A renewable energy leader who led the development of the work by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency into hybrid power generation at mine sites has been recognised as the winner of the Clean Energy Council’s 2018 Women in Renewables Scholarship.

Now in its third year, the scholarship aims to promote greater gender diversity across the clean energy industry at the Executive Board level. The Clean Energy Council announced Vanessa Ratard, Senior Project Manager with the remote engineering firm Ekistica as the successful applicant at its Annual General Meeting. Ms Ratard will be funded to undertake the Foundations of Directorship course offered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Clean Energy Council Women in Renewables Chair Natalie Collard said Ms Ratard had more than a decade of global experience in the renewable energy industry and is actively managing a number of projects in Central Australia. 

“Vanessa Ratard was an exceptional candidate with an impressive range of experience across the industry. However, her strong leadership track record, integrity and aspiration to be a role model for other women in the industry are the elements that really made her stand out from the field. I have no doubt she will grab this opportunity with both hands,” Ms Collard said.

Ms Ratard led the development of the Hybrid Power Generation for Off-Grid Mines handbook for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

“I am deeply humbled and honoured to be given this incredible opportunity, which will boost my career to a new level and allow me to be a champion for women in renewable energy – as well as playing my part in bridging the gender gap in our industry,” Ms Ratard said.

“Without opportunities like this from the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables initiative, I wouldn’t be in the position to access the benefits this scholarship will afford me. I commend the Clean Energy Council and Women in Renewables for their constant support and commitment to improving gender diversity through their actions that are not just tailored to women in senior positions of the industry, but for women in all levels of renewable energy,” she said.

The selection panel for the scholarship was made up of Ms Collard, along with Rachel Watson, the Australian General Manager of Pacific Hydro and Chair of the Clean Energy Council, and Rita Trehan, Chief People Officer at AGL.

The Clean Energy Council would like to recognise all the outstanding candidates who applied for the 2018 scholarship. The selection panel encourages all candidates to consider applying again in future years.

For more information about the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables initiative or to sign up to the mailing list, please visit cleanenergycouncil.org.au/women.

Please contact Clean Energy Council Media Manager Mark Bretherton on 0413 556 981 or mark@cleanenergycouncil.org.au for more information or to arrange an interview.