Ulli Pieplow is the Assistant Facility Manager for Armow Wind in the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario.
Welcome to Canada
His zest for life coupled with a passion for renewable energy led him to emigrate from Germany to Ontario in 1988.
“I grew up in Germany, and once I was educated I wanted to live in a place that was less regulated and felt more free. I had a contact in Ontario, decided to move here, and experienced Canadian culture the moment I arrived.”
That was a loaded statement, so I asked him to explain. He started laughing, and I got the feeling Ulli was the gregarious type who enjoyed sharing a good story.
“When I landed at Pearson Airport, I didn’t speak English!” Ulli, still laughing, told me enthusiastically. “I received directions on where to head from a woman working in an office at the airport but didn’t understand what she was saying. I kept going back to her office, and once she realized how lost I was she turned off the lights, closed her door, took me by the hand and walked me to the bus stop I needed.”
“Wow, that must have been a relief,” I said.
Ulli got a bit more animated and replied, “It gets better. I was sitting at the bus stop the woman led me to without realizing I would be sitting there for four hours waiting for a bus. The woman realized this and went to find a different bus. She flagged it down and had it come get me. The bus wasn’t supposed to be in my terminal! The driver made a special case to pick me up, and…” he paused here. “…And that was my introduction to this beautiful place. I was welcomed here in this country, and I have found that to be the Canadian mentality. I love it.”
Farm Owner and Renewable Energy Leader
From 1988-1996, Ulli worked as an Agricultural Engineer for a contractor that was building wind turbines. He inspected them all, making sure they were in compliance.
“I bought a farm in ‘94. It’s one hundred acres of corn, wheat, and soybeans in rotation,” he told me. “I still own it now. I enjoy connection to the land. I enjoy creating and making things.”
Ulli is so passionate about renewable energy and its positive effects on the environment, back in 1993 he was downloading data from wind towers, and the data showed that Armow would be an excellent place for a wind farm.
“I went from studying data to becoming second in command at Armow Wind! I have the perfect career. Due to my love of sustainable living and the outdoors, I came to believe in renewables. Wind power has a very low impact on the environment that I love, and for those reasons I enjoy working in wind.”
Ulli has two children. Benjamin is 22 and works as a consultant in IT, and his daughter Christine, 20, runs a dog care business in Kincardine.
We neared the end of time together, and Ulli said: “Canada has been very good to my family, and Pattern Canada made it possible for me to support them doing work I am passionate about. I am a lucky man.”