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David Barr SP Renewables - Quality Assurance Systems Manager


We want to celebrate the people behind the energy transition and bring a spotlight to those driving change forward. We caught up with David to give us an insight into how he transitioned into a ‘greener’ role within ScottishPower.

David Barr

What was your previous role?

My role in SP Generation was Quality Specialist.

I used to work in the UK Technical Services Team, supporting the Quality, H&S and Environmental management systems for the UK Generation portfolio. I visited all sites across the UK and ensured they were following the correct processes and procedures to ensure our assets were correctly, safely and sustainably maintained.

Why did you change your role and how did you prepare for the change?

It was clear around the time I moved from Generation to SPR that the public (and my own) perception of conventional generation was changing, and that a greener solution to how we produced electricity was the way forward.

I had visited Whitelee VC a couple of times and was fascinated by the technology of the huge turbines and the sheer scale of the area that the windfarm covered. I also had the chance to visit Whitelee Control Centre as part of an away day with my team and was really interested in how much unseen work goes into controlling, operating and maintaining the huge number of turbines that we have in the UK.

Around that time an opportunity became available in Renewables in a very similar role to mine and I was lucky enough to be successful in my application.

What do you do now and how is it helping us to transform the energy industry to deliver a greener, cleaner future?

The role I have in Renewables is Quality Assurance Systems Manager.

It has some differences from the job I did in Generation, as it is much more focused on Quality systems, however I am able to use many of the skills I have learned in the time I spent in SP Retail and Generation in my current role, as many of the principles are the same.

I’ve been lucky enough to see pretty much all aspects of the work we carry out, having been able to climb turbines to carry out inspections and see some stunning areas of the United Kingdom where we have operational assets. I also regularly audit our key suppliers at home and abroad, which means I have been able to understand and learn from other businesses and suggest areas of improvement for their (and our) processes.

Since I joined SPR, I have been consistently impressed by the enthusiasm and the skills of the people we have in our business. My job is to ensure, with the support of the business, that we are developing, constructing, operating and maintaining our assets to the highest standards and that Quality as an approach is embedded in our business.

With 40 operational windfarm sites to maintain and a huge pipeline of projects coming through, it’s an exciting time to be involved in the end-to-end process of providing green energy to the UK.