David Trimble
Renewable Energy Technologist

Topic Overview
Topic overview: Solar energy in the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland will include coverage of:

  • An overview of solar uptake in the land based sector in N Ireland
  • A few case studies of farms that have installed solar
  • Advantages of solar in terms of financial payback, sustainability and reduced carbon footprints.

Speaker Background
David began his career teaching Beef Production and Farm Management to agricultural students at Greenmount College. Following a six year move to the Fatstock Division, he took a career break to work in Hungary for several years.

In 2003, he returned to the Greenmount Campus, CAFRE, where he was involved in the project to increase the awareness of the potential of ICT in the farming industry.

In 2008 he joined the Renewable Energy team where he quickly became involved in work on energy efficiency and many of the on-farm renewable energy technologies being adopted by farmers.

David is involved in the delivery of the Renewable Energy Training Programme which covers training workshops in energy efficiency, energy from Solar PV panels, biomass heating and other renewable energy technologies. Along with his colleagues, he is also responsible for the delivery of a significant proportion of the DARD Renewable Energy Action Plan which now forms part of DARD's Climate Change Strategy.

The presentation on 8th June will consider the impact of solar energy on the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland.

Cormac Gilligan
Senior PV Analyst

Speaker Background
Cormac Gilligan is a senior analyst in the IHS Power & Energy Technology group. Cormac is currently responsible for researching the global PV inverter market having published several syndicated research reports on this industry; he is also involved in running IHS market trackers and customer survey report. Prior to joining IHS PV research team, Cormac worked as a civil engineer developing rail and metro projects across capital cities throughout Europe. Before joining IHS PV group, Cormac graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in Engineering. Cormac is based in the company's headquarters in Wellingborough, UK.

David Maguire

Speaker Background
David Maguire is Founder and Director of BNRG Renewables, which he set up in 2007 as a renewable energy development company specialising in utility scale solar PV projects.

In a very short period the company has developed and constructed a significant portfolio of projects and has operations in seven countries across three continents. To date, the company has delivered over a significant portfolio of projects and has operations in seven different countries across €170 million worth of operational assets. 

An environmental scientist by profession, David has over 20 years' experience in the environmental and renewable energy sectors. He is Chairman of opportunity for Northern Ireland to look beyond wind and to the Irish Solar Energy Association. 

Joe O'Carroll
Managing Director, Bioenergy and Solar

Speaker Background
Joe oversees the development and delivery of Gaelectric's pipeline of biomass and solar projects across Ireland, the United Kingdom and further afield. He has over 20 years of senior management experience within the agriculture and energy industries in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Central America and East Africa in both public and private sector organisations. He is a founding Board Member of the Biorefinery & Bioenergy Competence Centre – a national R&D programme funded by the Irish Government to drive bioenergy innovation. He previously held positions with the Irish Department of Communication, Energy & Natural Resources, the Irish Department of Agriculture and Willamette Industries (now Weyerhaeuser).

He has also been non-Executive Director of StepGreen, an environmental consultancy and Green Belt Panama SA, a Central American Forest Management Company. Joe has been actively involved in trade bodies representing the Irish timber industry at a European level including the Cooperation on Science & Technology (COST).

Joe holds a first class honours Agricultural Science degree from University College Dublin, an MBA from University College Cork and has attended executive management programmes at the Irish Management Institute and the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Tanya Hedley
Compliance and Network Operations Director

Speaker Background
The Utility Regulator is responsible for regulating Northern Ireland's electricity industry. The principal objective of the Utility Regulator in carrying out its electricity related functions is: to protect the interests of consumers of electricity supplied by authorised suppliers, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition between persons engaged in, or in commercial activities connected with, the generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity. The Utility Regulator works with the industry in carrying out functions, part of which is the licensing of electricity suppliers, generators and transmission and distribution companies. In conjunction with licensing, a number of companies are subject to price control regulation by The Utility Regulator, these include: NIE Networks Ltd, SONI Ltd and SEMO (Single Electricity Market Operator).

Robin McCormick
Director, Operations, Planning & Innovation and General Manager

Speaker Background
Robin McCormick has 28 years' experience in the power industry in the regulated utility environment.
Robin was appointed Director of Operations, Planning & Innovation in July 2015 and is also the General Manager of SONI Ltd.
Robin previously held the role of General Manager of the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO) and SONI.
In his role as Director, he is responsible for the operation and planning of the power system in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Robin is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Vice Chairman of the IET Engineering Policy Group – Northern Ireland. He holds an MBA from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and an MSc from Napier University, Edinburgh.

Robert Goss

Speaker Background
Robert is a director with Solar Electric Ireland with special responsibility for marketing. He is also involved in commercial projects and the solar farm scene. Robert has worked as Managing Director for Conergy UK – building that company from zero to 200 MW of installed capacity in 5 years.

