Grid & Networks Conference 2024 Speakers
Professor Keith Bell
ScottishPower Chair in Smart Grids, University of Strathclyde
Keith Bell holds the Scottish Power Chair in Future Power Systems at the University of Strathclyde. He joined the University in 2005 having previously worked as a university researcher and as a system development engineer with National Grid. He is a co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and, in April 2019, began a 5-year term as a member of the UK’s Climate Change Committee. A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he has advised the Scottish, UK and Irish governments and Ofgem on electrical energy and power systems issues and is active in CIGRE, the International Council of Large Electric Systems.
Associate - Advisory Services, Arup
An Associate at Arup since early 2023, Neil boasts twelve years at Ofgem, excelling in regulatory expertise. His experience includes leading the assessment of projects submitted to the high-profile Network Innovation Competition; and advising the Government on RAB models for new nuclear power stations.
With significant policy development experience, Neil led Ofgem’s work on the Pathway to 2030 workstream of the Offshore Transmission Network Review. At Ofgem, Neil gained experience designing reopeners. Since joining Arup, he has supported clients making submissions to these processes.
Neil's background showcases his proficiency in navigating complex regulatory landscapes and delivering strategic insights in the dynamic energy sector.
Head of Grid & Regulation, ScottishPower Renewables
Joe has been working in the industry for over 30 years, starting as an electrical apprentice in the 90s and thereafter training as an engineer before moving to roles focussed on economic policy, strategy and regulation. Each role spanned distribution and transmission voltages covering aspects of design/development through construction to operations and maintenance. For the past 20 years, Joe has worked closely on everything to do with connections from both TO and developer sides of the table. During this time, Joe has been involved to a greater or lesser degree in all aspects of connection and use of system charging. Joe now heads up Grid and Regulation for ScottishPower Renewables with a specialised team of people covering both onshore and offshore for UK and Ireland.
Energy Systems Consultant, The Energy Landscape
Simon is a freelance energy system specialist with 13 years’ experience in the energy sector. He spent five years with The Scottish Government providing detailed analysis and advice on a range of challenges including the development of electricity and gas networks, decarbonisation of heat and transport, and the role of carbon capture and storage in reaching net zero. He worked closely with Ministers to support delivery of Scotland’s stretching greenhouse gas emissions targets and he helped develop strong collaborations with regulators and the private sector. He was part of the team who wrote the 2017 Scottish Energy Strategy and the 2020 update to the Scottish Climate Change Plan.
Head of Electricity Connections, Ofgem
Tess heads up the Electricity Connections team at Ofgem with primary focus on the implementation of the November 2023 joint DESNZ and Ofgem Connections Action Plan (CAP). The CAP seeks to reduce connection timescales by holding the ESO and network companies to account to ensure delivery of their own connections process improvement and reform initiatives, whilst also setting strategic direction to drive further improvements. Tess has worked at Ofgem for 9 years in a variety of roles including network price controls and retail market compliance.
Chief Executive Officer, Regen
Merlin leads Regen’s mission to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon energy system. Under his tenure, Regen has developed into a leading strategist on the pathway to net zero, at the forefront of analysing the systemic challenges of decarbonising power, heat and transport.
Merlin has spent his career working for solutions to the climate crisis, championing public policies that unlock the power of business and communities to transform our energy system. He is an influential figure in energy policy and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for services to sustainable energy.
Energy Markets & Regulation Senior Associate, Ocean Winds
Giulia Licocci is a dedicated policy and regulatory affairs professional with a profound commitment to the net-zero transition, and an in-depth grasp of the intricate UK renewable policy landscape. At Ocean Winds, she has been responsible for coordinating policy, regulatory affairs, and electricity market developments with the purpose of promoting the deployment of the UK offshore wind portfolio, which plays a key role in the achievement of Government’s net zero targets.
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 is co-chair of the Renewable Energy Strategic Leadership Group. She is also co-chair of the Scottish Government Marine Energy Industry Group.
Claire is a member of SSEN’s Network for Net Zero Stakeholder Group and a member of the Centre for Work-Based Learning in Scotland Advisory Group.
Claire was awarded the University of Strathclyde’s STELAR award for executive leadership within the industry in 2021 and is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
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.
Director of Business Planning and Commercial, SSEN Transmission
Aileen McLeod is Director of Business Planning and Commercial at SSEN Transmission, the owner and operator of the north of Scotland electricity transmission system. Aileen has over 20 years’ experience in the utilities sector both as the regulator and regulated. Her current role focuses on enabling the transition to net zero emissions in the energy sector in a sustainable and just way.
Senior Strategy Advisor, EDF Renewables
Imran is a Senior Strategy Advisor with EDF Renewables, one of the UK's leading renewable energy developers, with a portfolio across offshore wind, onshore wind, solar power and battery storage. Imran has over 10 years’ experience in the energy industry, specialising in strategy development, research and scenario planning. In his current role, he provides strategic insight, challenge and support in the creation and delivery of strategic plans which underpin the company’s ambitious growth objectives and recently participated in RenewableUK’s Future Leaders Programme.
Susana Neves e Brooks
Head of Connections, Policy and Performance, SSEN Distribution
Susana leads the Connections business as SSEN navigate the change driven by industry wide Reforms in the Connections space, ensuring SSEN are strategic leader in this space and deliver on the actions at pace, to support customers by enabling earlier connections, and also GB Consumers and GB Plc on the journey to Net Zero.
She also leads SSENs’ E2E Connections Transformation programme, overall SSEN connections performance, quality, training, policy, commercial contract management.
In previous role as the ESO Head of Customer Connections where she led on development and delivery of new strategies and reforms which look to address the challenges with connections to the transmission system and enable the readiness to respond to the needs of GB’s Electricity System, enabling and supporting decarbonisation and net zero targets. Some of the work she initiated and led on is Connections 5 Point Plan, ESO Connection Reform Project and New Transmission Connections Portal.
Senior Grid & Regulations Manager, Fred. Olsen Seawind
Helen has been working in the renewable energy sector in Scotland for 27 years, before which she spent 5 years at an NGO. She has worked across the business in resource assessment, supply chain, technology and project due diligence and in particular energy markets and grid. Having spent 24 years in consultancy she is now leading on grid for Fred Olsen Seawind in the UK and for the Muir Mhor Scotwind JV with Vattenfall.
Head of Strategic Network Planning, National Grid ESO
Paul is the Head of Strategic Network Development for ESO. He is accountable for the future development of the GB Transmission System, in developing recommendations about what network investment is needed, where and when, to ensure the transmission system facilitates the transition to Net Zero through low carbon generation, in a secure and affordable way. His team is also leading our work on the Centralised Strategic Network Plan which will transform our network development processes to ensure they are future fit, and reflective of the whole energy system of the future.
Head of Customer Connections, National Grid ESO
David Wildash has been in the Energy Industry for almost 20 years, having developed a broad industry perspective through multiple roles within the National Grid Group. He has recently moved to become Head of Customer Connections within the Electricity System Operator, where he is accountable for speeding up the Grid Connections process. Prior to this he Headed up Market Operations - designing and developing markets to procure balancing services to operate the system. Previously in his career, he has undertaken a number of differing leadership roles covering Regulation, Corporate Strategy as well as Operations. David is also a Board member of FlexAssure.