TEAM

Directors

Our board of directors combines a high level of expertise and vast experience to ensure the effective management and development of the strategic direction of BEC. Together they bring core skills to the BEC board – finance, accountancy, strategic planning, project management, and business management and administration. These skills have been gained from high level posts in a diverse range of sectors – medicine, architecture, public sector, local government, property, further and higher education, telecommunications and renewables. As well as their individual expertise, each brings a passion for and a well-informed interest about renewable energy and sustainability.

Team

Andy O’Brien

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Team

Chris Speller

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Staff

Team

Andy O’Brien

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – DEVELOPMENT
Team

Chris Speller

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – OPERATIONS
Team

Will Houghton

PROJECT DEVELOPER
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Jess Gitsham

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Paul headshot

Paul Chandler

HEAD OF OPERATIONS
Jonquil Panting 1 copy

Jonquil Panting

GENERAL ADMINISTRATOR
Todd Last

Todd Last

PROJECT OFFICER

Peter Thompson

Chair

Peter brings a wealth of experience from high level appointments in the telecommunications sector to the role of chair of Bristol Energy Cooperative in order to ensure good governance and set its strategic direction.

Such roles include:

  • Chief Executive Director of Degree2 Innovations Limited
  • Chief Executive of U4EA Limited
  • Chair of the 1355 Association for over three years

Currently Peter is a consultant in the telecommunications sector.
From 2012 he has been chief technical officer at Predictable Network Solutions. In this role, he uses his expertise to link the technical and commercial aspects of the company, and provides advice, assistance and technology to the telecommunications industry

Academic background

With an academic background in Mathematics and Physics, including a first from University of Warwick and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics from University of Cambridge, Peter also successfully completed a qualification in sustainability from the Schumacher Centre.

His interest in renewables carries over to his personal life, and he has heavily insulated his loft and installed solar PV on his roof. But he sees community energy as bringing the significant change the environment needs.

Watch Peter in our video

Andy O’Brien

Executive Director – Development

Andy is a founder director of Bristol Energy Cooperative. He has 15 years’ experience in IT and project management, including work for Triodos Bank and Bristol City Council.

For the past 6 years, in addition to being an active Board member and Company Secretary, he has been the Coop lead for project development and management. During this time he has built considerable expertise in the financial, regulatory and legal aspects of the renewable and community energy sectors, as well as the management of a successful community energy business.

He is PRINCE2 trained, has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and a degree in modern languages. He previously taught for 10 years in the secondary and FE sectors, and overseas. He also founded Sustainable Westbury-on-Trym.

Watch Andy in our video

Chris Speller

Executive Director – Operations

Chris Speller brings financial, project and business management skills to the board as well as a depth of experience of organisational governance, staff management and support, strategic planning, and functioning within complex systems.

Daniella Radice

Daniella is an environmental campaigner and politician. From 2013 to 2016 she was a Green Councillor for Bishopston Ward on Bristol City Council. She also was a cabinet member with responsibilities for Neighbourhoods.

She is a member of Bristol Women’s Commission and has been campaigning to increase women’s representation in public life.

Daniella has worked as an environmental advisor in both the waste and rail industries.

Bola Adebanjo

Bola is an ACCA Qualified Chartered Accountant (FCCA), MIT Certified Artificial Intelligence Strategy Professional with an ongoing Doctorate Degree in Data Science.

An IT Consultant with over 20 years’ Transformation / Process re-engineering, Mergers & Acquisition, Divestment & Project Management experience, partnering with business executives to shape enterprise-wide strategies and aligning Business & IT roadmaps to achieve corporate goals.

She has work experience spanning across 46 countries in Europea, Africa, Asia; LATAM, North America, ANZ and Middle East.

Andrew Lee

As an architectural technician, Andrew Lee brings his experience of construction, including knowledge of building regulations, to the BEC board.

Andrew works on both domestic and commercial schemes, and advises his architectural practice on the best ways of complying with the energy efficiency requirements when designing new dwellings as a qualified “SAP Assessor”. In his current role, he takes projects from design right up to final completion.

