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Ryan Johnson

Senior Project Manager | Marietta, GA

Ryan was hired on at GDS Associates in September 2005 right out of Georgia Tech. He first started off as an Associate Engineer in the Marietta, GA office. His only previous experience prior to GDS was as a cooperative student at the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) in Atlanta. He interviewed for two positions after graduation, with the GPSC and GDS and ultimately, Ryan decided to go in the private sector rather than public. Ryan has a Bachelors of Science degree from Georgia Tech where he studied Industrial Engineering. Later on, he then went on to get his MBA from Georgia State.

What are some projects you are currently working on?

I am currently working on a portfolio of 8 distributed solar projects (a total of 13.30 MW AC) for 7 distribution electric cooperatives in Texas under one master PPA. We put together the power supply Request for Proposals, evaluated 36 responses with over a hundred different options, and recommended a winning bidder. We just finished negotiating the PPA, and construction will start at the beginning of 2019 in time to qualify for the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit of which the tax benefits will be passed to the off-takers via the PPA. What’s unique about this project is the concept of procuring as a bigger group of coops to gain the appropriate economies of scale to lower the PPA price more so than if they procured individually. They are all getting a local project at the price point of a much larger, centralized project.

What are your interests in your field of work?

By my estimation, I’ve been working in renewable power supply for more than ten years now, so it’s a part of my GDS identity at this point. I have a hard time separating my professional interests from my personal ones. I read or listen to podcasts about renewable energy in my spare time. I find it truly fascinating. I even found myself searching for “energy storage” in the Netflix search bar the other day. My wife was like, “Are you serious?” In my opinion that’s a wonderful place to be in your career—when the lines of your personal and professional aspirations are blurred, owing to the simple fact that you love what you do, and believe that what you do is meaningful. I’m sure most energy professionals feel the same way. I feel privileged to work in the fastest growing sector of the US energy economy, while knowing that our collective success is also a win for the planet.

Rapid Fire:

What do you enjoy doing on your day off?

Hanging with my daughters at the pool or in my backyard.

Your favorite places to travel?

Anywhere there is a brewery and something athletic to do.

Your favorite movies, books, T.V. shows?

I love sci fi, business books, and the real-life crime mysteries and, of course, the Bachelor/Bachelorette.

Do you enjoy any sports or extra-curricular activities?

Cross-fit usually 2-3 times a week, tennis on Saturday, occasional 5k. I am also heavily involved in Catholic Charities Atlanta and serve as Chair of their Young Professional Society.