life at natural power

Lynn Appollis-Laurent

Principal Engineer, energy storage

When did you join Natural Power? 

I joined Natural Power in May 2021. 


What does your day typically consist of? 

I usually start my day by going through my inbox and sorting out urgent messages from those that require more attention. As an advisor for energy storage projects, I am responsible for offering technical assistance by scrutinizing project-related materials and answering any related questions. My daily activities are subject to change depending on the projects that I am handling. I scrutinize project documents such as contracts, equipment specifications, drawings, and design documentation to identify potential risks when providing technical due diligence services. On the other hand, close collaboration with the client is indispensable when in the role of an owner's engineer, providing advisory services whenever necessary. Ensuring timely completion of assigned tasks while meeting the expectations of both internal and external clients is a top priority. It is crucial for individuals in the renewable energy industry to stay informed on market trends and regulations. In order to keep up with the ever-changing industry, I dedicate time each day to stay informed by checking industry media. 


What is the most challenging part of your role? 

As part of my work, I often encounter instances where it is assumed that practices used in other more mature renewable energy technologies like solar and wind can be implemented in a Battery Energy Storage (BESS) project. My responsibility is to guide clients through the intricacies of BESS projects and suggest ways to minimize risks to guarantee successful execution.  Through my experience in deploying energy storage projects, I have come to realize that close collaboration with various key stakeholders such as BESS integrators, OEMs, EPC, and owners is imperative. This is because of the integrated nature and the involvement of multiple parties. Effective management of the integrated team's roles and responsibilities is critical to ensuring a successful installation and commissioning process for the BESS.  This can include following stringent QA/QC processes, adhering to OEM manuals, designs, and best practices, and proactively identifying issues – paying attention to the most minor details can significantly reduce time spent in the field. Working alongside our teams and clients to meet their expectations and provide excellent service is one of my top priorities. 


What is the most interesting type of work you have done and why? 

Throughout my professional journey, I have faced thrilling opportunities and difficult hurdles that have imparted valuable lessons for my personal and career growth. These skills have been transferrable across different roles, organizations, and continents. One of my most exhilarating experiences was flying over the southwestern mountain ranges of the Western Cape, South Africa, conducting high-voltage powerline and servitude inspections while hanging halfway out of a helicopter - an activity I probably would not be willing to repeat. The most formidable experience was being instrumental in restoring an islanded transmission grid that was connected to a nuclear plant, following a network blackout.  On the other hand, it is no small feat to commission a BESS in the heat of July in the Mojave Desert. Nevertheless, thanks to the exceptional teams that supported me, I feel fortunate to have been a part of these experiences.  


Provide a hidden talent or quirky fact about yourself!? 

Although I wouldn't consider it a talent, I have a few hobbies that keep my life outside of work interesting. These include tending to my 35 rose bushes, improving my golf game, and trying to catch that elusive steelhead.