JOHN GRIMES /// CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - SMART ENERGY COUNCIL
John Grimes was appointed as Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council in 2008.
John started his career as an officer in the Air Force and went on to found and grow a number of companies, including a startup company he took to a successful listing on the ASX with a market capitalisation in excess of $30m.
His most recent company was in the environmental sector employing over 25 people with operations in Australia, the US and the Middle East.
In his role as CEO of the Smart Energy Council he has grown the profile and influence of the organisation. John has a passion for the solar, storage and the smart energy industry. He is regularly called upon, by the media, to provide relevant and independent comment in these areas.
JOHN GRIMES
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER /// SMART ENERGY COUNCIL
ALBA RUIZ LEON /// MANAGING DIRECTOR - INNOGY RENEWABLES
Alba Ruiz Leon, Managing Director of innogy Renewables Australia (Solar, Wind and Batteries) subsidiary company of RWE Germany.
Asset Management Certificate (IAM – Institute of Asset Management in UK) – ISO55001 professional
Engineers Australia Degree – Mechanical Engineer
Business Planning, Marketing and Finance Diploma – RMIT University, Melbourne
Majors in Industrial Management & Information Technologies - University of Navarra (TECNUN) Spain
Superior Industrial Engineer Electrical & Mechanical - University of Navarra (TECNUN) Spain
Other relevant experience: Managing Director at AMO Renewables, Asset Management Lead at Vestas, Asset Manager at Tilt Renewables, Power Practice Lead APAC/Africa at AUSENCO, Senior Asset Engineer at EnergyAustralia, Manager Operations at ACCIONA and Project Manager at the German Aerospace Center.
ALBA RUIZ LEON
MANAGING DIRECTOR /// INNOGY RENEWABLES
MIKE RAND /// MANAGING DIRECTOR - BLUESHORE
Mike Rand is Managing Director of Blueshore, a leading renewable energy asset management services provider dedicated to the Australian renewable market, established in 2017. Mike has experience in the investment and management of over AUD1.2 billion of solar assets and was instrumental to the creation and IPO of the first and highest performing dedicated solar energy investment trust, listed on the London Stock Exchange main market. In addition to his role at Blueshore, Mike is a founder and Managing Partner of Bluefield Partners LLP and has also directed its affiliate asset management and operation & maintenance platforms, Bluefield Services Ltd and Bluefield Operations Ltd. Mike has worked in the renewable energy industry for over 15 years and in asset finance and management since 1999. He holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and has presented at numerous international renewable energy conferences.
MIKE RAND
MANAGING DIRECTOR - BLUESHORE
DARREN DOCKING /// GENERAL MANAGER GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT - DOWNER
Darren is the General Manager Growth & Development for Downer responsible for the growing the reputation of Downer across the Renewable Energy and Power sectors, with a particular focus on Utility Scale Solar, Wind, Energy Storage and Power Systems. Darren was been working for Downer for 7 years, and 30 years in various operational and strategic roles in companies such as TXU Australia, Energy Australia, Energy Developments, Ergon Energy, Tenix and now Downer.
DARREN DOCKING
GENERAL MANAGER GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT /// DOWNER
BERNHARD SCHUETZ /// HEAD OF PRODUCT GROUP SERVICE - SMA SOLAR TECHNOLOGY AG
Schuetz brings extensive experience in the global power generation industry. At SMA, he leads the organization’s service offerings including a variety of risk-sharing options for customers – from extended warranties to spare parts guarantees to complete plant-wide operations and maintenance. In those capacities, he leads cross-functional service teams to operate cohesively as one unit. He empowers the teams to optimize project results and create operational excellence. Before joining the SMA team, he worked for GE Power as a senior project manager for field execution. Prior to GE, he spent more than 10 years at Alstrom Power, serving in multiple roles during that time. Schuetz earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and energy technology at the University of Applied Sciences, Konstanz. He also earned an MBA in management and operations from the Robins School of Business. Schuetz speaks English, Spanish and German.
BERNHARD SCHUETZ
HEAD OF PRODUCT GROUP SERVICE /// SMA SOLAR TECHNOLOGY AG
MICHAEL GARTNER /// MANAGING DIRECTOR - PHOTON ENERGY
Michael is a renewable energy entrepreneur with an investment banking background. He co-founded Photon Energy Group a highly successful solar power company with over ten years of experience and integrated business model with over 90 employees and operations across the whole of Europe and Australia.

