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Blog: Focus on Data Centre Skills

Data Center Skills

Lars Egeland passing electrician exam with best grade

Green Mountain has a continous focus on developing the data centre skills and talents of our employees. We are therefore proud to announce that our Operation Engineer, Lars Egeland, passed his electrician exam on November 13. This is his second vocational certificate, as he is already a certified automatician as well. In addition he obtained a higher professional degree in electrical power in January.  The certificate has three grade levels and his examiners, Knut Hatteland and Marton Håversen, gave him the best grade possible.

Obtaining this certificate entails an educational course of 4.5 years. Egeland has completed this as a practice candidate at Green Mountain, continously developing his data centre skills.
Lars has been mentored by DC Design & Operation Specialist, Bjarne Sørbø, who also produced the assignment for his practical exam. The exam consists of three parts; preparation, execution and self-evaluation. His practical assignment was to:

  • Install new fuses in main distribution
  • Setting up power supply to Fuel Polishing system (diesel cleaner) and network cabling for monitoring to BMS systems (Building management system)
  • Set up the external and internal socket
  • Switching lighting to LEDs in generator building room. (Energy-saving measures, reduced consumption by 70%)
  • Set up networks for wireless temperature monitoring in the G building. (RF Code)
Electrician Exam - Showing Data Centre Skills
Inspecting the work of Lars Egeland.

Performed test at site

Lars spent 8 days performing the assignment tasks in the generator building at DC1-Stavanger.
What makes his exam a bit special is that it took place at the actual facility where he works. Approximately 70% of subject tests that are conducted today are done at test station; the candidate completes the installation which is then demolished after the exam. The sensors found it very interesting to see the assignment being completed in a data centre. This means, among other things, that the job that Lars has done will last for the next 30 years and will be of actual value for us in Green Mountain. An extra bonus is that the lighting replacements contribute to improved energy efficiency.

Deep understanding of the subject

The examiners explained that the reason for giving Lars the highest grade was his excellent understanding of the subject. He performed the practical tasks perfectly and demonstrated his data centre skills, but in order to obtain the highest grade, one must also demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject. The candidate must understand the purpose of what he is doing and at the same time maintain safety and professional quality. The examiners were very satisfied with Lars’s responses and he is now among the top 15% who achieve the highest grade.

The examiners, Hatteland and Håversen, assess about 50 candidates a year and have done so for the past 12 years. They emphasize the importance of young people completing their professional exams in order to document their knowledge. “There was a decline in the number of examinations in the wake of the oil crisis, but the authorities and the business community have worked targeted to increase interest in vocational certificates. We have now reached a sustainable level.” says Håversen.

Examinsers, Lars Egeland and Bjarne Sørbø
From left: Examiner Marton Haaversen, Examiner Knut Hatteland, Lars Egeland and Bjarne Sørbø.

Hard to find data centre skills?

Green Mountain truly knows how important it is to have access to skilled labor and that is why we also invest time and money in supervising apprentices. In the data center industry globally, there is a critical lack of skilled labor, but we do not experience this in the same way here in Norway. The authorities have succeeded in recruiting young people to the education and the industry has taken its share of responsibility by accepting apprentices. Green Mountain will continue to do so in the future.

After the exam, the examiners were given a tour of the data centre, as they were curious about our installations. They told us that their jobs are very rewarding. “We get to meet a lot of dedicated young people; the next generation of electricians. At the same time, it also gives us inspiration and professional input when seeing how different companies work.”, Hatteland concludes.