Who are the team behind the success of knoydart renewables
Knoydart Renewables current Board of Directors and Employees of the Company
Knoydart Renewables Ltd. is poised for very major investment. We can reliably provide electricity to nearly ninety customers at prices that bear comparison with the “mainland” because we stand on the “shoulders of giants”. Past directors have, since 1999, selflessly created the necessary vision and supervised nearly £1.2 million of work to put Knoydart Renewables where it is today. Key and amongst the longest serving, have been Margaret Aldington who served from 2002 to 2015, Gwen Barrell, also a Director and sometime Chair of Community Energy Scotland, from 2010 to 2018, Jim Brown from 1999 to 2003, Kevin Butcher, from 2003 to 2007, Bernard Evemy from 1999 to 2005, Drew Harris, from 1999 to 2006, Stephanie Harris, from 2018 to 2020, Charlie King from 1999 to 2005, Peter Klemm, from 2004 to 2010, Dave Marriott from 1999 to 2005 and Bob Wright, from 2003 to 2006. Also, Roger Trussell who served for a short, but critical time as Chair to lead the first phase of the Energy Security Project, from 2018 to 2019. Further honourable mention must also be given to Angela Williams, Knoydart Foundation Development Manager from shortly after the buy-out until 2018. Her selfless hard work and commitment managing the operations of Knoydart Renewables over the years and for putting the funding package together for the first stage of the Energy Security Project that has led us to the point of major investment and the securing of Knoydart’s electricity for a further 40+ years.
Director and Chair
After a long career in education, including Head of Science and Deputy Headteacher, Frank retired as Academy Principal eight years ago at sixty and moved to Knoydart where he has served as a Director of the Knoydart Foundation, Chair of the Knoydart Community Association, is a member of the South Knoydart Community Council, a Director of Community Energy Scotland and after a number of years as a Director, is now Chair of Knoydart Renewables. Frank has been a governor of too many schools to mention, sat on various health bodies and has had a fair degree of past political involvement. In addition to education, much of Frank’s work in the past has been in the area of public finance and the public/political interface. Frank is now overseeing Knoydart’s Energy Security Project in his role on the Board of Knoydart Renewables. Frank has travelled extensively for mountaineering and trekking to some very remote parts of the world. Sadly, old-age has brought Franks 44-year rugby playing career to an eventual close but he continues to be active in various outdoor pursuits and additionally, in his “retirement”, carries out some scientific consultancy work. In 2020, Frank received a Certificate of Merit in the Institute of Directors “Director of the Year Award”.
Knoydart has been Grant’s home since 1994 when he arrived to take up the job of Estate Forester, his daughters were born on Knoydart and now make their living on Knoydart. Grant was involved in the Community Association and the Knoydart Foundation in the lead up to the Community buyout in 1999 and is a founder member and now Forester of the Knoydart Forest Trust. Grant is a Director and currently Chair of the Knoydart Foundation, he is also on the Steering Committee of Resilient Knoydart that helps to co-ordinate Knoydart’s response to the Covid 19 emergency. Grant has been a Director of Knoydart Renewables for fourteen years. These and his prior role as a forestry contractor have given Grant a breadth of experience in strategic planning and project development, management and delivery, and a considerable knowledge and understanding of Knoydart.
Steve is a former Chair of the Board of Knoydart Renewables, who moved to Knoydart with his family from West Yorkshire in 2001 after falling in love with the peninsula while visiting during the community buyout days. He graduated in 1981 with a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences and gave this up shortly afterwards to found his own business as a building contractor focusing on environmentally conscious projects prior to moving to Knoydart. Since coming here, he has led or worked on a variety of building projects on the peninsula and joined the Renewables Board in 2006, taking over as Chair a short time later, a role which he continued for over a decade. As Chair he oversaw many important changes aimed at modernising the network, including engineering works to improve the output of the turbine and to refurbish and reface the dam. Since stepping down as Chair, Steve continues as an interested and active Member of the Board. In his younger days Steve was a keen climber and mountaineer and teacher of outdoor pursuits.
