June 7, 2019

Local Unit & Position Description

DNV GL – Energy’s Renewables Advisory group is seeking a Senior Civil Structural Engineer to join our civil engineering team. The Senior Civil Structural Engineer will act as a key member of the global civil engineering team, engaged in analysis, design review, construction observation, and analysis of structural failures of wind and solar energy systems. The engineer in this position will have a highly visible role and be involved in several solar energy projects worldwide. This position is based out of our Montreal, Quebec office.   

Why you should work for us? 

Because within the DNV GL Energy – Renewables Advisory service line, organizational culture, and more specifically how we collective influence the world for future generations matters. Our team aims at facilitating the widespread deployment and operation of renewables to address climate change and positively impact society, achieve our purpose through the success of our customers and strive to be high-performing and innovative, which reflects the equity, respect, and diversity we wish to see in the world. Join us and be a game changer.  

Tasks May Include

  • Review of design drawings and calculations for Wind and Solar Energy foundations structural support systems, to support project financing
  • Evaluation of pre-market design concepts for Wind and Solar Energy structural support systems
  • Evaluation and root cause analyses of Wind and Solar Energy system structural failures
  • Observation and documentation of Wind and Solar Energy construction

Position Qualifications

Requirements

  • Master of Science – Civil or Structural Engineering. Ph.D. – Structural Engineering preferred
  • Minimum 5  years of experience in structural engineering design required
  • 2 years of design of electrical transmission, wind or solar energy structural systems preferred 
  • P.E. or P.Eng. License in at least one US or Canada jurisdiction preferred or willingness and ability to obtain it within one year. 
  • Structural Engineer (S.E.) License (NCEES SE Exam compliant) desired 
  • Proficiency in IBC, ASCE 7, AISC, ACI, NBCC, EuroCode and other common structural design codes
  • Proficiency in SAP, STAAD, and other common structural analysis programs.
  • Detailed understanding of fatigue in reinforced concrete subject to high cycle demand (Eurocode, CEB FIP MC 2010, DNV OS C502)
  • Prior research or design experience with reinforced concrete wind turbine foundations. Understanding of foundation systems for utility scale onshore wind turbines is a plus 
  • Prior research or design experience with wind-induced dynamic loading of Solar PV structural support systems preferred
  • Understanding of common Solar PV foundation systems and geotechnical aspects of design
  • Understanding of typical construction methods for Wind and Solar Energy
  • Proven HSE mindset and demonstrated behavior-based safety mentality
  • Able to work independently and make independent decisions when called for
  • Able to work with a geographically diverse team, within North America and internationally
  • Maintain a flexible schedule and be able to keep in contact with international offices.
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 25% of the time domestic travel (US and Canada), and must also be able to travel internationally
  • Must be able to use common construction personal protective equipment, walk over uneven terrain, climb ladders
  • Strong written and verbal English communication skills. Second language preferred 
  • We conduct pre-employment screening

Interested applicants can submit their resume and cover Letter to DNV GL online job forum.

Opportunities Beyond Business

Our mission is to safeguard life, property and the environment. By joining us, you will work towards our meaningful vision: to make a global impact for a safe and sustainable future. DNV GL offers a congenial working environment, competitive salaries, and an exceptional benefits package. DNV GL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Local employment conditions apply. Please visit our website at www.dnvgl.com

Company & Business Area Description

DNV GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, we enable our customers to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. 

We provide classification, technical assurance, software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas, power and renewables industries. We also provide certification, supply chain and data management services to customers across a wide range of industries.

Combining technical, digital and operational expertise, risk methodology and in-depth industry knowledge, we empower our customers’ decisions and actions with trust and confidence. We continuously invest in research and collaborative innovation to provide customers and society with operational and technological foresight. 

With origins stretching back to 1864 and operations in more than 100 countries, our experts are dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our experts support customers around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” explains that analysis based on flawed input assumptions will result in flawed results and conclusions. A recent textbook example of that comes from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCE) and the special interest group Institute for Energy Research (IER). IER has been down this road before, and once again their analysis isn’t grounded in reality.

Wind is the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity

The fact is utilities and their regulators are buying renewable energy because it reduces electric bills for homes and businesses. Market prices for renewable energy purchase contracts confirm wind and solar energy are often the lowest cost option these days, as USA Today noted earlier this week. Wind power purchase prices averaged $18.91/megawatt hour (MWh) in 2017, while preliminary data indicate that solar prices averaged $22.30/MWh in 2018. The utility Xcel Energy has indicated its recently announced wind projects have a levelized price of $15-25/MWh. These purchase prices include the federal tax credit for renewable energy, which further reduces the cost of renewable energy to consumers.

