Who’s who in energy

agendaNi takes a look at the key movers and shakers in Northern Ireland’s energy sector, at a time when energy is top of the political agenda, at both an international and local level.

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons Arlene Foster MLA
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Arlene Foster MLA was appointed Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in 2008, having previously served as Environment Minister. She represents Fermanagh and South Tyrone for the DUP in the Assembly. Arlene joined the DUP in 2004 and has represented the party on the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Prior to her appointment as Minister she was party spokesperson for human rights, equality, children and young people’s issues. She was awarded Parliamentarian / Assembly Member of the Year at the Women in Public Life Awards in London in February 2008.

Jenny Pyper WW 2014 small Jenny Pyper
Chief Executive, Utility Regulator

Jenny Pyper has been Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator since November 2013. She was previously Deputy Secretary in the Department for Social Development where she had responsibility for urban regeneration and community development. Before this she was Director of Regional Planning and Transportation in the Department for Regional Development and prior to this was Director of Energy Policy in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. During her time at DETI she managed policy and legislative responsibilities in relation to the electricity, gas and renewable energy industries in Northern Ireland.

patsy mcglone 2009 Patsy McGlone MLA
Chairman, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee

Patsy McGlone MLA is Chairperson of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee at the Northern Ireland Assembly, a role he took up during 2012. He is SDLP MLA for Mid-Ulster and was elected to the Assembly in 2003. He is the party spokesperson on the economy. Patsy is former General Secretary of the SDLP and has served on a number of boards and public bodies including Foras na Gaeilge, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Northern Ireland Housing Council.

John Mills 2014 John Mills
Head of Energy Division Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

John Mills has been Head of Energy Division in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) since January 2014. The Division’s functions cover policy development and implementation relating to electricity, gas, sustainable energy in Northern Ireland and the all-island energy market. John has previously been Director of Water Policy in the Department for Regional Development including dealing with the establishment of Northern Ireland Water as a regulated utility. Prior to this he has held a variety of posts in the Northern Ireland Civil Service with a focus on policy and legislation.

robin mccormick 2010 Robin McCormick
General Manager, SONI

Robin McCormick is General Manager of SONI (System Operator Northern Ireland) which also includes responsibility for SEMO, the single electricity market operator. In March 2009, SONI Ltd became part of the EirGrid Group. Robin has 30 years’ experience in the power industry in a regulated environment. He leads a professional team of staff to deliver system and market operation services. He has participated in the board to establish the transmission system operators’ regional association ENTSO-E. Robin is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a member of the IET Engineering Policy Group – Northern Ireland.

Ian Thom Ian Thom
Group Chief Executive, Viridian Group PLC

Ian Thom was appointed as Group Chief Executive of Viridian Group in February 2011. He was appointed Group Company Secretary and General Counsel in 2001 and assumed responsibility for PowerNI’s supply and procurement businesses in September 2007. Ian has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2003. He was previously European Legal Director for OSI International Foods and is a barrister by profession.

Michael Scott eiyb 2011 Michael Scott
General Manager, firmus energy

Michael Scott is General Manager of firmus energy. Michael started his gas career in British Gas – North Thames and since moving back home to Northern Ireland he has worked for over 10 years in the local natural gas industry before taking up a post in January 2006 as Head of Business Development with firmus energy. Michael was appointed General Manger of firmus energy in 2012.

paddy Larkin 2010 Patrick Larkin, Chief Executive
Mutual Energy Limited

Patrick Larkin was appointed Chief Executive of Mutual Energy Limited in January 2010. He joined what was then Northern Ireland Energy Holdings in 2007 as Executive Director and Managing Director for the Moyle Interconnector. Prior to this he worked with Premier Power, and formerly for NIE at Ballylumford power station, serving as the station’s Chief Executive.

Aodhan O'Donnell Aodhan O’Donnell
Interim Chief Executive,
Consumer Council

Aodhan O’Donnell is the Interim Chief Executive at the Consumer Council, which includes leading the energy, water, transport and money affairs policy teams. The Energy Team in the Consumer Council work with the energy companies, the Utility Regulator and social partners, and lobbies government to ensure that consumers are placed at centre of all decision making. The Consumer Council has a statutory role to represent consumers during the review of energy tariffs, price controls and the development of the energy market within Northern Ireland. The Consumer Council also handles complaints about electricity, natural gas and coal.

Nigel Brady Nigel Brady
Director, Bryson Energy

Nigel Brady is Director of Bryson Energy, part of the Bryson Charitable Group, Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprise. As the energy agency for Northern Ireland, Bryson Energy is the leading provider of independent energy advice and also administers the DSD Warm Homes Scheme in 13 local authority areas. It employs 55 staff located in offices in Belfast, Enniskillen and Derry and has a turnover of £9 million.

Mark Ennis 2012 Mark Ennis
Executive Chairman, SSE Ireland

Mark Ennis is Executive Chairman of SSE Ireland, which includes Airtricity, Airtricity Utility Solutions, SSE Renewables and SSE Generation. Mark was previously CEO of Airtricity NI Ltd from 2002 to 2007 and was appointed a main Airtricity Holdings Board Director in charge of Retail and Corporate Affairs in 2003. He is an economics honours graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, with an Open University MBA. In 2011 Mark Ennis was appointed Chairperson of Invest NI.

This FILE INFO must not be removed from the JPEG Michael McKinstry
CEO Phoenix Energy Holdings

Michael McKinstry was appointed as CEO of Phoenix Energy Holdings in September 2014. He joined the company in 1996 as Finance Director. He took his place on the Group Board in January 2006 following the acquisition of Phoenix by Kellen. Prior to joining Phoenix, Michael gained extensive financial management experience working across a broad range of business sectors including at Premier Power following its purchase by British Gas. Phoenix continues to invest in infrastructure that currently has around 170,000 domestic and business customers connected.

Nicholas Tarrant Nicholas Tarrant
Managing Director Northern Ireland Electricity

Nicholas Tarrant was appointed as Managing Director of Northern Ireland Electricity in December 2014.

He joined ESB in 1993 and has held a number of senior management positions including Generation Manager with overall responsibility for ESB’s 4,800MW power generation and he was ESB’s lead manager of its Novusmodus Clean Technology Fund. Nicholas is a Chartered Engineer, Institute of Engineers of Ireland.

Stephen McCully Stephen McCully
Managing Director, Power NI

Stephen McCully is Managing Director of Power NI, the new name for NIE Energy. Power NI supplies electricity to 730,000 domestic and small business customers within Northern Ireland. Stephen’s background in the industry goes back to when he joined NIE in 1987 to set up an energy services consultancy, and since then he has held several engineering, commercial and management posts within the wider Viridian organisation. He is leading Power NI into an increasingly competitive environment stimulated by the all island Single Electricity Market and a fully open retail market in Northern Ireland.

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