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Terra Solar Energy Howard Ramsden

Howard Ramsden - Chief Executive Officer

Howard spent most of his working life as an engineer at Eskom; starting his career at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station he then provided training while working in the Electrical Maintenance Department; he later was elected as secretary for the Eskom National DC Committee.

In 1997 Howard represented Eskom at Union of the Electricity Industry – EURELECTRIC, the representative organisation of European Utilities developing consensus on European strategy and policy issues relating to the Electricity Sector, dialoguing with stakeholders and regulators dealing with deregulated, competitive markets and the inclusion of IPPs and RES.

In March 2008 Howard joined Terra Power Solutions as CEO. The company was created to identify and develop new energy efficiency projects with a view to increased use of renewable energy technologies.

Leon Unterslak - Financial Director Terra Solar EnergyLeon Unterslak - Financial Director

Leon  will handle the project finances. Leon graduated with a BCompt Hons in May 1984. During this year Leon completed his articles at Fisher Hoffman Stride and Company as a senior audit manager. Leon was involved in various company listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange including: - Punchline Computers, Fabric Library and Keely Granite. Leon was also Audit Senior of the Russell’s Group, Boymans Holdings and Checkers Group.

In 1989 Leon joined Dave Kruger and Associates to start a forensic auditing company. This company specialised in divorce and insolvency investigations. He was involved in the forensic audits of Anneline Kriel Kursner, and worked for Brian Sacks, Billy Gundelfinger to name a few.

In 1991 Leon joined Mannie Auctioneering Company as the financial director. During this time Leon learned the art of Auctioneering, marketing and sales. Leon was admitted as a member of the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA) and qualified as an Estate Agent. He was instrumental in growing the office furniture divisions of both Mannie Auctioneering and Hugh M Thompson & Co in Durban. He also started 3 Mattress Worlds.

In 1996 Leon left Mannie Auctioneering Company to start a cellphone company in Sandton City. He managed and owned this company until the lease expired in December 2008 and could not be renewed.  During this time he won the top dealer award 8 times and went on 7 incentive trips with Vodacom Cellular Network. He was also awarded the Motorola and Siemens top retailer award in 2005.

In March 2009 Leon joined Terra Power Solutions preparing financial models for wind energy facility and helping TPS to establish a fair feed-in tariff rate.  Since then he under Howard’s guidance has helped in the planning and design and permitting of 7 wind farms two of which will be submitted into the next round of bidding in the RIPPP programme in South Africa and 13 Solar Farm which will be submitted into the same programme on 7 May 2013. Both the wind and solar facilities subscribe to the highest international standards and the projects are held in the highest regard with South African developers. Leon is also involved in the financial modelling of all the projects as well as preparation and maintenance of all the project and company budgets. He is responsible for all the secretarial work on the project companies and TPS and TSE. He is the financial director of TSE, TPS and all 20 Project companies. He is involved in the sell down process of completed projects and looking for potential equity investors.

Dave Rossiter CEO of Geo GroupDavid Rossiter

 Dave joined Natal Tanning Extractors in 1979 and worked as a forester until 1991. During this period Dave was the estate superintendant at three estates and was in charge of silviculture, budgeting and various labour aspects.

In 1991 he joined Frankipile in Johannesburg as a technician doing earth and rock movement monitoring as well as geotechnical drilling. During this period Dave conducted a study course at the Witwatersrand Technicon in civil engineering.

In 1983 Dave together with two of the partners of Terra Monitoring formed a new company called Ground Mechanics. In 1989 he bought out the other two shareholders and changed the name of the company from Ground Mechanics to Geomechanics. Dave built the company from one drilling rig in 1989 to fifty drilling rigs at the end of 2008. In 2006 Dave realised the need to become BEE compliant and started a new business called Geomech Africa with some chosen partners in the Geomechanics business. This business has also flourished.

In 2007 Dave saw the need to service the power shortages in Southern Africa and started Geopower Africa. Geopower Africa’s vision is to supply Southern and Northern Africa with self sufficient energy solutions. Geopower Africa supplies the COELMO brand of generators which are so efficient that they use less fuel and can be considered environmentally friendly. Geopower Africa’s vision is to supply Southern and Northern Africa with self sufficient energy solutions.

During this year Dave decided to address the need for South Africa to reduce its carbon foot print in terms of The Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Kyoto Protocol commits industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities. South Africa is classified as a developing country in terms of the Convention and is not obliged to adhere to the more demanding commitments placed on developed countries (or Annex 1 countries) to the Convention. However, related South African policies such as the policy on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management, place an emphasis on cleaner technology and production, and a shift to sustainable development. This accordingly supports a proactive approach in formulating a climate change policy. In addition, a proactive approach including early mitigation action, adaptation plans and improvement of knowledge may have some advantages, including:

  • Helping to reduce the global problem proactively, giving us more time to prepare for meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets when they are imposed on developing countries.
  • Allowing us to trade the gains profitably with Annex I countries

In order to achieve this objective Dave started:-

a)    Green-A-Planet

Green-A-Planet is committed to planting a million trees. In this way Dave hopes to make a small difference for the future generations. Dave’s commitment is also to provide opportunities to underprivileged communities through various upliftment programmes associated with the protection and creation of forest environments.

b)    Terra Power Solutions

Dave’s ambition when starting Terra Power Solutions is to supply Southern Africa and the rest of the world with renewable and sustainable power. Terra Power will do an installation from small residential developments to large scale wind and solar and hydro parks. Terra Power Solutions is currently involved in the feasibility studies of 6 wind energy facility in South Africa.

Neil van Heek project manager Terra Solar EnergyNeil van Heek - Project Manager

Neil studied at Varsity College and Graduated 2002 with a Certificate in Business Computing. In 2003 Neil completed his International Computer Licence. In 2008 Neil graduated from UNISA with a Bcom Informatics. From 2004 to 2008 he worked for Rob Hare Construction as a Foreman come Project Manager where his duties included the co-ordination and supervision of sub-contractors and employees, resource and material allocations, quality control, deadline targeting, client liaison and site set out. Rob Hare Construction is involved in the housing construction market in South Africa.

From 2008 to 2010 Neil joined Vlaming (Pty) Ltd as a forman, finishing forman and or project manager. Here his duties included full control and running of this Department, coordination and supervision of sub-contractors, resource and material allocations, deadline targeting, client liaison and site set out, project management and compiling reports and feedback.

In 2010 Neil joined Terra Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Terra Solar Energy (Pty) Ltd as the software and project manager. He completed a Windpro course where he was taught how to design a wind farm based on the turbine selection and site wind resources. Neil was given the responsibility of running the software department and the supervision of sub-contractors and the necessary resource allocations. He also supervises deadline targeting, equity sourcing and partner liaisons as well as project pre-feasibility and layouts, project management, team management, compiling reports and feedback. Neil has helped Leon with the design layout and permitting of the 13 Solar Farms which will be submitted in the next round of the RIPPPP programme.