Seminar: Onshore wind – getting your project through Speakers

  • William Black

    William Black

    Deputy Director for Onshore Electricity, Strategic Co-ordination, and Energy Consents, Scottish Government

    William Black is Deputy Director for Onshore Electricity, Strategic Coordination and Energy Consents, a newly formed division of the Scottish Government with policy and operational responsibilities.

    After training in environmental planning, environmental management and business administration, William worked as a developer and headed up demand side response in one of the Big Six before joining the Scottish Government in 2019 as head of the Energy Consents Unit. He held various operational and strategic positions in the Energy and Climate Change Directorate before moving to his current Deputy Director role in July 2021.

    Outside work he enjoys football and golf and volunteers to support the development of grassroots sport for children.

  • Mark Brennan

    Mark Brennan

    Shared Ownership Manager, Energy Saving Trust / Local Energy Scotland

    I’m currently the shared ownership manager for Local Energy Scotland, employed by Energy Saving Trust (Edinburgh), based in Inverness. I provide impartial support via the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) to communities and stakeholders – from community councils and renewable energy businesses to government - regarding community shared ownership opportunities in Scotland.

    I’ve over 25 years’ experience in commercial community renewable energy development throughout Scotland and the UK. My experience ranges from community owned wind turbine development to community shared ownership and community benefit fund development in large onshore wind projects.

    Most recently, I’ve supported an agreement in principle for CSO in the first unsubsidised wind farm at Crossdykes in Dumfries and Galloway.

  • Neil Collar - Brodies LLP

    Neil Collar

    Partner/Head of Planning Law, Brodies LLP

    Experienced adviser, inquiry advocate, blogger, author and conference speaker - Neil Collar is one of Scotland's best known planning lawyers. His team at Brodies LLP were shortlisted for Planning magazine’s Planning Law Firm of the Year 2018. Neil has over 20 years’ experience of renewables projects and is a long standing member of Scottish Renewables planning group.

  • 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

    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.

  • Andy Sloan

    Andy Sloan

    Head of Consents Strategy, SSE Renewables

    Andy Sloan is Head of Consent Strategy at SSE Renewables. His wide-ranging role encompasses renewable projects onshore and offshore including re-powering, as well as hydro and pump storage at scale in the UK and Ireland whilst also providing expert advice on land and consenting issues for divestment and acquisitions both in the UK and globally. Andy is a Chartered Surveyor and Town Planner and a member of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as well as the Royal Town Planning Institute.

  • 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 17 years and was previously a Senior Policy Officer with WWF Scotland, specialising in climate change, sustainable development and behaviour change.

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