Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Clean Energy Council Awards. Read on to find out more about the 2022 winners in the following categories:
Geoff Stapleton is one of the pioneers of the Australian rooftop solar industry. After first becoming involved in the sector in the late 1980s, Geoff has been pivotal in the ongoing development and refinement of standards, safety practices and training for the solar industry. He also played a key role in the foundation of the installer accreditation scheme that continues to ensure robust installation practice and training to this day.
Geoff is an alumni of BP Solar and went on to found the Solar Energy Industry Association, an ancestor of the Clean Energy Council. Geoff was a champion for and developer of the industry’s first ever standards and official training course and became one of Australia’s first accredited installers.
He has been the Managing Director of GSES for the past 24 years, is a Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW and a Director of the International Solar Energy Society and has written several books on the design and installation of solar systems.
Geoff has been an active mentor and advisor to the next generation of solar professionals and is now taking his experience to support Asian and Pacific countries to adopt strong safety, standards and accreditation regimes supported by customised training programs.
RES' Solar Asset Management team won this year's Innovation Award for its 'Digital Twin' simulation tool that creates an exact virtual model of a solar farm down to the string, combiner box and inverter level.
The site-specific, weather-based simulation tool allows RES to identify under-performance or monitoring trends at a solar farm. In 2021, the Digital Twin alerted the company to an under-performing inverter at one of the solar farms RES was asset managing. The early discovery of the issue enabled by the Digital Twin resulted in the site being returned to 100 per cent production within a week, reducing the cost of the incident by over 90 per cent.
Innovation Award Finalists
Blind Creek Solar Farm (BCSF) won this year's Community Engagement Award for its pioneering solar farm benefit sharing scheme and agrisolar initiatives.
The BCSF project was led by farmers who undertook an extensive community engagement process with their local community. BCSF worked with their local community to pioneer a benefit sharing scheme for solar projects which will share $3.5 million in financial benefits over the lifetime of the project with neighbours and the community.
The agri-solar project was also specifically designed to co-exist with sheep grazing, regenerative agriculture, a soil carbon sequestration project and biodiversity restoration.
Community Engagement Award Finalists
EnergyCo, Transgrid and the Australian Energy Market Operator won the Collaboration Award for the NSW REZ Access Standards Development project.
This project demonstrated extensive and effective collaboration between a range of stakeholders to deliver a new streamlined grid connection process for the NSW renewable energy zones.
Through an intense collaboration of technical, regulatory and commercial people involving EnergyCo, Transgrid, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the clean energy industry, new Access Standards were finalised and published inside four months. This is a remarkable achievement given that changing Access Standards usually takes in excess of a year.
Marion Rae, a Future Economics Correspondent for the Australian Associated Press, won this year's Media Award for her recent coverage of the Clean Energy Council's Federal Election Policy Platform and the industry-driven, collaborative work being done on Access Reform.
The award was accepted by Andrew Drummond from AAP.
The Clean Energy Council Awards are now in their 11th year. Past winners include some of the leading individuals and businesses operating in the Australian clean energy industry.