4 October 2017: In response to increased demand from clients responding to the rapidly changing energy market landscape,premier integrated infrastructure firm AECOM Australia & New Zealand has made three key appointments to its growing power industry team.
After a 20-year career working across Europe, New Zealand and Australia, Rob Hills (photo attached) has been appointed the new leader of the AECOM power markets team across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). Mr Hills joins from a 10-year stint in the power and industrial businesses of Beca in Australia and New Zealand, and prior to that at Arup in the UK.
He is joined by two further senior hires, Abbie McQueen in Sydney and Sonja Basson in Brisbane. Ms McQueen joins AECOM from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff where she helped energy market participants to balance their infrastructure investments with their operational needs and regulatory requirements.
AECOM’s capability to service the growing renewable energy market in Queensland has been enhanced by the appointment of Sonja Basson. An experienced electrical engineer who has worked both client side and as a consultant, Ms Basson is a solar farm design specialist who has worked in Europe and Africa before relocating to Australia.
“We are delighted to have added Rob, Abbie and Sonja to the power team at a time when the companies who operate in the energy sector are looking for a trusted advisor to support them through a significant period of disruption,” said AECOM ANZ’s Environment, Power and Industry Leader, Paul Steinwede. “Whether we are helping to enhance a client’s renewable capability or facilitating an overseas entity looking to invest and build a new asset, we have the right balance of industry knowledge and technical capability to deliver.”
Reflecting on his appointment, Rob Hills commented, “I see a substantial opportunity for growth across the ANZ energy industry, as participants respond to an invigorated, but increasingly complex market. The clients I talk to are looking for partners with the flexibility to work with their internal teams to take their ideas from concept to operation, in a way that reduces their exposure to risk and maximises returns. They are also looking for the unrivalled global technical best practice and experience that AECOM brings.”
As a sign of how a changing market is driving different approaches to doing business, AECOM’s power team has recently undertaken a study on behalf of Canadian firm Hydrostor (https://hydrostor.ca) , to identify potential sites for deployment of its innovative energy storage solution in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. This study forms part of the strategic partnership between the organisations to pursue low cost bulk energy storage solutions, and extends AECOM’s delivery model from our traditional engineering and project delivery services to generation, transmission and distribution system clients.
Beyond technical design and engineering capability the AECOM power team has a growing advisory capability, reflected in several key reports completed on behalf of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). These have included an investigation into the best sites for the co-location of combined wind and solar assets.
Recent AECOM power projects include:
- Darling Downs Solar Farm detailed design
- Crookwell wind farm owners engineer
- Traction Power Substation design for Downer and TfNSW
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