ISEA SOLAR IRELAND 2021 Agenda & Speakers

Andy Kelly - Senior Principal Consultant - AFRY Management Consulting          

Andy Kelly is a Senior Principal at AFRY Management Consulting. He leads AFRY’s commercial work in the Irish Electricity Market, supporting clients across the board in addressing the future evolution of the market, with significant transition from the decarbonisation throughout the island of Ireland.

He is a senior member of AFRY’s Transactions team, leading projects providing market advisory services for European energy transactions, including commercial due diligence and asset valuation for renewable generation, interconnector and storage assets, and integrated utilities.

Andy has 20 years’ commercial experience in European wholesale power and commodity markets, and has a deep understanding of the commercial aspects of the electricity generation and trading markets. He has extensive experience of leading strategic and commercial activities in the wholesale and renewable markets, involving a range of stakeholders.

Conall Bolger - Chief Executive Officer - Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA)

Conall brings nearly 15 years of experience in energy and sustainability to ISEA. He has developed substantial markets and policy expertise working across the renewable energy value chain: from community and behind the meter projects to larger scale onshore and offshore wind development. Conall founded, led and developed Cornwall Insight’s Irish operations. He has worked with and advised policy makers and regulators in Ireland and Northern Ireland. He holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh. His international renewables experience includes Poland, Canada and Great Britain.

David Maguire - Chairman - ISEA

David is a Founder and Director of the BNRG Group. The Group develops, construction and is owner/operation of utility scale solar PV Parks. The Company has commissioned a significant portfolio of projects across Europe and the US with a value in excess of €300m and more recently has been developing projects in Australia. BNRG was the first company to gain planning permission for a utility scale solar project on the Island of Ireland and the first company to use crowdfunding to fund large scale ground mount solar projects. David is an environmental scientist by profession and holds Masters degrees from National University of Ireland and the University of Wales, in Environmental Sciences and Resource Management. Prior to renewable energy development, David held positions with the Environmental Protection Agency with responsibility for Research & Development. With over 22 years in the environmental and renewable energy sectors, he is consulted frequently on complex environmental and energy issues. David is a Founder of Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy ‘AFASE’ representing over 860 companies with a combined annual turnover of £26bn and employing over 86,000 people. In addition, David is a Founder of the Irish Solar Energy Association (ISEA) and has acted as Chairman since 2013.

Donal Smith - Director - Switched In Consulting

Donal is a Connection policy specialist. He is a member of IWEA council and Chair of the IWEA Grid Committee. Donal was previously Grid Manager at Brookfield Renewable/Bord Gais Energy. Part of the senior development team since 2010 and responsible for connection of over 500MWs of wind generation assets.

Eamon Ryan TD - Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport

Eamon Ryan TD is the Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport. He was appointed to this role in June 2020.

Eamon Ryan was elected to represent Dublin Bay South in the 2020 general election.

He was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum and Dartry.

He studied commerce in UCD before taking a job managing a marketing course in the university's School of Business. He went on to found a cycling tourism company, Irish Cycling Safaris, in the late 1980s and in 1996 won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

He was the founding chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and began his political career as a Dublin City Councillor for the Rathgar-Rathmines ward. He then went on to serve both as a TD for Dublin South and as a Government Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

In recent years he has worked for a European climate organisation and chaired the digital policy group in the Institute of International and European Affairs.

He is currently leader of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas.

You can contact Mr Ryan at

Eoin Hartigan - Head of Origination, Project Finance - Bank of Ireland

Eoin Hartigan is responsible for the origination of project finance transactions across the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Bank of Ireland is recognised as the leading Project Finance bank in the Irish market with substantial energy/wind/ solar and infrastructure/PPP portfolios.

Previously Eoin worked in the Global Leverage Acquisition Finance/ Global Project Finance team in the BOI Corporate Banking division and was a key member of the RBS/Ulster Banking Corporate Banking Project Finance team.

