Mathieu Côté

Director of the Operations Program, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Clean Energy Career Profile

Ever wonder what it would be like to work as a wind turbine technician, 500 feet in the air? Or to work as a solar farm electrician, harnessing the power of the sun and using it to charge a massive on-site battery system? CanREA’s Clean Energy Career Profiles series asks Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage workers what they do, how they got into this line of work, and what advice they have for others looking to join the renewable energy and energy storage sector.  

In 2024, CanREA spoke with Mathieu Côté, Director of Operations Program, Canadian Renewable Energy Association, to find out more about his occupational journey. 

Name:Mathieu Côté
Job:Director of Operations Program
Company:Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Career journey 

Better renewable than nuclear. That was the decision made by Mathieu Côté, who started his career as a commissioning specialist (engineer) at a nuclear processing plant. The physics graduate at Dalhousie University realized just how expensive nuclear is, and how many regulatory hurdles there are to building nuclear plants. Hence the move to something more sustainable, efficient and economical — renewables. Starting his career in renewables as a customer relations coordinator in Halifax, Matt has had many roles and venues in the sector. Commercial Manager, Operations Manager, Managing Director and Business Development were all stops on his career journey through Halifax, Matane, Montreal, England, France,   and, finally, back to Montreal, where he now lives and leads CanREA’s Operations Program. 

A day in the life

Matt’s position at CanREA is constantly evolving, ensuring that no two days in his week are ever alike. Engaged with a variety of organizations, Matt plays a key role in facilitating connections between these groups and CanREA members. In leading the Operations program, Matt is engaged in files relating to health and safety, workforce development,  data collection and analysis projects. In addition, he not only organizes but actively participates in regional operator group meetings throughout Canada. Through this work, Matt engages with various stakeholders to identify challenges and host discussions on solutions, lessons learned and operational experiences. During the fall and spring, Matt frequently takes the stage as a speaker and actively participates in a diverse array of conferences, covering topics ranging from workforce development and operational experience to emphasizing the critical importance of safety within the realm of renewable energy.

Quick advice 

“Renewable energy has grown at a tremendous pace thus far and looks to grow even more in the future. This underscores the importance of engagement and communications across the sector to learn from each other, get more people involved, and keep the momentum going!” 

—Mathieu Côté

Important skills 

  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial, as Matt interacts with various stakeholders, facilitates connections, and leads discussions on complex topics within the renewable energy sector.
  • Coordination: This skill involves prioritizing activities, allocating resources effectively, and ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned and informed to achieve common goals.
  • Flexibility: This skill enables Matt to navigate uncertainties, embrace new opportunities, and adjust strategies as needed to drive success in his role.
  • Understanding complex concepts: This involves synthesizing information from diverse sources, analyzing implications, and making informed decisions to address challenges and drive innovation.