Understanding the Project Lifecycle - Iron & Earth

Understanding the Project Lifecycle

Ever wonder how and when positions open up in the renewable energy sector? This blog post summarizes how most renewable energy projects are structured, and when career opportunities become available for different sectors. 

Phase 1 - Scoping

Before a project can be approved to begin, there is typically a scoping project conducted in order to understand what options are available and which is the best path forward. This is the stage in which multiple opportunities are assessed, the chosen idea is selected, and funding is approved. 

Positions and departments that are highly required during this time:

  • Engineers
  • Business Development Workers
  • Administrative Workers
  • Financial Analysts

Phase 2 - Design 

Once a preliminary project plan has been chosen, this plan needs to be developed to a high level of detail. The design process will move from Schematic Design (SD), to Issue For Tender (IFT) drawings, to Issue for Construction (IFC) drawings. The budget and schedule are updated throughout this process as the project plan is refined. 

Positions and departments that are highly required during this time:

  • Project Managers
  • Design Engineers
  • Cost Consultants
  • Administrative Workers
  • Accountants
  • Schedulers

Phase 3 - Procurement

In the procurement process, the project team will begin sourcing materials and labour from the market for the construction of the project. This can be done in a variety of ways from sole-sourcing to a competitive bidding process. This is often when specialized consultants would be brought in to the project, such as a contractor who specializes in solar panel supply and install. In turn, this specialized contractor will estimate the labour force required for all upcoming projects they are working on and hire accordingly. 

Positions and departments that are highly required during this time:

  • Specialized Contractors
  • Material Supply Companies
  • Project Managers
  • Administrative Workers

Phase 4 - Construction

In the construction phase, the team that was brought into the project during procurement will now spring into action. This phase of the project often requires the largest amount of workers and can cause a peak in hiring and training for the duration of the construction phase, which can vary anywhere in length from a few days to a few years. Ideally, it is the responsibility of the contracting company to line up enough projects to keep their workers busy year-round, but these fluctuations in the labour demand can also open the doors to other seasonal or part-time contractors to step in. 

Positions and departments that are highly required during this time:

  • Specialized Contractors
  • Construction Workers
  • Electricians
  • Mechanics
  • General Labourers
  • Administrative
  • Project Managers

Phase 5 - Operations

Once the project has been built, it will now need an operations and maintenance team to make sure it runs smoothly and reliably long-term. Operations positions tend to be fewer in number but are longer term positions that are often hired in-house or through a union. Maintenance workers can either be hired in-house, contracted out to specialized companies, or a combination of the two. 

Positions and departments that are highly required during this time:

  • Specialized Maintenance Contractors
  • Electricians
  • Mechanics
  • Operators
  • Power Engineers

This is just a basic outline of how most projects are developed within Canada. There are multiple windows of opportunity throughout a project for the hiring of a wide-variety of workers, many of which are not explicitly named in this short article. Where do you fit in?

 

Iron & Earth was founded and operates on Indigenous land within Treaty Six Territory and Métis Region 4 in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (in Nehiyawewin/Cree), so-called Edmonton. The home of many Indigenous Peoples including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Tsuut’ina, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois, Dene Suliné, Anishinaabe/Ojibway/Saulteaux, and the Inuk/Inuit.

We pay our respects to all Indigenous Peoples of this land. Through their spiritual and practical relationships with the land, a rich heritage for our learning and our life as a community has been created and maintained. We recognize that the transition to a low-carbon future must be led by Indigenous Peoples and that there will be no justice unless we acknowledge and repair our relationship with the land.

We are committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and acknowledge that we are always learning and unlearning practices that minimize harm and lead to the development of trust between us and Indigenous Peoples across Nations and urban centers.