Michael is an adaptable and strategic leader. He is a lateral thinker passionate about creating a better future for our children, encouraging innovation and thrives for continuous improvement. "Just because that is the way we have always done it doesn't mean that is the way we have to do it".
MICHAEL GARTNER
MANAGING DIRECTOR /// PHOTON ENERGY
FRANK TEOFILO /// SR DIRECTOR ENERGY SERVICES & O&M - FIRST SOLAR
Mr. Frank Teofilo is Senior Director, Energy Services leading First Solar’s Operations and Maintenance throughout Asia Pacific delivering high quality power plants and services to First Solar’s customers. Mr. Teofilo joined the company in 2012 and has over 30 years of PV solar expertise alongside strong background knowledge in engineering, business management and business research.

Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Teofio was a General Manager at Commsolar, where he oversaw the development and execution of commercial PV projects. In this role, his extensive commercial negotiation skills resulted in successful outcomes on numerous, significant energy projects. Previous to this role, he was the Energy Innovation Manager at Integral Energy where he was responsible for energy efficiency and demand side curtailment programs, strategy and policy setting for the integration of renewable energy and embedded generation into their network. He was a valuable contributor to their Smart Grid roadmap focusing on areas of renewable energy deployment and customer engagement strategies. Mr. Teofilo has also been a member of various government energy related taskforces, advisory and board committees.
FRANK TEOFILO
SR DIRECTOR ENERGY SERVICES & O&M /// FIRST SOLAR
SIMON CHAU /// O&M SALES MANAGER - CANADIAN SOLAR AUSTRALIA
Simon Chau is the O&M Sales Manager for Canadian Solar Australia. Simon is responsible for developing commercial relationships throughout Australia to expand the Canadian Solar O&M portfolio. Simon joined Canadian Solar in 2017 and has over 10 years experience in the Solar industry, having various senior sales and management roles in some of the industries largest global companies including; Sunedison and Flextronics. Simon has a BBus from Monash University, and is an accredited Nabers and Carbon Accounting auditor.
SIMON CHAU
O&M SALES MANAGER /// CANADIAN SOLAR AUSTRALIA
JON FILBEY /// SR INVESTMENT MANAGER - OCTOPUS INVESTMENTS
In his role as Senior Investment Manager at Octopus Investments, Jon is responsible for product development and overseeing day-to-day delivery. He has more than a decade of investment experience and completed more than $1.4 billion of utility-scale solar financings.
JON FILBEY
SR INVESTMENT MANAGER /// OCTOPUS INVESTMENTS
MONIQUE MILLER /// DIRECTOR - CEFC
Investment professional with 15+ years’ experience in climate and clean energy finance. Extensive structuring and investment expertise. Currently leading CEFC’s large scale solar team originating and managing project finance investments of over 1 Gigawatt of Australian solar projects.
MONIQUE MILLER
DIRECTOR /// CEFC
VISHAL PUNAMIYA /// CEO - SITEMARK
Vishal Punamiya is CEO of Sitemark. He oversees the overall commercial and product strategy for Sitemark’s Aerial Data Platform. Sitemark enables enterprises to deploy drones and aerial data at scale while enabling their digital transformation strategy.

Sitemark is used today to monitor +1400 PV sites across +30 countries by asset owners, operators and EPCs during pre-construction, engineering and construction phase, COD, EPC-O&M handover, annual inspections, purchase or sale among other stages in the life of a PV asset.

