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Solar Project Development Engineer II
at First Solar
Houston, TX

Solar Project Development Engineer II
at First Solar
Houston, TX

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Our high growth and leadership position in the renewable energy business offers outstanding opportunities to individuals seeking an exciting work environment in one of the most important industries for the 21st century. First Solar is a leader in the development and manufacturing of thin film solar modules used in grid-connected solar power plants, as well as a provider of complete solar generation solutions for U.S. utilities. Our culture is one where teamwork, continuous improvement, achievement of results, and environmental responsibility are core values. We are seeking new associates who are motivated to contribute their talents to making cost-effective solar energy an important part of the world's energy mix.


Primary Job Functions:

We're changing the world. Let us start with yours.

First Solar's project development department seeks candidates who believe in our mission of providing cost-advantaged solar technology through innovation, customer engagement, industry leadership and operational excellence. First Solar's project development team works together to build innovative, utility-scale solar plants from the ground up. They are responsible for driving our clean-energy producing projects from inception through construction, working collaboratively in a dynamic environment across multiple First Solar functions.

The project development team looks for individuals who enjoy contributing to an innovative, forward-thinking team and are ready to get to work creating our best-in-class solar power plants to help us lead the world's sustainable energy future.

Job Title: SolarProject Development Engineer II

Reports To: PDE Dept. Unit Manager/Director

FLSA Job Status: Exempt

Basic Job Functions:

The Project Development Engineer provides the engineering and technical aspects of assigned projects through the project development process from early stage site evaluation through complete development and transition to First Solar's EPC group. The Project Development Engineer works as an integral member of the project development team, working with leads assigned in siting, permitting, transmission interconnect, marketing, finance, and public/government relations. Responsible for managing the preparation of engineering/technical input to the project development process including project schedules, site layouts, plant performance estimates, plant capital cost estimates, site surveys, geotechnical reports, hydrology, conceptual grading and drainage designs, project descriptions and technical data for permit applications, and conceptual plant substation and gen-tie designs. Reviews, coordinates, and provides direction on engineering deliverables from First Solar engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, and O&M groups and deliverables from an outside consultant and specialty contractors.


  • 1-5 years of project engineering experience in the design/build, EPC or electric utility generation field.
  • Project experience should include project development and permitting, conceptual and detailed design, project engineering, scheduling, cost estimating, procurement, and contracts.
  • Prior experience in the solar industry is desirable.
  • Construction, testing, and commissioning experience a plus.
  • Professional Engineer Registration preferred, but not required.


  • Must have a BS degree, preferably in an engineering discipline, (i.e. BSEE, BSME, BSCE, BSChE)

Required Skills:

  • Must possess technical knowledge of related engineering systems, equipment, engineering calculations, and construction methods/materials.
  • Must be a proven team player and contributor.
  • Practical knowledge of project development and permitting processes.
  • Proficient knowledge of engineering economics and optimization process
  • Proficient knowledge of project engineering, procurement, and construction processes/procedures
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills required
  • Strong computing skills including MS Office Suite and engineering programs
  • Organized with the ability to simultaneously oversee multiple development projects

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

  • Leads in defining a project's functional and spatial requirements and synthesizes product design, logistical, performance, and schedule information.
  • Assesses deliverable needs, prepares budget and schedule, communicates resource requirements to management.
  • Provides engineering/technical input to site evaluation and characterization, permitting, power purchase agreements, interconnect agreements, financial modeling, and other project development aspects.
  • Leads the transition of projects from Project Development to EPC.
  • Represents First Solar in permitting and marketing meetings on engineering and technical issues, including meetings with the public and regulatory authorities.
  • Acts as liaison with project management on matters relating to development engineering progress, quality, scope, and schedule.
  • Leads multiple projects simultaneously; manages competing priorities and overcomes obstacles to successfully meet submittal dates.
  • Manages engineering consultants for calculations, drawing packages, stamps
  • Creates Scopes of Work for engineering consultants.
  • Conducts site visits, including occasional domestic and international travel
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Job Description subject to change at any time.

Project Site (non-craft) Requirements:

* Will sit, stand or walk short distances for up to the entire duration of a shift

* Will climb stairs on an occasional basis

* Will lift, push or pull up to 27 pounds on an occasional basis

* Required to use hands to grasp, lift, handle, carry or feel objects on a frequent basis

* 20/40 vision in each eye, with or without correction, is required

* Must be able to comply with all safety standards and procedures

* May reach above shoulder heights and below the waist on a frequent basis

* May stoop, kneel, or bend, on an occasional basis

* Ability to wear personal protective equipment is required (including but not limited to; steel-toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, protective jacket or apron, and arm guards)

Office Physical Requirements:

All positions in our office require interaction with people and technology while either standing or sitting. In order to best serve our customers, internal and external, all associates must be able to communicate face-to-face and on the phone with or without reasonable accommodation. First Solar is committed to compliance with its obligations under all applicable state and federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. In keeping with this commitment, it attempts to reasonably accommodate applicants and employees in accordance with the requirements of the disability discrimination laws. It also invites individuals with disabilities to participate in a good faith, interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations that can be made without imposing an undue hardship.

Please note: potential candidates will meet the education and experience requirements provided on the above job description and excel in completing the listed responsibilities for this role. All candidates receiving an offer of employment must successfully complete a background check, pre-employment drug screen, and any other test that may be required for the role.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: First Solar Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) that values and respects the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is the policy of the company to recruit, hire, train and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a driving force in the success of our company.

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