Herding cats! My day mostly consists of liaising with clients, Natural Power colleagues, sub-contractors and consultees to progress renewable energy projects at various stages in their lifecycle, ranging from initial site feasibility and preparing planning applications, through to post consent work.
Every day is different. Given the wide variety of assessments required as part of a renewable energy development application (e.g. in an Environmental Statement), I am always learning something new which keeps the role interesting. Most importantly, I am working in a job in which I think that I’m making a positive difference!
I finished a degree in Ocean Exploration at Plymouth, but didn’t want to work in oil and gas, so I went on to do an MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing at Aberystwyth University. It had a work experience module as part of it, in which I worked with Mick Green at Ecology Matters, and partook in some wind farm ecology surveys. Mick informed me of a job going at Natural Power, so I applied and got the job!
I enjoy finding new opportunities for sites, by understanding the constraints and finding solutions to them. These can be physical barriers, such as erecting a wind farm in a particular location, and can range to more novel opportunities, for example I am currently assessing the opportunities of deploying PV arrays on forested clear-fell sites.
This year (2015) I managed and submitted planning applications for two wind farms concurrently, with a total capacity of 68 MW. This was whilst also being involved in the successful sale of the first CfD wind farm in the UK (Brenig Wind Farm).
Since starting at Natural Power I have carried out feasibility assessments on 13 wind farm sites and 26 solar sites across England and Wales. I have also project managed the planning applications of two wind farm developments, with a total capacity of 68 MW, and have been involved in post-consent work for four wind farms across the UK.
I would recommend keeping up to date with the latest developments in the UK renewables industry, looking at Environmental Statements for wind farms or solar parks to see what kind of assessments need to be carried out, and try to get any relevant experience you can! If there are any local renewable energy community groups where you live see if you can join them and help out, or start your own!back to day in the life