His previous management experience includes: the playground equipment sector, shop-fitting and working in the U.S. and the U.K. for a commercial division within the Danish LEGO company.

He has academic qualifications in marketing and management including an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University.

Andrew Ryan

Speaker Background
Andrew joined TLT in January 2015 and is a planning & environment partner in the firm's Energy & Renewables team.

Andrew has significant experience in the energy and renewables sector on the planning and regulatory aspects of energy projects, and has advised on the development and funding of numerous solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and other waste to energy projects. He advises clients on a variety of issues including grid connection, power purchase agreements, planning and Environmental Impact Assessment and incentive schemes. Andrew also advises on the environmental and planning aspects of commercial and industrial development including enforcement proceedings, appeals and judicial review proceedings relating to planning and environmental matters.

Having qualified in 2003, Andrew worked in the environment team in CMS Cameron McKenna before moving to Belfast in 2006. Andrew retains his dual qualification in Northern Ireland and England & Wales and is independently recognised as an expert in the field of environmental law by Chambers UK, a guide to the legal profession.

Noel Rice
Energy Conservation Manager

Speaker Background
Noel Rice, Energy Conservation Manager, has been working in the Energy Conservation Unit for 19 years. The Energy Conservation unit's core aim is to ensure the Housing Executive has the right policies and programmes in place to improve the energy efficiency of all homes in Northern Ireland.

Nick Boyle

Speaker Background

A dynamic leader and entrepreneur, Nick Boyle is founder and CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy, Europe's largest solar PV developer, owner and operator. He is well known in the industry for his success in marrying retail financial products to low-risk, predictable investment revenue, generated by utility-scale solar PV plants.

Since the inception of Lightsource, Nick's drive and vision has seen the company enjoy tremendous success over a short period of time - growing from start-up business to Europe's number one solar PV portfolio holder in just over five years.

Lightsource has more than 1.1GW of operational assets with a very significant pipeline currently under construction, these achievements are a testament to Nick's innate ability to identify opportunities and build on them. Prior to his current role, Nick sat at Board and Senior Director level in a number of leading retail financial service companies.

Steve Pester
Principal Consultant

Speaker Background
With over 10 years' experience of renewable energy projects, Steve is highly active as a renewable energy consultant offering Expert Witness services and technical expertise. Steve has in-depth knowledge of the theory and practical implementation of microgeneration systems. He is an active member of the Microgeneration Certification Scheme PV Working Group (MCS technical standards) and British Standards Institute GEL-82 PV standards committee.

Steve has written and contributed to more than a dozen BRE and IEA publications on renewables.  Steve is City & Guilds PV and BPEC Solar Thermal qualified, has a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Environmental Science.

Mark Bennett

Our innovative floating solar platform Hydrelio© allows standard PV panels to be installed on large bodies of water such as drinking water reservoirs, quarry lakes, irrigation canals or remediation and tailing ponds. Floating solar systems are particularly suitable for energy and water-intensive industries who cannot afford to waste either land or water.

Speaker Background
In 2014 Mark set up Floating Solar UK the first official and exclusive distributor of floating solar systems in the UK. Sheeplands Farm was the first site in the UK to install Hydrelio floating Solar PV allowing the farm to utilise their new 60 million litre irrigation reservoir by generating free, green energy on-site to power the reservoir`s pump. Since then over 10MW of floating PV has been deployed in the UK for privately owned reservoirs, aggregates and multiple utility companies.

The HYDRELIO Floating Solar PV system was developed by French Company Ciel & Terre who have been involved in the technology since 2006. Floating Solar UK is a subsidiary of Ciel & Terre working as a joint venture together to expand this exciting business in to the UK market.

Ramon Perez Mir
General Manager of Tecsolgeo and President of Geologist Professional Association in Catalonia

Ivan Caparros
Geotechnical Manager

Topic Overview
Tecsol Geo prides itself as one of the most successful and competitive soil testing and modelling one‐stop‐shop service providers. The company specialises in solar farm development projects and have successfully completed more than 140 small to large scale projects over the last four years.

This presentation will explain the benefits of carrying out a geotechnical test (including resistivity test).

  • Geotechnical surveying and modelling (Boreholes, Dynamic test, SPT, sampling,...)
  • Topographic surveying
  • Resistivity Testing
  • Dynamic Plate Test (DPT) testing
  • DCP‐CBR testing
  • Bearing plate testing
  • Thermal conductivity laboratory testing
  • Corrosivity resistivity testing

Jonathan Buick
Head of Projects

Speaker Background
Jonathan Buick is head of projects in Action Renewables. He has over ten years' experience in energy and environmental consultancy, waste management and renewable energy technologies. Jonathan is an authority on government support measures for renewable energy, such as the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation and the Feed-in Tariff in Great Britain. His technical and economic expertise in renewable energy spans all technologies, but particularly wind, anaerobic digestion and solar thermal, and this expertise has led to him providing training and advice to a wide range of stakeholders, from the farming sector in Northern Ireland to the Government of Azerbaijan. Jonathan has a MSc in Environmental Management and Policy and is a Chartered Scientist.

