AEMO has announced a major shift in the ranks of its executive team, with the resignation of chief operations officer Damien Sanford after 10 years at the Australian Energy Market Operator.
AEMO said on Friday that Sanford had decided to make the move to AusNet Services subsidiary Mondo Power, taking up the role of general manager in commercial asset services.
Sanford will see out his remaining time at AEMO – until the end of February 2020 – as chief of staff to CEO Audrey Zibelman, while the former group manager of gas RTO would fill in as acting COO until an appropriate permanent replacement was found.
In a statement, Sanford’s “more than 10 years of dedicated service to AEMO, and … significant contribution to Australia’s energy sector” was noted.
AEMO said Sanford would focus on delivering existing strategic operations projects during his remaining time at the organisation – a task that will no doubt be dominated by AEMO’s Summer 2019/20 Readiness Plan, but also its Integrating Renewables report and its integrated System Plan.
Earlier this week, Zibelman warned that heatwave conditions, increased bushfire risk and increasingly unreliable coal generators would present significant challenges to the grid, but that the surge in solar installations in the past 12 months would lessen the risks.
A draft report of the 2020 ISP is due for release in the next fortnight.