Prior to Sitemark he spent over 13 years as a corporate executive building and deploying innovative technology solutions for and within Fortune 100 companies such as Deutsche Post DHL, Panalpina among others. Previously he was CIO at Panalpina, a global Swiss logistics player active in 60+ countries with an annual revenue of Eur+8 bn.
VISHAL PUNAMIYA
CEO /// SITEMARK
LANCE LI /// FOUNDER & CEO - AEROSPEC TECHNOLOGIES
Lance is the founder and CEO of Aerospec Technologies, an aerial data analytics company that helps solar farms to optimize yields, reduce O&M costs, and delivers one of the fastest report turnaround. Previously, Lance worked in the energy industry with British Petroleum and Accenture before pursuing his passion in Renewable Energies. He is an energy policy expert and his research area includes renewable energy development in China and challenges facing global solar industries. Lance holds an MBA from Northwestern University and an MPP from Harvard University.
LANCE LI
FOUNDER & CEO /// AEROSPEC TECHNOLOGIES
JAAD CABBABE /// SR MANAGER - FLUENCE ENERGY
A short bio will follow soon...
JAAD CABBABE
SR MANAGER /// FLUENCE ENERGY
EDWIN KOOT /// CEO - SOLARPLAZA
Edwin founded SolarPlaza company in 2004. He is a senior PV expert and started in the photovoltaic solar energy business in 1994. He has experience as a solar energy consultant and project developer in more than 200 PV projects. Edwin holds a Master’s degree in Chemical engineering and previously worked in the Chemical industry before starting his first consultancy company in PV in 1994.
EDWIN KOOT
CEO /// SOLARPLAZA
NICOLE GHIOTTO /// TECHNICAL OPERATIONS, O&M AUSTRALIA - FIRST SOLAR
Ms. Nicole Ghiotto is the Technical Operations Supervisor, Operations and Maintenance, Australia, and is responsible for overseeing plant operations, performance engineering and safety management for First Solar’s 400MW portfolio of utility scale solar plants under operation in the Australia – Pacific region.

Ms. Ghiotto joined the company in 2011 in Module Technical Sales and moved into Operations and Maintenance in 2015. With over 22 years of experience in the PV industry, including 10 years in engineering and project management of PV systems Ms. Ghiotto has expertise in a wide variety of applications both on and off grid.

Prior to joining First Solar, Ms. Ghiotto was a Project Engineer at BP Solar for 8 years managing several solar power projects up to 1MW, and prior to that at Sydney Electricity (now Ausgrid) as a network engineer, before working as a contract manager on their first large scale PV system in Singleton NSW. She was also responsible for large-scale PV projects and the Building Integrated PV subsidy program while at NSW’s Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).

Ms. Ghiotto holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) finishing with First Class Honours. She was also responsible for the Network Demand Management investigation for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and 3 related peer-reviewed papers. Ms. Ghiotto has also co-authored 3 peer-reviewed white papers while at First Solar.
NICOLE GHIOTTO
TECHNICAL OPERATIONS, O&M AUSTRALIA /// FIRST SOLAR
GERALD ARENDS /// DIRECTOR - PEGASUS LEGAL
Gerald Arends is a director of Pegasus Legal, a boutique legal practice servicing the renewable energy industry in Australia, the Middle East and Asia-Pac.

He is an internationally leading lawyer advising on solar projects. In the past 10 years he worked exclusively in the solar industry, supporting clients on utility-scale solar projects in more than 25 countries on 4 continents. Gerald has held a variety of different roles in the solar industry ranging from practising lawyer and general counsel to roles in international business development, project development and commercial advisory.

Gerald is taking the approach of a reflective practitioner in the solar industry and shares his experience and perspectives through a variety of fora. As a visiting lecturer in the LL.M. programme at the University of Queensland (Australia) he has taught a module on Renewable Energy Law.
GERALD ARENDS
DIRECTOR /// PEGASUS LEGAL
ALBERT CARRERA /// APAC REGIONAL MANAGER - GREENPOWERMONITOR
Albert Carrera has been involved in the solar PV business in Asia for the last 9+ years. He started consulting several companies in the solar sector in India and South East Asia, and since 2011 he has been developing the strategy of GreenPowerMonitor in the region. In his first term, as Indian Country Manager and later as APAC Regional Manager, Albert opened several subsidiary offices in countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Japan creating a team for the region and engaging local partner for a better service support. Lately Albert relocated to Melbourne office and is currently leading the operations and sales in Australian market as well.

Currently GreenPowerMonitor has a portfolio of projects in APAC of over 1.8GW (amongst 14GW worldwide) of solar plants with an active presence in markets such as India, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Philippines and Australia. Albert has been analyzing and advising solar plant operators on the improvements for O&M management through smart monitoring and studying market demands in Asia that can be addressed with proper data analysis.

Albert has Engineering background, obtained his BA degree in Spain and specialized with a Postgraduate diploma in Renewable Energies by the University of Zaragoza, Spain.
ALBERT CARRERA
APAC REGIONAL MANAGER /// GREENPOWERMONITOR
HEINER BREUER /// TECHNICAL DIRECTOR - EDIFY ENERGY
Heiner brings a wealth of experience in solar-PV including Design, Operations, and Asset Management. He graduated at the RWTH Aachen / Germany with a diploma in electrical engineering 1995, co-founding abakus Solar AG in the same year.

