Onshore Wind Conference 2021 Speakers

  • David Boyland

    David Boyland

    Commercial Policy Manager, SSEN Transmission

    David joined SSEN Transmission as a Commercial Policy Manager in October 2019. He has over 10 years’ experience working within the energy sector, from residential supply, quality assurance to whole system network commercial policy. As part of the Whole System team, David is primarily focussed on representing SSEN Transmission and their stakeholders in industry reform. His role concentrates on supporting the growth of network development in the north of Scotland, to support the fast speed of change in the way that the electricity is being generated and consumed. With a passion for decarbonisation and ensuring that UK households and businesses are supplied by clean green electricity; David’s primary objective is to ensure that the voice of stakeholders in the north of Scotland is heard, ensuring that policy decisions enable strategic infrastructure development to support renewable generation and achieve the UKs legally binding strategic commitment to reach Net Zero.

  • Geum Chrystal

    Geum Chrystal

    Senior Project Manager, Natural Power

    Geum works as a Senior Project Manager within Natural Power’s Planning & Environment team. Geum is a qualified solicitor, who worked in the Rural Land and Business team at a leading Scottish law firm. She has a thorough understanding of property law matters, and her legal background is of great benefit during the Public Local Inquiry process. Geum is responsible for numerous renewable energy projects across Scotland, taking them from the early planning stages through to Public Local Inquiries. Most recently, she was part of the team that was able to secure consent for the planning application of Fred Olsen Renewables’ Crystal IV Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills.

  • Claire Mack - headshot

    Claire Mack

    Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

    Claire has been Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the representative voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, since October 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation’s work to grow Scotland’s renewables sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Claire is a member of the First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board and the Renewable Energy Strategic Leadership Group, co-chaired by Scotland’s Energy Minister.

    Before joining Scottish Renewables, Claire was Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She has previously worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation of telecoms, radio spectrum and the mail market while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses.

    Prior to this Claire worked in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England.

  • Lesley McNeil

    Lesley McNeil

    Head of Onshore Wind Policy and Development, Scottish Government

    Lesley McNeil is Head of Onshore Wind Policy and Development for the Scottish Government, with responsibility for the policy considerations around onshore wind development. She has worked in Directorate for Energy and Climate Change for a number of years, with an interest in the barriers to the deployment of wind projects and how these can be resolved. With an academic background in archaeology and history, she is disappointed to be seldom asked to discuss the Neolithic period, cold war diplomacy or, rum-based cocktails.

  • Jeremy Sainsbury

    Jeremy Sainsbury OBE FRICS

    Director, Natural Power

    Jeremy has been at the forefront of policy at a Scottish and UK level for over 25 years and has been involved with planning, grid and energy policy at ministerial level for 20+ years from which his detailed knowledge of policy is derived. He understands how the renewable energy sector has grown and has been an important part of this growth. Jeremy, an OBE for his services to renewable energy and communities, has been a director of Natural Power since 1999 in which time it has grown from seven to 420 employees, and he has led the company on policy and both onshore and offshore consenting; overseeing 1,000MW of wind projects with a 96% track record.

  • Morag Watson

    Morag Watson

    Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

    Morag is Scottish Renewables’ Director of Policy. Her work involves overseeing Scottish Renewables’ policy function and key projects within Scotland’s leading renewables trade body, working on behalf of 260+ organisations to grow Scotland’s renewable energy sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Morag has worked in policy for over 15 year and was previously a Senior Policy Officer with WWF Scotland, specialising in climate change, sustainable development and behaviour change.

  • Craig Whelton

    Craig Whelton

    Partner, Burges Salmon

    Craig Whelton is a partner in Burges Salmon’s planning and compulsory purchase team, based in the Firm’s Edinburgh office. Craig specialises in the consenting of major infrastructure projects including on and offshore wind, as well as largescale mixed use development. An inquiry advocate, Craig has been very closely involved in the Court of Session “tilted balance” litigations.

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