Wind Energy Stakeholder Engagement and Energy Equity Project Leader

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Posting Title
Wind Energy Stakeholder Engagement and Energy Equity Project Leader
CO - Boulder
Position Type
Hours Per Week
Working at NREL
NREL’s 305-acre Flatirons Campus is the nation’s premier wind energy, water power, and grid integration research facility. Nestled south of Boulder, Colorado, and north of NREL’s main South Table Mountain campus, Flatirons sits adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and countless acres of open space and parks with stunning views of the Flatirons rock formations.
From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our ten employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.
NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.
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Job Description
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL’s Wind Energy Program currently has an opening for a Research Project Leader covering wind power stakeholder engagement activities with a focus on deployment and energy equity. In this role, the Research Project Leader will support external research-focused collaboratives, internal DOE sponsored research, and NREL’s industrial and governmental partners in solving critical issues in the development and deployment of land-based, offshore, and distributed wind across the United States. This position is located at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) near Boulder, Colorado.
The successful candidate will work closely with NREL researchers and technical staff to develop and conduct research spanning future deployment pathways, assessment and management of community impacts, social acceptance of wind energy, and energy equity. The successful candidate will work to disseminate findings and insights from research across the wind energy program relevant to wind and renewable energy deployment, including insights on impacts and trade-offs. In addition, the successful candidate will work with staff to develop and implement workshops or similar stakeholder engagement activities that foster knowledge gathering and sharing. External engagement and interactions with state and local agencies, industry, non-governmental organizations, community groups, universities, military, tribal, international organizations, and other Department of Energy and federal agency programs aimed at the responsible deployment of renewable power are anticipated.
The ideal candidate will be experienced in or actively researching community engagement and planning, policy, and economic development focusing on renewable or wind energy. A research emphasis on rural development, community energy development and planning, or marine spatial planning is desirable. Knowledge of and familiarity with the literature around energy equity or direct experience as it relates to community planning and economic development from wind energy is also valuable.
Typical work tasks may include:
  • Leading research, stakeholder engagement, and dissemination activities focused on wind energy deployment and equity, including the development of annual operating work plans with DOE, staff and resource planning, internal strategic planning, metrics tracking, client communications, and reporting.
  • Leading and supporting the development of publication quality reports and peer reviewed journal articles analyzing energy policy, siting, and economic development issues.
  • Engaging with communities and community leaders, including those in disadvantaged and areas undergoing energy transitions, to better understand and support the development of informational products and tools to support the appropriate development of wind energy.
  • Collaborating with researchers and practitioners across NREL, academia, and community development organizations on best practices for effectively integrating energy equity in projects, programs, or initiatives.
  • Dissemination of work through various media including the publication of web-based community development guides as well as more traditional technical reports and presenting results and relevant findings at national or international meetings
  • Leading or supporting responses to Department of Energy or other competitively selected research proposals.
  • Working one-on-one and in group settings with staff to aid in planning and defining work, prioritizing, reviewing, and disseminating work products, managing subcontracts and subcontractors, and reporting on progress, challenges and solutions to NREL leadership and sponsors.
Basic Qualifications
Relevant PhD and 4 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Master's Degree and 7 or more years of experience . Or, relevant Bachelor's Degree and 9 or more years of experience . Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of laws, regulations, principles, procedures and practices related to specific field. Excellent leadership, communication, problem solving and project management skills. Ability to use various computer software programs.
  • Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.
Additional Required Qualifications
  • Demonstrated skill in convening stakeholder groups and planning stakeholder workshops, in virtual and in-person environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment with evolving requirements and schedules
  • Prior experience through research or stakeholder engagement with underserved communities
  • Demonstrated desire to engage actively on energy equity in the clean energy transition through research and publications, policy analysis, and community engagement.
  • Demonstrated experience in communications and outreach around complex, technical challenges
  • Excellent writing, organizational, project management, budgeting, interpersonal and communication skills
Preferred Qualifications
  • Prior work experience with or for a state or federal government agency or university
  • Prior experience applying research as well as scientific methods or frameworks for energy equity to communities
  • Prior experience with social science research methods including surveys
  • Prior experience in economic analysis applied to community development
  • Prior experience working on siting and deployment issues in land-based, distributed or offshore wind energy applications through project definition, implementation and operation
  • Prior experience in project management of multiple, complex, multi-year projects with annual budgets exceeding $400,000/year
  • Demonstrated leadership in conducting broad, national level energy analysis including engagement with key stakeholders and networks, to facilitate analysis, dissemination and knowledge-sharing
  • A master’s or more advanced degree in public policy, political science, economics, sociology, environmental studies, or another relevant field
Job Application Submission Window
The anticipated closing window for application submission is up to 30 days and may be extended as needed.
Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Researcher IV / Annual Salary Range: $95,500 - $171,900
NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.
Benefits Summary
Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short*- and long-term disability insurance; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement*. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition reimbursement.
  • Based on eligibility rules
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If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a pre-employment drug test prior to commencing employment. Unless prohibited by state or local law, the pre-employment drug test will include marijuana. If you test positive on the pre-employment drug test, your offer of employment may be withdrawn.
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Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.
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