Day in the life: Andrew Crossland – Energy Storage Specialist at Solarcentury
In the latest of our “nice to meet you” series, Andrew Crossland talks about his exciting role as an Energy Storage Specialist at Solarcentury.
Describe your job in a couple of sentences.
I am the middle man between engineering, sales, finance, marketing, operations and commissioning. My role is to support all of the Solarcentury business units in developing compelling, sustainable and exiting new projects combining solar energy with flexible technologies like storage and electric vehicles.
Is there a typical day in your role?
There’s no typical day and my life is so varied. One hour I can be sat with a major client discussing the sizing and location of a battery to support key infrastructure. The next I can be sat looking at our marketing messages for residential batteries. That could be followed with building complex technical and financial battery models for large UK battery projects, or with procurement meetings looking at getting costs down. And that is all before a quick lunch break! I love the variety of the role and trying to share knowledge across the business.
What’s impressive about battery storage at Solarcentury?
Solarcentury is about taking the world to a sustainable future and doing so with strong business propositions. Batteries are just one of the technologies needed to be added to solar to allow it to flexibly meet demand. What impresses me most is the ability we have now to meet huge volumes of energy in the UK. Some of our homes have more than 60 per cent of their electricity needs directly met by solar and a battery. Some of our commercial sites are already hitting the 2030 carbon target through meeting nearly 70 per cent of their energy needs from solar.
What’s the biggest challenge in your role on a day to day basis?
I am hugely ambitious and believe so much in this sector. However quick we move, I always want more and so seeing projects move slower than I like is frustrating. However, I work with great people who know how to deliver solar and they more than make up for my frustration.
What are you working on that gets you fired up?
I am so passionate that Solarcentury can lead an energy transition. Pulling together solar with other technology we can already meet carbon targets for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses around the world. Seeing sites completely off-grid for days at an end absolutely thrills me – and leaves me smiling and dancing around the office when it happens.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to enter the solar industry? How did you get started?
I would say to ground yourself in absolute realism. Solar isn’t a golden bullet but it has an almighty role to play in our energy transition. I would advise anyone to understand and respect the physics and build solid business models from that. Also, solar is an old industry with great knowledge within it – however it has its weaknesses and people should come in willing and able to question anything and help move the industry onwards and upwards.
What’s special about working for Solarcentury?
Solarcentury is an amazing place to work because it’s full of kind, enthusiastic and passionate people. We all work too hard and are able to work beyond our core role. That makes us stronger as a company and happier in our lives.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Whatever people say, there is nothing better than a cup of Yorkshire Gold. Don’t scrimp on good tea!