Edinburgh Community Solar Co-op is run by a board of twelve directors consisting of seven elected members, three representatives of the City of Edinburgh Council and two co-opted individuals whom the rest of the board have agreed to appoint. One third of the elected directors are required to stand down or seek re-election at every AGM. Appointed directors follow a different process of review in accordance with the co-op’s rules. None of the directors receive any remuneration for their work and are instead driven by their commitment to the success of the business, it’s ethos and the environmental, financial, educational and community returns the business delivers.
The board consists of…
Drew’s interest in community energy developed over 10 years working in the environmental sector. He currently works for the Scottish Government supporting the decarbonisation of heat in Scotland and has previously worked for Zero Waste Scotland and Changeworks on a range of initiatives focusing on low carbon heat, renewable energy and fuel poverty. Drew has a masters in Carbon Management from the University of Edinburgh and has been a director of ECSC since 2017. Drew lives in central Edinburgh with his wife Liz and son. In his spare time he enjoys cycling and playing guitar.
Jenny is currently a partner in international law firm CMS, living in Edinburgh with her husband and 2 young children.
She gained her LLB (hons) and Diploma at the University of Edinburgh, and subsequently trained (and worked for 7 years) at Shepherd & Wedderburn, prior to joining CMS in Edinburgh to focus on energy finance work, having qualified in Scotland in 2006 (also England & Wales 2007). She currently has a strong focus on advising on the financing of renewable energy projects and is familiar with the multiple legal issues involved in the construction and operation of such projects, including community projects.
Her recent work has included advising in relation to community energy wind, hydro and solar projects in both Scotland and England, as well as advising on more novel energy storage and capacity market projects.
A former City of Edinburgh Councillor and held numerous positions in the Council, including Leader, Lord Provost and Convener of Transport and Environment Committee. Lesley is a qualified primary school teacher. In addition, she is a past Chair of NHS Health Scotland, a member of the Co-op Party and Scotmid.
Lesley has extensive experience of board membership in a personal capacity, as well as representing the Council in numerous public and private sector organisations, such as Edinburgh’s Telford College, Pilton Partnership, Edinburgh’s Mela, Dance Base, Edinburgh Fairtrade City, One City Trust and the City of Literature. Lesley currently Chair of North Edinburgh Arts and is a Board member of One City Trust, NKS and Capital Carers.
Originally from Aberdeenshire, Niall moved to Edinburgh in 2005 to study chemistry at Heriot-Watt University, a subject chosen, in part, because of its importance to environmental issues (specifically batteries and the potential “hydrogen economy”). He graduated in 2009 with a BSc (Hons) before switching focus to computing and gaining degrees in Computer Science BSc (Hons) and Advanced Security and Digital Forensics MSc. Since 2010 he has worked as a software engineer, spending time in both the public and private sectors, as well as a contractor running his own successful software consultancy business. Niall has had a strong interest in environmental issues his entire life and is particularly focused on efforts to stop climate change.
Mark lives in Edinburgh and was delighted to invest in Phase 1 of the Edinburgh Solar Cooperative. He has been a Board member of 15 local, national and UK-wide charities. He currently serves as Convenor of the Board of the Quaker Housing Trust (a grant making trust) and the Quaker International Education Trust (which operates Brumanna High School in Lebanon). Mark is now retired having formerly worked as an independent consultant specialising on the impact and effectiveness of not-for-profit organisations, the Scottish Government and as a facilitator for the School of Social Entrepreneurs. He is educated to Master’s degree level with 3 master’s degrees in Sociology, Research and Evaluation and Professional Studies.
Mick has been focused on working and volunteering in the third sector for some years, after more than twenty years work in high tech industries.
Mick has experience as a charity Board trustee and Chair, as well as working as a trusts and foundations fundraiser.
Values-driven, Mick is committed to striving for a sustainable future in the face of the climate, biodiversity and other crises, as well as to social and climate justice. Mick has particular focuses on 1) solar PV (and other forms of local and community renewable energy), through ECSC and also Big Solar Co-op, and 2) domestic energy efficiency and building improvement through retrofit and planned maintenance, now as a founder member of Edinburgh Building Retrofit and Improvement Collective. Mick is also a founder member of BANZAI (Bruntsfield Area Net Zero Action Initiative), a local area climate action group, and works with like-minded people seeking to encourage grassroots community involvement in increased collaborative net-zero action and activism locally and across the city.
Vicki is a senior manager in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and has over 15 years of experience in environmental science and regulation, with experience in change management, digital transformation and implementation of circular economy regulation.
She works with a number of groups in the local community, focusing on active travel and reduction of food waste. Most recently she initiated a community group to manage maintenance of on-street weeding, reducing the need for the council to spray pesticides that impact water quality, human health and biodiversity.
She lives in Edinburgh with her husband Andy and can often be found running on the hills and trails around the city, with her border collie Kodi in tow.
Energy4All – Development Manager, Scotland
Jim is Energy4All’s Project Officer based in Scotland. Jim has been active in the Co-operative Movement for many years working in various sectors of the movement to promote the co-operative business model. He is a director of the Arrochar Community Hydro Society and Spirit of Lanarkshire Wind Energy Co-operative which has a stake in wind farms at West Browncastle and Nutberry. He chairs Co-operative Education Trust Scotland, a body set up by the Co-operative Movement to promote co-operative ideas in the curriculum of Scottish schools and universities. He is also a director of the Lanarkshire Credit Union. In recent years, he worked for the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and for Community Links in South Lanarkshire where he supported the establishment of several food co-ops.
Edinburgh Leisure Energy and Sustainability Manager
Fiona is a University of Edinburgh graduate with an MA in Geography with Environmental Studies. She has worked for over 10 years in the energy, sustainability and carbon sector. Fiona is currently a Net Zero Consultant, at Amber, supporting clients to set and meet their Net Zero objectives.
Previously Fiona worked for Edinburgh Leisure as their Energy and Sustainability Manager driving the organisation to reduce carbon by 62%, via various projects including the installation of ECSC PV on 6 venues..
City of Edinburgh Council – Morningside
Ben Parker was elected as the Green Councillor for Morningside in May 2022. He is Co-Convenor of the Green group and group spokesperson for Climate & Environment. Ben sits on the Council’s ‘Policy & Sustainability committee’ and ‘Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work committee’, as well as COSLA’s Environment & Economy board. Originally from North Yorkshire, Ben moved to Edinburgh for University and graduated in 2019. Ben also works for a Scotland-wide housing information and advice charity which supports disabled people and older adults, and is a trustee for Edinburgh Garden Partners.
City of Edinburgh Council – Forth
Sanne Dijkstra-Downie is an elected Councillor for the Forth ward.
City of Edinburgh Council – City Centre
Margaret Graham is an elected Councillor for the City Centre ward.