life at natural power

Chad Homouth

Senior project engineer

What does your role entail?

I am primarily responsible for reviewing civil engineering aspects of wind and solar projects. As a member of the advisory services team, I work with a team of engineers and specialists reviewing project documentation and identifying risks for potential lenders or buyers. I have also gained experience reviewing engineering, procurement, and construction (“EPC”) contracts for wind projects. Part of my role involves performing site visits at wind projects during construction to observe construction activities and engage with key project participants in order to identify technical or contractual risks associated with the project.

What does your day typically consist of?

A typical day for me involves reviewing civil related technical design or construction documentation for wind and solar projects. It is common for me to prepare reports summarizing the information reviewed during the due diligence process to highlight key features and potential risks. Sometimes I participate on calls with clients and act as the subject matter expert for civil related topics.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

It is engaging to interact with such a wide variety of project contributors including investors, developers, contractors and other consultants. I get exposure to a wide range of wind and solar project related topics, and I am learning new things daily, simply by working alongside people with different areas of expertise. I think the role of independent engineer or technical advisor is also a good fit for me because it involves digging into the finer details of project documents, and I enjoy the high level of detail required.                                     

How did you get into the role in the first place?

I started out my career working as a design engineer for an engineering consultant in the renewables industry. I learned through this experience that there was a lot of development and investment taking place in the wind industry, and I wanted to align more of my time with this opportunity. I was able to build a technical skillset related to design of wind turbine foundations in my previous position. When the opportunity with Natural Power arose, I was excited to utilize my previous experience and get more exposure to different levels of wind project development and exposure to solar projects.

What is the most interesting project you have worked on and why?

I am currently working on a wind project where Natural Power is the independent engineer, and concrete towers support the turbines. This is a new concept to the US wind market as steel tower support almost all of the turbines erected to date. We need to consider a whole new set of risks and design considerations for projects with concrete towers, and it has been exciting to learn some of these nuances.

What is your biggest achievement at work?

I am still in the early stages of my journey at Natural Power, so hopefully some of my biggest achievements lie ahead. Natural Power is an independent engineer on multiple wind projects, and one recent accomplishment that I am proud of is being part of a team that was able to develop and execute a plan to perform remote site visits on these projects. I was introduced to a fellow colleague with expertise in drone data-collection, and we were able to utilize his skillset to collect construction data using a drone at a time when the normal site visit participant was unable to access the site due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Do you have any hidden talents?

One might say that I was a little obsessed with ping-pong growing up, and I developed into a pretty formidable opponent. I wouldn’t say that I’m quite to the level of some of the elite players like Forrest Gump, but I think I might be able to give him a run for his money…