sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of solar assets in the U.S., with a portfolio of over 150 operating projects nationwide. Its workforce has almost doubled over the past year, adding over 80 permanent employees covering a range of positions. sPower is excited by the prospect of an expanding workforce and ready to meet the challenge of hiring experienced employees.
sPower is a developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale wind and solar assets. The company develops utility-scale projects and sells the power to large off takers such as commercial businesses or utilities. sPower is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with branch offices in California and Virginia. They own and operate over 150 projects across the U.S., totaling 13 GW either in operation or under development.
sPower has over 200 permanent staff and is growing fast, adding 80 employees in the past year alone. This growth is attributable to their increased project load as sPower acquires more utility-scale projects. Although the fastest growing positions at sPower are in their solar development team, “we have job growth across our company, as every role is integral to determining the volume of assets we can develop in any given year,” says Brian Callaway, VP Structured Finance. As the workforce expands, sPower has seen challenges in the hiring market. According to Suko Mdlawuzo, Human Resources Manager, it can be difficult to find candidates that have relevant renewable energy experience. “In spite of Salt Lake City being a great city with access to amazing outdoor lifestyle opportunities, it has been challenging, at times, to hire folks out here,” says Mdlawuzo.
sPower requires a unique set of employees for each phase of a project’s development. The strategic development phase includes business experts, land experts, and financial modeling experts to evaluate potential assets. The development phase includes a solar development team in charge of securing permits, land rights, and interconnection rights. The project execution phase includes a team of project managers working on-site to manage construction of the project. Throughout all development phases, sPower relies on a group of subject matter experts such as engineers, land and real estate experts, permitting and interconnection experts, and data analysts.
Construction of sPower’s solar facilities is contracted to large Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firms, regularly selected from a list of preferred vendors. In the past, most of the equipment procurement was handled by the EPC contractor, but sPower has begun to perform some procurement tasks in-house. Generally, the EPC contractors are not hired in the project state and will travel to the site, though in states with union labor requirements, local labor is always hired. The EPC construction managers work closely with sPower’s project managers on-site to ensure the efficient progression of each project.