewables – and it is our advantage at Wärtsilä that we stopped to think what it actually requires,”
he ends positively.

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