Wind energy operations managers oversee wind farm operations. They manage employees, maintenance activities, financial activities, and planning.
What is the difference between a windmill and a wind turbine? Aren't they the same thing? A windmill (which has been around for about 1500 years) is a device that uses wind to perform a mechanical job. A windmill can saw wood or grind grain, for example. A wind turbine is a tower that can look similar to a windmill but transforms wind power into energy, which can be used to heat and provide lighting to homes and businesses.
Even though human beings have used wind power and windmills for hundreds of years, wind energy farms are a new crop in the green economy. Engineers and project managers design and build wind energy farms. Wind energy operations managers set goals and oversee the day-to-day work of wind energy farms. They make sure they meet production goals and keep the turbines running well.
One of the main tasks of a wind energy operations manager is to oversee the maintenance of wind farm equipment. For example, they determine if towers or transformers need cleaning or repair. Wind energy farms are located in rural areas, or even in the ocean. So, managers make sure roadways and boats have access to the turbines. This ensures that workers, engineers, and technicians can reach them easily.
Operations managers often must estimate costs for fixing or improving equipment. They also order parts and tools needed for maintenance and upgrades.
As new farms begin to produce energy, operations managers work with engineers and project managers. They use their communication skills with the wind farm's customers, site managers, landowners, and residents. Operations managers also work with local utilities and governments. They must be organized and detail oriented to prepare budgets and keep records. They may also prepare and approve contracts.
A big part of running a wind energy farm is managing employees. Managers supervise employees and subcontractors. They make sure employees do good work and follow safety regulations. They oversee budgets and costs, schedules, and timelines. Like any manager, they resolve any conflicts that may arise, whether it is over a budget item or a deadline. They may also recruit and hire employees and contractors. They often help train new employees, help them learn day-to-day tasks, and ensure workers comply with regulations and codes.
Usually work indoors, but may on occasion work outside. Are exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable on a weekly basis. Factory machines can be quite loud. Work near others. They often share the same work space.
No specific Legal requirements have been identified.
Bachelor's Degree (High School + 4 or more Years)
4% - Slower than average
Annual: $75,710 - $137,220
Hourly: $36 - $66
The IGEN VCN initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration and the Illinois Green Economy Network under the leadership of the American Association of Community Colleges
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