“I came to this industry at the right place, the right time, and with the right company,” Oscar said. “Renewable energy is booming, and it’s the future. The sky’s the limit in this industry.”
Oscar Velazquez is the Facility Manager for Santa Isabel Wind, in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico.
A mechanical engineer by trade with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management, Oscar looks like he was sent from central casting for his current role.
“I was in oil and gas for thirteen years before renewables,” Oscar told me when we spoke about his career recently. “I was a maintenance manager delivering gas and diesel at the Terminal, and was looking for new challenges and opportunities.”
His search brought him to an open Facility Manager position with Pattern Energy, and as a result, Santa Isabel Wind has operated under his management since 2018.
Working with Oscar to run Santa Isabel Wind is Assistant Facility Manager Carlos Roman, and they are joined on-site with five wind technicians.
Thoughts on renewable energy
“I came to this industry at the right place, the right time, and with the right company,” Oscar said. “Renewable energy is booming, and it’s the future. The sky’s the limit in this industry.” He went on to describe how wind turbines are improving in efficiency and power production, and that it’s exciting to see constant innovation and progress.
Using a tone that sounded sure of what he was saying, he intoned, “The tech improves every year. This is where the future is, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Sure, okay, Oscar and the team run Santa Isabel like a tight ship, but what is Oscar like? When I asked him about his hobbies, he demurred but finally admitted, “I like to lift weights and work out seven times a week. Fitness is my hobby, and that with my pets and spending time with my wife and family makes for a happy life.”
Oscar is married to his wife, Sonia, an avid gardener and craft stitcher. Together they have a blended family with two daughters, a son, and six grandchildren in the mainland United States.
“We’ve been together for twenty years,” Oscar told me proudly, “and we live together in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We like to take vacations to see family in the States, and recently we were in Philly seeing family. We had a great time.”
Working for Pattern Energy
We got back to talking about his work, and Pattern Energy in particular. “The best part about working for Pattern Energy is the culture. The company values are in black and white, and they back it up.”
How you feel about your career is important to Pattern Energy. They care that you see yourself growing with them, and prior to my role here I had never seen that in another company. It’s been a great experience and why I’m with them today.”
The “other” kids
In addition to his family, Oscar and Sonia have a total of five pets that keep them entertained and bring them a lot of happiness.
Their three dogs are Yoshi, Moty, a five-year-old ShihTzu and Sisi, a 100-year-old ShihTzu mix. “Moty is my buddy,” said Oscar, laughing.
To round out the team at home, they also have two African grey parrots: 25-year old Cuca, who they inherited, and a five year old named Lolo they raised from an egg by hand.
“I had to feed him four times a day for a long time,” said Oscar, “but he did fine.”
The future is wind
As we ended our time together, Oscar and I talked about looking forward. He offered this though:
“Santa Isabel is the best location for wind turbines, and it’s like I told you. The future is renewables. All the innovation, excitement, and growth is in this industry.”
Then he repeated himself: “I came to this industry at the right place, the right time, and with the right company.”