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New Zealand Geothermal Week 2023


NZ Geothermal Week is a celebration of all things geothermal, held in the heart of the Taupō Volcanic Zone. A collaboration between Amplify (Taupō's economic development agency) and the NZ Geothermal Association, NZ Geothermal Week provides a range of opportunities to immerse yourself in the geothermal world.

Being held 24th - 29th July, at various venues in and around Taupō, this Week is absolutely essential for all of those involved or interested in the geothermal industry.

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NZGA Winter Seminar

The NZGA's Winter Seminar will be held on the Wednesday and Thursday of Geothermal Week, bringing together industry, policy makers, and interested parties to discuss the theme, "Energy Transition in Aotearoa – the role of geothermal".

Seminar Programme

26th + 27th July, Great Lake Centre, Taupō

Draft Programme.

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Seminar Speakers

Glenn Wellington

Manager Products & Partnerships, EECA (Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority)
Keynote Speaker

After starting out in the chemical processing industry, and some time working overseas Glenn has worked in the energy sector since 2005 including roles with Meridian Energy, Energy For Industry, Pioneer Energy, and Vector before joining EECA in 2017.

Glenn has built a broad range of experience predominantly in product development and management of solutions for the commercial and industrial sector. His roles have also included experience in waste to energy development, niche energy retail solutions, and energy and carbon management.

Currently within the Business Group at EECA, the Products & Partnerships Team delivery a range of industry engagement programmes and funds including the Sector Decarbonisation Programme, the Regional Energy Transition Accelerator, Technology Demonstration Fund, and is responsible for a number of industry development partnerships. The Business Group more broadly is responsible for implementing and delivering the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund.

Glenn has a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Engineering.

Wendy McGuinness

Chief Executive, McGuinness Institute Te Hononga Waka
Panel Chair

Wendy McGuinness is the founder and chief executive of the McGuinness Institute Te Hononga Waka, which she established in 2004 as a way of contributing to New Zealand’s long-term future. Wendy has worked in both the public and private sectors specialising in public sector reporting, risk management and future studies. Since establishing the Institute she has, with her team, published a range of reports as part of Project 2058, held a number of workshops aiming to enable young New Zealanders to better engage with the future, and attended four World Futures conferences. She continues to be fascinated by the development and implementation of public policy, in particular how New Zealand might shape its future in the long-term and, in doing so, how New Zealand might become an exemplar for the world.

Merewyn Groom

Principal Advisor, Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service

Merewyn is Principal Advisor at Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service. She works to support the transformation of the forestry and wood processing sector to realise more value from our forest resource and underpin our low emissions future.

Ed Parker

Regional Manager, NZ Trade & Enterprise

NZTE is the government agency whose purpose is to help New Zealand businesses grow internationally. Our role is to boost New Zealand’s international reputation, increase revenue from overseas and create jobs.

Ed works with companies in the advanced manufacturing sector, including energy and geothermal. He connects companies with NZTE expertise and international networks relevant to their goals and needs. Prior to working for NZTE he worked in the private sector on construction projects in the oil and gas sector, in roles such as contracts engineer, project cost controller, quality manager and project accountant. He was the General Manager of WISE Charitable Trust from its inception in 2002 through to 2005 and is now a trustee. WISE co-hosted the Reducing Energy Hardship Conference in New Plymouth in May.

Ed studied chemistry and physics at Auckland, then went through the dairy industry graduate training program. He completed an MBA at Massey University in 2000. Geothermal energy has fascinated him since attending Reporoa College and growing up in the heart of the volcanic plateau. He lives in Taranaki and serves NZTE customers in Taranaki, Wellington and Taupō.

Penny Doorman

Geothermal Programme Leader, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Penny Doorman is the Geothermal Programme Leader at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council manages natural and physical resources in the Region, including 12 geothermal systems. Penny works closely with geothermal staff to ensure the geothermal workstreams within Council are coordinated, including across planning, community engagement, science, resource consenting and compliance. Her current focus is the review of the regional planning framework for managing the Rotorua geothermal system. This involves engagement with the community, iwi and hapū and key stakeholders, as well distilling the technical inputs into policy development. Penny has a Master’s in Environmental Science and Geography. She has worked in Local Government as a resource planner in various organisations for 30 years, initially focussing on heritage and biodiversity planning, more recently focussing on geothermal planning. She lives in Whakatane, on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Jim McLeod

Senior Scientist - Geothermal, Waikato Regional Council

Dr Jim McLeod has been a geothermal scientist with WRC for 30 years, and was a founding member of the NZGA, which was formed to act as a liaison point and voice for all geothermal interests. Jim looks after the interface between the large geothermal consent holders and their peer review panels for the five Waikato geothermal systems with large power stations.

