2019 Intern Spotlight: A Conversation with Taylor Johnson, Georgia Institute of Technology Class of 2020

August 19, 2019

Question 1

Mitch: I graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in electrical engineering a few years ago, so I’m thrilled to have another EE major onboard this summer. What made you apply for Renewvia’s internship program?

Taylor: I was looking for an opportunity to work on some real-life engineering problems, specifically those involving the energy industry, and came across Renewvia while searching for renewable energy companies in the Atlanta area. Once I read about how you design, engineer and install rooftop and ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems all across the United States, develop microgrids in sub-Saharan Africa and more, I wanted to be part of your company’s exciting work.

Question 2

Mitch: What are your thoughts so far? And tell us more about what a typical day look like for you at Renewvia?

Taylor:  I have really enjoyed my time here. As a small company, everyone at Renewvia wears multiple hats. There’s always something to do, and I’ve been able to see many different roles up close. On my day-to-day, I’m usually working on creating solar panel layouts on a program called Aurora, where we model the buildings and solar panels to see what system size we can provide our clients and how much energy it will produce. I also help design the electrical back-end, all the way from solar panels to the building’s electrical gear, and then contribute to the plans that will eventually be stamped by a licensed engineer.

Question 3

Mitch: Renewvia operates solar power systems across three continents and nearly two dozen U.S. states. What is your favorite project so far?

Taylor:  Getting to play an important role in the design and engineering process for Renewvia’s new beer wholesaling client, Bibb Distributing Company, has been an incredible opportunity for me. Not only have I had the chance to figure out the layout of the panels and inverters, update the equipment and labels and calculate the breaker sizes for a new 300-kilowatt solar rooftop array, but I’ve also been able see this project up close when I traveled down to Macon, GA to take pre-construction pictures of its distribution facility. When the system is commissioned later this year, it will offset Bibb Distributing’s power cost by approximately 40 percent.

Question 4

Mitch: Where do you see this internship at Renewvia taking you?

Taylor: As my first internship, I’m excited to gain experience working at such a dynamic solar company and think my time at Renewvia will help open a lot of doors in the renewable energy and utility industries after I graduate next year.  In particular, I now have a significant understanding of PV systems, how they connect to the grid, and what’s required to coordinate all of the components. I’ve also learned how to choose the right equipment required to accommodate the power needs for the system, such as inverters, breakers and transformers. Another skill is creating the CAD models of site plans, conceptual layouts and single line diagrams. Becoming familiar with these types of documents will be incredibly useful down the road.