Who we are

Bath & West Community Energy is governed by a board of directors that includes the Chair, Jane Stephenson, 5 Non-executive directors elected by the membership –  Chris Crookall-Fallon, Peter Harvey, Jolyon Orchard, Pam Penkman, Barney Rhys Jones and BWCE’s Managing Director, Pete Capener. Sonya Bedford and Rupert Atkinson have been co-opted onto the board to provide additional expertise on financial and legal issues.

The board is supported by a growing staff team, with Nick Bird, Alex Lockton and Alison Turnbull covering communications and community outreach, project development and project delivery, with further expertise being drawn in when needed.

Elected Member Directors

Chris Crookall-Fallon

Chris is presently Head of Climate Action at a district council in Gloucestershire.  Previously he’s worked for a specialist co-operatives and social enterprise business consultancy, run his own renewable energy consultancy business, and for many years worked in Corsham for a specialist climate, energy and sustainability consultancy which he helped to transfer into employee ownership.

Chris has been a long-standing member of Corsham’s transition group and worked on energy projects which contributed to the creation of BWCE.  He was a member-elected director of BWCE early in the Society’s life and in recent years he’s supported a variety of community-owned and social ventures from a community cinema to a food provenance tracking system to a retail co-op conversion.  He’s also provided consultancy services to the Next Generation project run by Power to Change, which BWCE is participating in.

Chris’s first degree was Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology, he also has a Masters degree in Business Administration, and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Chris Crookall-Fallon

 

Peter Harvey

Peter is an environmental lawyer and legal editor with a long-term and practical commitment to mainstreaming community energy and tackling climate change.

Peter helped to set up BWCE back in 2010, particularly the schools solar PV projects. He was an early member/investor and its first Company Secretary from 2010 to 2012 and was also Chair of Trustees of the BWCE Community Fund from 2016 to 2018.

Peter’s work gives him an understanding of the way that the energy sector is changing and the opportunities that throws up for BWCE, particularly to innovate and develop. He has a Law Degree and a Masters in Environmental Law, and is closely involved in the UK Environmental Law Association.

Peter balances his voluntary commitments and day job by spending time with his children, on his allotment, cycling and sea kayaking.

Peter Harvey

 

Jolyon Orchard

Position: Chair, Board's Development Sub Group

Jolyon is a co-founder and director of Luminous Energy Ltd, a developer of utility scale solar and energy storage projects. Since 2013 the company has developed numerous solar farms and energy storage projects in the UK and several overseas markets. He participates in all aspects of the development process and has extensive experience of originating and developing greenfield opportunities through to construction.

 Jolyon initiated and formalised a co-development agreement with a community energy company which enabled two of Luminous Energy’s solar farms to be financed via a solar bond portfolio raised from community investors (£6m for a 9.2MW project in Kent and £5.8m for a 10.3MW project in Warwickshire).

 Jolyon holds a Masters of Environment and Sustainability from Monash University in Melbourne.

Jolyon Orchard

Chair, Board's Development Sub Group

 

Pam Penkman

Pam began her career in a unit trust company in the City, followed by various administrative posts in major accounting and consultancy firms in London, Frankfurt and Tehran, and five years at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman.  

On returning to the UK, and while working in higher education in Bristol, she qualified as a company secretary. This led to a hugely interesting role as company secretary and ultimately partner at BuroHappold Engineering, a Bath-based international firm of consulting engineers.  There, her particular responsibilities were corporate governance, insurance, legal matters, HR and H&S.

Pam actively supports the Cleveland Pools Trust in its efforts to restore an outdoor Georgian swimming pool in Bath, and also a charity offering warm water swimming for children with special needs.  

Pam has a degree in Geography from Sheffield University.  She and her partner Fred, a civil engineer, have lived in Bath for 30 years.

Pam Penkman

 

Barney Rhys Jones

Barney is the Asset Management Director for Octopus Renewables’ 1GW Solar portfolio, having spent nearly 14 years in the clean tech sector. He previously worked as Portfolio Director at Oxford Capital, overseeing £350M of investments in solar, anaerobic digestion and grid response.

After graduating with a first class civil engineering degree from Imperial College, London, Barney worked as a field engineer with Schlumberger before joining Bain & Company the global strategy consulting firm. Barney also worked in Telecoms before moving into the renewables sector as with Low Carbon Investors and subsequently as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Good Energy PLC, the UK’s first dedicated 100% renewable electricity supplier.

Barney Rhys Jones

 

Executive Directors

Pete Capener

Position: Managing Director

Peter is co-founder and Managing Director of Bath & West Community Energy, a director of Community Energy England and a trustee of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. He is chair of the BEIS ministerial Local Energy Contact Group.

Peter has worked in the sustainable energy field and on community energy for nearly 35 years, including many years as Chief Executive of the Centre for Sustainable Energy where he originally started in the mid eighties working with schools and communities. Since resigning from CSE in 2002 due to family illness, Peter has worked as an independent advisor on a range of energy efficiency, renewable energy and fuel poverty projects for various government, private and voluntary sector clients, with a strong focus on community action.

