Program Engineer

Interstate Renewable Energy Council Published: March 15, 2021
Location
Flexible/remote home office.
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
Energy / Engineering / Policy /

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Description

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. IREC’s vision is a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable, and IREC works toward this mission and vision by providing independent leadership and trusted clean energy expertise.

Grounded in the latest research and objective analysis, IREC’s Regulatory Program aims to increase adoption of policies and regulatory reforms that expand access to and streamline grid integration of distributed energy resources to optimize their widespread benefits.

Since 1982, IREC has established itself as a leading national 501(c)(3) national non-partisan, non-profit organization. Through collaborative partnerships with diverse stakeholders, IREC seeks to build consensus and achieve workable solutions to create a sustainable and economically strong clean energy future. More information about IREC’s work is available on our website: www.irecusa.org.

IREC operates virtually with a small office in Albany, New York. It has employees located in eight states. In 2021, IREC will grow with the merger of The Solar Foundation, doubling its budget and staffing. After the merger, IREC will also have an office in Washington, DC.

IREC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and embracing a workplace with diverse voices and perspectives. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions.

About the Position

IREC is in search of an ambitious, self-motivated, and self-directed Program Engineer to support IREC’s state and national engagement and leadership on distributed energy resource policies. This position will provide support for IREC’s Regulatory Program, with direction from IREC’s Chief Regulatory Engineer and reporting to IREC’s Regulatory Vice President, and will interface with IREC’s regulatory team of attorneys, as well as IREC’s Management Team.

IREC is seeking an electrical engineer who is familiar with electric distribution and transmission system design and engineering, distributed energy resources (DER) design and engineering, and who is able to provide technical expertise to support IREC’s Regulatory Program. These efforts support IREC’s mission to enable significantly higher penetrations of DERs, increase consumer access to clean energy, and expedite the transition to a more modern, low-carbon electricity grid. IREC’s regulatory engagement is focused on achieving the following objectives:

  • Support IREC’s vision of a 100% clean energy future.
  • Enable the widespread deployment of distributed clean energy resources such that they provide 10% of U.S. electricity by 2030 and 25% of electricity by 2050.
  • Advance scalable strategies to integrate significantly higher amounts of distributed clean energy (i.e., renewable energy, energy storage, electrification of transportation and buildings, and other technologies) into the grid safely, reliably, and affordably.

The Program Engineer will excel at distribution engineering technical matters, be conversant in transmission engineering technical issues, be familiar with regulatory and policy matters impacting distributed generation, and be adept at writing and communicating technical concepts to diverse audiences, particularly policy audiences. This position will entail coordination with diverse partners, tracking multiple regulatory issues, project management, and execution of deliverables in a timely and efficient manner. The Program Engineer will also contribute thought-leadership and insight on the technical aspects of regulatory policies that will help remove barriers to DER deployment and support the implementation of IREC’s regulatory strategy. The Program Engineer will provide additional programmatic support for related Regulatory Program grants and initiatives as needed.

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Salary: Commensurate with experience and training
    Position reports to: Vice President – Regulatory Program
  • Location: Flexible/remote home office. Applicants from all locations will be given consideration, but candidates should be prepared and able to travel to meetings, workshops, and related events across the United States, once such travel resumes.
  • Benefits: Health insurance, retirement match, personal time off

Responsibilities

Under the direction of IREC’s Regulatory Vice President, Chief Regulatory Engineer, and Management Team, and in coordination with IREC’s legal team, the Program Engineer will:

  • Provide guidance, insight, and pertinent information to help inform IREC’s regulatory engagement in state interconnection, grid modernization, and other relevant proceedings across the United States (e.g., California, New York, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, and other jurisdictions). This may include drafting and/or reviewing regulatory comments and testimony relating to certain technical elements under consideration.
  • Provide expert analysis of proposed technical standards for the interconnection of distributed energy resources. This will include the technical screening and study process for proposed interconnections, implementation of smart inverter settings, evaluation of proposed mitigations and grid upgrades for distributed projects, and other related topics.
  • Provide review of and input on technical and policy matters regarding utility hosting capacity methodologies to enable the interconnection of, and planning for, distributed energy resources in the aforementioned state proceedings.
  • Coordinate with utilities to better understand their interconnection and hosting capacity methodologies and approaches, including how they intersect with other distribution planning and interconnection methodologies and/or protocols.
  • Participate in regulatory meetings, workshops, phone calls and/or other forums to represent IREC’s mission and vision. Part of this participation may entail negotiations with utilities and other involved regulatory stakeholders, with the aim of achieving consensus-based solutions.
  • Support IREC’s communications efforts to convey relevant and timely information regarding regulatory issues and proceedings to identified target audiences.
  • Develop recommendations and solutions on the issues described above.
  • Interface with public utility commission staff, utility engineers, distributed energy resources companies, environmental and consumer advocates, technical standards and research organizations, and other key stakeholders.
  • Respond to specific inquiries and/or technical questions that might arise in workshops, technical conferences, and/or in response to comments submitted in the proceedings.
  • Coordinate and communicate with IREC’s team of attorneys, engineers, and other experts to support their successful engagement in state regulatory proceedings.
  • Support the development of key Regulatory Program reports, publications, and other public tools.
  • Work with and communicate regularly with IREC’s diverse partners and stakeholders to build and nurture key relationships.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

Required

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in electrical engineering preferred; related fields of study and/or experience, such as mechanical engineers with power system and electrical engineering experience will be considered
  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience
  • Strong understanding and knowledge of distribution and transmission engineering, electricity markets, regulations, and key policies impacting distributed energy resource markets, including: interconnection standards, energy storage, grid modernization, grid integration, and other relevant regulatory issues
  • Strong research and analytic skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly with regulatory and policy audiences
  • Ability to work independently and with diverse teams
  • Self-directed, organized, and motivated
  • Proficient in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Preferred

  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in engineering or related field
  • Experience working with or for utilities in a distribution engineering role
  • Experience with the interconnection of distributed energy resources to distribution and transmission systems
  • Knowledge of relevant standards, such as IEEE 1547 and UL 1741

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to submit the following materials, with the subject line “Regulatory Program Engineer Application”:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Contact information for professional references
  4. Writing sample(s)
  5. Relevant example of engineering work or research

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