Combining his hands-on practical experience and entrepreneurial approach he lead the company in solar-PV system design and operation into one of Germany’s key PV players early 2010th.

After supporting Edify Energy´s solar developments already for years Heiner joined the Edify team from May 2019 now in charge of asset management excellence, performance enhancement and the link to European technology partners.
HEINER BREUER
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR /// EDIFY ENERGY
NATHAN EVERITT /// HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA - BAYWA R.E.
A short personal description to follow soon...
NATHAN EVERITT
HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA /// BAYWA R.E.
LISETTE BUIST /// PROJECT MANAGER - SOLARPLAZA
A Short bio will folow soon...
LISETTE BUIST
PROJECT MANAGER /// SOLARPLAZA
JOHN STREET /// BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - NEXTRACKER
Spanning over two decades of business development experience in diverse industries ranging from public to private, blue chips and startups, John Street has dedicated the past 13 years to solar companies spanning the value chain from upstream – equipment manufacturers – to downstream – EPC developers and O&M service providers. After his transition from working in the oil patch for a gas separation technology company to renewables development, John now leads the commercialization of NEXTracker’s global services offerings with a special focus on Digital O&M, site services and extended service offers. Prior to NEXTracker, John has held management positions at Enphase, MaxGen Energy Services, Namaste Solar, Suntech America and Sun Micro. He earned his MBA from Georgetown University and an engineering degree from the University of Colorado.
JOHN STREET
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT /// NEXTRACKER
WILLIAM HALL /// BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AUSTRALIA - CLEAN ENERGY ASSOCIATES
Mr. Hall was brought into Clean Energy Associates in a Business Development capacity to service the solar market in Australia. Mr. Hall brings 5 years’ experience working in the power industry with large multinationals in South East Asia and the Middle East. His knowledge and experience of commercial requirements, processes, and decision making, gives his clients the confidence they require to reach successful project completion. In addition to this, he has experience in the Commercial & and Industrial solar market in Australia having worked for the largest company in that space in a heavily regulated and dynamic environment. Mr. Hall holds a B. in Comm-Politics, an MBA, and is currently pursuing a Master in Renewable Energy. As a ‘Project Sponsor’, Mr. Hall cultivates partner support and project sponsorship through high-level financial and industry intelligence modelling, presenting conclusions and project recommendations to senior stakeholders, and targeted negotiations with financiers. Mr. Hall is a native English speaker and is conversational in Spanish.
WILLIAM HALL
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AUSTRALIA /// CLEAN ENERGY ASSOCIATES
CHRIS WILSON /// DIRECTOR - TERRAIN SOLAR
Chris has 15 years' experience in the solar PV industry developing, financing, constructing and commissioning some of the earliest utility-scale solar farms in Australia. After working with leading developers and EPC contractors such as FRV and First Solar, Chris co-founded Terrain Solar in 2016 with a team that has over 2,000MW collective experience in developing renewable energy projects in Australia, South Africa and South East Asia. Together with its strategic partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Terrain Solar specialises in developing embedded generators in high-growth regional centres. Chris manages the portfolio origination strategy with particular expertise in the technical and grid-connection aspects of project development.
CHRIS WILSON
DIRECTOR /// TERRAIN SOLAR
LEI XIAOFEI /// TECHNICAL SUPPORT MANAGER - JOLYWOOD
Lei Xiaofei is working in Jolywood as a Technical Support Manager. He is managing a team of application engineers to support overseas marketing development activities.
He has been working in the PV field for 7 years. He has a good knowledge about solar cell and module technology and bifacial PV system application.
His work experience lies primarily in the field of commercial and utility scale Solar PV development. Lei has a Master’s degree from Soochow University.
LEI XIAOFEI
TECHNICAL SUPPORT MANAGER /// JOLYWOOD
JAMES PAGONIS /// DIRECTOR - POWERHUB
A recognized leader and experience solar energy expert, James has worked on hundreds of renewable energy projects across the globe. After being instrumental in developing, constructing and operating some of the first solar projects in Ontario, James is now actively engaged in simplifying asset management for the industry. James is one of the early drivers behind the development and launch of PowerHub: a simple, cloud-based Asset Management solution designed to help renewable energy asset owners manage their projects. He continues to be responsible for product development at PowerHub. James holds a B.Sc. from Royal Roads University.
JAMES PAGONIS
DIRECTOR /// POWERHUB
CHRIS TWOMEY /// SENIOR INVESTMENT MANAGER - ELLIOTT GREEN POWER
Chris joined EGP in April 2018 after spending over three years working as an Investment Manager for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) working on and leading a number of transactions across the renewable energy industry in Australia. His main focus was on utility scale projects, in particular the projects funded under the ARENA Large-scale Solar Round and other projects such as Kennedy Energy Park and Degrussa Solar Farm. Previously he has worked in financial advisory and M&A with PwC in Europe and Deloitte in Australia.
CHRIS TWOMEY
SENIOR INVESTMENT MANAGER /// ELLIOTT GREEN POWER
JONATHAN SMITH /// COMMERCIAL MANAGER - VENA ENERGY
Jonathan is an energy finance professional with 25 years’ experience in commercial management and project development roles in the energy industry. In his current role he is responsible for commercial and business development activities at Vena Energy. A Chartered Accountant by profession, prior to joining Vena Energy in early 2018 Jonathan held various roles at Shell, Origin Energy and Santos.
JONATHAN SMITH
COMMERCIAL MANAGER /// VENA ENERGY
SIMON CURRIE /// PRINCIPAL - ENERGY ESTATE
Simon is a principal and co-founder of Energy Estate. He has advised on more than 20GW of renewable energy projects in 70 countries around the world and is widely recognised as a leader in the transformation of the energy sector. Over the last four years he has structured and negotiated many of the first wave of corporate PPAs in Australia.
SIMON CURRIE
PRINCIPAL /// ENERGY ESTATE
RIMMA MITELMAN /// HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT - ESCO PACIFIC
Rimma has a comprehensive understanding of the renewable energy asset lifecycle through her leading role with ESCO Pacific since its inception in 2016. Rimma was heavily involved in equity and debt processes of four solar farms. Her role as Commerical Manager within the Development platform of the business included financial modelling, managing market and insurance due diligence for financial close, reviewing and pricing off-take agreements, contract management, risk management and regulatory matters. Rimma has since been instrumental in setting up ESCO’s Asset Management platform with three assets currently under management and in various stages of construction, commissioning and operations.
RIMMA MITELMAN
HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT /// ESCO PACIFIC
STEVE BLUME /// PRESIDENT - SMART ENERGY COUNCIL
With more than 18 years experience in the energy field after 25 years in Information Technology & Communications, Steve Blume is one of Australia’s most experienced renewable energy experts and advocates.

