A feel-good career that’s good for the planet
Younger generations stand to benefit from the renewable energy boom on several fronts. For one, the job market in this arena is growing exponentially — particularly in rural areas of the country where job growth has been stagnating for years. And, as generations just hitting the workforce are seeking purpose — not just prosperity — the renewable energy market presents an opportunity to make a decent living and do good simultaneously.
Lindsay Wallace is a project manager for renewable development and origination at NextEra Energy Resources. Throughout Wallace’s seven-year stint at the company, she’s seen the renewables industry skyrocket. In her current role, working closely on corporate partnership agreements between NextEra Energy Resources and external organizations, she’s also seen the positive, on-the-ground impacts that wind energy projects can have.
These projects hit close to home for Wallace on more than one level. “I grew up in a household that was incredibly mindful of sustainability, turning off the lights, saving water … even to the extent that if you didn’t get out of the shower fast enough, the cold water might be switched on,” she recalls. “Growing up like that made me conscious about my personal impact and enthusiastic for what I could do for the world in my career.”
Wallace, who directly supports AT&T-backed projects, explains that collaboration with AT&T was serendipitous for both parties. “We had a number of projects that were a really strong fit for AT&T, both by the value they delivered as well as the community benefits and the locations [where they were planned],” she says. For example, AT&T, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, jumped at the chance to support renewable energy projects in the company’s “home” state.
Today, the four wind energy projects that AT&T is backing are expected to have a notable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of taking 530,000 cars per year off of the road.
While projects like the ones supported by AT&T can have big environmental benefits, they also take time. Taylor says that the company worked for nearly a year to find the right projects and right partners.
“We worked hard to get this right,” says Taylor. “It took a lot of people and a lot of time to make sure our investments would benefit both our company and our planet. Now, the renewable projects we’re building together can help change the world.”
This article is the second in a series from AT&T exploring how wind energy is powering America’s transition to a low-carbon economy and creating a better, more environmentally sustainable world. AT&T is working to enable a clean energy future; the company is one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy in the US. Read the first piece in the series here.