Charmaine O’Donnell – #TeamRenewables
by RES | Jul 28, 2022 | Reading time: 4 min
It’s been a busy few years for the onshore wind team with their portfolio doubling in size and a recruitment drive to meet current demands. In this month’s Team Renewables, we catch up with Charmaine O’Donnell, Senior Project Manager UK&I.
Charmaine has enjoyed a 12-year career with RES, but she hasn’t always been in the renewables industry. Her environmental planning and housing market experience lent itself well when she made the transition and since her time with us she has proved herself to be a key member of the RES team.
Read her story in the latest #teamrenewables:
I started working as a planning assistant with North Lanarkshire Council when I graduated with an Honors degree in Environmental Planning. I got my RTPI whilst there, but preferred the development side, so I moved to Barratt Homes as their land manager in the early 2000’s. I was sadly made redundant when the housing market crashed in 2008 but fortunately took up a position soon after with RPS as a planning consultant in renewables before joining RES in January 2010 as a new sites manager for Scotland.
During my time with RES, I have mainly been involved in wind farm development, but I’ve also assisted with solar, storage and most recently hydrogen. I’ve enjoyed the diversity. I have progressed through the ranks during my career from new sites manager to senior new sites manager. I was then promoted to lead senior new sites manager and shortly after took up a project manager position before most recently accepting the role as senior project manager in December 2021. With RES’ support, I was able to achieve my RICs in 2016 which was a personal accomplishment for me.
I mainly oversee projects in the Scotland onshore wind portfolio and enjoy working closely with Paula Batchelor and Karen Anne Hutton to ensure the Scottish development team meet their targets and ensure that we have a varied and robust portfolio going forward.
A day in the life
I catch up with the Scottish development team regularly with regards to individual projects and any issues arising and work out how we can overcome these. I also check in to make sure the team are happy and make myself available to help with any general queries they may have with regards to further training or enjoy a catch up for a wee chat.
I constantly revise our portfolio strategically to ensure that we remain as one of the market leaders in Scotland and maintain our excellent reputation as developers. This involves meeting landowners, other developers, agents and politicians when required. I also monitor Scotland’s KPIs and look at ways we can ensure that we hit our targets, and if not, how we can improve as a team.
I also oversee any planning policy that needs a response and monitor how this will affect our projects and share the outcomes with the team. Ensuring that H&S is being adhered to at all times forms part of my role, both in the office and out on site, as does listening to suggestions from the
team about how we can improve and ensure that our external consultants are onboard and following procedures.
What are you most proud of at RES?
Assisting with the closure of Tallentire Wind Farm before the Renewables Obligation Certificates closed is a standout moment for me. We were really tight for time and a lot of work was involved, but the team were amazing and extremely focused which enabled us to reach the deadline on time.
Outside of work, I used to spend time visiting primary schools to discuss renewable energy to help educate children about the importance of saving our planet. The feedback from the kids was always so amazing and their interest and enthusiasm was infectious. It was a very enjoyable time and highly rewarding.
During my time at RES, I have got married and had three lovely RES babies – two girls and a boy. This most definitely features as my proudest lifetime moment! RES has been so supportive which I’m so grateful for.
Where do you see your career in five years’ time?
With RES who knows! I have been lucky to be involved with all sorts of different development opportunities. I can definitely see myself staying in a development role as it’s what I enjoy most.
Tell us about your favourite hobbies and interests
With three small children under the age of eight, my out-of-work interests usually centre around them. My two daughters are dancers, so I spend a lot of time at different competitions all over the UK. I am now an expert dance mum! Name any hairstyle and I can do it!
I enjoy baking cakes for special family occasions as well as donations for charity events. My cakes are not exactly British Bake-off level, but they are more than passable.
As a keen football supporter, I have a season ticket for Glasgow Rangers and attend most games when I can.