Kevin Hart

Chief Executive, New Zealand Wind Energy Association
Panellist - pre-recorded

Kevin was appointed as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association in April 2023, following an international career at General Electric (GE), as GE Digital’s Regional Executive Leader for the Asia Pacific region. Kevin has over 35 years’ experience in the energy sector, starting his career at the NZ Electricity Department, followed by 5 years working overseas in the US and a 15-year career at Transpower NZ. He then spent 7 years working for French energy supplier Alstom Grid, as Country Manager for NZ before joining GE, initially as NZ’s Country Leader & then as CEO for NZ and Papua New Guinea. In 2018 he was appointed as GE’s Asia Pacific Regional Leader for Digital covering 12 countries. His background spans transmission, distribution, generation, and digital technology in the energy sector, primarily in commercial, business development and leadership.

Kevin has a passion for renewable energy, having served as a board member of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association on two prior occasions. He is married with two children, and lives in North Canterbury, New Zealand.

Mike Hopkins

CEO, Carbon and Energy Professionals New Zealand (CEP)

Mike has been CEO of CEP since 2016. He holds a PhD in Finance from MGSM as well as an MBA. He has worked in the energy sector in the UK and NZ and his experience covers generation, retail, markets and efficiency. He is committed to helping CEP members raise their capabilities and to helping New Zealand businesses access expertise and knowledge in their pursuit of efficiency and lowering emissions.

Simon Arnold

Chief Executive, National Energy Research Institute

Simon is part-time CEO of NZ's National Energy Research Institute (NERI) a charitable trust promoting energy research and education in NZ. GNS is a member and NZGA is an associate member. It has just published "FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO LOCAL RENEWABLES", a research framework to address Aotearoa New Zealand’s energy GHGs.

He is also MD of that commercialises physics, energy and industrial technologies; executive director of Blended Fuel Solutions NZ (blending fuels to make them fit-for-purpose and through subsidiary Nufuels, waste to energy); and convener of the Liquid Biofuels & Co-products interest group of the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand.

Simon has been active in industry organisations since having been CEO of the NZ Manufacturers Federation in the 1990s. He is a past President and life member of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and chaired the Policy Council of Business Central.

Charlotte Downes

Programme Director, The Diversity Agenda

Charlotte Downes is the Programme Director for The Diversity Agenda, the award-winning movement committed to helping the architecture and engineering consulting industry become more diverse and inclusive, through awareness, empowerment and action.

The Diversity Agenda has grown since inception to more than 150 members across the country and nearly 60 Chief Executives and business owners signing the Diversity Agenda Accord and being held publicly accountable for achieving truly diverse industries.

Having led talent acquisition teams globally, Charlotte brings a wealth of expertise. She previously spearheaded the Diversity and Inclusion program at Air New Zealand, before moving to Auckland Transport to lead the mahi in people experience and internal communications.

Charlotte's unwavering passion lies in laying strong foundations and propelling momentum to ensure that New Zealand's industries become inclusive spaces for all.

Jim Johnston

CEO, CaSil Technologies

Jim is the inventor of the CaSil Technology and co-founder of the CaSil Technologies Ltd. He has over 40 years’ experience in new materials, products and technology research and development, and progressing them through pilot scale operation to commercialisation working with NZ and international companies. His research has founded three new technology-based companies and is a Director in them. He has extensive experience in silica and silicate chemistry and leads for the CaSil Technology, chemistry and product development and commercialisation programme.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. He has received numerous awards including the Wellingtonian of the Year (Science and Technology), Royal Society of New Zealand Thompson Medal for Excellence in Science and Technology, the 2020 KiwiNet Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award and the 2020 KiwiNet BNZ Supreme Award.

Michael Schweig

CTO, CaSil Technologies

Dr Michael Schweig has significant expertise in chemical and process engineering and the CaSil technology, where he led the design, construction and operation of a PLC controlled CaSil pilot plant to successfully demonstrate the technology at this scale for ensuing commercialisation. He is knowledgeable in the engineering and regulatory requirements for geothermal process equipment, and is an expert in CAD, and dynamic flow modelling. He leads the engineering of the pilot scale development and commercial implementation of the CaSil Technology.

Greg Ussher

Geothermal Specialist, Jacobs

Greg has 40 years involvement with geothermal exploration/delineation and his ability with directing multi-disciplinary teams has led to his present role as Jacobs senior advisor for geothermal energy. Greg has a proven ability with integrated geothermal assessments from experience in a large number of detailed reviews and numerical reservoir simulation studies. Understanding of the developmental and commercial aspects of renewable energy projects has been gained from a range of due diligence, resource valuations, and assessments of geothermal resource potential and project management plans. His work optimising projects has led to a sound overview of all types of geothermal power plant and their relationship with the geothermal resource. Greg has been a regular contributor to the geothermal training program at Auckland University and a range of other capacity development activities inside Jacobs, with New Zealand development assistance programs, and more widely in the geothermal industry.

