Invenergy Blog: November 15, 2017
Invenergy Employee Perspectives:
Q&A with Project Engineer Gian Paul Handal
What drew you to the renewable industry and specifically to work for Invenergy?
Gian Paul: Renewable generation doesn’t only help the environment, but it has a positive impact on society in many ways; it helps improve rural economies, create energy independence, and enable the smart use of resources already readily available. For me, it’s a little bit more personal. I was born and raised in Honduras, a developing country that has historically suffered from unreliable and expensive energy sources. Renewable generation sources were only just introduced to Honduras at the beginning of this decade, and it immediately had a positive effect in the country.
Invenergy is a company with constantly increasing international reach, including active developments in various countries throughout Latin America. This is one of the main things that interested me about Invenergy. And, who knows, maybe one day I will be able to help the company bring energy storage solutions to Honduras!
What excites you most about your job?
Gian Paul: It’s exciting to work in a growing company with highly motivated individuals who are making a positive impact in the energy industry. Every day is different, and I love that I am constantly challenged. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out different ways for energy storage to enhance the grid to support transmission, distribution, and the operation of renewable resources.
What are you most proud of in the work that you do?
Gian Paul: It makes me proud to be part of a company that cares about the environment. I am also proud to help propel the growth of energy storage; a technology that can reduce grid outages and their negative impact, and can also enable massive deployment of renewable resources like solar and wind. I think this technology will be a game-changer in how we operate our grid in the next decade.
What experience (whether education or previous work experience) has been most helpful in launching your career in energy storage engineering?
Gian Paul: I obtained my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering three years ago where I took some classes on energy storage and its impact on the grid. Following my undergraduate degree, I then took graduate-level courses on energy at Stanford.
What advice would you give those who are interested in seeking a career in advanced energy storage engineering?
Gian Paul: The beauty of the energy storage industry is that it is still developing, thus, there is no predefined background that is a perfect fit. Since energy storage has applications for all levels of the energy grid—residential, transmission, distribution and more—its growth will need to be supported by individuals with various skill sets. If you have an interest in the industry, odds are that you can add value with your own mix of skills and competencies. My advice would be to try to learn as much as you can about battery storage technology and career opportunities in this space. The earlier you get involved, the better.