Planning Engineer, Utility Planning
Silicon Ranch Corporation is one of the nation’s leading developer, owner and operators of utility scale solar energy plants. We deliver energy with zero carbon emissions and zero water consumption needs.
- We focus on providing excellent customer service, while developing creative and cost- effective custom solar energy solutions.
- We work with a diverse set of customers including utilities, electrical cooperatives, military and defense facilities, large industrial and commercial businesses.
- Our customized approach delivers clean energy in a manner that reduces environmental impacts and aids in economic development in local communities through capital investment, increased tax revenues, and job growth.
We are experiencing significant growth and are looking for the following to join our dynamic and fast-growing team:
Position: Planning Engineer, Utility Planning
Reports to: Director of Utility Planning, Energy Delivery
Location: Nashville, TN
The Utility Planning department is responsible for performing studies and analysis of the transmission grid in support of Silicon Ranch’s project siting, development, and operations. The Utility Planning department is an integral part of each Silicon Ranch project through its entire lifecycle. The key objectives of Utility Planning are to provide the development team with insights that will provide a competitive advantage in locating projects, help develop projects reliably and efficiently by optimizing project configuration and design relative to the grid, provide quality estimates of interconnection cost and congestion risks for input to financial models, and provide support as needed for Silicon Ranch’s operating fleet.
The Planning Engineer is responsible for assisting in the developing and maintaining transmission grid planning strategy, processes, documentation, and resources necessary for carrying out the mission of the Utility Planning department.
Utility Planning will pro-actively perform high-level studies and analysis of the transmission grid in support of Silicon Ranch’s project that will provide Project Development and operations with information regarding system injection capability and, where applicable, curtailment and congestion outlook across assigned areas. Once a potential site, or project acquisition is identified, Utility Planning will indicate any fatal flaws relative to the available connection point, provide a detailed level of analysis to help identify the appropriate point of interconnection to optimize the project’s size and configuration based on the grid’s capacity at that point.
The utility’s interconnection process will then be imitated in order to develop preliminary interconnection and network upgrade cost estimates. Congestion and curtailment analysis will also be performed, if applicable, to provide a view of the projects basis exposure and economic curtailment outlook.
As projects progresses through the interconnection study process, Utility Planning will support the Interconnection department with review of study reports and investigation into issues to allow for inform decisions around a project’s viability, potential interconnection queue implications, and potential options going forward. Utility Planning will also manage any consultant studies regarding congestion, interconnection, or grid capacity and will review and summarize any study results from these efforts.
Utility Planning will continue to provide value for operating projects by projecting future curtailment and basis/nodal pricing exposure, investigate transmission outages and associated reliability impacts, investigate potential impacts of new generation or transmission projects or policy changes to Silicon Ranch facilities.
Planning Engineer will engage with RTO/ISOs and Transmission Providers organizations in their stakeholder processes to keep up with any changes, and where able, to advocate for outcomes that are favorable to the company, its customers, and for the reliability of the bulk electric system. Based on these standards and requirements, the appropriate tools, methods, processes, documentation, expertise, and consultant relationships must be developed/procured and maintained.
Education & Experience
- Electrical Engineering Degree (advanced degree preferred)
- 4+ year of transmission experience in planning, interconnections, policy, and/or operations
- Professional Engineering license preferred
- Fundamental understanding of US power markets, operations and regulations
- Transmission planning standards and requirements (FERC, NERC, and others)
- Transmission tariffs and interconnection processes of RTOs, ISOs, and Utilities across the U.S.
- Transmission line and substation equipment, design, configuration, and protection concepts
- Power flow modeling and transmission planning concepts and mechanics
- Communicate complex technical issues with management and non-technical audiences
- Communicate effectively across the organization and with external parties
- Make timely decisions with available information, quickly identify major issues or gating items
- Find ways to use transmission grid analysis to give Silicon Ranch a competitive advantage through innovation, entrepreneurial mindset, and can-do attitude
- Manage team and balance competing external requests to provide quality results in the required timeframes
- Working knowledge of industry standard transmission planning tools
- Working knowledge of database, programming, visualization, and reporting concepts and tools