Paid mentorships seek to increase diversity in the renewable energy industry by equipping students with the skills and network to secure jobs upon graduation
The first Energy Scholars Mentorship Program has come to a close after an exciting eight-week summer session. A collaboration between LevelTen Energy, Energy GPS, and Intersect Power, Energy Scholars is designed to equip students with the resources needed to enter and flourish in the clean energy industry. For participating students, this comprehensive program includes a paid summer mentorship and networking opportunities with leaders in the renewable energy sphere.
“Not all communities have equal access to the training, mentorship, and professional networks that so often lead to a job in the energy industry. Regrettably, opportunities for many bright students are often limited because of these inequities,” said Vicky Eriksson, Vice President of People and Culture at LevelTen Energy. “The Energy Scholars Program aims to reduce these barriers to opportunity and make such resources available to a diverse pool of passionate college undergraduates; these are talented future professionals that our industry needs in order to thrive.”
The goal of the Energy Scholars Program is to provide students with a strong understanding of wholesale energy markets and renewable energy technology, as well as essential foundations in analytical techniques and business writing. By developing real-world experience, participating scholars will be able to accrue the skills and establish the professional network needed to succeed in the renewable energy sector upon graduation.
At LevelTen Energy, Scholars received a comprehensive overview of the lifecycle of renewable energy projects, exploring the full spectrum of development issues, from how market signals spur development, to land leasing, grid interconnection, and permitting, to analyzing project revenue, financing, construction, and commercial operation. Scholars also learned about software development and the LevelTen Platform, as well as the historical context and trajectory of renewable energy.
At Intersect Power, the Energy Scholars worked directly with the IP team to complete projects focused on business development or community assessment. Scholars were also introduced to key leaders across the company who shared their professional backgrounds in daily Career Mentor sessions.
At Energy GPS, the Energy Scholars had three primary activities. Each morning, they participated in a live, electricity trading simulation game where they operated a small utility -- purchasing and selling energy to meet demand while balancing their wind and solar resources. They also gained hands-on experience building revenue valuation models for wind, solar, and storage resources. To complement these activities, and to provide a broad industry perspective, the Scholars participated in daily information sessions where an array of industry leaders shared their experiences and career advice with the Scholars.
This year’s first cohort of Scholars study at universities across the country, and bring with them an array of experiences and a shared passion for clean energy. Let’s meet a few of our Energy Scholars!
Shone Nairn is from Nassau, Bahamas, and is a junior at Claflin University where he studies Environmental Engineering. He has enjoyed the various facets of the renewable energy industry that he’s been able to experience as an Energy Scholar, and what the program has taught him about how the energy sector can become more environmentally conscious. Shone is excited to use his experiences and skill set to help create positive change after graduation.
Kevin Lionel Ndizaniye Mpundu grew up in Bujumbura, Burundi, and is a junior at Bennington College where he studies Mathematics, Architecture, and Environmental Studies. He’s excited about the knowledge of renewable energy markets he’s gained, and how the Energy Scholars Program has shown him the many ways in which he can contribute to the clean energy transition. Lionel wants to use his passion for entrepreneurship to create positive social, economic, and environmental change as a renewable energy project developer.
Azuka Osogoku is from Kennewick, Washington, and is a junior at Central Washington University where he studies Integrated Energy Management and Electronics Engineering. He has enjoyed the insights he has gained into various types of energy projects through the Energy Scholars Program. After graduation, he plans to use his knowledge of renewable energy to expand renewable infrastructure in countries with less-reliable electrical grids, and to increase awareness of the climate crisis.
Felipe Rivera-Uribe is from Redmond, Washington, and is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at Loyola Marymount University. He’s excited to be working with and learning from renewable energy professionals through the program, and hopes to work in the renewable energy industry after graduation to help fight climate change.
For students interested in participating in next summer’s Energy Scholars Program, follow LevelTen Energy on LinkedIn, and be on the lookout for an application posting sometime in early 2022.