In the Ask an Expert series, HeatSpring instructors and industry thought leaders answer a question on the minds of the HeatSpring community. We are joined by Dylan Reitenbach, Project Manager at a national solar developer and financier. 

In this session, Dylan answers the question – what skills do teams need to execute utility-scale solar projects? To check out Dylan’s response, you can either watch the video or read the transcript below.

Brit: Hello, HeatSpring community. We’re here with Dylan Reitenbach and he is a project manager who works on distributed generation and small scale utility projects across the country.

And today he’s going to answer the question for us – what skills do teams need to execute utility-scale solar projects?

Dylan: Thanks Brit and thanks HeatSpring for inviting me on, really happy to be here and talk about what I do, who I am, and some of the details surrounding utility-scale projects. Like Brit said, my name’s Dylan, and I work for a developer/financer on the project management side. 

What does that mean? Simply put, I work with EPC partners. I work with AHJs. I work with utility companies to develop and execute, build and operate, projects that range from 2 to 10 megawatts, 11 to 15 to 20 megawatts, which is more in the distributed generation space and small utility-scale arena in the industry. It’s fairly challenging work.

Of course, the concepts are the same. They’re just amplified by however many megawatts you’re doing. And it really does require a fine attention to detail, working collaboratively and with a high level of communication with your partners. We try to be as transparent as possible with our partners while solving problems that may derail or delay the project.

And just, being multifaceted, always, always working the details from all angles from the start of the project, which for me would be more on the development end.  Dealing with land owners, trickling down requirements to our diligence team, underwriting team, financial modeling.We’re involved as project managers from a technical perspective during all those phases.

Prior to this role, I was working for an EPC on the construction side, both as a site superintendent and then a project manager.  When you’re building these projects in the field the construction company has so many things on their plate, so many details that they are trying to iron out constantly on a day-to-day basis.

And the goal remains the same for everyone: it’s to keep the project on schedule under budget and make sure the system’s going to operate to its intended production and capacity. So all of that kind of plays into what it takes, what type of skills are needed to execute utility-scale project.