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Principal Energy Trading Specialist

SMUD - Sacramento Municipal Utility Distrcit

Location: Sacramento, California US
Position Type: Full Time
Rqd Education: Bachelor's Degree
Rqd Experience: 5+ years
Date Posted: September 7, 2021
Reference Code:

Purpose: To reliably procure, schedule, manage, and hedge SMUD’s wholesale energy requirements to serve our  customer/owners’. In this context wholesale energy includes; power, gas, hydro, gas and power transmission, gas storage, financial hedging, carbon and ancillary services. This will include optimizing resources by dispatching the generation plants, scheduling water flows, transacting in physical and financial energy markets and making sales of surplus resources with a focus on reducing commodity costs while maintaining system reliability. All business transactions follow SMUD’s risk parameters and ethical business.

Nature & Scope: The nature of these positions requires individuals to actively manage the SMUD's wholesale energy requirements, totaling approximately $400 million per year. This series includes several “Specialty Areas” including:

  • Supervisor, Real Time or Day Ahead Power Trading/Scheduling
  • Power Trading
  • Power Scheduling
  • Supervisor, Gas Trading/Scheduling
  • Gas Trading
  • Gas Scheduling
  • Resource Optimization

This is the Principal Energy Trading Specialist level, which is the highest technical level within the Energy Trading Specialist Class Series. The successful candidate will be proficient in at least three of the Specialty Areas, and have the ability to serve as an expert witness, serve in a lead role in two or more Specialty Areas and oversee training of new employees in two or more Specialty Areas. Positions in this class are flexibly staffed and normally filled by advancement from the Senior Energy Trading Specialist, or filled from the outside. Outside candidates must demonstrate equivalent expertise in a minimum of three Specialty Areas together with equivalent leadership experience specified for a Principal Energy Trading Specialist. The incumbent in this position will guide, train and/or instruct the work of staff in the Energy Trading Specialist Series. This class is differentiated by the complexity, difficulty and level of tasks assigned, decision-making authority, technical knowledge required, short and long-term planning, major project management, and lead/supervisor level responsibilities. The incumbent is often called upon to act on behalf of the supervisor/manager. Advancement to the Principal Energy Trading Specialist level is done through competitive process.


Major Duties & Responsibilities: “Proficiency” for purposes of this Energy Trading Specialist Class Series is the demonstrated ability to perform the various functions in any one Specialty Area, independently with minimal oversight. For example, an employee that was independently able to perform each of the functions enumerated for Power Trading below with minimal oversight, would have achieved “Proficiency” in the Power Trading Specialty Area.

Supervisor, Real Time or Day Ahead Power Trading/Scheduling:

  • Assists in the development, implementation and management of department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities in partnership with the department Manager.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, evaluates, and develops subordinate personnel and ensures that department strategic objectives and priorities are achieved and coordinated with other departments.
  • Supervises power trading, scheduling, transmission, and current work process optimization.
  • Supervises the 24/7 operational capability of power, trading scheduling workstations in the CSC and Rancho Seco Back-up Control Center locations. 
  • Supervises the operational capability of power in the DA market, trading scheduling workstations in the CSC and Rancho Seco Back-up Control Center locations. 
  • Directs development of plans, designs, and develops short and long-term power trading strategy by developing an innovative and comprehensive trading plan.
  • Leads responsibility in keeping staff abreast of current market and regulatory standards.
  • Assists in developing and administering the department budget.
  • Develop and streamline work processes; ensures contracting, trading, and optimized to serve load in a reliable and economic manner through directing the development or procurement of software tools and the development and execution of regulatory, market and software training.
  • Secures/administers short-term contracts for the purchase and sale of electric power and transmission and interconnected operations to protect the SMUD’s ability to buy, sell and transport power to serve load in a reliable and economic manner.
  • Supports the strategic objectives of SMUD within the workgroup and comply with applicable organization, local, state and federal laws, rules and regulatory requirements. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Manager, Commodity Trading and Hedging.

Power Trading - Real Time or Day Ahead

  • Conducts all weather and load forecasting & portfolio optimization processes.
  • Forecast customer energy requirements considering historical demands, applicable load shapes, and weather projections.
  • Performs weather Forecast analysis.
  • Creates load and generation schedules for the Power System Operator (PSO).
  • Runs hourly Portfolio Optimization as market, weather or load conditions deem necessary.
  • Communicates with the Power System Operator (PSO) to review planned generation schedules.
  • Submits resource plans with balanced base schedules at hourly and sub-hourly intervals to CAISO.
  • Ensures that resources, load, and interchange are balanced for EIM each hour.
  • Manages hydro reservoir levels and in-flows to ensure economic dispatch of UARP and minimize potential for spill.
  • Continually evaluate; market conditions, generating plant limitations (hydroelectric and thermal),  maintenance, outages, transmission ratings and curtailments, and existing contract provisions.
  • Determine resource costs and availability considering existing market conditions, generating plant limitations (both hydroelectric and thermal), maintenance, outages, transmission ratings and curtailments, and existing contract provisions.
  • Manage resources to meet NERC/WECC Reliability criteria during all operating conditions.
  • Utilize various market applications to submit capacity, energy, transmission, and ancillary service bids.

