Mapping the future of energy, our GIS team’s stories

Geographic Information Systems are powerful mapping tools used across hundreds of industries. Essentially, GIS software applies layers of data to maps, allowing users to gain useful insights.  

Large solar developers like Lightsource bp use GIS tools to identify solar sites. We have a handful of GIS professionals on our staff globally, working to inform decisions about solar farm siting, design, construction and operations with advanced geospatial insights. Here are some of their stories.                                                                                                                                        

 

 

Lindsey Guinther, Senior Development/GIS Manager 

In her renewables career, Lindsey has sited about 2.5GW of renewable energy. Her background in hazards geography has helped her advance Lightsource bp’s geospatial approach from a new angle, using data from floods and other natural catastrophes to provide next-level insights about construction challenges and solutions. Lindsey finds working in solar both technically and emotionally rewarding; she says is inspired by knowing that every analysis or map completed by her or her team contributes to mitigating climate change 

  

Sue Dunham, Development/GIS Manager 

Sue says she works in solar because she knows the climate crisis is real, and believes humanity needs to start acting like our planet is a finite resource. Prior to joining Lightsource bp in September 2020, Sue analyzed natural catastophe events and their impacts for members of a military-based insurance and financial services company. She believes the solar industry provides the perfect opportunity to leverage all GIS has to offer, helping solve complex problems with sophisticated analysis.  

 

Robert Sirianni, GIS/Development Manager 

Witnessing the benefits renewables can have in local communities keeps Robert motivated. He first discovered the joys and impact of GIS as a regional planning student at the University of Illinois, which inspired him to pursue a career in renewable energy to broaden his impact in the fight against climate change. He is particularly enthusiastic about applications of GIS to inform green fielding efforts.  Robert enjoys visiting students to teach the next generation about GIS and renewable energy. 

 

Jenna Pulice, Development Intern 

A recent grad from Penn State University, Jenna has been interning with Lightsource bp since February 2021. She says she enjoys working in renewables because she knows the work she is doing benefits the environment and will open doors in the future to keep using GIS to aid our energy sector in decreasing reliance on coal. Jenna believes Lightsource bp was a great place to start her career, as the company values sustainability and goes the extra mile to ensure benefits for all our stakeholders, including local communities.  

 

Rupert Simcox, Europe & International GIS Analyst

Rupert is the company’s first designated GIS specialist outside of the Americas, hired in January 2021. He joined Lightsource bp after working in petroleum, and feels excited to be fighting climate change in his new role. Rupert enjoys the variation in his work, and the ability to collaborate on projects across the company’s entire global portfolio. He says Lightsource bp’s strong cultural values resonate with him and provide the opportuntity to be himself, be inspired and be the change.  

 

Felipe Clemente, Brazil GIS Analyst 

Felipe is an environmental engineer and specialist in city development. He worked in mining, public management and real estate regulation before joining Lightsource bp in 2019. Felipe says he enjoys working in the solar industry because there is a direct relationship with land management and environmental regulations. Felipe enjoys exchanging knowledge and experience with other GIS users at Lightsource bp around the world.  

 

Jia Ling, GIS/Development Manager 

Jia learned to leverage GIS tools as a researcher with the National Park Service Water Resources Division and has since earned advanced degrees in GIS and business. He says his work at Lightsource bp provides the perfect opportunity to apply his academic background and make a direct impact on conservation and sustainability. Jia especially cherishes the sense of pride he feels when he gets to see a project he worked on reach commercial operation.  

 

Building a Global Community 

While Lightsource bp has 6 dedicated GIS staff, there are more than 50 Lightsource bp staff across departments globally – from business development to IT to CAD design— that use GIS in their work or are interested in integrating GIS into workflows to support business objectives. Lightsource bp has formed an internal community of these GIS professionals, business leaders and map enthusiasts over Microsoft Teams. The group shares resources, training and best practices to make geospatial data and analysis more accessible company wide.  

In 2022 the Lightsource bp team will be taking another major step, of increasing access to GIS data and analysis across the entire company with a new mapping platform that our 50:50 JV partner, bp, is helping us implement.