Drumlin Wind Energy Co-op brings together in a single organisation many of the things I care about : placing the ownership of energy in the hands of the people who produce it and use ; treating the earth and its resources with care and respect ; recycling household expenditure within the local economy instead of enriching parasitic externally owned fossil fuel companies and - perhaps most important of all - unlocking the community’s creativity.
I worked as a civil servant with my last ten years spent as Northern Ireland’s energy regulator overseeing the halving of the carbon content of Northern Ireland’s electricity as coal and oil power stations were converted to combined cycle gas turbines and we began to develop renewables. At an earlier stage I worked in the European Commission and in Planning and Urban Regeneration.
Since retiring – apart from being an early Drumlin joiner and doing another degree at Queens – I have been actively involved in several social enterprises and other organisations concerned with tackling fuel poverty. I am a member of several GB energy cooperatives not least so that I can pick up on the experiences and insights gained by our kindred spirits in other places; and I am treasurer of my church. My wife and I take delight in producing a significant proportion of our fruit and vegetables from our inner city garden and exporting from our PV panels more summer electricity than we consume in the house.
I have no doubt that Drumlin will continue to be efficiently managed. But it should be more than that. It should be a catalyst for change in the way in which we in our little corner of the world look at how we produce and manage our energy needs and the contribution we can make to tackling climate change
Rodney Arbuckle is a farmer from Connor, Ballymena. Rodney farms mainly dairy Holstein Friesian and beef. He is married to Karen and has three young son and has lived in the area all his life, born in Ballymena and educated at Ballymena Acadamy and later Greenmount Agricultural College. He left Ballymena Academy aged 16 to work on the family farm alongside his father and took over management of the farm, which has been in his family for many years, when his father passed away in 1993.
Andrew McMurray graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and a Masters degree in Renewable Energy in 2004. He started his career with B9 Energy/RES and worked on the development and engineering aspects of 10 wind farms in Northern Ireland. Andrew has volunteered with Friends of the Earth for 13 years and served as a board member from 2006 to 2009. In 2009 Andrew formed a new company called NRG Solutions, which has provided technical electrical expertise on over 500MW of renewables projects in Ireland, as well as developing a portfolio of 250kW wind turbine projects.
Paul is the Regional Development Manager for Energy4All Ltd. Paul has a degree in manufacturing systems engineering from Bristol University. His final year dissertation studied the feasibility of domestic wind systems. Paul joined the renewable sector in 2003 with Vesta Celtic, later that year the opportunity to work with communities in the development of renewable energy projects came his way. Paul worked with many communities in Scotland across the range of technologies and at all scales, but particularly with biomass and wind.
Anne Ford - Chair
For me, Drumlin Wind Energy Co-operative ticks very many of the right boxes – a forward thinking group, sustainable safe energy production with low environmental impacts, like-minded people sharing individual resources and effort carefully for wider benefit to society – and with a good prospect of financial return on investments.
Having travelled to Germany recently with the Drumlin group, I have seen and studied some of the best practice in renewable energy generation and supply. I am firmly convinced of the value and potential of such technologies for Northern Ireland – and that realistic options exist for change here.
In seeking to join the Drumlin Board of Directors, I am enthusiastic to ensure that our co-operative maximises its potential for renewable power generation, to communicate widely the value of what we do, and to seek opportunities to expand member and community involvement thus influencing energy provision in a wider context.
After study at Queen’s and the University of Ulster, my professional career in Biology and Environmental Science has been in teaching, lecturing, mentoring and Course Management. As a result of many years work in the Grammar School and Further Education sectors, as well as serving on school Boards of Governors and in other community, charity and church organisations, I feel I can offer the co-operative a deep understanding of sustainable development issues and a range of skills and experience including planning, administration, oversight, communication and team working.
Now retired from teaching (but still energetic!) I can commit time to our organic farming enterprise within sight of a Drumlin turbine.
John holds a BA (Hon) Degree in Business Studies as well as a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).
