Energy Career Profile: Wind Energy Developer
December 12, 2018
Wind energy is an exciting sector in which to work right now. Technology is advancing at an unprecedented speed and the percentage of wind power that makes up the global mix is creeping up. To top it all off, some giant turbines have been popping up around the world. One notable turbine is so powerful that with just one rotation it can power your home for the whole day. Pretty impressive stuff, right?
If you want to get in on the action, there is no better time than now to join the wind energy workforce. It is one of the few sectors that is growing exponentially, so there is always a need for bright, innovative workers. Here is what your future could look like if you take the path of wind energy development.
Basics of the Job
You know those wind farms you often see when you’re driving near the coast or flying over the sea? You will be in charge of transforming those from ideas on a piece of paper to the real deal. The turbines you set in motion will be responsible for powering thousands of local homes because you found a utility company willing to buy this slightly more expensive, but infinitely cleaner energy source from you.
Before you knew it, your bedroom light was being powered by the very energy you helped create. Being a wind energy developer comes with a lot of responsibility, but it is all worth it in the end when you can see the tangible results of your labour. And, as a cherry on top, you will be part of the team that saves the planet from destruction by promoting sustainable energy.
Essentially, your job is to build wind farms, but there are a number of elements to this that need to be considered. First you need to determine where the wind farm should be and acquire the relevant permissions for building it. You will find the most suitable location by analysing meteorological data and looking at existing infrastructure in the area.
Once you have secured the land, you’ll need to conduct a feasibility survey and make sure there is someone willing to buy your energy. This means approaching utility companies and pitching your wind energy to them. When everything is good to go and you have the required capital, you can start building. While construction takes place, reports will need to be written up and it is likely you will present at regular intervals to managers and shareholders.
Where to Work
The beauty of wind energy is that it can be found wherever the wind blows, which is pretty much anywhere in the world. You will spend your time in the field searching for appropriate locations for your wind farm and making presentations to officials and the public. You will also visit your site regularly during the subsequent phases before construction.
In the office, you will be busy writing the necessary reports and working with the legal team to draft lease agreements and contracts. You will also need to stay abreast any developments in the wind sector, so a chunk of your time will be devoted to market research.
Who to Work For
Wind energy developers can most usually find work with energy firms, particularly those interested in green energy. There are also positions with government bodies and environmental firms. Alternatively, you could strike out alone and work as a consultant, which requires more effort as you always need to find new projects, but it gives you greater control over when and where you work.