As Director of Construction, EPC at PowerFlex, Rob Miller is responsible for the construction of our engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects that are primarily ground-mounted systems from 1MW to 10MW in size. With more than 13 years of experience in the solar industry, he is a licensed Massachusetts Construction Supervisor who has completed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour training. He holds a B.A. in Electrical Engineering from State University of NY Maritime College and also has a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico.
- How would you define your role at PowerFlex?As Director of Construction, my job is mainly concerned with the execution of projects to ensure the smooth and efficient installation of the solar system. At the start of the project cycle, I help the project development team to determine the pricing and evaluate the site. Once the contract is signed, I’m responsible for contract compliance and working with our Project Managers to hire subcontractors to execute the work. I support the work in the field and coordinate with our PMs, engineers, designers, and procurement teams.
- How did you first become involved in the solar industry and why?From 2003 to 2007, I had my own business in residential construction. In 2007, Connecticut started offering large incentives for residential solar. My electrical engineering degree made photovoltaic solar power a natural fit for me. I also recognized that solar energy was one of the most promising technologies for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
- What drew you to work at PowerFlex?Over the years, I have worked at several different solar companies, including Real Goods Solar and SolarCity. PowerFlex is the most customer-focused company in my experience, and I appreciated the way we truly prioritize our clients’ goals and create custom solutions with care and excellence. We always aim to install solar panels with as little impact on a customer’s operations as possible and build high-quality systems that last for decades.
- What motivates you in your career?I enjoy serving my customers and developing long-term relationships. These systems will be part of a facility for 25 years or more. The design, selection of products, and installation quality are all crucial if a system is to work effectively for that period of time. I’m always thinking about the next person to come along in the process and make sure that they can find the information to keep the system running at its best.
- Do you notice any specific challenges or advantages that you encounter in working on Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) projects?EPC work is exciting because we are dealing with very sophisticated customers who already understand many aspects of solar installation. We go through the design process with them and incorporate their feedback into the final designs. Cost is always a big factor, so we are constantly looking for products and methods that increase efficiency while preserving long term quality. The systems tend to be larger, so small changes replicated many times can offer big savings on larger projects. Small details become very important on large projects.
- What advice do you have for people looking to work in the solar energy field?Solar power is a relatively young industry, but it has already garnered a very successful track record. I find it exciting to work in a field that is constantly innovating new ideas to better itself. The solar industry offers huge opportunities, and I firmly believe that photovoltaics are one of the best technologies that we have to combat climate change. I have real satisfaction knowing that the work I do every day is making real change to better the planet. If that is attractive to you, then I would recommend a career in solar energy.
- If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?I would choose to climb walls like spiderman so I could work on roofs without needing any fall protection.
I feel very fortunate that my solar career path has led me to PowerFlex. We have an outstanding team, from the company’s leadership to each of my coworkers. So many solar companies are all about the bottom line and quantity over quality, but the team at PowerFlex truly cares about our clients and helping one another achieve the best solutions for them. The company has allowed me to maintain a healthy work-life balance and provides many opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects that push me to innovate and problem solve. If you are interested in going solar at your company, check out our work and contact us today. If you’re interested in joining our team, see our current openings here.