Rebecca Carter: Wise Words on Solar Energy

Since becoming Global Managing Director of three and a half years ago, Rebecca Carter and her team have dedicated themselves to delivering for their clients across the full solar asset management lifecycle.

Rebecca Carter - WiseEnergy

Rebecca Carter, Global Managing Director at WiseEnergy, with the Senior Leadership Team of the Company

WiseEnergy, part of the NextEnergy Group, was founded in 2009 and has established itself as one of the world’s leading solar asset managers, offering a comprehensive range of services from development and construction to operational asset management. The company manages over 1,300 solar plants across nine countries, having recently opened an office in Spain and established services in Portugal, Poland, Canada and Romania.

With a PhD in Neuroscience, her career has taken in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. More recently, she was a director at a leading UK charity but was keen to return to an international leadership position while remaining in a socially responsible industry.

Rebecca Carter defines WiseEnergy’s key functions in three main areas: financial, commercial and technical (engineering), all of which are fundamental in ensuring that clients’ needs are met.

On the financial side, which involves a whole suite of services including debt management, book keeping, treasury, tax compliance and financial reporting, WiseEnergy is in the midst of a “financial transformation project”, to automate and standardise many of their services through technology, in order to reduce risk, increase efficiency, and eliminate any unnecessary disconnect between different countries’ operations.

The commercial aspect of the business involves contract optimisation, management and reporting as well as revenue management, including hedging, short- and long-term power prices for clients,  which can be fixed for anywhere between five and twenty years. Supporting WiseEnergy’s clients to meet the European Commission’s SFDR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation) on ESG disclosure is also major considerations for the firm

From a technical (engineering) perspective, the WiseEnergy team work closely with O&M (Operations & Maintenance) managers of the plants, and develop and implement asset optimisation plans – all of which require great technical expertise. However, investing in technology is also critical. Similar to the finance transformation project, technical transformation activities have removed the necessity of the immensely time-consuming manual reporting, which has improved work-life balance of employees, reduced risk for clients as there is less possibility of human error, and increased speed of delivery, all of which have led to a reduction in costs.

WiseEnergy is always seeking to maximise its revenue so it can re-invest in improving its client services, and its digital Asset Management Platform (AMP), central to many of the improvements implemented across the organisation, positions WiseEnergy as one of the most technologically advanced asset managers in the sector. AMP allows its experts to access, collate and analyse data from its sites around the world and in order to help maximise the performance of the assets it manages.

Despite the increased importance of automation, she still considers the role of humans as invaluable and believes that technology can enhance their performance rather than replace it.

Rebecca Carter has employed technology to improve communications within the company. As an employer of workers in many different countries and disciplines, she sees it as an extremely useful tool in promoting staff cohesion and upholding morale.

During the pandemic she introduced monthly virtual meetings for all the members of staff and has expanded the practice by introducing an informal monthly platform called “Wise Words”, on which employees from across the global organisation introduce themselves, talk about their lives and interests:

“We alternate people from our sites around the world; it’s a very good way to introduce people and for them to get to know each other and feel part of the company.”

Corporate culture is very important to Carter. She realises that, in an increasingly competitive sector, staff retention is of paramount importance.

As a naturally collaborative and supportive person, she has fostered a caring culture, creating stronger bonds and driving global thinking.

Generous leave allowances, psychological support services, recognising and rewarding people for their work are all initiatives that have made WiseEnergy a better place to work, across the board.

Although there is much still to do to make WiseEnergy the best place for its clients and employees, , it is fair to surmise that as long as Rebecca Carter is at the helm, WiseEnergy will go from strength to strength.

 

 

 


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