BLOG – 11.25.20

The Energy Skills Transition – Nichola Lacey

Xodus is proud to be nominated as a finalist for the Contribution to Skills Award at the Scottish Renewables Scottish Green Energy Awards. To celebrate this, we thought we would ask some of our team that have already started their skills transition about their experiences and any advice they could pass on to others that are looking to new energy future.

NameNichola Lacey 

Technical DisciplineEnvironment 

Years in oil and gas5 

Years at Xodus2 

Why do you think you have been able to transfer your skills to new energy? 

My career to date has been enabled by being flexible in how I apply my existing skills and knowledge; from intertidal ecology, to deep sea, to oil and gas and now offshore wind. I’m always looking to expand my technical knowledge and have been very open to learning from my offshore wind colleagues. Many of the same environment and consenting elements apply whether oil and gas or renewable energy. The key for me in this most recent transition has been to work closely with and learn from a diverse and experienced team, but be confident in my own technical grounding. 

What has been your most exciting project?  

As well providing specialist benthic support to ScotWind work, I have been heavily involved in a pre-commercial offshore wind project. ScotWind is a fantastic opportunity to really drive forward energy transition, and the Sectoral Marine Plan has further opened the paths to more Test and Demonstration and Decarbonisation projects in Scotland. Meeting the emerging challenges that these various routes will continue to pose, and working with clients to progress innovative projects has, and will continue to be, an exciting challenge for years to come. 

What advice would you give anyone wanting to put their skills to the energy transition challenge?  

I would advise anyone to be confident in the grounding that they have developed within oil and gas, whatever the specialism. Many of the same challenges exist in both sectors and the experience held, whether in engineering, numerical modelling, ecology or permitting, is key to successfully meeting the energy transition challenge. Work closely with new energy specialists, be open to adapting and learning but be confident to bring your experience to the table. 

Who has been key in supporting you with developing these new skills?  

Key for me has been actively and regularly engaging with colleagues across multiple divisions within Xodus to ensure that the best possible mix of skills and ideas can feed into each project. From collaborative Lessons Learned, Technical Time Out and team briefing sessions, to knowing that experienced project team members are available and willing to provide advice and guidance on specific topics, developing new skills within the team has been a collaborative effort.   

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