October 5, 2017 – In response to increased demand from clients responding to the rapidly changing energy market landscape, AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, has made three key appointments to its growing power industry team in Australia & New Zealand.
Rob Hills has been appointed the new leader of the AECOM power markets team across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), after a 20-year career working across Europe, New Zealand and Australia. Mr. Hills joins from a 10-year stint at Bechtel in Australia and New Zealand, and prior to that at Arup in the U.K.
Additional new hires joining Mr. Hills include Abbie McQueen in Sydney and Sonja Basson in Brisbane. Ms. McQueen joins AECOM from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. In her new role she will work with energy market participants to balance infrastructure investments with operational needs and regulatory requirements. Ms. Basson, an experienced electrical engineer and solar farm design specialist who has worked both client side and as a consultant in Europe and Africa, will enhance AECOM’s capability to service the growing renewable energy market in Queensland.
“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, 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 which is 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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Director, External Affairs Australia New Zealand
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