Chair

Rachel Watson
General Manager, Group Services, Pacific Hydro

Rachel Watson is the General Manager, Group Services at Pacific Hydro which is a vertically integrated clean energy utility with a portfolio of more than 300 MW of operating wind and hydro power facilities.  Rachel is responsible for external affairs, energy markets, HR, health and safety, the specialist engineering function and legal affairs in the Australian business.  She has been with Pacific Hydro since 2006, starting out as Corporate Lawyer then moving on to manage the Australian legal team.  In 2013 Rachel took on the position of Executive Manager, Finance and Legal with responsibility for the Australian business' finance function as well as legal issues. 

Rachel has extensive experience in the transactions surrounding the development and operation of energy projects.  Before joining Pacific Hydro, Rachel worked for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan negotiating power system supply contracts in many different countries.  Prior to that, she spent five years working in the internal legal team at Orica Ltd in Australia dealing with a wide range of commercial contracts and commercial legal issues.  She began her career at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons).

Rachel is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is on the board of one other non-profit organisation.  She has a BA/LLb (hons) from Melbourne University.

 

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.

 

Gerard Carew
Managing Director and Vice President Sales for Vestas in Australia and New Zealand.

He has worked in various strategy, marketing, business development, and sales roles for Vestas since 2007 covering ANZ, and the broader Asia Pacific region including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Pakistan.  Gerard has played a pivotal role in the growth of the renewable energy industry across Asia Pacific in recent years with his team involved in the origination and financial close of 21 new wind farm projects across 7 countries during 2014-2017. 

Now with a dedicated focus back in Australia, he looks forward to contributing to the work of the Clean Energy Council and helping ensure the success of our country’s on-going transition to a clean energy system that is affordable and reliable.  Prior to entering the renewable energy industry, Gerard worked in product management, marketing, and sales roles for Caterpillar Inc. and AGCO Corporation across the mining, construction, and agricultural sectors.  He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Institute of Management.

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. 

 

Peter Cowling
General Manager, Sales, GE Wind Power

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.

 

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. 

 

Cameron Garnsworthy
Country Manager, FRV Australia

Cameron recently joined FRV to lead the company’s operations in Australia in the role of Country Manager. He has over 17 years experience in the energy sector in developing, acquiring and divesting solar and wind projects worldwide. This experience has provided a solid appreciation of the challenges involved in the deployment of renewable projects.

FRV is one of the leading utility scale solar development companies in Australia having successfully delivered the Royalla solar farm in the ACT, together with the Moree solar farm in NSW.

Prior to joining FRV, Cameron worked for Energy Australia for over 5 years in a variety of roles including being the General Manager responsible for Business Development. Before this he worked with International Power for 12 years in multiple roles related to the development and acquisition of renewable projects across both Australia and Europe.

Cameron is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kingston University in London.    

 

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.

 

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.