Steve Blume is President of the Australian Smart Energy Council and Treasurer of the Global Solar Council. He is also Treasurer, New Zealand & Pacific Solar & Storage Council; Director, Australian Institute of Energy and Director, (Chair Steering Committee) Asia Pacific PV Industry Association.

Steve is also CEO of NoCarbon Pty Ltd, a smart energy consulting firm.

Steve Blume is a former political adviser, private & public sector senior executive, and change advocate assisting Australia & developing countries to deploy clean energy transition technologies.
STEVE BLUME
PRESIDENT /// SMART ENERGY COUNCIL
VASSILIS NELLAS /// DIRECTOR - INACCESS
Vassilis is one of the co-founders of Inaccess. He is responsible for product and key account management, support & maintenance contracts, presales and marketing activities of the company. He has managed several multinational projects and serves as key account manager for renewable energy investors, independent power producers and infrastructure funds. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in the renewable energy & telecom sector. Vassilis holds a diploma in Electrical & Computer Engineering and a PhD in telecoms.
VASSILIS NELLAS
DIRECTOR /// INACCESS
DAVID LEITCH /// PRINCIPAL - ITK SERVICES AUSTRALIA
A short bio will follow soon...
DAVID LEITCH
PRINCIPAL /// ITK SERVICES AUSTRALIA
BRIAN LONERGAN /// ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR - CEFC
A short bio will follow soon...
BRIAN LONERGAN
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR /// CEFC
JONATHON DYSON /// DIRECTOR - GREENVIEW STRATEGIC CONSULTING
Jonathon has nearly 20 years practical experience in the NEM, having held senior operational and trading roles in electricity market organisations over that time. As a former member of the NEM’s Dispatch and Pricing Reference group, Jonathon’s intricate knowledge of power system dispatch and security, coupled with practical, on-site experience with power system operations across all forms of electricity generation, allows him to bring operational and energy trading realities to strategically significant and policy discussions. Jonathon has degrees in Engineering and Management.
JONATHON DYSON
DIRECTOR /// GREENVIEW STRATEGIC CONSULTING