Rachel Watson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pacific Hydro in Australia, has informed the Pacific Hydro Board of her intention to step down from her position at the end of the 2021 calendar year. Upon her departure, Domenic Capomolla, who is currently CEO of Tango Energy, Pacific Hydro’s retail arm, will assume the position of Interim CEO.
Ms Watson first joined Pacific Hydro in 2006 as a Corporate Lawyer, and quickly moved into senior executive positions. As General Manager, Group Services, Ms Watson played an integral role in the successful sale of Pacific Hydro in 2016, a transaction valued at over $A3b.
When first appointed as CEO in 2018, Ms Watson led Pacific Hydro globally, with operations across Australia, Chile and Brazil and a total installed capacity of over 2.6GW. Under her leadership, the business underwent a global restructure, which allowed for a consolidation and concentration of efforts in Pacific Hydro’s Australian renewable energy generation and retail markets.
As well as presiding over the addition of 180MW to Pacific Hydro Australia’s installed capacity, Ms Watson was instrumental in the introduction of new technologies into its development and operational portfolios, including solar, hydrogen, battery storage solutions, pumped hydro and a synchronous condenser.
Together with Mr Capomolla, Ms Watson oversaw the growth of Pacific Hydro’s retail arm from 10,000 customers in 2018, to more than 120,000 customers today. During that time, Tango also materially expanded its retail offerings and geographical footprint.
Ms Watson has also contributed greatly to the renewable energy industry. She is the outgoing Chair of the Clean Energy Council and played a pivotal role in the leadership group of the Connections Reform Initiative, which continues to deliver innovative solutions to address systemic issues related to the grid connection process.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have led the Pacific Hydro team for the past four years. Australia is already well on its way to achieving a clean energy future, and I’m so proud of Pacific Hydro’s role, through both our generation and retail activities, in driving this transformation”, said Ms Watson.
“I feel absolute confidence in Domenic and the management team’s ability to continue writing the Pacific Hydro and Tango story, and I will watch the company’s future success with a great sense of pride. For now, I’m looking forward to a well-earned rest before I seek out my next challenge”, she said.
The Chair of Pacific Hydro’s Board, Mr Shou, said: “Rachel Watson has had a significant impact on both Pacific Hydro, and the broader Australian renewable energy industry. The Pacific Hydro Board thanks Rachel for her invaluable contribution to the business and wishes her every success in her next venture.”
“We are delighted that Mr Capomolla has accepted the position of Interim CEO and look forward to working with Domenic and the Senior Leadership Team as we continue to grow Pacific Hydro and Tango Energy”, he continued.
Mr Capomolla has been the CEO of Tango Energy since 2018. Prior to that, he founded Sumo Energy, was Executive Director at Alinta Energy, and held the position of CEO at Simply Energy for 7 years.
“I’m thrilled to be taking on this new challenge”, said Mr Capomolla.
“Particularly given our unique position in the market as an integrated gentailer with a fully renewable energy base, the Pacific Hydro and Tango Energy teams have a lot to be excited about as we enter our third decade in operation”, he said.
Mr Capomolla concluded: ”The Pacific Hydro business, and myself personally, have benefited greatly from Rachel’s leadership and we wish her all the very best for the future.”
About Pacific Hydro
Founded in 1992, Pacific Hydro Australia is a leading owner, operator, and developer of renewable energy assets. It operates a high quality, diversified portfolio of wind, hydro and solar assets with an installed capacity of 665 MW. Pacific Hydro also has a development pipeline of substantial projects totalling over 1100 MW of potential capacity, as well as over 300 MW of energy storage solutions. It also has a growing electricity and gas retail business, Tango Energy.
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Media contact: Jessica Storer, Engagement & External Affairs Manager
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