What Does A Project Manager Do For An Energy Company?

What does a project manager do for an energy company?

A project manager plays a key role in planning, organizing, and managing projects for an energy company. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a project from start to finish, including scoping, budgeting, scheduling, quality control, risk management, team leadership, and stakeholder communications. Project managers are essential for ensuring projects achieve objectives on time and on budget while meeting quality standards.

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Manage Projects

A key responsibility of a project manager at an energy company is to oversee projects from start to finish. This involves developing project plans, setting timelines and milestones, managing budgets, acquiring resources, coordinating with various teams, and monitoring progress to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Creating detailed project plans and scopes of work
  • Estimating costs and assembling project budgets
  • Establishing schedules, timelines, and milestones
  • Procuring equipment, materials, and external services as needed
  • Assembling project teams and delegating tasks
  • Monitoring team performance and tracking progress
  • Identifying and mitigating risks and issues
  • Implementing changes and corrective actions as needed
  • Verifying project deliverables and milestones are met
  • Managing closeout, handover, and transition of completed projects

The project manager is involved throughout all phases, from initiating and planning to executing, controlling, and closing. They play a vital role in keeping energy projects on time, within budget, and aligned with objectives.

Plan Timelines

One of the key responsibilities of a project manager at an energy company is to create detailed schedules and realistic timelines for projects. As noted by the U.S. Department of Energy, “Conduct regularly scheduled project meetings with management, clients, and subcontractors to facilitate, confirm and communicate status of the project and next steps” (https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/career-map-project-manager).

Project schedules outline the sequence of project activities and deliverables in a logical order so the project can be completed efficiently (https://www.projectmanager.com/guides/project-scheduling). Effective scheduling is essential for the project manager to scope, budget, and coordinate all aspects of the project. The schedule provides a roadmap to keep tasks, resources, and deadlines organized.

When creating a schedule, the project manager breaks down project deliverables into individual tasks, estimates the duration of each task, determines task dependencies, and assigns resources. This allows the project manager to set milestones and deadlines. The schedule is an ever-evolving document that the project manager continually monitors and updates as the project progresses.

Manage Budgets

One of the core responsibilities of a project manager at an energy company is to manage project budgets and costs. They are accountable for tracking and controlling expenses to ensure projects are delivered on-budget. This involves developing detailed budgets and cost estimates upfront and monitoring spending to identify any cost overruns or variances.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, project managers “coordinate the construction of a wind project, directing and coordinating activities ensuring that the project is complete on schedule and within budget.”


To control costs, project managers review purchase orders, change orders, invoices, and other financial documents. They analyze expenditure reports to compare planned versus actual spending and take corrective action if expenses exceed budgeted amounts. Effective project managers also negotiate contracts with vendors/suppliers to obtain optimal pricing and payment terms.

Strong financial management and analytical skills are essential for project managers to maintain budgets successfully. They must also have excellent communication abilities to provide budget updates to stakeholders and justify any deviations from the plan.

Lead Teams

A key responsibility of an energy project manager is leading their project team. This involves recruiting skilled professionals across various disciplines like engineering, construction, procurement, and more. The project manager must assess the project requirements and staff the team with experts who can fulfill those needs.

Once the team is assembled, the project manager provides leadership and guidance. They set clear objectives, delegate tasks, and motivate the team to meet deadlines and stay on budget. The manager coordinates collaboration and resolves any conflicts that arise. They track each team member’s progress and provide feedback to optimize performance. The project’s success depends on the manager’s ability to get the most out of their team.

According to an article on LinkedIn, building a strong project team for energy management requires hiring self-motivated people with a passion for the industry (https://www.linkedin.com/advice/1/how-can-you-build-strong-project-team-energy-tgulc). The manager should identify team members’ strengths and align tasks accordingly. Fostering open communication and a collaborative environment is also key. With an engaged, capable team, the energy project manager can deliver excellent results.

Mitigate Risks

A key part of a project manager’s role at an energy company is identifying and minimizing risks across projects. Energy projects often face substantial risks such as cost overruns, schedule delays, technical challenges, and changing regulations that can derail progress if not properly managed (Source 1).

To mitigate risks, project managers conduct thorough project risk assessments to detect potential issues early on. They analyze each identified risk for its likelihood of occurring and potential impact. High priority risks are closely monitored and contingency plans are developed. Things like implementing redundancy, adding slack time to schedules, and securing insurance are common risk mitigation tactics (Source 2).

Project managers also regularly re-evaluate risks and monitor early warning signs. They pay special attention to risks that could impact multiple projects across the portfolio. By proactively identifying and minimizing project risks, project managers help energy companies deliver projects on-time and on-budget.


Communication is a crucial skill for project managers in the energy industry. Effective communication facilitates collaboration between the various teams and stakeholders involved in energy projects [1]. The project manager acts as the liaison, relaying important information between groups. They need strong interpersonal skills to build relationships, align everyone’s efforts, and resolve conflicts. Clear and constant communication keeps stakeholders updated on progress and potential risks or changes.

Project managers must tailor their messaging for each audience while presenting a consistent overall vision [2]. For example, they may focus on technical details when meeting with engineers or simplify messages for executives. Listening skills are equally vital to understand needs and receive feedback. Overall, adept communication enables project managers to lead collaborative, aligned teams in the dynamic energy industry.

Problem Solve

Project managers at energy companies face many issues and obstacles that require effective problem solving skills in order to keep projects on track. One of the key responsibilities is being able to troubleshoot issues as they arise to prevent delays or going over budget (Source). This involves analyzing problems to identify the root causes, generating potential solutions, evaluating alternatives, and implementing the chosen solution.

For example, if there is a delay in the delivery of materials to a construction site, the project manager would need to find out why they are delayed, come up with options like finding alternate suppliers or adjusting the schedule while waiting, determine the best solution, and make it happen. Having strong analytical, creative thinking, and decision making skills helps project managers troubleshoot effectively.

Ensure Quality

A key responsibility of energy project managers is to ensure the quality of the project’s deliverables. This involves verifying that standards, specifications and requirements outlined in the project plan are met at every stage of the project lifecycle (Energy.gov, 2023). The project manager acts as the quality gatekeeper, conducting inspections and reviews to confirm work is completed according to requirements. For example, at a renewable energy construction site, the project manager will monitor progress and perform quality control inspections to ensure wind turbines or solar panels meet quality benchmarks (Energy.gov, 2023).

To manage quality, the project manager will put procedures and metrics in place to measure and track quality. This can involve checklists, quality audits, control charts and processes like Six Sigma. If any issues are identified, the project manager is responsible for implementing corrective actions to get the project back on track. Maintaining high quality is critical for operational performance, safety, customer satisfaction and staying within budget. By verifying quality at every step, the project manager ensures the final energy project deliverables meet stakeholders’ expectations.


In summary, project managers play a critical role in energy companies by planning, budgeting, leading, problem-solving, and ensuring quality across complex projects. Their skills in project management, communication, leadership, and technical knowledge related to the energy industry enable projects to be completed on-time and on-budget. Project managers coordinate cross-functional teams, risks, and schedules from the planning phase through execution. They provide immense value to energy companies through their unique capabilities to oversee intricate projects, adapt to challenges, and drive results. Though project management can be demanding, project managers derive great satisfaction in seeing key infrastructure projects advance that support society’s energy needs.

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