Contact Energy executive wins major energy excellence award

Francisco Rojas 13 Aug 2015

Contact Energy geothermal leader Dr Mike Dunstall was named Energy Executive of the Year 2015 last night at the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards.

General Manager Geothermal Resources and Development at Contact Energy, Dr Dunstall took out the top prize ahead of executives from Genesis Energy and Simply Energy.

The Energy Executive of the Year award recognises standout executives and their contributions to the New Zealand energy sector over the past year.

 Described as a major contributor to New Zealand’s geothermal industry, Dr Dunstall had led several significant projects in his eight years with the company. Prominent achievements included his pivotal role in the delivery of Contact Energy’s Wairakei Investment Programme, which had reduced the average cost of generation from the Wairakei field and provided additional flexibility.

Dr Dunstall and his team were responsible for the innovative strategy to retain steam supply to the existing 57-year-old Wairakei power plant while still providing for the supply of the new Te Mihi development. Chief Executive Dennis Barnes said Mike’s involvement in the geothermal industry was one of passion and expertise, and his achievements spoke for themselves.

“Mike’s focus on innovation has benefited Contact’s daily operations, while his respect for the environment and relationships with councils and iwi are a true testament to his integrity as a leader in the geothermal industry.”

“Mike is an inspiring, committed leader and we’re proud to have him as part of the Contact team.”

A popular leader, Dr Dunstall had built a highly-skilled and world-renown team of experts at Contact Energy. Since 1993, he has published 35 academic articles, while earlier this year he led a Contact team of 25 at the World Geothermal Congress in Melbourne.

Dr Dunstall said the award was an honour, and was an achievement he would share with his colleagues.

“At the end of the day, this work is a team effort. I feel privileged to have such a talented group of people behind me, as well as the support of my industry peers in driving the geothermal industry to be more efficient and sustainable.”

The awards night was held on Wednesday 12 August, at the Langham Hotel in Auckland. Now in its sixth year, the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards recognize excellence and achievement across the electricity, oil, gas and petroleum industries.

Source: Media Release by Contact Energy