Chair

Rachel Watson
General Manager Australia, Pacific Hydro

Rachel joined Pacific Hydro in 2006 as a Corporate Lawyer and has held a number of positions including, Executive Manager Legal, Executive Manager Finance and Legal and General Manager Group Services with responsibility, at a group level, for human resources, external affairs, health and safety, legal and operations and development excellence and in the Australian business for energy markets. 

In July 2017, Rachel was appointed to the role of General Manager Australia, and is responsible for leading Pacific Hydro’s Australian portfolio of new business opportunities, projects under development and in construction, and operating assets.

Prior to joining Pacific Hydro, Rachel worked for Orica Ltd, and spent three years in Japan working for a major turbine supplier. Rachel began her career as a solicitor in private practice in Melbourne. She has over 20 years’ experience in major contracting transactions and other general commercial law issues. Rachel has a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

Rachel is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on the board of one other non-profit organisation.

 

Alex Beckitt
Manager, Policy and Engagement, Hydro Tasmania M.EnvMgt; BA(Hons); GAICD

Alex has worked for Hydro Tasmania since 2001 in a variety of roles and is currently Manager Policy & Engagement. With over a decade of renewable energy policy, industry development and national and international advocacy, Alex brings a strong focus on working across multiple government levels and with a variety of stakeholders. Alex has a long history and personal commitment to building an effective and sustainable national association, demonstrated through ongoing contributions in both executive and non‐executive roles with the CEC, and its predecessor associations.

Alex is focussed on the continual building of our industry profile particularly from an Australian Government perspective. Specific elements include communicating clean energy policy developments nationally and internationally; interfacing with political, technical, commercial, regulatory agents; and developing strategies to increase the share of renewable energy in national energy portfolios – thereby increasing commercial development opportunities for members.

 

Lara Olsen 
Regional Manager - Business Development, Tesla Energy

Lara is an experienced energy executive with a proven international track record in the financing and delivery of large-scale energy strategies and projects. Lara is currently Regional Manager - Business Development for Tesla Energy, responsible for developing and extending Tesla Energy’s residential and grid scale storage business in Australia, New Zealand and the neighboring regional markets.

Prior to this, Lara was Head of Strategy at CitiPower Powercor and Head of Strategy at the  Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). She also spent more than five years founding and leading energy start ups  - including being the CEO of Cool nrg and co-founding Billcap, and energy software as a service company. Lara has an MBA from INSEAD,  a B.Eng/Arts from Melbourne University and Tokyo Institute of Technology and is a John Monash Scholar. 

 

Warwick Johnston
Managing Director, Sunwiz

Warwick Johnston is the managing director of SunWiz, a consultancy that services Australia’s solar industry. Warwick has worked in the solar industry since 2005 where he became well-known in the BCSE. Since founding SunWiz in 2009, Warwick has helped hundreds of solar businesses to improve their competitiveness, and authored dozens of reports on Australia’s solar industry.

Warwick has been contributing to the solar industry since 2005, through previous roles in ANZSES (Victorian Treasurer) and SEIA (NSW President). Currently Warwick is the Chair of the CEC’s Domestic PV Directorate and sits on the CEC’s PV Leadership Committee and Policy & Advocacy Advisory Committee. Warwick is also Australia’s representative to an International Energy Agency PV Task, and contributes to the APVI and ASC. In 2011 the ASC recognised Warwick’s pro-bono contribution to overturning the NSW Government’s retrospective feed-in tariff legislation with an Industry Leadership award.  

Warwick is a fierce advocate for the role of solar energy in Australia’s energy supply. Warwick combines passion for solar energy with a love of all renewable energy technologies, and his master’s degree in Renewable Energy provides a framework for considering broader energy policy, energy market operation, and energy economics. 

 

Megan Wheatley
Manager, Communications & External Affairs, Senvion Australia

Megan is Manager, Communications and External Affairs at Senvion Australia which is a leading wind energy company with experience of delivering over 440 megawatts of renewable energy generating capacity in South Australia, Victorian and New South Wales.

Prior to joining Senvion, Megan was Head of Policy for the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy (UKBCSE), which brought together the Chief Executives of the major energy companies in the UK to progress the sustainable energy agenda including shaping the UK's role in meeting the EU 20% renewable energy target, and working with the Prime Minister’s office on energy efficiency policy.

