Meet our project manager Dainius | Ignitis Renewables

With a year at Ignitis Renewables under his belt and nearly ten years in the energy sector, Dainius offers a candid look at the challenges and joys of working on our ambitious offshore wind farm project. Beyond the nitty-gritty of deadlines and technical jargon, discover how having the right team spirit makes all the difference.

When did you join us at Ignitis Renewables? And what brought you here?

It’s been a bit over a year now at Ignitis Renewables, but it wasn’t my first experience with the energy sector or even Ignitis Group, as I spent almost 5 years working at ESO. I tried other fields as well, but there was always something drawing me back to Ignitis – the people, the culture, as well as the depth and scale of the project. So when my former manager called me up and told me about this new opportunity, I had no doubts about joining. And that’s how I became a Project Manager at Ignitis Renewables.

How does a typical day look for you at work? Could you share some of the challenges people in your role face?

Project management is all about communication. You have to find a common language with everyone – contractors, managers, experts, and different public institutions. Today, I’m mostly focused on different surveys that need to be procured and performed before we start designing our most ambitious project to date – an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. Sure, we have dedicated specialists (procurement experts, lawyers, technical experts, and so on) handling different bits of the project, but it is my role to unite all these people under one goal. This means I have to take part in every stage of the project, from procurement to implementation, whereas others join the project only for a specific phase. 

The main challenge? Broadly speaking, being on time. In other words, to properly assess all terms and potential risks. And if we take the project I’m managing – to wrap my head around things that are new not just to Ignitis, but to Lithuania itself. We don’t have a lot of people with proper experience building offshore wind farms, which means there’s a whole knowledge gap to fill, and then you have an ambitious deadline on top. The year 2030, when the wind farm is already start generate power, might seem far away, but that’s not the case with this kind of project.

For me personally, navigating the technical side of things is still rather challenging. Not a day goes by when I don’t have to google a new term or do other kinds of “homework”. But I’m getting better at the lingo, with terms like OCR, ALARP, UHRS, and ROV slowly becoming a part of my vocabulary.

But you still have fun at work, right?

Of course, I’ve got my fair share of stories to tell. The best illustration of the general vibe here at Ignitis Renewable is the time when our COO Gary promised everyone to sing karaoke when our team grew to 100 people. He was very serious about the promise, he’d even have a tally of the number of employees on his whiteboard. We were all rooting for it! And as Gary’s a man of his word, we did end up celebrating this milestone with a fun karaoke night.

Seems there’s enough of a fun factor at Ignitis Renewables indeed! What other aspects of the company’s culture do you like?

There’s quite a few, actually. First, there’s knowledge-sharing. Ignitis Renewables brings together a diverse bunch of experts who aren’t too stingy with their time. We’ve even got our own knowledge-sharing platform and weekly show and tell presentations called Knowledge is Power. We get to hear from folks who spent many years abroad, from PhDs and PhD students, and simply from people who love to share their unique life experiences.

Another thing I like is how flat the whole structure is. All our managers are, first of all, great specialists, and they’re always willing to chat about the business and crack some jokes by the coffee machine.

Finally, we’ve got plenty of opportunities to bond outside of work, be it going for a run, taking part in an orienteering race, kayaking down a river, or just having a picnic.