Insights > A career in power generation – Renee Fisher shares her perspective
A career in power generation – Renee Fisher shares her perspective
“Whose dad made that for y’all?”
That is what a professor asked Renee Fisher and three other classmates after delivering a group presentation on gears during a mechanical engineering class in college. Less than two decades later, Renee now oversees the New Orleans Power Station as plant manager.
Renee shared that although she felt it was always going to be more challenging to excel in a traditionally male-dominated field of power generation, that negative comment from her old professor was among the very few. But it did embolden her.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in both business administration and mechanical engineering from the University of New Orleans, Renee was hired as a plant engineer at Little Gypsy Power Plant in St. Charles Parish.
“The hardest part about breaking into this industry wasn’t being female,” Renee said. “It was more about being young and starting at a plant right out of college. Instead of coming on strong and telling my coworkers ‘this is what I learned in school,’ I really focused on asking them what they would do. I leaned on their experience and worked with them to resolve plant issues.’”
Renee called herself a “boiler rat,” as climbing into the boilers and interacting with the old-school technology was her favorite part of the job during her nine years at the Little Gypsy plant.
“When I was asked, ‘what do you want to be in five years?’ I always said, ‘I just want to become a better engineer,” said Renee.
She was later assigned to work with the capital projects team on a major boiler project at Nine Mile Point Power Station, served for four years as a Gas Turbine/HRSG Team Lead at J. Wayne Leonard Power Station, and then took command over the only power station in New Orleans.
Renee began her tenure as the Manager of New Orleans Power Station on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, and just six days later, she found herself and six of her team members hunkered down in the facility to ride out Hurricane Ida.
“I knew nobody, yet I was their leader,” said Renee.
It was Renee’s first time sheltering in a plant during a major storm. Although it was nerve-racking, the plant made it through the storm without any damage.
The New Orleans Power Station, along with Ninemile 6 and J. Wayne Leonard power plants, played critical roles in quickly restoring power to the Greater New Orleans region. First lights were brought on to a section of New Orleans East less than 48 hours after the historic impact of Hurricane Ida. Renee, her team, and numerous colleagues from across the Entergy system worked around the clock to execute unique solutions to fully restore power to the Greater New Orleans region in 12 days following Ida’s catastrophic landfall.
“My team was so accommodating and hard-working,” said Renee. “The people here at Entergy are the reason I’ve only worked for one company my entire career. Sometimes, it doesn’t even feel like work because we enjoy being together. I have been fortunate to work with three different power generation technologies in my years with Entergy. I am very appreciative of all the people, both Entergy employees and contractors, that I have worked with and learned from over my 15 years.”
To learn more about our outstanding employees who are focused on making the right decisions and building a brighter and more resilient New Orleans, visit https://www.entergy-neworleans.com/we-are-eno/.