Published: Nov. 24, 2020 By

Max is a 2019 MENV graduate and currently works as a Senior Analyst of Transmission Development at Invenergy, America's largest renewable energy developer. In this alumni spotlight article, Max tells us about his current position, the post-graduate job search, and his advice for current and future MENV students.

What is your academic and professional background?

Max Moore PortraitI have a Business degree in Economics from the University of Miami in Florida, where I minored in Ecosystem Science and Policy. While in Miami, I got my first taste of the renewable energy industry while working for Guzman Energy. I spent a few years working in the outdoor industry in Steamboat, Hawaii, and New Zealand, before coming back to Boulder for the MENV Program. There, I worked with a super duper capstone team at E Source, where we conducted an emerging tech analysis of clean energy startups for E Source’s electric utility clients.


Where do you work and how would you describe your role?

I work for Invenergy, America’s largest privately owned renewable developer, with over 25,000 megawatts of wind, solar, battery storage, and natural gas projects in operations or late stage development. I’m working on the Grain Belt Express Transmission Line, which is set to bring 4,000 megawatts of Kansas renewable energy 800 miles across the Midwest and East Coast.

My title is “Senior Analyst of Transmission Development,” and development can mean a lot of things to different people. Developers are the jack of all trades for energy projects. I work as a go-between for engineering, environmental, legal, regulatory, project finance, and communications teams and synthesize all that information to present it to local stakeholders. A lot of my work recently has been geared toward land acquisition, working with farmers and ranchers to sign easements for the transmission line––a true food/energy nexus.


How did you find your current position? Could you speak about your job search process and how it went?

My career search began really when I started the MENV program. I worked as the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Graduate Assistant for Rudy Kahsar, and I tried to gear programs toward networking events with industry professionals. Through the CU Energy Club, we hosted a Career Fair and invited prospective employers across energy and sustainability sectors to attend. There, I met with two representatives at Invenergy and continued to build those relationships, as well as relationships with other energy professionals. When I knew that I wanted to go into renewable development, I structured my class schedule to reflect that and took engineering classes, law classes, and classes within MENV to develop the skills and vocabulary to work as a developer. Huge thank-you’s to MENV's Carey Albertine, Rachel Bigby, and Rudy Kahsar in the job hunt process too! It really does take a village.


Were there any hard or soft skills you felt you lacked or wished you were stronger in when you started your career after graduate school?

Running an efficient, productive meeting is something that I am still working on today, including knowing the right questions to ask and delegating tasks. Also, at the time I did not think food systems were relevant to renewable development––little did I know that I would be working with farmers and ranchers every day! As a Renewable and Sustainable Energy student, I would have benefitted from taking a course that focused on food systems.


What is something people may not know about you?

In eighth grade I was on the cover of the Pioneer Press (North Shore Chicago’s Local Newspaper) for my starring role as Willy Wonka in Edgewood Middle School’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My mom has an autographed copy still hanging in our house today.


What advice would you give to a new MENV student?

Make quality relationships with people in the program and in whatever industry you want to enter. Also, reach out to the alumni who have been through it before and can offer a helping hand or an introduction. Ski or snowboard every Friday, and…Tibet Kitchen’s lunch deal is the best in Boulder.