* As well as other duties as outlined in the full official description available here

Minimum Qualifications:
Education: BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university majoring in Public or Business Administration/Management, Economics, Computer Information Services, Computer Science, Engineering or related field or equivalent experience. If no degree, 8  years of experience are required.

Experience: Principal Energy Trading Specialist: Four or more (4+) years of total experience as a Senior Energy Trading Specialist gained working in two or more specialty areas or eight (8) total years of equivalent professional work experience in at least three of the relevant specialty areas.

Knowledge Of: 
Qualifications for all Specialty Areas

  • General understanding of normal business practices and ethical behavior.
  • Significant understanding of computers & software such as Excel, Word, Access and PowerPoint.
  • Understanding of basic contract principles.
  • Understanding of basic accounting and financial statements.
  • Understanding of basic economic analysis.
  • BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university majoring in Public or Business Administration/Management, Economics, Computer Information Services, Computer Science, Engineering or related field or equivalent experience
  • 4 or more years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in the power industry
  • Lead/supervisor experience of 2 or more years
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, codes and regulations governing the purchase, sale, and exchange of power, gas, power physical and financial trading, optimization, transmission, scheduling and carbon market instruments
  • Skill to establish, manage, and monitor budget; interpret and explain complex policies, regulations, and procedures; reconcile differences to bring interested parties to consensus; write and revise policies and procedures; monitor and manage projects; apply applicable laws, codes, and regulations; and negotiate on the behalf of SMUD
  • Ability to interpret and apply power utility policies and procedures; recruit, select, hire, supervise, and evaluate employees
  • 7 minimum years of experience
  • Minimum 2 proficiency areas total
  • Knowledge of utility industry is extensive
  • Skill to serve as a consultant for your department
  • Ability to serve as an expert witness, lead efforts for continuous business improvements and processes

Additional Qualifications - Resource Optimization

  • Experience with production costing modeling software
  • Experience with Python, VBA and/or other programming languages

Skill To:
For all Specialty Areas:

  • Effective oral and written communication.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships internally and externally.
  • Utilize a personal computer and/or computer terminal, systems and software relevant to the job.
  • To work on multiple projects with multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to research, analyze and resolve problems.

Energy Trading Specialist, Power Trading Specialty Area:

  • Negotiate transactions, with a magnitude in the millions of dollars.
  • Interpret and explain complex contracts, policies, protocols, and business practices.
  • Develop strategies associated with short-term trading.
  • Develop and implement trading procedures.
  • Develop systems to track and analyze capacity, energy, transmission, and ancillary service transactions.
  • Develop market strategies for wholesale purchases and sales.
  • Implement relevant trading directives from management.

Energy Trading Specialist, Power Scheduling Specialty Area:

  • Make schedule transactions.
  • Solve problems relating to system scheduling conflicts.
  • Interpret and explain complex contracts, policies, protocols, and business practices.
  • Develop and implement scheduling procedures.
  • Implement relevant trading directives from management.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Extensive knowledge of SMUD’s UARP system.
  • In depth knowledge of SMUD’s generation portfolio.
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience operating in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).
  • Knowledge of SMUD Operations roles and responsibilities.
  • Familiarity with current CAISO tariffs/initiatives/proposals.
  • Knowledge of and experience in coordinating with/supporting CCAs.
  • Understanding of SMUD/PG&E natural gas equity agreement.
  • Understanding of Western Climate Initiative cap and trade program.

Physical Requirements: Applicants must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

The health and wellbeing of our employees and our community is our top priority.  SMUD follows CDC guidance and adheres to all local, county and state orders. To this end, if you are scheduled to come on a SMUD campus, you will need to monitor your health (ensuring your temperature is below 100.4° and you’re free of COVID-19 symptoms), wear a face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Additional Posting Info for Candidate:
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) - Who We Are

As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, we're proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in Sacramento. Our employees tell us in our engagement surveys they're "Happy, satisfied and engaged" which helps create a workplace that best serves our customers.

Sacramento was named as the 2nd happiest place to work in America by Forbes Magazine. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the world-renowned Napa Valley are within easy driving distance of our locations.

California Equal Pay Act

SMUD is committed to ensuring we're a workplace where diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), are part of who we are and how we do things. Supporting efforts that promote pay equality is part of that. Salary placement for the selected candidate will be determined in alignment with the California Equal Pay Act. 

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

SMUD respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. Diversity and inclusion are guiding principles to deliver a culture that reflects the broader values of the community and our customers. Our Board's policy for Employee Relation sets our commitment to developing and maintaining a high quality, inclusive workplace that engages and inspires employees to commit to SMUD's purpose, vision and values.

Why Sacramento, California?

The capitol of California, Sacramento is the state's sixth-largest city, and the 35th largest in the U.S. Local universities include California State University, University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, and the University of California, Davis and several competitive community colleges. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is one of more than a dozen hospitals and shared services centers in the Sacramento region. Part of the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, Sacramento is at the forefront of the farm-to-fork food movement. Northern California is home to some of the country's top technology companies, including Google and LinkedIn, and a multitude of startups in many industries. Sacramento is home to the NBA Kings, the River Cats (AAA baseball), the Republic FC (soccer) and the San Francisco Giants, NBA Warriors and NFL 49er's aren't far away. Sacramento offers an affluent liberal arts community with Broadway, Mondavi Center, Crocker Museum and summer musical theater to name a few.

To apply, please visit: smud.org/careers