Before moving to the UK, Megan was a senior manager at Sustainability Victoria where she led the development of the Victorian Wind Atlas, and the Government’s black balloons energy saving campaign. She also contributed to the development of a range of key policy initiatives, including the Wind Energy Policy and Planning Guidelines, the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and the National Framework for Energy Efficiency.

In 2009, Megan was awarded Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Alumni of the Year from Monash University.  Megan has been a member of the Monash Engineering Foundation Board since 2013.

Megan is a Graduate Member of the AICD.

 

Darryl Flukes
Chairman, ESCO Pacific

Darryl has near 20 years' experience across the energy supply chain with a strong focus on renewable energy and wholesale markets. Darryl held executive roles at Southern Hydro, including while owned by Meridian NZ as it developed an early wind presence in Australia. 

As Chief Executive at lnfratil Energy Australia/Lumo Energy he built on his experience of the wholesale and retail markets. During this time Darryl was Chairman of Perth Energy, and a director of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia and the Australian Financial Markets Association. Darryl spent four years as an adviser to the board of Meridian Energy Australia, owner and operator of windfarms in Victoria and SA, while it built its Powershop retail brand. 

He is currently Chairman of solar developer ESCO Pacific and a director of the Ross River Solar Farm. He has provided advisory services to Tilt Renewables, Renu Energy, Hydro Tasmania, Snowy Hydro, Vestas, Solar Systems, and was on the Department of Environment panel for the Solar Cities Program. 

Darryl has been a strong advocate for renewable energy since his time at Southern Hydro when he was involved in the development of the initial RET and standardising financial markets for LGCs (RECs). 

 

Matt Rebbeck
Chief Executive Officer, RES Australia

Matt has worked in the renewable energy industry for over 20 years and has a wide range of international and local experience. He has worked in Australia for the last 14 years and has led the growth of the Australian business. During this time the RES team has been successful in the delivery of over 400 MW of wind farm and solar projects, including most recently the Emerald solar park which included Australia's first large-scale NEM connected corporate PPA. 

RES Australia is part of the global RES Group, the world's largest independent renewable energy company with a 12 GW portfolio and the expertise to develop, engineer, construct, finance, and operate projects around the globe. RES is active in a range of energy technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission. 

Matt has extensive knowledge of wind, solar and energy storage projects. He is an experienced director across a number of companies, has a BSc in Mathematics from Bath University and an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology from Loughborough University. 

 

Jenny Paradiso
Managing Director - Suntrix

Jenny is Managing Director of Suntrix, a solar PV company with head office in South Australia and operating in SA, VIC and NSW.  Jenny established Suntrix in 2009 and drives the strategic direction of the company, with a focus on commercial solar, battery storage and solar/energy monitoring. Jenny is a regular speaker at renewable energy conferences, has worked in management roles for over 15 years and is a member of a number of committees and not-for-profit boards.

Jenny was the winner of the National Telstra Business Women’s Entrepreneur Award in 2016, as well as the South Australian Overall Telstra Business Woman of the Year. Her personal and professional drivers are around renewable energy, women in business and supporting start-up entrepreneurs.

Suntrix is a founding signatory of the Solar Retailer Code of Conduct and Jenny has represented Code members on the CEC PV Leadership Committee for three years.

Jenny aims to represent the views and needs of SME solar companies nationally, giving solar companies a voice and providing a point-of-view that reflects their segment of the industry.

 

Michael Thorpe
Managing Director, Global Head of Infrastructure, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

With over two decades’ experience in Australia and London, Michael is responsible for overseeing advice, client relationships and financing for Commonwealth Bank’s infrastructure and utilities clients. Michael leads a global team located in Australia, Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Commonwealth Bank’s infrastructure team is a major part of the bank’s Institutional Banking & Markets division, and supports vital national infrastructure such as energy and water utilities, hospitals, schools, prisons, roads, railways and ports.

Prior to his current role, Michael was Managing Director Project Finance at Commonwealth Bank, covering project finance asset acquisitions for infrastructure, utilities and natural resources clients. Michael has also held senior roles in project finance and resources at Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland and Westpac Banking Corporation.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Business from Curtin Graduate School of Business.

 

Peter Cowling
Country Head, Australia & New Zealand, Vestas

Peter has worked in renewable energy for almost 15 years in Australia and Asia. He has previously served on the Board of both the Clean Energy Council and the Australian Wind Energy Association. He is passionate about the industry in Australia and has completed a Company Director’s Course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter is a long-term supporter of the work of the Clean Energy Council and is keen to use his skillset to guide the industry through its myriad challenges and opportunities in the coming years.