However, even without incentives, in many parts of the country wind is still the cheapest source of new electric generation according to sources like investment firm Lazard Inc. For example, researchers from the University of Texas Austin’s Energy Institute created an interactive map showing the most affordable energy sources across the country. Check out all the green—that’s where wind is cheapest.

Via University of Texas Austin’s Energy Institute

Renewable energy increasingly saves consumers money even without the federal incentives, which are currently being phased out. The following table uses real-world performance data to calculate the unsubsidized levelized cost for newly installed generation.

Notably, the preceding table uses actual capacity factor data for new power plants. As the IER authors correctly noted in their analysis, the actual levelized cost for new gas and new coal generation is dramatically higher than DOE estimates because DOE uses maximum theoretical output levels for fossil power plants instead of real-world performance data.

A mistake-filled report

Once renewable cost errors (discussed below) are corrected, IER’s own analysis shows new wind and solar are also competitive with existing fossil and nuclear generation. This confirms a wide variety of analysis, much of it conducted by coal power plant owners. Regardless, many existing coal and nuclear plants are also reaching the ends of their useful lives, and require hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades if they are to continue operating.

True to the “garbage in, garbage out” maxim, the IER authors reach the wrong conclusions because their assumed costs for wind and solar energy are three to four times higher than all estimates by independent experts, as shown below.

How did the authors get the answer so wrong? Part of the problem is that they use old data for the productivity of wind and solar plants. The authors use the average productivity of the entire fleet of wind and solar plants that are currently operating, which misses that new plants are far more productive than those installed even a few years ago. This error adds $10.50/MWh to wind costs and $7.70/MWh to solar costs. In reality, solar capacity factors have increased 23 percent since 2010, while wind capacity factors are up 41 percent since 2009. Partially as a result, wind’s costs have fallen by 69 percent since 2009.

The report then compounds that error by inventing other cost adders. Most notably, the report incorrectly claims that adding renewable generation requires the addition of conventional generation. First of all, almost all U.S. regions already have excess power plant capacity. More importantly, adding wind or solar to the power system always provides positive capacity value to the power system to help meet electricity demand, and therefore reduces and never increases the need for conventional power plant capacity. Due to that error alone, the report incorrectly adds an “imposed cost” of $23.6 per MWh to wind generation and $21/MWh to solar generation.

In addition, the study lowballs estimates for the contribution of wind and solar to meeting peak capacity needs. The authors give solar credit for only 12.9 percent of its installed capacity, while many grid operators have shown solar’s contribution to be roughly five times higher. They similarly understate wind’s contribution by a factor of nearly three. For inexplicable reasons, the authors then add costly conventional capacity and generation to make up the difference, even though it is not needed.

IER’s convoluted “imposed cost” method is not necessary, as the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) has already developed a method that accurately accounts for the different energy and capacity value of all energy sources, fully accounting for differences in their dispatchability and time of production. That method shows that the value of wind energy is only $4.60/MWh, or about 12 percent lower than that of more dispatchable gas combined cycle generation, while solar generation is actually $2/MWh more valuable than gas combined cycle generation.

The cost of reliably integrating large conventional power plants is actually larger than that of renewable resources, as data from Texas indicate. That means accurately accounting for integration costs and other costs imposed on the system would actually indicate a net benefit from increasing use of renewable energy. Large conventional power plants can fail instantly and without warning, and therefore require more expensive, faster-acting operating reserves than the slower-acting reserves used to accommodate gradual and predictable changes in wind and solar output. Regardless, in Texas both costs are well under $1/MWh, while the Midwest regional grid operator has noted that the impact of wind generation on its need for fast-acting reserves is “little to none.”

Large coal and nuclear power plants are also inflexible, in that they are unable to quickly change their level of output in response to fluctuations in electricity demand, which imposes a cost on the power system and other power plants. As a result, the Independent Market Monitor for the Midwest grid operator has found that coal plants account for the vast majority of the region’s generation scheduling error and associated operating costs. In contrast, most wind and solar plants are now fully dispatched by grid operators through electricity markets, and can respond hundreds of times faster than conventional power plants.

ACCE and IER’s study should serve as a warning sign for analysis based on faulty assumptions and dated information. If you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out, and the end result won’t tell you much about the world that exists in reality.

Women in Wind participant Mercia Grimbeek on the strengths of women in the workplace

 

Mercia Grimbeek, one of the participants of the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, spoke to South Africa’s Financial Mail in May 2019 about female leadership.

In the article, Mercia speaks about the need to support and mentor aspiring women in the energy sector, as a means of tapping into talented minds.

In corporation with UK's Deparment of International Trade (DIT), GWEC is pleased to sponsor for this exciting space where attendees are offered with delegates access to essential business intelligence including key market updates from England, Scotland, Denmark, China, Taiwan, USA, India and other growth markets.