Having qualified in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, John’s working life has been spent in a variety of engineering roles and for the past 30 years predominantly in the field of Laser Engineering. Running a successful small engineering business for 20 years gave John a wide range of skills and knowledge to contribute to his role as Director of Knoydart Renewables. Knoydart and its people are very special to John and he considers himself to have been very lucky to be able to relocate to Inverie in September, 2019. Having holidayed on Knoydart for many years before relocating, the “hydro” has always held a fascination for John and many a time while he was on holiday, he’d take a walk up the Glen to the powerhouse just to listen to it hum!
Galen is a Masters student with a first-class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a focus on the technical aspects of renewable power provision. He spent his formative years on Knoydart after moving here in 2001 at the age of 6 before heading off to Glasgow to pursue his undergraduate studies at the University of Strathclyde in 2016, which included an exchange year at the University of Toronto. He has two summers under his belt working for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, researching future power converter technology for some of the largest offshore wind turbines in the world and is now undertaking his thesis as part of the ongoing upgrades to the Knoydart network. Outwith his professional and academic interests, he is an accomplished musician and maintains a deep connection with the Knoydart community and a profound interest, commitment to and involvement in its sustainability and future development.
Director and Consultant Civil Engineer
Eric has had a career spanning 33 years in the electricity industry. 10 of those years in the commercial sector working on business models and pricing of electricity for the end consumer. This was in Scotland and New Zealand. From 2001 till 2014 Eric was a major contributor to the development the community energy sector in Scotland helping set up Community Energy Scotland and its predecessors that helped create a legacy of renewable energy projects across Scotland and too be honest making a few mistakes on the way. Eric worked for the Highland Council for 3 years in the Energy team, before in 2017 becoming a full-time Bed and Breakfast man in “The Dower House” Newtonmore. Eric is a trustee for the Newtonmore and Community Woodland and Development Trust and treasurer for the Newtonmore Business Association. In Eric’s 50 plus years of living in Scotland he has managed to explore by foot and sea a large percentage of Scotland and been a regular visitor to Knoydart for work and pleasure.
And working for Knoydart Renewables
Energy Security Project Manager
Kyle has a background in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and began his career working for the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer in a variety of locations throughout Europe. He relocated to Fort William with his wife in 2013 and previously worked as the Operations Manager for Knoydart Renewables from 2014-2016, before going on to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering and the development of an energy management company to support independent renewable energy generators. Through Energy Mutual, Kyle is now supporting the board of directors in delivering a £2.5 million upgrade to the Knoydart energy system and is continuing to work with the University of Strathclyde in evaluating long-term management strategies for the seven, community owned, off-grid electrical networks in Scotland.
Renewables Maintenance Manager
Jim is a key member of the Renewables team. He is the “go to” man any time there is an issue and is central to the successful improved operations of the Knoydart hydro scheme. He plans and undertakes maintenance of the scheme and as a result outtages are now a rare occurance – and mainly due to bird strikes. Jim is a long time resident of Knoydart and also fulfils his role as Land Manager.
Willie is often seen assisting Jim or any others who are performing maintenance on our hydro scheme. Always willing to get his hands dirty Willie is another vital part of the community who is keeping the lights on.
Kristy is our friendly meter reader who gets let out every quarter. Time flies and Kristy has lived here for the last 18 years, living and working on a croft with her husband and their 2 daughters. Along with crofting, Kristy works in the local primary school and is a maker for Wood Knoydart but enjoys a refreshing change of roles every now and again getting out to wander Inverie reading the meters.
Louise is the Knoydart Foundations Finance Manager, covering Knoydart Foundation, Renewables and Trading. Her role in Knoydart Renewables is to ensure all the billing is done on time, chase any late payers and also take care of any invoices. She liaises with our book-keepers and accountants on a regular basis. Louise arrives with a wealth of finance experience having travelled the world as part of her high level finance management career. She arrived on Knoydart in August 2019 and brings with her, her husband David and two massive dogs.
Craig Dunn runs the Operations side of Knoydart Renewables, working closely with Jim Brown to co-ordinate upgrades and maintenance of the scheme and distribution network. Dealing directly with Knoydart Renewables customers he co-ordinates keeping supply to the properties on the peninsula. Craig has had a successful career in outdoor activities and marketing. Consulting with high street banks, energy companies and Scottish Government. He moved to Knoydart at the start of 2019 with his wife and two young sons to take the post of Operations Manager for the Knoydart Foundation.
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