WA's brightest recognised for their energy achievements

A Perth company that has developed technology to allow homes and businesses generating renewable energy to price and trade their own energy has won the 2017 Energy Innovation of the Year Award.

Power Ledger, the company behind the direct transfer system that bypasses the large utility companies, has trialled the online peer-to-peer marketplace technology in Busselton and is now working on a 500-site trial in New Zealand.

The awards, which were presented by Energy Minister Ben Wyatt at a ceremony last night, are a joint initiative of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) and the Australian Institute of Energy to recognise the achievements of employees and initiatives in the energy sector.

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith said thanks to technological advances, WA’s energy sector had undergone some significant changes and it was fitting that those involved were acknowledged for their innovative approach to securing the State’s energy future.

Mr Howard-Smith congratulated Horizon Power CEO Frank Tudor for winning the Energy Professional of the Year Award for his efforts in overseeing world-class projects in some of Australia’s most challenging environments. 

“From rolling out 47,000 advanced meters to the State’s most isolated consumers, to developing innovative pricing models and education campaigns to improve services and reduce costs, Frank has been at the forefront of product and technological innovation,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“Frank’s dedication to advancing the energy sector is evident through his various roles on boards and committees, and through his 12 years lecturing in oil and gas subjects at the University of Western Australia.”

Mr Howard-Smith also praised Young Energy Professional of the Year recipient Katharine McKenzie, who was recognised for her achievements in the energy sector, including the creation of the Women in Energy network in Perth.

Katharine has worked as a lawyer in regulation and contracts and has been involved with the government electricity market review. She is now the Principal Policy Advisor to the Minister for Energy but remains on the Australian Institute of Energy Board.

Katharine was named in the Doyle’s Guide Energy and Resources Rising Stars Ranking and was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Outstanding Young Women in Resources Award.