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Full-Time

Small & Medium Business

Social Impact

Movemeback African oppportunity location
  • Nairobi , Kenya

PowerGen Renewable Energy - Senior Engineering Manager Movemeback African opportunity cover image

Description

PowerGen is transforming the continent by building the energy system of the future, in Africa - today.  Founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011, PowerGen’s objective was to build an exciting and impactful business at the nexus of two key themes: i) All over the world, renewable technologies continue their ascent as the energy sources of the future; and, ii) Africa is poised for enormous continued growth and innovation in the decades ahead. PowerGen built their first mini grid in Zambia in 2013, and proceeded to install hundreds of renewable energy systems equivalent to over 1MW, across seven countries in East Africa, in the five years that followed. With over 120 employees, and offices in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, they currently serve over 10,000 customers with 24/7 power. PowerGen’s business extends along the entire life cycle of a utility in Africa. This breadth enables PowerGen to maximise control over their success, as they work to build a new sector for private utilities in Africa, via a combination of mini-grid and commercial solar projects. PowerGen are seeking an experienced Electrical Engineer to join their team.

 

As the new Senior Engineering Manager, you will lead the continual development of the Engineering team to ensure that they are equipped to drive PowerGen’s vision of ‘Transforming Lives Through Smarter Power’ throughout the continent, by building the grid of the future in Africa. 
 

As the ideal candidate, you will demonstrate a strong background in utility-scale grid design and development and off-grid solar. You possess the technical skills, a strong affinity with PowerGen’s vision, and are enthused by:

  • Intense attention to detail and managing multiple and varied work streams at the same time
  • Working collaboratively with many internal teams across multiple countries and offices to drive growth and operational excellence
  • A fast-paced, informal environment where constant change is the norm

 

Role Responsibilities:

 

Engineering

  • Achieve world-class internal engineering capabilities through recruitment and training as the company continues to grow as both the leading mini-grid developer in Africa and a MW scale solar EPC company
  • Deliver cost-effective designs, meeting local regulations and industry best practice on time and with high attention to detail to ensure minimal site changes
  • Lead multidisciplinary teams to deliver all elements of solar EPC or mini-grid installations from geotechnical, structural, earthing, solar array positioning, distribution, generation, grid integration and safety systems

Management

  • Lead and train a team of young and enthusiastic engineers as a line manager, including recruitment, performance review process and organising training to meet the needs of the organisation
  • Prepare budgets and maintain fiscal responsibility and control
  • Implementation and continual improvement of engineering best practice and compliance with ISO 9001
  • Research and Development
  • Lead PowerGen research and development on solar and mini-grid technology to lower LCOE and improve reliability for our customers

Other

  • Support business development and nurture relationships with clients
  • Become a recognised industry expert in solar for sub-Saharan Africa and in mini-grid technology and deployment

Criteria

Technical

  • A minimum academic qualification of a Masters in Electrical Engineering or closely associated field.
  • Professional electrical engineering qualification (Kenyan preferred but all qualifications considered)
  • Demonstration of continued professional development throughout career (membership of professional institutions, attendance to training in related fields etc.)
  • Track record of low voltage and medium voltage grid design, and proven ability to deliver independent design work to internationally recognised standards
  • Expertise using industry standard software (ETAP, Power Factory, PSS/E etc.), and to have used this to deliver multiple in depth analysis for industrial or utility projects.
  • Knowledge of solar PV design up to MW scale
  • Demonstrate fundamental cross-disciplinary knowledge required for development of electrical infrastructure
  • Site experience delivering construction of Medium Voltage distribution networks and substations.
  • Experience of ISO 9001 and industry best practices for ensuring high quality delivery
  • Demonstrated commitment to Health and Safety through training and/or responsibilities held in previous employments.
  •  In depth understanding of project financial reports

Leadership

  • At least 5 years experience leading teams of electrical engineers in the design of electrical distribution and substations
  • Demonstrated responsibility for delivering large scale electrical infrastructure projects on time and within budget.
  • Ability to effectively manage people and motivate a team to work towards their primary objectives and expected outcomes
  • Highly organised and experienced at planning resources for multiple workstreams
  • Previously held a ‘leadership team’ position where responsibility is taken for achieving team/company key performance indicators (KPI’s) and developing strategies to achieve these results
  • Demonstrated managerial experience overseeing individuals within a formal performance review cycle, developing individual goals, coaching and assessing performance
  • Held project or team budget responsibility
  • Presented at industry conferences and developed client relationships

Benefits

  • Globally competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • An opportunity to be an influential member of the Pan-African micro-grid leader, reshaping the prevailing rural electrification model in the region

About PowerGen Renewable Energy

PowerGen is a Nairobi-based renewable energy enterprise that aims to improve access to electricity in rural regions of Kenya by providing underserved and isolated communities with power through micro-grid systems. PowerGen seeks not only to reduce dependence on inefficient, expensive and harmful forms of energy (e.g. kerosene) but also to unlock the potential contained within these communities by supplying them with enough power to drive forward economic growth.

 

PowerGen was founded  in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011 on the basis of two simple ideas:
(1) All over the world, renewable technologies continue their ascent as the energy sources of the future.
(2) Africa is poised for enormous continued growth and innovation in the decades ahead.
PowerGen is a partner company to WindGen, a wind turbine manufacturer incorporated in 2011. Upon realising that the East African market held less demand for wind turbines than originally anticipated, WindGen created PowerGen to expand into other sources of renewable energy. PowerGen built their first micro-grid in 2013 in Zambia, and since then have installed over 1MW of solar across seven countries, impacting thousands across Africa - helping to improve living conditions within homes, schools, orphanages, and health clinics. They have continued to grow and now have a team of over 120 full time employees with offices in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone.


Power Gen’s business isn’t just about increasing energy access – it’s also about leading the change in implementing the future energy system of Africa.   In their own words:

“Africa, with its weak incumbent infrastructure, shouldn’t be aiming to build an energy system emulating that of the US or Europe today.  Instead we must be focused on building the energy system of the future, converging on where the US and Europe will be decades from now.
What does this future energy system look like?  It will involve on-grid storage, distributed generation, and smart metering.  It will incorporate more intelligent tariffs and billing systems.  It will be modular, acting more like a network composed of many semi-autonomous nodes rather than a monodirectional pipeline for commoditized electrons.  Customers will be treated as customers for energy and other services, not just as ‘ratepayers’ that happen to be on the other end of a wire.”