Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband recently delivered a speech which focused, in part, on the “huge jobs dividend that can come from climate leadership”. That got the team here thinking about all the different roles available at Field.
Energy storage is a fast growing and exciting industry with a broader range of career opportunities than you might expect. From civil engineering to data science, there are roles to suit a range of skills, interests and personalities. And while it can be helpful to have a background in energy or renewables, it’s by no means a prerequisite for most roles, which means the industry is a great place to shape your career. If you’d like to find out more about the different opportunities within the industry, keep reading.
Development and construction
At Field, our development and construction team look after our projects from beginning to end - from first identifying the location, to the day the site goes live. This means many of them are grid specialists and civil engineers, equipped with the technical expertise and skills needed to get one of our sites plugged into the UK’s energy system. They tend to have specific energy experience or knowledge, given the nature and demands of the role.
They also have a very important role to play in working with local communities and external partners when setting up one of our sites. So, in addition to understanding the ins and outs of the grid, they also need to have strong interpersonal skills.
We caught up with Emma Devlin, one of Field’s Project Developers, to hear more about the development team and the skills required for these roles:
“As a Project Developer I'm focused on getting projects designed and consented before the construction starts. I also work alongside the Corporate Development team in conducting project due diligence on any potential BESS (battery energy storage system) acquisitions.
“Project Developers need to have strong problem solving and organisation skills - there are lots of moving parts designing and consenting any infrastructure project, and batteries are no different. It's also important that I'm able to manage the interfaces between design and construction colleagues, technical consultants and local stakeholders as well as being able to see the ‘big picture’ on the project”.
Strategy and analytics
The energy storage industry is still fairly young compared to others like wind or solar. This means it’s rapidly growing, changing and innovating (part of what makes working in the industry so interesting).
To do this, the sector must be able to draw on well-informed strategies, which in turn calls for people ‘behind the scenes’ working on data, analytics and insight. For Field, these teams are crucial – they ‘think big’, solve problems and help to chart the direction of the business.
Here’s what Alexa Strobel, Field’s Strategy Manager, had to say about her role, why she joined us and how others can follow suit:
“It’s my responsibility to look at the broader strategic questions - like new storage technologies that we might want to investigate, or which European markets could be growth opportunities for Field.
“Prior to Field I worked at a consultancy focusing on climate and sustainability; I was super excited about my new role as it presented an opportunity to have a tangible impact on emissions by building the innovative infrastructure needed for net zero.
“I’d encourage anyone just starting out to sign up to industry newsletters, articles and podcasts as it’s a great way to get immersed in the sector. I recommend Energy Storage News and Modo”.
Technology has a very important role to play in energy storage and has been instrumental in getting the industry to where it is now.
That said, we’re still learning and solving complex problems each day. This means the industry needs software developers and data scientists, along with machine learning and optimisation experts.
At Field, we have a strong team of software engineers and data scientists developing our tech platforms. They are in many ways the engine room of the business – ensuring we have the solutions and capability to solve problems and drive us forward.
We spoke to Andreas Tsangarides, Field’s Lead Data Scientist, to find out about his role since joining Field in 2021:
“I was actually Field’s first hire in the technology team and was responsible for designing the scope and roadmap for the first version of our energy trading and asset operating platform. I now also have the pleasure of leading Field’s team of talented data scientists, whilst also owning the vision of the data science team and collaborating with other teams like data engineering. This means a solid understanding of the energy storage industry is critical for my role, alongside strong direction and leadership skills.
“Throughout the course of my career I’ve spent time in utilities, fintech and in the insurtech space, but I’m a chemical engineer by trade. I’ve worked for a few different companies but what drew me to Field was the opportunity to build a trading and operating platform from the ground up with the purpose of also helping the transition to net zero - a very interesting technical challenge, but also a meaningful industry to be part of. It’s not essential to have energy experience to land most data science roles in the industry - as long as you have a keen interest in understanding how markets work you’ll quickly get up to speed”.
Finance, legal and people roles
Regardless of which sector they’re working in, businesses need strong finance, legal and people teams. The energy storage industry is no exception.
At Field, they are the glue that holds us together - whether that’s by bringing new talent into the business, negotiating contracts or ensuring we have a strong balance sheet. They’re absolutely essential to the Field business, enabling us to do the work we do.
And the great thing about these roles is that a background in renewables is by no means essential. So even if you’re some way into your career, the energy storage industry may still be a great option for you. Field is living proof that there are lots of opportunities for experienced professionals to take the skills and experience gained in other sectors and apply them in a sector that will have a lasting positive impact on the world.
Field’s Senior Corporate Development Manager, Katie Marsh, has a background in investment banking but decided to move into the impact space and join Field in 2021:
“After supporting the launch of two impact funds during my year with On Purpose, I decided I wanted to join an impactful company, but also get back in touch with my interest in science (I’m a chemist at heart).
“Since joining Field I have worked on a variety of projects, from international expansion frameworks through to hiring. My key focus and responsibilities now include driving ongoing fundraising efforts - to secure optimal financing for Field, assessing and acquiring BESS opportunities, and expanding the team. I work with a lot of internal and external stakeholders and really enjoy that. It also means people skills are key to my role, alongside attention to detail.
“My top tip for anyone considering a move into the energy and renewables space would be to stay up to date on industry news and read as much as you can. Conferences and workshops are also great ways to stay on top of current technologies and trends, in what is a constantly evolving industry”.
And that’s a wrap!
In short, the battery storage industry is growing at an impressive pace and helping to drive the transition to net zero, which means that there has never been a more exciting time to get involved in the sector. We’re currently looking to grow our talented team and you can read more about the roles Field is hiring for here.
The industry (Field included) has an important role to play in encouraging the next generation of talent into battery storage roles. To do our bit, we’re busy hiring more entry-level candidates where possible, helping them to develop the crucial skills on the job, which in turn helps to address industry-wide skills shortages.
We’ve got our work cut out for us, but are excited about the task at hand.