Matthew Martin #TeamRenewables
by RES | Dec 07, 2023 | Reading time: 3 min
A quick browse on RES’ website for job vacancies three weeks before Matthew was due to start a graduate scheme at another renewable energy developer, turned into a journey of 10 years. This journey recently culminated in his most recent career move to Asset Manager for energy storage projects (and one wind farm) across the UK&I.
In this latest edition of #TeamRenewables, Matthew transports us back to the Blackberry era and shares how renewable energy took him to South Korea along the way as we find out more about him and his current role as an Asset Manager for RES in the UK&I.
Career Journey so far…
After completing my degree in Physics, I worked for a well-known telecommunications company for several years, initially providing technical support to small and medium sized business users I then progressed to setting up and supporting larger businesses with Blackberry devices (remember them!?) and the servers used to manage the handsets.
After a few years of working, I decided to go back to university where I completed a Masters in Renewable Energy. The course introduced me to different aspects of renewable energy generation as well as more general topics like Project and Risk Management. During the course, I worked on a group project helping to design a small-scale hydro project in the north of Scotland as well as spending three months completing my research project on solar panel faults in Busan, South Korea.
When I returned, I stayed on at university working as a research assistant focussing on modelling frequency response from domestic demands (e.g. fridges/freezers, dishwashers and washing machines) before joining RES in 2013.
Currently I am part of a smaller team within asset management with a focus on energy storage projects. We work collaboratively with other teams such as O&M, contracts and legal, finance, high voltage, analysis and optimisation, control centre, business development and many more who all contribute to the smooth running of our customers’ assets.
I am responsible for the overall running of each of the sites I manage, ensuring we provide an excellent service and maximise profits for the owner. It is our responsibility to ensure the safe, long-term management of the asset. We provide reporting, site inspections, budget management and oversee other contractors such as O&M providers, to name but a few examples. Where there are opportunities for RES to provide enhancements to projects, we work to present these to the client and then implement them on their behalf.
Recently I was invited to attend the official opening of Greengairs East Wind Farm. This is a 36MW, eight turbine site located in North Lanarkshire. It was great to see the substantial number of people from the local community in attendance. Having spent most of my career working on the early development stages of wind farms it was exciting to be there at the end of what I know is a long and hard process involving so many people.
What does a day in the life look like for you?
This is definitely one of those every day is different jobs! Currently my main focus is supporting one of our customers through the final commissioning phase of a 20MW battery site. RES asset management, O&M and high voltage teams have been asked to support the project to ensure that it is operational as quickly as possible. This has been a great learning opportunity but also helped to highlight to our customer the excellent support we can provide, even before we have technically started on-site.
More typically, I will be working with O&M to facilitate any necessary maintenance, reviewing invoices, and raising purchase orders as required. I ensure that regular reporting is up to date, and budgets for any chargeable work in progress are continuously reviewed. I also may need to approve safety documents for site managers or review RAMS.
Tell us about your favourite hobbies and interests
I have two young boys so most of my free time is spent running them to various clubs or their latest social event! I also help out with Cubs and coaching rugby. Living in Scotland I have grown up with a love of being outdoors. Now I live near the start of the West Highland Way so when I can find the time, I like to get out running, cycling or walking – just exploring as much as I can. This year my friend and I spent two days cycling from Oban to Inverness, wild camping along the way and more recently I ran the Aviemore half marathon.