Paul Neary

Topic Overview
Neo Environmental have conducted work on a number of co-location projects in both England and Northern Ireland from the initial feasibility stage through to the discharging of environmental conditions. The initial considerations for the co-location of a solar farm in conjunction with an existing wind farm can be quite complex and requires comprehensive technical and environmental analysis. There are significant benefits in locating solar and wind farms within the same site, including shared grid connections, the negative correlation between wind and solar, as well as existing impacts and infrastructure. In terms of planning there are technical constraints that need to be evaluated and the criteria for this will be discussed. The CER consultation document, ‘Review of Connection and Grid Access Policy: Initial Thinking & Proposed Transitional Arrangements' in the Republic of Ireland, highlights opportunities for co-location of wind and solar and so the topic is extremely relevant at present.

Speaker Background
Paul is one of the owners of Neo Environmental and has a diverse environmental background with heritage, archaeology and environmental management qualifications. To date Neo Environmental have conducted technical and environmental assessments for both the planning stages and discharging of conditions, for in excess of 550MW of commercial solar. These assessments have been completed on projects ranging from 4MW to 50MW and have been undertaken across the whole of the UK and Ireland. Neo environmental have worked on projects for clients including Lightsource, Gaelectric, Lark Energy, Vogt, Low Carbon and Highfield Energy, to name a few.

Paul has overseen the environmental and technical work for standalone solar farms, but also for the co-location of solar farms and wind farms in the UK.

In his current capacity as Director and owner of Neo Environmental, Paul has developed a multi-disciplinary team working on a range of development types for clients ranging from developers, planning consultants, engineers, architects, educational institutions and public bodies. Neo environmental have offices in Belfast, Naas (Co. Kildare), Glasgow and Warwickshire.

Tim Rose
Head of European Projects

Speaker Background
Tim has more than 20 years' experience in the aerospace and renewables sectors and has worked in the sales & commercial, operations and corporate strategy areas. He joined Solarcentury 5 years ago and has mostly been focussed on winning business in the UK market, both in ground and roof mounted sectors. For the last four years his focus has been on the UK ground mounted market, which has been a very successful market for Solarcentury with Tim's team securing contracts for over 550MW of PV projects, almost half of which are from sites developed by Solarcentury itself.

Tim now heads up the European Sales team, with existing footprints in the Netherlands and Germany and prospects in other European markets, as well as a continued focus on the UK.

Solarcentury is one of the most respected solar companies in the world. Founded in 1998 and now with 220 employees in three continents (Euope, Latin America and Africa), we have been around since the early days of the solar industry and have been part of the evolution that has made solar PV the attractive investment it is today. What we do? Development, structured finance and EPC for utility scale, commercial rooftop and hybrid systems, O&M and BIPV products. As well as being a successful developer of over 250MWp of solar farms, Solarcentury is considered to be the UK's leading EPC contractor with over 630MWp installed worldwide.

Roger Henderson
Network Connections Director

Speaker Background
Roger Henderson serves as a Network Connections Director of Northern Ireland Electricity Limited and has been its Operations and Safety Director since January 2012. Mr. Henderson joined NIE in 1991 and has progressed through various management roles in Power Networks, Major Projects and Plant and Technical. He is a graduate engineer.

Brian Keville B.Sc. (Env.)
Environmental Director

Speaker Background
Brian is the Environmental Director of McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan (MKO), a 30-person, Galway-based planning and environmental consultancy with renewable energy as a main specialism. Brian is an environmental scientist by profession, having graduated from NUI Galway, and has over 15 years' experience in professional consultancy, particularly in large-scale energy infrastructure projects. Having worked on over 1GW of on-shore wind projects and associated transmission infrastructure over the last decade, this extensive renewables experience has been shared across the solar energy projects the company has been bringing through the Irish planning process over the last 18 months.

Seán Manley
Senior Project Manager

Speaker Background
Seán is a Senior Project Manager with Natural Power, an international renewable energy consultancy offering full life cycle consultancy services to clients across all renewable energy technologies.

As a Chertered Civil Engineer with over 12 years' experience, Seán has provided expertise on the design, management, and supervision of infrastructure projects in a variety of sectors. Currently based at Natural Power's office in Dublin, Seán provides technical advisory and construction management services to lenders and developers on wind and solar farm development projects. He previously spent four years in the UK, where he gained experience in the solar energy industry by performing site feasibility assessments for clients, as well as acting as Lender's Technical Advisor and Owner's Engineer on large scale solar farm developments. Seán has a BE in Civil Engineering and MSc Energy Management.

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