Russell Harris

Russell has spent his career specialising in energy: how it is created, how it is used and the industry that supplies us with gas and electricity.

With qualifications in engineering and business, he brings a unique perspective to help business manage energy costs, energy risk and address energy security concerns. Notably, he has worked on both supply and consumption of energy, and understands the issues from both sides.

Russell started his engineering career at Enersonics, specialising in low-energy building design and maintenance. He developed a thorough understanding of how investment managers decide how to implement upgrades in commercial buildings.

He then moved to Origin Energy and started their energy efficiency consulting business, leading a team of professional engineers to provide advice to large energy users on ways to improve energy productivity, including clients such as Amcor, Telstra and BHP.

In 2004 Russell began work with Solar Systems, a startup solar company in Melbourne. As Commercial Strategy Manager, Russell managed the relationships with new and existing customers most notably Power Water Corporation. Notable achievements included an Engineering Excellence award, and leading a team that secured grant funding of $129M to build a 102MW solar power station in Mildura.

engineering excellence solar systems

Engineering Excellence Awards, Canberra 2005. [L-R] Russell Harris, John Lasich, David Hoadley, Roger Mansfield, Dave Edwards, Jason Penny, Mark Wright

Russell also worked at SunPower Corporation, a major US solar panel manufacturer. He led efforts to develop large-scale commercial solar PV projects, and utility-scale solar PV projects. Achievements included the 400kW solar PV system at New Acton Nishi and the sale of the 1MW Uterne solar power station at Alice Springs to Epuron. The Uterne power station was later expanded to 4.1MW and was commissioned in mid-2015.

In 2014, Russell established Wollemi Consulting to provide support to companies concerned about their rising energy costs and looking for professional consulting advice on what to do about it.

While the business continues to grow, Wollemi has been involved in a number of interesting projects that have delivered real value to clients.


The Wollemi Pine

Wollemi Consulting draws inspiration from the Wollemi Pine. This ancient tree existed more than 200 million years ago, and was thought to be extinct until a living specimen was found in a secluded part of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Even today, it is thought that less than 100 trees exist in the wild.

Today, a dedicated group of enthusiasts work to protect the tree and promote its survival. The exact location of the wild trees is a closely-kept secret, but they have propagated cuttings which can be bought online. You can find out more here.

While Wollemi Consulting is nowhere near as old, nor close to extinction, I’ve always liked the thought of something unknown hidden just beyond the everyday life of a modern city.


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