Degree educated, Andrew is also a qualified computer programmer. When the Feed-In-Tariff was introduced, Andrew was keen to get involved with installing solar panels and joined the BEC board.

Andrew is also the Treasurer (and a Trustee) of Portishead Town Band, and previously the Chairman of the Bristol East & Kingswood Band.

Kat Blacklaws

A passion for renewable energy and its social as well as environmental benefits led to Kat completing an MSc in Sustainability at Leeds University, focusing on the community benefits of two wind power projects.

Kat has spent over 5 years working in research roles within energy and environmental consultancy, and also has a passion for waste prevention, volunteering with food-waste prevention charities and writing about the benefits of reusable menstrual products.

Kat joined Bristol Energy Cooperative following a career break spent travelling in Asia, which included completing yoga teacher training in India.

Simon Pyne

Simon runs a consultancy advising organisations on how to decarbonise, and brings 10 years’ experience working on the identification and commercialisation of energy projects across multiple technologies and industry sectors.

At home, he practices what he preaches and acts as an ambassador for Bristol Green Doors, promoting low carbon homes.

Simon holds a degree in Environmental Science.

Will Houghton

Project Developer

Will has been designing and managing commercial and domestic-scale renewable energy projects since 2013. He brings expertise in hydropower, onshore wind and heat pumps, and has a good understanding of a wide range of renewable energy solutions.

His technical skills include feasibility assessments, GIS mapping, engineering design and construction management. For operational projects, he has carried out system inspections and performance monitoring.

He has led on numerous site-finding, technical sales and business development initiatives, and is experienced with the financial, legal and regulatory aspects of project development.

Will is committed to delivering high-quality projects that are supported by the local community. He believes that the social change associated with community energy projects is hugely valuable, not only for directly improving people’s lives but also for accelerating our transition to clean energy.

Will first started volunteering with BEC in 2016 and joined as Renewable Energy Project Developer in 2020.

Jess Gitsham

Communications Manager

Jess’s passion lies in connecting with people in creative and engaging ways. She has 12 years experience in a range of marketing disciplines including PR, digital marketing, events, business development and strategy development.

In her spare time, Jess is an Environmenstrual Ambassador for the Women’s Environmental Network, running workshops to communicate the benefits of plastic free period products. She’s also an Equal Opportunities Ambassador for Babbasa, engaging in fundraising and mentoring to help support the charity in its work to create a fairer city.

Paul Chandler

Head of Operations

Paul has 20 years of experience working as a renewable energy engineer and manager. He worked as a director of a worker-owned renewable energy consultancy and installation business for the last 15 years and led the installation of solar and battery systems. Paul’s expertise includes system design, modelling, installation, commissioning and maintenance.

Paul has Postgraduate qualifications in Renewable Energy Systems, and Distributed Generation and has contributed to the writing of the Codes Of Practice for PV and Battery systems. Paul’s experience includes energy efficiency and renewable energy feasibility studies for community groups looking at wind, hydro and biomass as well as solar.

As well as working in the industry Paul has been a shareholder of Bristol Energy Co-operative since 2012, has volunteered for organisations such as Greenpeace, and was recently elected to the board of Bristol Energy Network.

Paul headshot

Jonquil Panting

General Administrator

Jonquil has been a BBC Radio 4 producer and drama director for over 25 years, running creative partnerships with organisations from the RSC and Bristol Old Vic, to the Imperial War Museum and the NHS. As well as continuing to teach and produce, Jonquil is a BEC member who’s delighted to be part of the team.

Jonquil Panting 1 copy

Todd Last

Project Officer

Todd has come fresh from completing a master’s degree in marine conservation to joining the BEC team as a Project Officer. He is a passionate conservationist who has previous experience in project management, operations and logistical analysis and event co-ordination. From his degree in marine biology and coastal ecology Todd also has a good understanding of statistical analysis and stakeholder engagement.

When he’s not in the office Todd can be found volunteering as project officer for a cuttlefish conservation charity based in the Southwest of England or under the water, scuba diving or snorkeling.

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Todd Last
 
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