Electrical Generation Controls Systems

First Solar, Inc   •  

Tempe, AZ

Industry: Energy & Utilities


11 - 15 years

Posted 60 days ago

This job is no longer available.


Primary Job Functions:

The Development Engineer IV – Electrical Generation Control Systems is part of a small group of electrical engineers focused on electrical and control systems development involving new technologies and solutions that may be deployed into large scale solar PV generating plants designed and built by First Solar. This “hands-on” position will be responsible for leading the development, testing, validation, and deployment of innovative solutions for power plant control.


  • Minimum of 10 years in controls design engineering associated with electric energy generation plants
  • Specifying, evaluating, and selecting control devices, architectures, and network communications appropriate for large scale, grid connected solar PV electrical generation plants.
  • Demonstrated ability in innovative systems design as well as control algorithm and code development
  • Expert knowledge in relevant industrial & utility codes and standards
  • Skilled in developing control models and simulations
  • Strong ability to identify and document control requirements driven by electric utility industry and regulatory requirements
  • Technical knowledge of large utility scale power plantdesign is preferred
  • Expertise in voltage, VAR, and power regulation


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering or equivalent is required
  • Master’s or Higher Degree preferred.

Required Skills/Competencies:

  • Ability to take and give direction
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Solid engineering and analytical skills in 3-phase AC electrical systems
  • Ability to effectively present information to peers and management, as well as outside parties including other industry professionals and trade groups
  • Use of Matlab/Simulink Power System Toolbox or similar tools, RTAC programming tools (Schweitzer Engineering Labs SEL or similar)
  • Systems design using WAN/LAN IEEE 802.3, T1/56K, serial RS-232/-422/-485, radio links, Bluetooth, and fiber optics
  • Ability to implement communication protocols including TCP/IP, DNP3, ICCP, Modbus TCP, and IEC61850.
  • Proficient use of all Microsoft Office suite programs

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Develop advanced plant control systems for utility-scale PV power plants in line with First Solar applications and business plan.
  • Provide technical leadership in the development, testing, validation and deployment of innovative solutions that meet functional, regulatory, emerging grid integration and interoperability requirements for the PV plant control system.
  • Develop and design required key control algorithms, perform simulations, document results. Implement and/or oversee implementation of the algorithms.
  • Prepare and execute technical work plan in line with FS new product introduction process, e.g., concept design, detailed design, lab testing, field validation. Lead technical reviews as required.
  • Work with other functional teams to develop project plans including schedules and resources to accomplish the development.
  • Document design concepts, architecture, and essential engineering details
  • Participate in control system witness tests and prepare test reports
  • Establish pilot installations and analyze operations to refine controls systems to verify and validate required performance. Specify and oversee acceptance and reliability testing to validate performance.
  • Provide system application assistance to others during PV project development.
  • Maintain an on-going program to understand and characterize the utility emerging grid requirements and their impact/opportunity for plant controls. Recommend solutions to enhance First Solar plant capability to meet those needs.
  • Drive total lifecycle costs lower through innovation
  • Provide technical guidance and application support to PV project engineers
  • Initiate and support development (internally or co-develop with outside partners) of intellectual property.
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Job description subject to change at any time

Reporting Relationships:

  • The engineer will report directly to the Director-Power Systems Development and may report indirectly to others in management, as necessary. The engineer may directly supervise the activities of other employees.


  • Willing to travel domestically and internationally, up to 30%.
    • REQ-004457