TECHWORK 23: Lucas Root, Innova
Lucas Root, engineering director at Innova, spent a decade in the US renewable energy industry helping to scale two startups, one for commercial-scale solar and another for utility-scale solar and wind.
With the second company, after building up an approximately $2.5bn portfolio, the company was successfully sold to AES and AIMCo.
In 2020, he moved to the UK and joined Innova, which continues to undergo rapid growth in the renewables market.
During 2020 and 2021, the Innova team worked to complete remediation works on a portfolio of renewable projects and sold them for approximately £100m in late 2021. In parallel, Innova has built a large development pipeline, which now totals more than 20GW of secured UK grid capacity.
The team has nearly completed construction on the first project in this pipeline and has rapidly scaled the company to continue to support the delivery of projects. During the last year, Root has helped to develop a strategic joint venture partnership with a leading UK fund to support delivery of renewable projects in the next five years and onwards.
Root is currently focused on scaling the team and company. He is also putting in place foundational processes and tools to ensure projects are developed, built and operated to high standards.
Innova's development pipeline has connection dates from the present well into the 2030s, including renewable projects of a scale never built in the UK. It intends to be a leading UK independent power producer with a dominant position in the distribution and transmission market. After further developing its UK platform, Innova hopes to expand its international presence.
In terms of Root’s tech stack, he and his team use the standard MS Office suite for core business functions. For task and project management functions, Asana is widely used. The renewable sites have advanced control and monitoring systems, and the team is currently trialling Green Power Monitoring as the provider for its first several sites. Additionally, Innova uses advanced power systems modelling software to allow design optimisation and early risk mitigation on complex grid connections.
Root interacts with his peer group via conferences, working groups and online channels.