WIND WORKER OF THE MONTH: Chelsea Abner

Electric Nation: Powered By Wind
April 20, 2018

Electric Nation:
What do you do in the wind industry?
CHELSEA:
I am the Assistant facility manager at Broadview windfarm. Most of my time is spent collecting data from our site, and using that data to decipher patterns to increase efficiencies in our systems. However, my scope is ever-changing and my day can change with a phone call or a text. I oversee and participate in everything from troubleshooting to assisting our technicians with safety and maintenance checks. I climb alongside the technicians during these checks to not only provide any support I can offer, but to also ensure a safe work environment. We are here to promote support and safety.

Electric Nation:
What brought you to your current job?
CHELSEA:
I came from West Texas and Wind was always a huge thing around where I grew up, so Wind has always caught my eye. I was in education for a few years and was looking for a change, so I applied and started as a technician four years ago. I became a lead tech, and then moved more into an interim site manager role, and now I am an Assistant Facility manager. Starting from the Technician role was a great experience for me because it drove a lot of the success I see today in my current role. Starting at the Technician level gave me a grassroots perspective, which was a big advantage for me because I was able to provide a more well-rounded approach when supporting the technicians in the field.

Electric Nation:
What do you love about working in wind?
CHELSEA:
I love the overall dynamic nature of the industry. It is constantly evolving and changing, whether that is the technology or the processes. However, in my experience the people I have met in Wind have been the best part. I love to see how people from such diverse backgrounds can come together and apply their different perspectives and skills to their role.

Electric Nation:
What’s your biggest hope for wind energy and other renewables?
CHELSEA:
I hope to see continuous growth for our future generation. I would also like to see more outreach programs and efforts towards increasing learning opportunities for the next generation.

Electric Nation:
What should people in America know about wind energy?
CHELSEA:
With education being such a hot topic in US, wind energy has made a positive impact on the discussion of the importance of skilled labor vs formal education. Renewables is an excellent way to demonstrate how important skilled labor is in working with technology. Don’t get me wrong -- both types of education are important to our industry and the nation as a whole; I think it is important to note how Wind discredits the bias towards formal education because they both have their value.

Electric Nation:
What do you have to say to critics of wind energy?
CHELSEA:
All I have to say to critics is do your research and ask questions, that is the only way you can learn more. Criticism encourages me to reflect on and consider my own opinions, so I love the criticism. I take it as a learning opportunity.

Electric Nation:
Puppies vs. kittens: where do you stand?
CHELSEA:
Puppies for me, I have a 6 year old cocker spaniel. He comes with us everywhere, he kayaks and comes with us on our adventures.