Position Title Project Manager
Alternate Title(s) n/a
Education & Training Level Bachelors required, prefer graduate degree
Education & Training Level Description Experience in construction management, particularly wind plant construction, is vital for project managers. Most managers have experience working on several wind plant projects before they are selected to manage one. Project managers usually hold a bachelor's degree or higher in engineering, construction management, or business management. Advanced degrees, such as an MBA, are becoming more common.
Brief job description Project managers oversee the construction of the wind plant from site selection to the final installation of turbines. They coordinate the construction of a wind project, directing and coordinating activities ensuring that the project is complete on schedule and within budget. Project managers are also involved with the contractual bidding of projects and business development for the company as a whole.
Preferred Level of Education Master's degree
Preferred Level of Experience See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Estimated/Expected Salary See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Job Profile

Project managers oversee the construction of the wind plant from site selection to the final installation of turbines. They coordinate the construction of a wind project, directing and coordinating activities ensuring that the project is complete on schedule and within budget. Project managers are also involved with the contractual bidding of projects and business development for the company as a whole.

Project managers must be familiar with all aspects of wind plant development: from budgeting, site selection, site studies, and permitting processes and safety policies to construction and transportation of wind turbines.  They have a deep understanding of wind specific construction concerns such as constraints on when cranes can operate due to high winds, geotechnical constraints on foundation types, and soil properties for cable and trenching operations. This knowledge informs construction activities as well as the development of bids for new projects.

Project managers are employed by larger construction companies, energy companies, or land owners and work under contract or as salaried employees. Because of the size and complexity of some wind plants, project managers may manage portions of the construction, such as site clearing, foundation construction, or tower erection. These managers report to a senior project manager or site manager.

Project managers divide their time between the wind plant site and their office, which may be located onsite or offsite. Primary office responsibilities include managing permitting, contracting, and the budget. At the construction site, the project manager monitors progress and performs inspections for quality control. Project managers oversee the contracting process and manage various contractors and subcontractors. They are responsible for promoting a safe work environment and ensuring strict adherence to site safety policies.

Project managers in the wind industry typically do the following:

  • Manage the design, engineering and construction of wind energy projects
  • Develop, maintain and execute the project proposal or work plan to determine time frame, funding limitations, procedures for accomplishing the project, staffing requirements and allotment of available resources to various phases of project to assure that the project requirements can be met
  • Establish or oversee the work plan, staffing, and budgeting for each phase of project execution, including design, engineering, procurement and construction, and arrange for recruitment or assignment of project personnel
  • Establish the project engineering, procurement and construction budget and take responsibility for the regular review and reporting to accounting on forecasted expenditures under the budget, as well as controlling expenditures so that the project remains within budget
  • Conduct regularly scheduled project meetings with management, clients, and subcontractors to facilitate, confirm and communicate status of the project execution plan, schedule and engineering, procurement, and construction activities
  • Provide or coordinate engineering support for development and permitting activities as needed.
  • Oversee the execution of and compliance with construction contracts and work with construction team to ensure adequate scopes of work are executed under those contracts.
  • Support project developers in developing the project and provide risk management assistance to secure power-off take arrangements, financing agreements, equity acquisition agreements, and requests for proposals (RFPs) related to the projects/sites for which the project manager is responsible
  • Work in partnership with development department to assure a seamless transition of sites into the construction phase
  • Coordinate and work with the legal department to facilitate the development, negotiation and execution of project contracts such as Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), term sheets, contracts, turbine supply agreements, equipment purchase agreements, warranty agreements, commissioning agreements. Participates and assists with the construction and financial closings
  • Coordinate the external bidding process required to procure goods and services necessary for all phases of project execution, including preparation of bid packages, evaluation of proposals, contract negotiations and recommendations to senior management
  • Work with Asset Management and Operations departments to define the requirements for adequate project turn-over and then assist with the transition of the project to Operations upon project completion
  • Oversee work product of the Construction Manager(s) and quality control personnel to project during execution of project and ensures compliance with reporting requirements under contracts and lender agreements, and to internal management.
Job Skills
  • Analytical skills. Project managers analyze various factors of a wind project, such as types of foundation and local labor rates, to identify new or innovative technical solutions to deliver a quality project at a reduced rate to the customer.
  • Communication skills. Project managers should be able to clearly present the Company and business concepts to both internal and external customers. They are required to communicate project status, requirements, etc. to clients, vendors, employees, managers and supervisors.
  • Contracting skills. Project managers are familiar with contracting procedures, assist with identifying and hiring inspectors, engineers, subcontractors, and material suppliers for specific phases of the project. They must keep in mind technical requirements of the project and contractual obligations in order to identify who is responsible for what work as well as monitor scheduling and work flow.
  • Financial skills. Project managers interpret project financial reports and prepare cash flow forecasts. They report this information to upper management and use it to determine potential impacts to the project budget.
  • Interpersonal skills. Project managers must be able to provide leadership to, collaborate and work with diverse team, including company management, engineers, construction workers, truck drivers, crane operators, and wind technicians. They will be required to communicate project status and resolve issues with clients, vendors, employees, managers and supervisors.
  • Management skills. Project managers keep track of every aspect of the construction of a wind plant to the transition of a wind plant to operations. They should have the ability to use project scheduling software and methodology to monitor resource, schedule and contract requirements. They will also be required to manage and mitigate project risks to ensure the project is completed on schedule and within budget.
Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Project Manager

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