Garrett Monaghan – Partner - Pinsent Masons (Ireland)

Garrett is one of the most active lawyers in the Irish energy sector and has been at the forefront of Irish renewables since the launch of REFiT in 2005. He advises sponsors, funders and investors on several inter-related disciplines including energy, project finance, M&A and emissions / carbon trading. As Head of Pinsent Masons Projects Practice on the island of Ireland, he has worked on several "pathfinder" energy projects across the solar, waste to energy, storage, onshore & offshore wind and interconnection sectors. Garrett has extensive international experience and is dual qualified in Ireland and England & Wales.

Gerhard Heyl - Director - PV Green Energy Savings

Gerhard is a self-motivated, driven solar PV professional who is dedicated to influencing and supporting Ireland's renewable energy infrastructure in a concerted effort to help reduce the national carbon footprint. Gerhard in Founder and Managing Director of PV Green Energy, an organisation that has been providing the Irish homeowner with solar energy solutions for over a decade.

A key member of the steering committee that consulted with HomeBond, SEAI and Safe Electric in establishing a knowledge base and better understanding about PV, he now is a Board Member of the Irish Solar Energy Association and Leads the working group Behind the Meter who are tasked with developing a consultation document to help senior politicians understand the challenges for homeowners to in adopting a cleaner, greener home with solar PV.

Originally from Pretoria, South Africa Gerhard now prides himself in not only delivering solar PV to the Irish homeowner but also being influential in bringing Distributed Generation to the fore and sharing his knowledge and experience with his peers and colleagues. In addition, Gerhard is a big supporter of the rollout of EV’s in Ireland and Chairs a number of Committees designed primarily to help the Irish consumer and business leader understand the challenges, benefits and opportunities available in adopting a EV community.

Hugh Mullany - Managing Director - Mullany Energy

Hugh is an independent energy consultant in Ireland, with experience dating continuously in the sector back to 2003. With a PhD in biomedical engineering, Hugh's track record in the energy industry requires a continued willingness to learn and adapt to new areas as the need arises. Starting with a role with the Transmission System Operator back in 2003 (ancillary services, locational signals, demand response), the focus of his consultancy has evolved with the opportunities and activity in the all-island electricity and gas industry.

Karen Doyle – Relationship Director – Ulster Bank

Experienced Corporate Banking Specialist with a demonstrated history of working across a number of specialist sectors in the banking industry. Skilled in Business Development, New Business Origination, Financial Modelling, Debt Structuring, Debt Distribution & Syndication, Legal Documentation Negotiation, Business Relationship Management, Risk Management, Corporate Finance, and Credit Analysis

Kevin O’Donovan - Managing Director - Statkraft Ireland

Kevin is responsible for the Statkraft’s renewable energy projects in Ireland.

Statkraft is a leading company in renewable energy internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is also a global company in energy market operations. Statkraft has 4,000 employees in 16 countries. Last year, it produced 62 terawatt hours of electricity, enough to supply more than 60 million homes, 98 per cent of which came from renewable sources.

Ireland is one of the selected new growth markets for Statkraft. The company employs over 55 people here who are developing a large portfolio of renewable energy technologies including onshore wind farms, solar farms, offshore wind farms and battery projects as well as a market trading business.

In 2018, Statkraft acquired 100 per cent of the shares in Element Power’s Irish business. The company’s global ambition is to increase its portfolio of wind power assets to 6,000 MW and solar power assets to 2,000 MW by 2025.

Mark Foley - CEO - EirGrid Group

Mark Foley joined EirGrid Group as chief executive in June 2018, having held the role of Managing Director of Land Solutions in Coillte since January 2016. Previous to that, Mark was Managing Director of Coillte Enterprise where he led the development of new businesses in renewable energy, telecommunications and land development.

Before that, from November 2000 to August 2008, Mark was Director of Capital Programmes at Dublin Airport Authority. In this role he was responsible for master planning, permitting, planning and delivery of c. €1.5bn in airport infrastructure at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports. Prior to that Mark held a number of senior executives roles with multinationals in the Speciality Chemicals and Electronics sectors. Mark has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from University College Dublin, a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin as has attended executive development courses in Penn State University and IMD.

