Interview with Dan Balaban


Co-founder, President and CEO of Greengate Power

A leading Canadian renewable energy company

Alberta, Canada

Interviewed by Aine Aliieva
International Correspondent, PM World Journal

Introduction to the interviewee

Dan Balaban is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Greengate Power (www.greengatepower.com), a leading Canadian renewable energy company that is developing the 465-megawatt Travers solar project.  Based in Calgary, Dan is an award-winning entrepreneur with a proven track record of successful business ventures.

Construction is slated to begin this year on the Travers Solar Project, which, upon completion, will become the largest operating solar energy facility in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Developed by Greengate Power, the CA$700 million project in Vulcan County, Alberta, is expected to provide enough electricity for over 100,000 homes, as well as a boost to the local economy. Travers Solar was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Projects by Region by the Project Management Institute in 2020.


Q1:     Hello Dan, could you tell me about yourself, please? From what I gathered, you started your career in IT. What made you switch from IT to energy?

Dan Balaban (Balaban):   Yes, I started my career in technology. I have a Computer Science background. I started my career in a consulting company advising people on how to use, at the time, a new technology called the Internet (laughs) to improve their businesses. I actually see many parallels between what is going on now during this energy transition and what happened during the last couple of decades in technology. Just as the Internet fundamentally changed the way we conduct business, I believe that the clean energy transition is going to fundamentally change the way we produce and consume energy. It is a positive disruptive force which can help ensure the sustainability of human civilization.

Also, I was always interested in environmental issues. The technology company I founded which started my entrepreneurial journey provided operations and management solutions for the oil and gas industry. We helped oil and gas companies to manage greenhouse gas emission reporting on an annual basis, so it gave me some early exposure to looming environmental issues that the fossil fuel industry was facing. I successfully exited my software company back in 2005. After that, I knew the next thing I wanted to do was something that could both help an industry in transition and something that would leave a positive environmental impact on the world. And that was the genesis for Greengate – the idea of combining challenging and exciting business opportunities with one that would leave a lasting positive impact on the world.

Q2:     Could you tell me a bit more about the Travers project?

Balaban:       It is a 465 MegaWatt, $700 million project which will produce power for more than 100,000 homes. It will be built in southern Alberta, 150 km south of Calgary, on 3000 acres of land. There will be 1.5 million solar panels (also referred to as solar PV modules), which absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity. These modules are used as components of a more extensive PV system when connected with other modules. We will employ single access tracking technology, so that the modules can move throughout the day to track the sun in order to maximize energy production during the day. Travers Solar will also utilize bifacial modules, a technology that allows electricity to be generated from both the front and the backside of the module. The project is not under construction yet but when we get to this stage, we expect around 500 people to work on it.


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Aliieva, A. Interview with Dan Balaban; Project Management Review; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/pmwj103-Mar2021-Aliieva-Interview-with-Dan-Balaban.pdf

About the Interviewer

Aina Aliieva

Toronto, ON, Canada


Aina Alive (Aliieva) has 10+ years working in Project Management and an Agile environment. She has managed and consulted on Technical, Construction, Telecom, Retail and Engineering projects. Aina is a Transformation Leader, Coach & Mentor. She helps individuals, teams and organizations in their transformation journey. Aina is passionate about productivity, creating a positive work environment and building Dream teams. Aina has a Masters’s degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in technology. She holds PMP and PMI-ACP certificates. Aina is a proud member of PMI CWCC (Canadian West Coast Chapter), PMIT (Toronto Chapter), PMI Ukraine Chapter and UAE PMI. She is also a Program Manager, Disciplined Agile in PMI CWCC and DA Ambassador in PMIT.

Aina is an experienced public speaker and coach. In her free time, Aina participates in different mentorship programs, speaks at webinars and interviews people for her blog. She can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/aina-aliieva/