During an education conference in Oman in 2017, ESB International’s Oman Country Manager, Conall Doyle, met Garrett Greene, International Officer from Limerick Institute of Technology’s International Office. When Conall heard that my colleague Almuataz and I had studied renewable energy in Limerick, two places were made available on ESB International’s summer placement programme for us in the Irish office. This was the starting point of my career with ESB International.
I’ve always been drawn to Ireland, having studied English there in 2008/2009 and, in 2014 I was lucky to take part in the Omani Government Sponsorship Programme. This scholarship allowed me to study Renewable and Electrical Energy Systems for three years at Limerick Institute of Technology and I followed this with one year in Sustainable Electrical Power Systems at the Institute.
At the time, the renewable energy journey was at a relatively early stage in Oman but since then the country has undergone a major shift in its move towards renewables. I wanted to play a part in helping develop Oman’s renewable energy infrastructure and joining ESB International is providing me with that opportunity.
ESB International already had a very good reputation here in Oman providing a range of consultancy services across the full energy value chain from generation to transmission. The quality and efficiency of its work is highly recognised with many companies wanting ESB International to be their advisers and consultants.
The opportunity to work with a company travelling the same journey with Oman towards a brighter future could not be turned down. Even then ESB International had various renewable projects in operation – wind, solar, hydro – and observing the magnitude of such operations in our head office in Dublin was truly a unique experience.
During my summer placement, I was rotated through various departments and was mentored by Conall for the two-month period. I was exposed to various elements of the electricity market and gained hands-on experience. Rather than learning from books and videos, I had the opportunity to work with wind engineers and solar engineers and use new software.
I spent time in the wind operation and trading centres in ESB HQ and watching these centres of excellence operate in real life really made me appreciate the unique position I was in.
We now have the first wind turbine plants in Oman – a 50 megawatt plant consisting of 13 turbines and there are plans for up to around 300 megawatts of wind and 1,500 megawatts of solar . ESB International is also now assisting Oman with new Spot Price Market integration so the knowledge I gained in the trading centre in Dublin helped me to better understand these complex areas.
At the end of the internship, along with Almuataz, I presented a project related to solar integration for the new Oman airport to Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) senior management.
We had developed a solar solution for the new Muscat Airport utilising software such as helioscope, PVSyst and Sketchup. As part of the project, we undertook a PEST analysis (political, economic, social, technical) on renewable energy in Oman. This was to explore the market situation and feasibility of such a project.
After I graduated, I returned to Oman and remained in touch with Conall. An opportunity arose to work with him in the Oman branch as an Electrical and Renewable engineer graduate starting in November 2019. I have been with ESB International since then - currently with a focus mainly on renewable energy efficiency and energy audits, solar design and bid preparation.
My experience so far with ESB International has been enjoyable and challenging at the same time. I get support from my manager and colleagues and sharing their wisdom has helped me develop more than I ever expected. The company is one that wants to see everyone grow and reach their full potential.
The knowledge I have gained from working with Conall knows no bounds, daily he makes me feel like I’ll never stop learning. For a graduate, it’s rare to get the opportunity to be involved with so many strategic projects and have exposure to senior people. The ESB International culture encourages challenging questions so it’s a win-win on both sides.
As my Government helped me to study abroad, I am happy to work for a company here that is helping to develop new energy services in my country and I am proud to be supporting Oman’s transition to a low-carbon world.