Michele Schiavone - Director for Ireland and Offshore Wind – EDF Renewables

Michele is Director for Offshore Wind and Ireland at EDF Renewables UK and Ireland, with responsibility for the development and delivery of EDF Renewables’ offshore wind portfolio in UK and Irish waters, as well as onshore technologies in Ireland.

Michele has over 20 years’ experience in renewable technologies, spanning business development, M&A and project finance. He holds a degree in economics from Bocconi University in Milan.

Mike Hayes - Global Climate Change and Decarbonisation Leader - KPMG IMPACT

Mike has been a Partner in KPMG Ireland for the past 20 years and has specialised in the provision of renewable energy and climate change services to clients.

Mike is the Global Renewables Leader for KPMG and is responsible for driving growth across the KPMG network. He has been involved in the renewable energy industry from the very early days and advises some of the leading global renewable developers and also some of the key global investors in this sector.

Mike also leads the climate change and decarbonisation pillar of KPMG IMAPCT where he has responsibility for leading KPMG’s work on the provision of decarbonisation and climate risk solutions for its global clients across all sectors. In particular, this work involves advising clients on setting and achieving their Net-Zero ambitions.

In addition, Mike leads KPMGs work with the World Economic Forum in the climate change and energy transition areas. He is involved in a number of specific initiatives as follows:

  • He is a member of the Global Future Council on Energy Transition
  • He is a member of Task Force for the Mobilisation of Capital for Clean Energy in Emerging and Developing Economies
  • He is a Special Advisor to the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders

Finally, Mike is very focused on two particular parts of the climate agenda – climate / sustainable energy innovation and sustainable finance. In the innovation area, Mike is working on a number of transformative solutions in order to accelerate the pace of innovation. In the area of sustainable finance, he is focusing on some new ideas to attract capital into very high risk projects in developing markets.

Paddy Hayes - Managing Director - ESB Networks

Paddy Hayes was appointed Managing Director, ESB Networks in May 2018. Prior to this he held the position of Executive Director, Generation and Wholesale Markets. Previously, he held various senior management positions in ESB including Head of Independent Generation and Manager Energy Portfolio. Prior to joining ESB in 1999, Paddy worked in a number of roles with British Steel. He is a Chartered Engineer and holds a masters degree in Engineering from University College Dublin and MBA from the University of Warwick.

Peter Kavanagh - Director - Highfield Energy Services Ltd

Highfield Energy is a leading developer of renewable and clean-energy projects, with projects in Ireland and  overseas. Our development pipeline includes utility-scale wind and solar photovoltaic generation, stand-alone and co-located battery storage projects.

Rebecca McManus - Associate - Aurora

Rebecca leads the Ireland Power Markets research team at Aurora, providing valuable intelligence on Ireland’s energy transformation through forecasts, reports, forums and advisory services.

While at Aurora, Rebecca has:

  • Been instrumental in driving Aurora’s expansion into Ireland, developing a diverse market intelligence subscriber group consisting of regulators, utilities, financiers and developers
  • Led Aurora’s influential research into Ireland’s critical policy issues including the DS3 system services, Climate Action Plan targets and RESS auctions
  • Advised clients on bidding strategies for Ireland’s first competitive system services auctions and renewable auctions

Rory Mullan - Senior Consultant & Director - Mullan Grid Consulting

Rory Mullan is a senior consultant and director of Mullan Grid Consulting. A qualified Electrical Engineer, Rory has worked in the Irish Electricity Industry for over 15 years in various commercial and technical roles in utility and consultancy sectors.

Rory is also a member of the IWEA council and the IWEA, NIRIG & ISEA Grid Committee.

Saul Griffith - Founder and Chief Scientist at Otherlab, Founder and Chief Scientist at Rewiring America

Bio to follow

William Walsh – Chief Executive Officer - SEAI

William Walsh is Chief Executive Officer in SEAI, having previously held the position of both Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer. William joined SEAI 2013. Prior to joining SEAI he worked for IFI where he held a number of roles including Assistant Chief Executive Officer and Director. Prior to that he held senior management positions in the private sector. William is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Dublin City University and a Graduate Diploma in Strategy, Innovation and Change from UCD.