Peter has an MSc in Energy Resource Management and was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to sustainable energy.

Pete Capener

Managing Director

 

Jane Stephenson

Position: Chair

Jane is a founding member of BWCE and has been a Director since 2012 and Executive Chair since 2016. She brings over 35 years’ experience working at a senior level in the environmental sector, from senior roles at Avon Friends of the Earth developing practical recycling projects in the 1980s to being a founder member and Chair of the charity Waste Watch. She developed community led waste reduction initiatives with The Recycling Consortium from the 1990s, through to the development and leadership of Resource Futures as CEO from 2006 to 2016 and is now Chair of the Board. She was a Director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership until 2020. 

She lives in Paulton and plays an active role in a new network Green Action NE Somerset. She is a Quaker and member of Bath Meeting where she plays an active role in the Quaker community. She is an RSA Fellow.

Jane Stephenson

Chair

 

Coopted Directors

Rupert Atkinson

Position: Finance

Rupert is a finance professional and private investor in start-up / scale-up technology companies – many of which are pioneering examples of the positive environmental change being initiated by the private sector.

Rupert had a 30-year career in financial services, as a corporate credit analyst. This experience spans working for a ratings agency (Standard & Poor’s), a long stint in investment banking (at Morgan Stanley), and latterly, a partner and advisor to a private debt fund, lending institutional money to lower mid-market UK and Nordic growth companies.

Rupert graduated from Bradford University in 1985 with a BSc in Geography & Politics, and from the Cass Business School, City, University of London in 1995 with an MBA.

He complements his investing activities with support for a number of university enterprise / entrepreneurship initiatives, including the Launch Lab of City University (Mentor, and member of the Advisory Board) and SETsquared Bath (Mentor).

Rupert Atkinson

Finance

 

Sonya Bedford

Position: Legal

Sonya is a Partner with Stephens Scown solicitors where she heads up the energy team; a Non-Executive Director at Regen; a Director at Exeter Community Energy, Avalon Community Energy and South Dartmoor Community Energy and vice chair of Green Wedmore. Sonya has an MSc in Renewable Energy from the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Sonya’s legal work includes dealing with all aspects of hydro, wind, solar PV, biomass and anaerobic digestion projects from feasibility and grid connections through to construction and funding. Published papers include – green belt and solar development, local supply, solar thermal, asset management for renewables and optimising AD projects.

Her recent experience also includes acting for over 20 community energy groups – from set up/funding/site acquisition to development and subsequent generation.

Sonya was awarded an MBE in 2018 for services to Community Energy.

Sonya Bedford

Legal

 

BWCE Team

Nick Bird

Position: Community Outreach and Communications Co-ordinator

Nick is responsible for co-ordinating BWCE’s communications and community outreach work. He brings a wealth of experience from over 30 years managing community projects and events, promoting community engagement and delivering training.

He has run community engagement projects in Wiltshire, London and Leeds, worked in a community arts centre and, in a voluntary capacity, helped to develop organisations such as Larkhall Festival and Bath Co-operative Alliance. At a national level he has worked with community organisations to help them better engage with Government and local authorities (Urban Forum) and to network and share knowledge (The Quest Trust). 

Nick has extensive experience of delivering training, both as a freelance trainer and as an associate of Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation, Tenant Participation Advisory Service and London Voluntary Services Council. He has also taught for the College of North East London and the WEA. 

Nick Bird

Community Outreach and Communications Co-ordinator

 

Alex Lockton

Position: Development Co-ordinator

Alex Lockton is working on a range of new development projects including both new renewable energy and low carbon technologies as well as strategic consultancy. Alex has worked in the renewable energy industry for 14 years, owning and running businesses which design, install and operate all forms of renewable energy including Solar, Wind, Biomass, Heat Pumps.

In the last 5 years Alex ran a local energy business which was responsible for the design and construction of a large number of community energy projects in the south west including some for BWCE. 

Currently Alex’s main focus is developing the new BWCE Community Solar PV campaign which identifies commercial and public buildings to host community owned solar systems. In addition to this he is developing a number of new projects involving renewable heat, battery storage and Electric vehicle technology to help BWCE accelerate the zero carbon energy transition in our area.

Alex Lockton

Development Co-ordinator

 

Alison Turnbull

Position: Project Co-ordinator

Alison Turnbull is one of BWCE’s main project developers working on a freelance basis. She has worked in the renewable energy industry for 20 years, including at AEA Technology on the UK government’s biomass energy research and development programme and at ESD as a renewable energy consultant.

During the latter part of her career, she worked with Ambient Energy Ltd on the development of small scale biomass projects and more recently on the development of small scale pv community schemes with CoCoEnergy and Frome Renewable Energy Co.

Alison was responsible for the project development on a range of BWCE’s solar PV roof schemes and the project management of BWCE’s first demand management programme, Empower, an Innovate UK funded scheme operating in the Corsham community near Bath . She is currently project managing BWCE’s Flex Community and Solar Streets projects and helping BWCE identify and develop new solar roofs.

Alison Turnbull

Project Co-ordinator