John has been employed by Bryson since 1985 and now holds the position of Chief Executive. John now heads N Irelands leading social enterprise operating through 7 subsidiary companies each leading in a range of social business markets, which include social care; energy efficiency & fuel poverty; training services for people in unemployment; supporting ethnic minority families/communities and domestic recycling. He has led the repositioning of the Bryson Brand and overseen the significant growth of the Group, which currently employs 690 staff with a turnover circa £34million per annum (2012/13).
John has been the Northern Ireland representative on the national Landfill Tax Credit Forum. John is Vice Chair & Hon Treasurer of the Belfast Healthy Cities, Hon Treasurer and founder member Belfast Hills Partnership; a Board member of Work West Ltd; Chairs the Visiting Panel on Sustainability at the University of Ulster; Chairs DoE’s Climate NI intersectoral partnership; and holds board positions within Bryson Recycling Ltd; LaganSports Ltd; Bryson FutureSkills Ltd; is a member of DFP’s Social Enterprise Procurement Working Group and was a member of the ministerial (DSD) Taskforce on resourcing the Voluntary and Community Sector.
John was appointed by the Minister at the Department for Social Development as the first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Advisory Group & a member of the interdepartmental Group on Fuel poverty until 2009, was a member of the Minister’s Fuel Poverty Taskforce and appointed by the Minister of State at the Department of Communication, Energy & Natural resources (Republic of Ireland) as a board member of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (Sustainable Energy Ireland) 1999-2007.
John was awarded an MBE in the 1998 Birthday Honours List and an OBE in 2011. He was elected a life Fellow of RSA in 2007; and in 2009 elected to the RSA Fellowship Council representing Ireland. Also in 2009 John was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Award 2009/10 by the University of Ulster. John was acknowledged as the Northern Ireland and subsequently the UK Social Enterprise Leader of the Year in 2011, awarded IoD (NI) 3rd sector Director of the Year 2012 and awarded IoD UK Public and 3rd Sector Director of the Year 2013.
Tiziana has been living in Northern Ireland for the past 20 years and most of her working life has been spent in the local community, voluntary and social economy sector. Tiziana is one of the founder members of Co-operative Alternatives and believes in democratic enterprises which are socially and environmentally minded. She has been involved in the development of new co-operatives in Northern Ireland in the past two years, in particular she is interested in energy, housing and food co-operatives. Tiziana has also a strong passion for community ownership and believes that community shares are an exciting finance tool to bring cohesion, engagement and commitment in a community.
Tiziana joined the North West England Consortium in 2011 and was pivotal in the launching of the Co-operative Enterprise Hub in Northern Ireland which stimulated the growth of the co-operative sector in the region after decades of neglect and underinvestment. As an advisor to the Co-operative Enterprise Hub and an associate of Co-operative Business Consultants, she has built working relationship with the co-operative movement in Scotland, England , Wales from Co-operatives UK to the Plunkett Foundation and promotes co-operation among co-operatives locally and across regions.
In 2012, she was the Development Officer for the Northern Ireland Co-operative Forum and through the celebrations of the International Year of Co-operatives raised the profile of existing and new co-operatives both North and South of Ireland. Tiziana is responsible for influencing policy, promoting the co-operative business model and stimulating the debate on how our local economy may benefit from more co-operative businesses and community benefit societies.
Paddy started his career with Du Pont as a Control & Instrument technician. He went on to graduate from Queen’s University Belfast with a 1st class honours degree and PhD in electrical engineering. His research analysed and quantified the system benefits of utilising sources of embedded generation (e.g. wind turbines) in a small to medium sized power system such as Ireland. Paddy subsequently held a number of senior engineering and consultancy posts. From 2003 to 2010 he worked for Airtricity (now SSE Renewables) where he was Head of Engineering and Wind Resource Assessment. During his tenure he oversaw the technical design and specification of almost £3Bn of wind farm projects. A passionate activist for wind power he represented Irish wind energy developers on the NIE and EirGrid Grid Code Review Panels at distribution and transmission system level. From 2010 he has worked for Aquamarine Power, one of the world’s leading wave energy technology development companies, where is now CEO.
Paddy is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is currently a board member of Brussels-based trade body Ocean Energy Europe.