Westerman, currently in charge of transformation and renewable energy with the United Kingdom’s National Grid, will join AEMO on May 17 having been appointed CEO and managing director.
A chartered engineer, Westerman has been responsible for engineering, planning and operational control of National Grid’s electricity transmission network across Great Britain as well as the development of distributed energy systems such as rooftop solar, storage and energy metering. Most recently, he has grown a large-scale renewable energy business and led transformation and change programs across Europe and North America.
Westerman also contributed to the comprehensive review of the Australian Energy Market led by the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel and had stints with global consulting firm McKinsey & Company and the Ford Motor Company.
Westerman’s return to Australia comes as the energy sector, both nationally and globally are undergoing rapid transition and he said he was delighted to be taking over the reins at AEMO.
“I’m looking forward to collaborating with market participants, policy makers and stakeholders across the energy industry to help inform and shape the best outcomes for consumers as the technology mix undergoes a dramatic transformation,” he said in a statement.
“Australia is leading the world in the adoption of renewable energy systems, and AEMO plays a critical role in maintaining a stable supply of power to the millions of homes and businesses that benefit from the energy these systems provide.
“AEMO must continue to operate our energy systems today while planning for the challenges of tomorrow, and that will be my focus.”
Australian Energy Council chief executive Sarah McNamara welcomed Westerman’s appointment and said his knowledge of markets in the United Kingdom and United States will be invaluable as AEMO looks to navigate the challenges ahead.
“His deep experience in energy transition and commercial markets make him a fine choice to protect the future security of the National Electricity Market (NEM), and balance the energy needs of today with the necessary changes for the future,” she said.
AEMO chairman Drew Clarke said the search for a CEO had attracted strong interest from high-calibre candidates both within Australia and globally.
“Daniel was selected from a strong field of leaders in the energy sector, and the board is confident his experience positions him well to lead AEMO through the next phase of transition in the energy sector,” he said.
“Experience in a commercial setting was highly valued in AEMO’s search, and the board was pleased to secure a candidate with experience leading major infrastructure projects through the investment cycle.”
Westerman replaces former CEO Audrey Zibelman who left in December to take up a role with Google’s future technology division known as X.
Nino Ficca has been serving as acting CEO since Zibelman’s departure and it is expected he will return to his role of non-executive director after Westerman’s arrival.
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