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Head of Technical Services: Solar (O&M)

Job Description

We are seeking an O&M Head of Technical Services: Solar. Based in Johannesburg, working for a Global Renewable Energy Company.

  • The Head of Technical Services will join the Operation & Maintenance department and reports directly to the Head of Solar.
  • You will be responsible for providing technical leadership and executing solar power plant engineering delivery through planning, leading, organising, and controlling the day-to-day functions of Technical Support, Data Driven Maintenance, Electrical Balance of Plant, and Control, Instrumentation and Automation.
  • The incumbent provides the necessary technical support while working alongside plant managers to deliver on plant availability, reliability, and maintainability performance targets.
  • You will tactically ensure that technical engineering projects' deliverables are promptly achieved from planning to implementation of tasks and activities. Creates and implements technology strategies that minimises lost production, improves plant performance, and adds techno-economic benefit to the business.
  • Subsequently, you will be a superior technical authority, decision maker and influencer on technical solutions within the business. Lobbying with Bids Development, and Engineering and Construction internal and Global stakeholders to evaluate, propose and validate solar plant technologies on behalf of Solar O&M. Engages with local and Global specialists, scientific bodies and technology experts in the renewable energy and electrical industry to explore and provide solutions to the Solar Technology fleet. Drives Technical Services to attain efficient and effective operations and engineering delivery, accomplish goals swiftly, and align with O&M business strategy. Possess a deep understanding of statutory, regulatory and grid compliance requirements associated with the power utility and IPP Office.
  • The Head of Technical Services will facilitate effective communication amongst key role players and staff. Build staff morale and camaraderie within the organisation.
  • Establish a multi-disciplinary team and an agile work environment. Carry out stakeholder engagements and relationship management with suppliers, vendors, OEM's, regulatory/statutory stakeholders, shareholders, and personnel.

Key Skills & Experiences:

  • More than 5 years of plant engineering management experience in the renewable energy sector, particularly in solar technology.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or equivalent; an MBA will be an advantage.
  • ECSA Accreditation (compulsory).
  • Positive attitude and mindset.
  • At least 10 years of experience in the electrical industry.
  • Strong experience in managing technical/engineering teams.
  • Strong knowledge in preventive and corrective maintenance philosophies.
  • Very good knowledge of electrical and mechanical maintenance.
  • Knowledge of SCADA systems, and Control and Instrumentation.
  • Technically astute in MW/HV substations and electrical balance of plant.
  • Fluent English, both spoken and written.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure compliance to legislative, regulatory, and statutory requirements.
  • Ensure conformance with O&M objectives, protocols, policies, and procedures including adherence to business strategies.
  • Create and implement technology strategies in O&M Solar.
  • Ensure grid compliance and regulatory compliance for all solar sites in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders and service providers.
  • Ensure OHRVS regulations and compliance.
  • Review technical specifications and evaluations and approve the engineering deliverables.
  • Ensuring authorization and permit to work on plant HV/MV electrical systems.
  • Researches, analyses, problem solves, implements, and evaluates technology to influence and makes recommendations when proposing and providing solutions.
  • Technically astute decision maker who leads by example in engineering delivery.
  • Conversant with civil, mechanical, electrical, control & instrumentation, and automation systems.
  • Hands-on and able to complement staff responsibilities when the need arises.
  • Root cause analysis and troubleshooting of failures/repairs.
  • Statistical monitoring, analysis and reporting of failures, both in technical and economic terms.
  • Develop specific troubleshooting process and documents for each type of plant equipment.
  • Develop, manage and ensure conformance to operational technical specifications, procedures, and industry (local and international) standards and codes.
  • Responsible for rolling out adhoc technical projects in respect of technological applications and equipment across mainstream plant applications.
  • Responsible for quality management of technical equipment implementation and end-result.
  • Responsible for technical decision making, plant equipment issues resolution, technical rollout, tracking of implementation deadlines and quality management.
  • Technical support to the Logistics and Contracts Management unit with regards to technical scoping, specifications, prescribing technical requirements, and ensuring verification and validation of technical equipment associated with vendors/suppliers and OEM's.
  • Perform plant technical data analysis that informs and improves plant production and performance through creating, monitoring and tracking plant parameter trends.
  • Develop efficiency in dealing with technical issues resolution while establishing engineering processes and systems that tackle, for example, engineering change management and prompt technical solutions delivery.
  • Aid with the development of processes and tools on predictive and corrective maintenance.
  • Supervision of on-site tests of predictive maintenance and take responsibility for correct process execution.
  • Assembling and managing an internal and external technical team to address plant breakdowns.
  • Produce technical reports and deliverables relative to KPI's.
  • Supervision tests of new versions of components and control systems.
  • Coordinate the implementation of equipment technical improvements in cooperation with Operational Efficiency teams.
  • Manage contracts for inspection services and installation of retrofits and measuring equipment including managing the inputs to plant contracts.
  • Support and overseeing in drafting tender specification for framework maintenance agreements, in defining the list of bidders and bid evaluation.
  • Support and represent in technical meetings with technicians, manufacturers, certifiers, etc.;
  • Support HSEQ in the analysis and ensure validation of safety and environmental plans, processes and procedures.