Connecting Projects with People: Eric Barradale, PE on Growing a Power and Renewables Presence in the Southeast
November 28, 2022
How are client needs evolving in the current power market? What does the future of reliable and clean energy look like? Who benefits from recurring consultation and system upgrades?
These are the kinds of questions that are essential to ask to better understand the needs, goals and concerns of power utilities across the country. Eric Barradale’s job is to ask these questions and — more importantly — work to find the answers.
As a Market Development Manager in Ulteig’s Power Lifeline Sector, Eric focuses on establishing and developing long-term relationships with clients in the Southeast region of the United States. His knowledge of the East Coast power landscape empowers his efforts and allows him to more accurately determine how Ulteig can serve regional power utilities.
“With the clean energy transition and infrastructure investment that is happening — and will continue to happen in the next 10-20 years — this company is a great place to be,” said Barradale. “We’re right in the sweet spot.”
Barradale’s deep industry knowledge stems from nearly two decades at Duke Energy, a leading investor-owned utility based in North Carolina. By working with many different areas of Duke Energy’s business including generation, transmission, distribution, legal, rates, regulatory and policy, as well as some of Duke’s largest customers, he developed a robust understanding of the power industry, trends and projections of future energy initiatives. This experience will help him work with many of our large clients who have begun work on major renewable energy projects, as well as building and upgrading substations and transmission lines.
Now, with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in motion, it is more important than ever to build and maintain durable and reliable energy infrastructure for power and renewable energy. More utilities and builders are looking for ways to streamline their infrastructure initiatives and move toward a more renewable-energy future.
“One of the things that is really exciting is the way the law is being presented. It allows for tax exempt entities who were not originally able to take advantage of tax credits associated with wind and solar investments. They will now be able to get the same benefit of a tax-paying entity.”
Expanding Ulteig’s Presence
Equipped with this background and valuable industry knowledge, he has come to Ulteig to bridge the gap between clients looking to get these projects off the ground and the engineers who can accomplish them. To do so, Barradale says his job is to start with name recognition.
“A lot of this business is referrals and industry connections.”
By leveraging existing connections and presenting Ulteig’s portfolio as a leading engineering firm, new and even existing clients can learn more about the company and can rest assured that their goals will be met and their needs anticipated.
Barradale continued: “We anticipate change and remain nimble, which helps us create the most value for our clients.”
“Ulteig’s ability to stay fresh and on top of developing industry trends and legislation is what makes us a differentiator in the market,” said Barradale. This is especially critical in a time where interconnectivity between utilities and developers has become increasingly more prominent and simultaneously problematic.
“Utilities need to go through laborious processes and schedules to interconnect,” he said, noting how it can be a lengthy process that can be disruptive to utilities looking to shift toward cleaner energy infrastructure initiatives. “Shortcomings with the interconnection process are being addressed at the interregional/ national level by FERC. We will continue to support these efforts to allow our clients to achieve the best chance of successful project outcomes.”
Focused on the Long-Term Solutions
As a Registered Professional Engineer, Eric understands the importance of looking at the big picture. Solutions he presents need to meet his standards of long-term viability and sustainability. From supporting solar PV and battery energy storage system (BESS) applications in the South to improving interconnection processes between utilities and developers, Eric continues to research, learn and offer solutions for clients that will solve both an immediate problem and future roadblocks. After all, the nature of the industry, he says, is one that is constantly evolving.
That is also why Eric is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate from Johns Hopkins University.
“My master’s program has been and will continue to be very helpful to refine my skill set and apply it to my everyday life.”
With his master’s degree in hand, Eric will be poised to further cement Ulteig as an industry leader and expert in driving long-term solutions for the future of energy, renewables and infrastructure across the Lifeline Sectors®. Eric believes that Ulteig’s national presence is growing, and that with reliable communication, nimble project management and market-leading project quality, there is a lot of room for future growth and opportunity.
Finding Success Through His Passions
Whether or not clients on the Eastern seaboard know about Ulteig is something that Eric Barradale is looking to change. Luckily, his experience with Duke Energy and his in-depth industry knowledge will set him up for success. Eric is focused on building trust and recognition with key players on a long-term basis, not just for immediate projects. That is why he continues to research the market, know the industry and find new ways to learn and grow.
In addition to expanding his industry knowledge, Eric finds passion in the outdoors and traveling to places like Patagonia, Argentina. He and his wife, Anita, can often be found trail running, mountain biking or hiking and they have instilled this love of the outdoors in their two daughters and son. Regardless of what Eric is doing, he remains motivated and curious. We are excited to see which questions Eric will answer as he leads Ulteig into the future of Power in the Southeastern United States.
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