• Technical Asset Manager - Octopus Australia

    Job Locations AU-Melbourne
    Job ID
    2019-2035
    # of Openings
    1
    Business Entity
    Octopus Energy Investments
    Category
    Octopus Energy Investments
    Type
    Permanent Full-Time
  • Overview

    This is an opportunity to join the Octopus office in either Melbourne or Sydney to focus on renewable energy investments in Australia. The successful applicant will be able to join a team in Australia at the early stages of what promises to be an exciting period of growth as the country accelerates the transition away from coal towards renewables.

     

    About Octopus

     

    Octopus is a fast-growing company with more than 800 employees. Since we launched in 2000, we’ve established market leading positions in the UK across financial services, healthcare and energy. From a standing start in 2010 Octopus grew its energy business rapidly to become Europe’s largest non-utility renewable energy investor with investments in solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and gas peaking plants. The core technology in this portfolio is solar PV – Octopus now manages over 1.3 GW of solar projects in the UK, France, Italy and Australia on behalf of its investors and has the equivalent of nearly AUD 5 billion under management in the Energy team. In January 2018 an office was opened in Melbourne to take advantage of a rapidly growing renewable energy investment market and an opportunity to raise funds in Australia to invest in renewables. Solar PV will be the initial focus and in December 2018 the team closed its first investment into the 333 MWp solar project near Darlington Point in NSW, Australia. The business is now focused on raising and deploying two new funds, one targeted at institutional investors and one with an innovation theme aimed at high net worth individuals.

    Responsibilities

    The role is part of a team responsible for originating, evaluating and executing new investment opportunities and also managing investments once made. The role will be split between these two areas of the business. Investments are expected to primarily consist of ‘shovel ready’ solar or possible onshore wind projects that will enter construction after acquisition by one of Octopus’ funds. This role will report into the Investment Director heading up the investment team in Australia.

     

    The role is office based in either Sydney or Melbourne – with site visits required periodically. The role would likely require at least one week a month spent outside the home office (i.e. Sydney if based in Melbourne.)

     

    Essential Job Functions

     

    The role will be split between assessing and executing new investments and managing existing investments – broadly a 50:50 split should be expected but this will vary over time.

     

    Managing investments

    • Assist in managing the existing investments with a focus on the technical aspects of the contracts in place to construct the renewable energy projects. Initially this role will be focused on the Darlington Point solar project but would soon be expected extend to additional renewable energy projects. This would include:
      • Assessing construction quality (mainly through reports from construction companies and external advisors, supported by periodic site visits).
      • Managing the external advisors and construction contractors responsible for construction.
      • Regularly attending periodic meetings/workshops with all relevant stakeholders.
      • Resolving technical issues relating to construction or operation of renewable energy projects.
      • Preparing and presenting reports to our investors and investment committee. Working collaboratively with colleagues in Australia but also in London to determine and implement solutions to issues arising.
      • Proactively seek out technical improvements to projects that maximise value for investors.
    • The role will at times become ‘hands on’ in solving issues, but primarily the role needs to be ‘technical and contract oversight’ – instructing external advisors or contractors delivering the hands on solutions. Applicants must be confident and comfortable in this oversight role and effective at delegating and then managing the underlying technical activities carried out by third parties.

    Originating and executing new investments

    • Assisting in evaluating new technology and its suitability for Australian deployment. This would initially mostly comprise technology that enhances existing renewable energy solutions (solar, wind and battery storage) but may ultimately extend to completely new technologies. The candidate must be able to make sound judgements on the commercial (both technical and financial) viability of such new technologies. Candidates that can inform such judgments with prior knowledge and experience (in addition to further analysis carried out within the role) are preferred.
    • Selecting advisors, equipment and construction contractors (typically lead EPC only) and setting up contracts, potentially through running a tender process.
    • Working on due diligence and contract preparation for new investments. Due diligence will involve managing external due diligence advisors, responding to their reports/analysis and appraising the risks presented. Contracting will involve working with in-house and external lawyers to negotiate and draft contracts.
    • Prepare and manage budgets for Capex and Opex and project schedules.
    • Define and monitor KPI’s for the construction and operation phases.
    • Preparing and presenting materials to the investment committee.
    • Working closely with colleagues as part of a team that is negotiating and executing the transaction.
    • Support our fundraising efforts by assisting in preparing presentation materials and meeting with prospective investors (likely with the primary role of addressing technical questions).
    • Support profile raising activities – networking with industry participants and at times engaging with energy policymakers to influence energy policy. Candidates with an existing network of contacts within the Australian renewable energy industry will be preferred.

     

    Qualifications

    • Eligibility to work in Australia – visa sponsorship is not offered.
    • Prior (5 yrs at least) experience in working on grid-scale renewable energy projects with a strong preference for candidates with experience on Australian renewable energy projects through which knowledge of grid connection and commissioning processes was acquired
    • Some technical / engineering qualifications and experience. Candidates with an electrical engineering background will be preferred.
    • Applicants are expected to demonstrate awareness of how an investment business and a renewable energy business would operate. An MBA or other business related qualification would be preferred, although not essential.
    • Knowledge of broad Health, Safety and Environmental practices, legislations and requirements. Liaising with relevant regulatory statutory bodies will be done in close cooperation with the Octopus Energy Investments HSE Director.  
    • Knowledge of generator interconnection processes in the Australian market.
    • Contract and project management skills. The candidate must be highly organised, confident in managing large and complex contracts and able to handle relationships with external contracts effectively, sometimes in challenging circumstances.
    • Candidates must demonstrate a commercial mindset, and in particular be able to consider technical challenges in a broader commercial and investment context.
    • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
    • Exceptional project management and organisational skills. Evidence of managing complex workloads in a fast paced environment.
    • An understanding of core legal concepts, particularly those relating to contracts for the acquisition, construction and management of renewable energy projects. Applicants should be able to demonstrate familiarity with these contracts and confidence in managing them.
    • The role will not require detailed financial modelling skills but applicants are expected to have at least a basic understanding of key investment principles – rates or return, risk, IRR and NPV financial concepts and ideally some familiarity with financial models used for renewable energy investments.
    • Experience of working in a start-up environment would be beneficial.
    • A strong team player with the attitude to deliver results and help out as part of a team including providing training on technical matters
    • Confidence to exercise judgement appropriately, challenge and liaise with colleagues at all levels of seniority.
    • An ability to understand risks, reach a balanced appraisal of probability and severity and build workable risk mitigation strategies.
    • A self-starter with high energy levels, tenacity, initiative and a willingness to commit whatever it takes to deliver the required results.
    • An ability to focus on the ultimate customer (the investors who trust us with their money) in all aspects of the role is essential.
    • Some team management skills will be required. The team will have two or three more junior members who may work for the successful applicant at times. There will be no direct reports initially but there may be an opportunity to directly manage people in the future. Most delegation will be to external advisors/contractors.
    • Ability to communicate with and influence a broad range of individuals, ranging from team members, project developers, landowners, project finance teams, lawyers, technical advisors, policymakers, the Octopus investment committee members and potential investors. Indications of an aptitude to communicate effectively and tailor the communications to the needs of the recipient will be important.

     

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