An interview with… EVA Land
You haven’t been at Xodus long, what attracted you to join?
Xodus has a strong commitment to innovation and to its people. In my interview I learned about some of the Xodus’ digitalization products and was hooked. Since I have been working at Xodus I have found the team is quick to implement new ideas and they have been very supportive creative thinking. I have been helping to adapt Xodus’ digital environmental impact assessment tool and also see potential for several other Xodus tools in the US market.
Xodus is committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture where ensure everyone feels valued. In addition, Xodus is a signatory of the UN Global Compact. I have participated on our internal Employee Resource Group, and I am impressed by how proactive the team is and how well it is supported by management. I am also assisting a diversity, equity, and inclusion project here in the US.
How does this role support the development of the industry?
I am the lead environmental consultant in the Boston office. Offshore wind permitting is lengthy and complicated. The permitting process requires years of pre-planning for multiple permits and with multiple agencies. But moreover, the process is driven by long and arduous regulations that are not static; different administrations have pulled the regulations in opposing directions to promote political agendas. There is inherent risk in policy added to this are risks associated with environmental impacts. We have helped clients navigate through regulatory requirements and de-risked both policy and environmental impacts.
What are you most excited about for offshore wind in the US?
Offshore wind is mostly a concept at this stage with only seven wind turbines in the water. The Biden-Harris administration has a target to deploy 30 Gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of Offshore Wind by 2030. This is extremely ambitious given how few turbines are currently operating. Yet, zooming out a bit more, the impacts from climate change have been devasting and overwhelming. We do need to move quickly.
I am really excited to be a part of developing OSW in the US, but mostly hope that this will help stem dire environmental consequences.
What advice would you give anyone looking to join the offshore wind industry?
This is a great time to join the offshore wind industry since it is rapidly expanding and there is still an opportunity to start at the ground level of development. Gaining training and skills in OSW or related fields will be critical. Some of this training is not yet available so having transferable experience will help.
When I graduated with a degree in environmental engineering, I knew nothing about wind energy, let alone offshore wind. However, early in my career I worked with offshore oil and gas and then later on climate initiatives. When offshore wind started to be permitted in the US it felt like a natural progress. I think the key was that my skills were pretty adaptable.
What is the biggest challenge the industry is facing?
There is so much that needs to be done and built, but overall though there feels like there is a lack of large-scale coordination. It seems that the industry is torn between being government driven and allowing a free market approach. I’m not sure that America has come to terms with implementing such a large amount of infrastructure on the government level, but even so there needs to be more coordination between states and clearer roadmaps for interstate development. Without a clear-unified path it leaves each sector and state to work out their individual issues, and each one may come to a different conclusion making it harder on the industry.