Dream Job: Renewable Energy Project Developer

Looking for a career that integrates sustainability? This new series spotlights NC State alumni who are making a difference in sustainability. 

Harrison Cole, a 2016 graduate of NC State majoring in Environmental Technology and Management, shares about his jump from campus to a sustainability-related career.

How is sustainability part of your current work?

I am a Project Developer at Cypress Creek Renewables where we develop, build and maintain solar farms throughout the country. I focus on the Southeast market, and more specifically in the North Carolina market. Sustainability is a big part of our mission, as we strive to create a cleaner energy future by helping to reduce carbon emissions from traditional power plants. By incorporating sustainable practices into development, we are able to deliver projects that benefit local communities and the environment overall.

How did NC State prepare you for a sustainability-related career?

NC State helped to prepare me for a sustainability-related career by giving me background knowledge on environmental-related reports, including all the state and federal agencies that you need to consult with. By minoring in Renewable Energy Assessment, I was further able to gain knowledge of the solar industry, not only in North Carolina, but across the country. These classes and more at NC State helped me develop a mindset where I knew what industry I wanted to pursue and gave me a substantial amount of knowledge to succeed.

What message do you have for current NC State students hoping to integrate sustainability into their career?

I would encourage current NC State students to pursue their passion in whatever field that might be. You can incorporate sustainable practices in whatever field you are passionate about, and with the background knowledge that NC State provides, you will have all the tools at your disposal. If you want to go into a sustainable career field, find an aspect of sustainability that [you] feel passionate about and research how [you] can improve it. With sustainability on the rise throughout the world, there is a marketplace that values young men and women with a bright educational background to go out in the world and make a difference.

Do you want to be featured in this series or know someone who should be? Let us know