Matt Sophy

Senior Engineer, Resource Development, Contact Energy

Matt works in Contact Energy’s Resource Development Team at Wairākei Power Station. Since 2020, Matt has supported Contact’s reservoir development activities on the Wairākei-Tauhara geothermal system, including the 168 MWe Tauhara power station, 51 MWe Te Huka Unit 3 power station and planning of Wairākei. Matt works alongside hapū at Wairākei and Tauhara to understand effects of reservoir development and promote closer links between geothermal resources and tangata whenua. Since 2021, Matt supported the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) with Jacobs to build geothermal capacity through the NZ Africa Geothermal Facility (NZ-AGF) on projects in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Prior to working in New Zealand, Matt worked for Ormat in Reno, Nevada supporting geothermal exploration and development projects in the Western USA and Indonesia. He resides and works in Taupō, New Zealand. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a M.S. in Geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico. Matt is a Professional Geologist license in the State of California.

Craig Woolacott

Senior Project Manager, Contact Energy

Craig Woolacott is Contact Energy’s Senior Project Manager, managing the EPC contract with Sumitomo Corporation for the design, construction, and commissioning of the Tauhara Geothermal Power Station. He has been in the energy sector for a couple of decades and has held similar roles for the owner during the construction of the Kawerau, Nga Awa Purua and Ngatamariki Geothermal Power Stations.

Hilary West-Reeve

Executive Director – Chief Sustainability Officer, Phoenix Metalman Recycling

Hilary is a New Zealand Registered Commercial Architect with 30 years experience in the construction industry, now co-owning and managing Phoenix Metalman Recycling, a nationwide metal recycling business. A graduate of the Sustainable Business Council’s Sustainable Leadership Programme, acting chair of the Sustainable Steel Council, a NZ Association of Metal Recycling board member. Hilary is currently an advisor on the NZ Green Building Council’s Expert Reference Panel for Construction & Waste. An Industry Advisory group committee member for HERA’s ‘Circular design for a changing environment: a design framework to reduce construction waste, lifecycle embodied carbon, and to enhance the circular economy for construction materials’.

Phoenix has recently expanded, committing to a larger resource recovery site for recycling of secondary resources for the Taupō Economic Development Zone and NZ’s Geothermal energy sector. Phoenix has built a nationwide network facilitating the circular economy, servicing all sectors, delivering circular services with independently audited sustainability data and reporting to support its customers on their sustainability journeys.

Scott Westbury

General Manager Power Schemes, Genesis Energy

Scott Westbury is the General Manager Power Schemes for Genesis Energy. Genesis Energy is a leading electricity generation, retail, and LPG distribution business. To help Aotearoa transition to a low carbon future powered by renewable energy, Genesis is looking at how energy back-up might be provided by biomass fuel at the Huntly Power Station.

Blandina Diamond

Project Director, He Ahi

Blandina is the Project Director for He Ahi on behalf of Te Pae o Waimihia – a Trust that represents the interest of six mana whenua hapū of the Taupō township area. He Ahi is best described as both a Clean Energy Park and an Eco-Business Park being developed on 45 hectares of whenua in a prime location with existing geothermal infrastructure and geothermal heat supply. Blandina is also the Project Manager for the adjacent whenua project, He Tipu – a 25 hectare enterprise park focused on social, environmental and culture ventures that again will be harnessing the power of Clean Energy.

Blandina is the Managing Director of her very own consulting Te Wikitoria Ltd, a consulting and contracting company that delivers support and service for projects, business and governance within both private, commercial or charitable contexts.

Seminar Sponsors

Coaches sponsorship: Hatch Consulting

Our pre-Seminar Field Trips are sponsored by Hatch Consulting, transporting us to the geothermal 'hot-spots' in the Taupō region.

Coffee Cart sponsorship: Eastland Group

Thanks to Eastland Group, our Seminar attendees will receive complimentary barista coffee to start each day.

Student sponsorship: Ara Ake

Ara Ake are kindly sponsoring ten tertiary students to attend the Winter Seminar, enabling them to be a part of the important discussions held during the event.

Morning & Afternoon Tea sponsorship: OMV

Thanks to OMV's support, we will be treated to sumptuous morning and afternoon teas during the Seminar.

Lunch sponsorship: Sumitomo Corporation

The lunches at the Seminar are sponsored by Sumitomo Corporation, keeping our attendees fuelled and engaged - thank you, Sumitomo.

Keynote sponsorship: EECA

We look forward to EECA's keynote speech, as they address the important challenges facing today's energy sector.

Dinner sponsorship: Phoenix Metalman Recycling

Our Seminar Dinner is kindly sponsored by Phoenix Metalman Recycling. Ensuring that the Seminar ends on a high, this event is not to be missed; tickets on sale here.

Pre-Seminar NZGA Events

Field Trip: Generation Developments

25th July, Tauhara / Ngā Tamariki, Taupō

This field trip will include visits to Contact Energy's Tauhara