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A biomass power plant manager supervises every aspect of the transformation of waste into useable energy. They keep track of the amount of energy the plant is producing as opposed to how much it uses. Managers also ensure that strict safety protocol is followed and that it is in compliance with federal and regional regulations.
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Biomass power plant managers have a wide range of duties within their workplace. They must repair and test equipment that distributes electricity using specialized power tools and testing procedures. Power plant managers also use equipment like handheld radios to monitor the plant’s communications operations.
In emergencies, biomass power plant managers are responsible for shutting down the operations of the biomass power plants and equipment to allow for repairs, part replacement, and the maintenance of equipment until it is safe to restart the systems. To ensure safety, managers review data and reports that clarify whether or not the power plant is putting out safe levels of energy. Managers also look for abnormal patterns of production to identify whether or not equipment and machinery is running in a safe manner. Power plants must run in compliance with federal or regional regulations, and biomass power plant managers are responsible for ensuring the operations of the plant are within these regulations and guidelines.
To keep things running safely and smoothly, biomass plant managers must schedule the delivery of fuel and the removal of waste products, ash, and other residue; as well as refuse excess fuel deliveries. They must have an organized inventory of all parts and supplies necessary within the plant.
Budget and spending control responsibilities are another part of the power plant management position. The goal of the manager is to identify ways to create maximized capacity of energy output with minimal operating costs. They must draw up budgets for the biomass plant and look into equipment and procedures within the plant that may be causing costs to rise without improving output.
Biomass power plant engineers are in charge of supervising the operations within their plant. This includes keeping an eye on maintenance procedures as well as repairs of equipment and testing policies. They must put together detailed reports compiling the details of these procedures for upper management.
In order to improve the procedures within the plant, biomass power plant managers must be able to review their reports and records to evaluate the supply and demand trends and improve the way the plant produces energy. This is to ensure that the energy production increases do not compromise the safety of the stations and substations within the plant.
Many biomass power plant engineers have a college background in the engineering field. Industrial engineering is an excellent major for this type of work, as it gives necessary insight and experience in the engineering field through courses focused on design, calculus and other more complicated mathematics courses, as well as mechanics, chemistry, ethics, and other relevant topics.
A degree in industrial engineering gives a student background on how to design, install, maintain, and improve materials, energy, and equipment through the use of mathematics and scientific principles. Knowledge in social science, physical science, applied math, engineering, design, computers, and other methodologies are required for this position.
Candidates for jobs as biomass power plant managers must be able to hire and fire, and write reviews of both equipment performance and staff performance. They must be able to write detailed reports and keep track of how many different systems are working at once so as to ensure that the environment is safe. They also have to keep track of how much energy is produced and how much energy is being used in the process.
Personality traits of a biomass power plant manager should include strong leadership skills with the ability to take charge and give directions to others. Candidates should also be reliable, with a strong willingness to start new projects and finish them with the same drive.
Biomass power plant engineers spend equal time within the production areas of the plants and their own private offices. When in the production area performing tests and gathering information for input and output reports, managers must wear protective gear and equipment that is up to code.
While in their offices, managers will meet with staff and upper management to discuss the gathered data, as well as production and maintenance testing and protocol. This workspace is also where managers write the reports detailing their findings as well as where they manage supply inventory.
Many biomass power plant managers work long hours, up to an excess of 50 hours per week. Overtime generally comes into play when there are deadlines that need to be met. The long hours can also occur if management has to be called in due to a plant emergency. Biomass power plant managers can be called in any time of day or night and are unable to leave until the problem has been resolved.
Due to the amount of pressure and responsibilities, this job and workplace could be considered stressful. Dealing with production deadlines and emergency situations under the watchful eye of upper management can increase these stress levels, especially since corporate restructuring has caused many more responsibilities to be placed on the power plant managers. These added responsibilities were at one time taken care of by other support staff that restructuring eliminated.