Pat Cox, Chairman
- President of the European Parliament 2002-2004,
- President ELDR Group, European Parliament 1998-2002,
- President European Movement International 2005-2011,
- President of Former Members Association, European Parliament 2010-2014,
- MEP, Munster 1989-2004,
- TD, 1992-1994,
- General Secretary Progressive Democrats, 1986-1989,
- Reporter/Presenter RTE Television Current Affairs 1982 -1986,
- Economics Lecturer, NIHE (now UL), Limerick 1976-1982,
- Economist, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin 1974-1976
John Fitzgerald, CEO
John has extensive experience of power systems and grid infrastructure. He was the Director of Grid Development & Interconnection with EirGrid, the Irish TSO, with responsibility for all onshore transmission and the development and operation of Interconnection. Prior to this, John was Project Director of the East West Interconnector, directly connecting the electricity markets of Ireland and Britain for the first time in 2012 with, what was then, the largest HVDC scheme of its kind in the World.
Before joining EirGrid, John was involved in the area of business development for ESB International where he held a number of business development management positions in Europe and Asia. John has been involved in the successful development of major energy infrastructure projects and corporate initiatives in the electricity and gas sectors across Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. A graduate of University College Dublin, he is a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering and holds an MBA from the UCD School of Business.
Eddie O’Connor, Founder
Dr. O’Connor is the founding force behind SuperNode Ltd. He pioneered the concept of the SuperGrid in response to the challenge of decarbonising electricity generation in Europe and formulated the initial proposals for the SuperGrid in 2001, which resulted in the establishment of ‘The Friends of the SuperGrid’ (FOSG), the precursor to much of the consortia that have moved the concept forward since then.
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A lifelong career in the energy sector in Ireland, he worked for ESB and Bord na Mona before he founded Airtricity in 1998 which, within ten years, became a leading global renewable energy company with developments throughout Europe and North America. Airtricity was sold in 2008 to E.on and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) for €1.8 billion.
In 2008, Dr. O’Connor set up Mainstream Renewable Power, of which he is the main shareholder and its Executive Chairman.
Andy Kinsella, Co-Founder
Andy is the Chief Executive Officer of Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. Andy has overseen Mainstream’s successful offshore business where he has had responsibility for bringing forward just under 8,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects in England, Scotland and Germany. 4,450 megawatts of these offshore wind projects have Secured long term power offtake contracts.READ FULL BIO
Andy has been a member of the Renewables Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency (Paris), was Chairman of SMartwind (one of the UK’s leading Offshore Wind development companies) and Member of the Advisory Committee to the Independent Committee on Climate Change (London)
Andy has been involved in the global electricity sector since the mid 1980’s. He is an Electrical Engineer and a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Before joining Mainstream, Andy was a member of ESB Power Generation’s Senior Management Team from which he resigned as Head of Strategy and Sustainability. Prior to this, Andy was an Executive Director of ESB International where he had operational responsibility for over 1000 staff and 5200MW of IPPs in ESB International’s global engineering & facility management businesses.
Andy previously served as a member of the Management Board of Siemens Ireland where he had operational responsibility for Siemens Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Transportation and Industry businesses in Ireland. He also spent five years with GE as a Project Director delivering large scale capital projects internationally in North America, the Middle East and Asia.
Brendan Halligan, Chief Strategic Officer
He founded the Institute of International and European Affairs in 1991 and is President of the recently formed Ireland China Institute. He was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Literature by UCD in 2010 and was made a member of the Legion of Honour by the French government in 2015 for his services to Europe.
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He is an economist who specialises in European affairs and the implications of Brexit.
A former member of the Dáil, Senate and European Parliament, he was General Secretary of the Labour Party from 1967 – 1980.
He was Adjunct Professor in European Integration at the University of Limerick 1990 – 2000 and a lecturer in Economics at the Dublin Institute of Technology in the early eighties. Presently a board member of Mainstream Renewable Power, he is a former chairman of Bord na Móna and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Ben Backwell, Board Member
Ben is CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council. Backwell is a leading strategist in the renewable energy industry and has advised many of the leading technology companies, utilities, developers and IPPs and financial institutions active in the sector.
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Ben Backwell joined GWEC from global advisory company FTI Consulting, where he was a Managing Director in its Clean Energy Practice.
He is a former journalist and analyst who has covered energy policy and markets in a number of geographies including Europe, the US and Latin America. He is the author of Wind Power, the struggle for control of a new global industry,” (Routledge 2015, New Edition 2017) which has been described as the “definitive” story of the global wind industry.
Rob O'Connor, Chief Commercial Officer
Rob is a mechanical engineer with a background in both sustainable building physics and SaaS. He is leading the team at SuperNode to commercialise new electricity grid infrastructure.
Prior to SuperNode, he worked in scaling up SaaS software in London, studied an MBA in Madrid and was part of the commissioning team with Arup on Dublin Airport Terminal 2.
Marcos Byrne, Research Engineer
Marcos comes from a background in developing renewable energy with Mainstream Renewable Power, where he was involved with onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, and battery storage. He has a background in engineering with a master’s in mechanical engineering from University College Dublin.
He has an interest in researching future trends in the energy industry along with pushing the transition towards clean energy and a sustainable future.