CfR  was  set  up  by  a  team  of  highly  experienced  renewable  energy,  finance  and  legal  professionals,  with the support of RegenSW.  CfR works through a combination of in-house expertise and a network of associates and partners, including local energy enterprises we work with who have developed useful expertise.

Jake Burnyeat (CfR Managing Director)

Jake is a renewable energy professional with over 13 years’ experience covering renewable energy project development, acquisitions, finance, procurement and providing strategic advice to community energy enterprises, local authorities and a range of large corporations.

Prior to founding CfR he was Chief Operating Officer of Green Peninsula, a Cornwall based company helping large corporations to develop and implement their own renewable energy strategies, including working with a major international retail and manufacturing company to develop a EU1billion wind power investment strategy which is now being implemented and securing planning consent for a number of MW-scale wind projects. Prior to that he worked in the Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Group in Exeter. He is a director of a number of the local energy enterprises CfR has helped to set up. He has an MSc in Renewable Energy Policy and Economics from Imperial College London, a 1st class MA in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews.

Tom Cosgrove (Development Manager)

Tom has nearly 10 years’ experience working on commercial scale renewable energy projects across the UK. His experience covers all elements of project development from site identification and commercial negotiations with landowners, through the planning process, including overseeing a number of planning inquiries, to discharge of planning conditions, pre-construction procurement and finance. At CfR Tom has managed the development/acquisition and financing of a number of MW-scale community solar projects. Prior to joining CfR, he spent 5 years managing the development of a portfolio of wind projects totalling in excess of 60MW at Broadview Energy and prior to that worked on wind projects in France, Portugal and Poland. He has experience in procurement, financing raising and lender and acquisition due diligence.

Tom is a director of a number of community energy enterprises CfR has helped to set up and has a BSc (hons) in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter.

Jason Blanchard (Technical Manager)

Jason has experience in the feasibility, technical design, procurement and installation of all renewable energy technologies ranging from domestic and commercial-scale solar PV to biomass boilers. His work has included system design, component level procurement, project management of installation contractors and hands-on installation experience of large scale heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal installations.

Jason has a (MEng) in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter and is working towards gaining Chartered Energy Engineer status with the Energy Institute. He was a Senior Student Ambassador for the University of Exeter. His duties included community outreach in the form of delivering sessions in local schools to raise aspirations and provide inspiration about higher education. He also regularly facilitated events at the university for the local communities and wider public, usually presenting information to large audiences.

Nadia Smith (Project Coordinator)

Nadia has experience in social policy-related research, campaigns and communications. She has developed and managed a social welfare campaign for Citizens Advice Cornwall and provided research support to a criminal defence solicitor. Her skills include project management, stakeholder engagement, IT platform development and communications.

Nadia has a (BA Hons) in Politics and International Relations from the University of Exeter and completed her dissertation on a comparison between African Union and European Union renewable energy policy. She is also planning to study for an MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment. She was elected as social secretary for the FXU Politics Society which involved fundraising, events planning and member engagement.

Sam Reed – Associate Accountant and Financial Modeling (Westerly Chartered Accountants)

Sam qualified as Chartered Accountant with ICAS in 2005, having trained with Ernst and Young within their audit practice before moving to a division of their corporate finance team focusing on renewable energy and waste projects.  More recently he has worked for Mole Valley Farmers as the Financial Controller for their Agri business before forming Westerly Accountancy.  Sam has a wide range of experience in business modelling and helped develop the CFR project model.

CfR non-executive board

Jonathan Johns FCA CF CTA (CfR non-exec Chairman)

Jonathan is a highly experienced corporate finance professional, who has been closely involved in the renewable energy and low carbon sectors for over 20 years. He secured the finance for the first wind farm in the UK, the first community wind project in the UK and a number of other wind, solar and biomass projects. He also developed a Windfarm on his own account prior to its sale. Jonathan was founding partner of the Ernst & Young Global Renewable Energy Group instigating the influential Ernst & Young renewable energy country attractiveness indices. He is experienced in large-scale social enterprise and helped raise the initial finance for the Eden Project. He is a past Treasurer of the predecessor to UK Renewables, the British Wind Energy Association and the Renewable Energy Association and currently serves on the steering group of Transform UK. He is a non-executive director of Regen SW and is on the advisory board of Verus Energy, a biomass developer.

Richard Coombs (non-exec Director)

Richard is chairman of South West Investment Group, a non profit making company which provides funding to businesses across the South West. He also holds a number of other non executive directorships and trusteeships.

For many years Richard was a partner with leading regional law firm Foot Anstey LLP. He specialised in corporate law advice including governance, raising finance and business mergers and acquisitions, and still works part-time for them as a consultant.

Cheryl Hiles (non-exec Director)

Cheryl was one of the founders of CfR and was instrumental in setting up Regen, where she worked for 14 years. She is a specialist in spatial planning, distributed energy and stakeholder engagement.
In June 2017, Cheryl joined Pell Frischmann and assumed responsibility for the company’s energy and environment sector strategy. Before joining Pell Frischmann, Cheryl was an executive director at Regen; a mission led, not for profit consultancy, where she gained 14 years’ experience providing energy policy, investment and strategy guidance to a wide range of clients including local authorities, central government, businesses and utilities.
Cheryl is an economist and geographer by background and is motivated by bringing these two elements together to support the development of low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. She holds an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management where she completed a thesis on the insurance industry’s response to climate change.

Cheryl chairs the Entrepreneurial Women in Renewable Energy network, established by Regen to support the renewable energy sector to harness talent from across the sector.

Merlin Hyman (non-exec Director)

Merlin is the chief executive of Regen SW and was previously director of the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), where he championed the views of the environmental technology and services industry to the government. Merlin has a track record in influencing positive policy for renewable energy, and community energy in particular.

CfR associates

CfR is developing a network of associates with relevant expertise.  If you would be interested in working with CfR please contact Jake Burnyeat.

Jodie Giles (Regen SW – Community engagement advisor)

Jodie is responsible for RegenSW’s community energy support programme. Jodie helps CfR, and the local energy cooperatives we work with, to develop effective community engagement strategies. Jodie has over 9 years’ experience working in community engagement, and joined Regen SW from the Eden Project, where she worked on community resilience, bulk energy buying, neighbourhood planning and social inclusion projects. Jodie has a first class honours degree in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting, is Prince2 certified, and on the Board for Cornwall Collaborative C.I.C.

Chris Elliott (Renewables First Hydro Power Expert)

Chris has worked on hydropower projects across the UK for over a decade, with a focus on the South West of England.  He is based in Ponsworthy on Darmoor. He has designed, installed and operates schemes between a few kW up to many hundreds, as part of his role for Renewables First and formerly Western Renewable Energy.  He has written a textbook on the subject and is an acknowledged expert in Archimedean screw hydropower systems.

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