Looking for an inspirational career in a growth industry? Mudgee local Kacee found hers at Crudine Ridge Wind Farm.
Written by Squadron Energy |
Driving past numerous wind farms while travelling between Broken Hill and Adelaide sparked something for Kacee Milnes.
The 34 year-old electrician who started her career in mining says: “Living in Broken Hill most of my life meant that my closest major city was Adelaide and involved a six hour drive passing multiple wind farms near Hallett and Burra. I had always found wind turbines fascinating and wanted to make a change to an industry I believed to be kinder to the environment and in a time of major growth.”
Fast-forward five years and the now Mudgee local is enjoying her role as Site Services Manager for GE Vernova, which is responsible for the maintenance of the turbines at Squadron Energy’s Crudine Ridge Wind Farm.
The job involves managing the planned and reactive maintenance of the 37 turbines on site and also offers great flexibility.
“At Crudine Ridge Wind Farm we hold work/life balance as the pinnacle of our site continuing to operate as well as it does. I have a young family and without the flexibility in my current role and within my organisation as a whole I imagine it would have been quite a difficult transition time returning to work after maternity leave,” she said.
“I have been able to work from home as required and have the ability to schedule certain tasks around my young son’s needs.”
She also says the local area has been great to raise a family.
“I moved to the Mudgee area in late 2020 and was lucky to make friends almost straight away. Right from the very start Mudgee had a homely feeling to it. It has the small country town calm but also some city style comforts (with great food and wines!).
“My partner and I had our son at Mudgee hospital in 2022 which led to a whole new level of community involvement when I was invited to join a mum’s group started by the hospital.
“We purchased a home in Mudgee early this year and can’t picture ourselves anywhere else right now.”
According to Jobs and Skills Australia, electrician is one of the top 20 occupations in demand right now. With the forecast growth of renewable energy in Australia, the demand for electricians in the industry is expected to create more than 21,000 jobs for electricians between 2025 and 2050.
Ms Milnes says the combination of her trade and a rewarding growth industry is a winner. She encourages young people with an interest in renewables to explore the opportunities available.
“This industry is only growing and all my experiences thus far have allowed me to learn and grow along the way and have put me in the position I am in now,” she says.
“Working in renewable energy has been the absolute highlight of my working career. It has been very refreshing to move to an industry that focuses on continuous improvement.
“There is so much room for career growth (which also leads to personal growth along the way). Don’t be afraid that you don’t know all there is to know about renewable energy – there are so many knowledgeable people in the industry and from my experience, everyone is always happy to share their knowledge and support you in your learning.”
Crudine Ridge Wind Farm is located 45km south of Mudgee. In addition to a team of six people based on site, extra crews visit to carry out maintenance work throughout the year.