Department of Engineering Science

Keith Parks

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Engineering Science (1996)

Photograph of Keith Parks

Senior Trading Analyst (2011)
Xcel Energy, Denver, Colorado, USA


After graduating with a BE specialising in Engineering Science in 1996, I did a thirteen month OE through the South Island, the Western USA, and South America.

In 1998, I joined Henwood Energy Services Inc (HESI - now part of ABB) in Sacramento, California, as a software developer maintaining simulation software used in the electricity industry. In 2000, I briefly joined a start-up in Boulder Colorado with focus in energy system modeling (it "dot-bombed").

I then moved to Xcel Energy in Denver Colorado as a Generation Modeling Analyst. I used simulation tools to forecast fuel purchases and developed price signals to support energy trading. Bored with the desk job, I quit and trained to become a course leader for the National Outdoor Leadership School taking young adults on outdoor adventures for weeks to months at a time.

In 2005, I ended my transient lifestyle by joining the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as an Energy Analyst. I developed simulation models for the Dept of Energy's hydrogen transportation fuels program. In 2007, I joined Xcel Energy again as an Energy Trading Analyst. I developed models to assess the value of energy purchases including purchases of wind energy. In November 2009, I dedicated fulltime effort to wind energy integration efforts. I manage a contract with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) developing a state-of-the-art wind energyforecasting tool.

On the side, I sell grass fed beef from my father's ranch, fix-up homes, grow veges, and occasionally ski, cycle, and rock climb.


In the photo, I'm standing on top of the nacelle of a  2.3MW Seimens turbine located at the National Wind Technology Laboratory in Golden Colorado.