Martin Gillespie - Planning Consultant in Renewables

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Martin Gillespie – Planning Consultant in Renewables

Emerging technology, as we know, will be critical to the UK achieving its binding carbon targets. It’s therefore a real privilege that planning consultants like me get to play a hugely influential role in this.

I graduated from the University of Glasgow in December 2016 with a MSc in International Planning Studies. This included a focus on challenges to international urban development and policy engagement.

Following graduation, I took on an internship position within a local authority before starting full-time employment as a Graduate Planner with a housing developer in August 2017. During this time I worked on producing planning application documents, understanding and forming strategy and working on planning appeals for large-scale residential developments.

In September 2018, I transitioned my career from working in the residential sector to working in renewables, with the intention of helping to facilitate the development of projects that would help Scotland achieve a greener, net-zero future. In 2019, I took on my current role with Arcus as a Planning Consultant and have worked on a variety of technologies, including both onshore and offshore developments.

Now, four years into my career, I am working on some of the most transformational renewable energy projects in the world, including some that are using world-first technologies in Scotland.

I am leading the charge on a lot of this pioneering work. For example, I was the lead planner for the consented Greener Grid Park project in Moray, currently under construction. The development was granted consent in May 2020 and will be the world’s first rotating stabiliser or ‘giant flywheel’ scheme utilising cutting edge technology from General Electric.

In short, the facility could help keep the lights on by stabilizing the energy grid’s electrical frequency but will not generate electricity or produce carbon emissions. I am now working on several other sites of this nature across Scotland. These are exciting times for both the sector and for anyone developing a career in this field.

Find out more about similar career opportunities at Arcus here.