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Clean Energy Scholars Mentorship Program

Accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy is one of the most important challenges of our lifetime. The key to doing this successfully is by ensuring that leading companies can identify, recruit and nurture skilled young professionals with the potential to lead this critical and fast-growing industry.

CEI is proud to partner with LevelTen Energy, EnergyGPS, Microsoft, UW EarthLab, and Steelhead Americas (the development arm of Vestas) to support a third summer of the Energy Scholars program.

The Energy Scholars program is a paid internship and mentorship program designed to equip dedicated and capable college scholars with the skills required to secure (and excel in) well-paid jobs in the renewable energy industry.

The program progresses students from diverse backgrounds through a well-defined, transdisciplinary curriculum spearheaded by industry-leading organizations. Energy Scholars will benefit from exposure to a dynamic cohort of other students and researchers in the clean energy revolution.

Key Components

  • Developing a deep understanding of wholesale energy market operations and renewable energy technology
  • Supplying scholars with foundational energy analysis skills
  • Providing professional development opportunities including informational interviews with companies, mock interviews, coaching sessions, industry networking, and key connections for future internships
  • Opening up clear and viable energy career tracks for scholars with a variety of interests and skills

Eligibility & Expectations

  • Eligible applicants will meet the following minimum requirements:
    • Currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program
    • Legally authorized to work in the U.S.
    • Strong energy interest
    • Solid mathematical and analytical skills (some demonstrated coursework)
    • A commitment to the program, willingness to learn, and a passion for renewable energy
    • A commitment to spending the duration of the program in Seattle

    Students from under-represented minority groups within the renewable energy industry (Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or two or more races) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Highlights

Energy 101

Students will learn the nuts and bolts of energy markets, develop foundational analytical skills, and explore vital industry background. The frame for learning these fundamental concepts, and for the entire summer, will be a utility-scale wind or solar project, itself. Students will dissect the project development process from start to finish, developing an appreciation for siting, permitting, interconnecting, and key technological issues. Students will learn how to value the energy produced by a project and will learn how to trade energy in a wholesale market.

Diverse Experience

Each participating company will lead different lessons, providing students with a broad overview of the available opportunities and the skills required to succeed in those jobs. Students will learn the industry from the perspective of a project developer, an analytics firm, a Fortune 50 power buyer, and an energy exchange operator.

Hands-On Projects

Though students will gain the unique perspectives of all five participating companies, the experience will be highly coordinated. The connective tissue linking the lessons learned at each organization will be a renewable energy project. On day one, each student will be assigned an actual wind or solar project under development. Students will carry these projects with them throughout the summer, developing a deep, nuanced understanding of the industry through a project lens.

Going Forward

For dedicated students, the first summer may be just the beginning. Participating companies will offer additional internships (both school year and summer) and career opportunities to talented and motivated students. Student-company matches will be based on the preferences of both the scholar and the organization.

Explore Seattle

Get to know your classmates and the Pacific Northwest! Scholars will be housed, for free, on the beautiful University of Washington campus in Seattle for the summer. A dedicated program coordinator will organize numerous social events throughout the summer.

Participating Companies


EnergyGPS crunches the numbers. Clients rely on EnergyGPS for rigorous, unbiased advice relating to the value and risk associated with renewable resources. Time spent in the EnergyGPS shop will provide scholars with a broad overview of what makes energy markets tick.

LevelTen Energy

LevelTen Energy will provide an in-depth look into how we use technology to operate a liquid, centralized renewable energy marketplace that enables buyers and sellers to connect and transact more easily. Time at LevelTen will be spent with a variety of teams (developer relations, marketing, sales, analytics, product, and commercial teams) to understand software-as-a-service in the energy industry, and to grasp the renewable energy procurement process from beginning to end.

Vestas Steelhead Americas

Vestas’ Steelhead Americas is a leading project developer operating throughout North America. Steelhead takes an initial concept and advances it to a shovel-ready energy project. Steelhead will work with students to explore the project development process, examining the site acquisition, grid interconnection, permitting, power sales, project design, and operations processes. Students will also gain exposure to unique aspects of developing projects as a subsidiary of a wind turbine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and learn the advantages of this approach.


Microsoft is excited to welcome this year’s Scholars to their global Headquarters located in Redmond, WA. The Scholars will learn about how the company secures a resilient electricity supply to data centers around the world, purchases gigawatts of renewable energy every year, and gives back to communities disproportionately impacted by environmental challenges.

University of Washington

Ranked No. 7 in the world on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings, the University of Washington (UW) aspires to be the #1 university in the world as measured by impact. EarthLab is a visionary institute at the UW that pushes boundaries to address our most pressing environmental challenges, with urgency and action on climate and its intersection with social justice. The Clean Energy Institute (CEI) at the UW accelerates the adoption of a scalable and equitable clean energy future that will improve the health and economy of our state, nation, and world. Together, these two innovative UW institutes will partner with participating companies as transdisciplinary university liaisons to provide incoming Energy Scholars with university seminars, networking opportunities, and on-campus support as they work to address climate and other pressing environmental issues.