WA Energy Awards 2022 winners

The Australian Institute of Energy’s (AIE) Perth branch, together with the City of Perth, has announced the 2022 winners of the WA Energy Awards.

Established in 2017, the awards recognise individuals and organisations working to build a world-class energy industry as well as celebrating the successes of individuals and companies in the Western Australia energy sector.

Western Australia Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston, gave a keynote address where he highlighted the significant changes in the energy sector and the challenges being faced with the uptake of renewable energy and the desire to decarbonise.

Mr Johnston emphasised the importance of talented people in the energy transformation and the contribution the award nominees are making in this process.

Five awards were presented by Mr Johnston:

  • Women in Energy – Neetika Kapani
  • Diversity in Energy – Western Power
  • Young Energy Leader Sanket Wankhede
  • Energy Professional Teresa Smit 
  • Energy Innovation Hazer Group

Neetika Kapani – Women in Energy Award
As the Chairperson of Women in Energy, Ms Kapani has led and supported many events that showcase issues, industry developments, and women who are changing the energy industry. 

Ms Kapani has increased gender diversity within her team and has led AEMO’s mentoring program for women, working to increase women’s confidence and organisational visibility to provide career development opportunities and empowerment to women. 

Western Power – Advancing Diversity in Energy Award
In 2016, Western Power began work to ensure its workforce better reflected the diversity of Western Australia’s community. It has set diversity expectations; ensured measurement of progress; provided support networks and delivered training, systems, and resources for leaders in inclusion and diversity. 

Western Power supports First Nations Australians and recognises their contribution to the community through a range of initiatives, including delivering a Reconciliation Action Plan, increasing Aboriginal procurement, Aboriginal art, and naming as part of its Depot Modernisation program. 

Additionally, Western Power delivers a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship and supports organisations seeking to improve education and employment for young First Nations people.

Sanket Wankhede – Young Energy Leader of the Year
Mr Wankhede is a Project Engineer in the Distributed Energy Resources team at Synergy whose accomplishments include leading the engineering design, installation, and commissioning process for the Onslow DER project. 

Mr Wankhede passionately demonstrates how batteries, rooftop solar, and large appliances can be coordinated into Virtual Power Plants to participate in network and market services. 

Hazer Group – Energy Innovation of the Year Award
The Hydrogen and Zero Emissions Research ‘Hazer’ process is based on thermocatalytic methane decomposition, effectively converting methane in natural gas or biogas into hydrogen and graphite. 

The low-emissions process captures carbon in gas feedstock as a saleable graphite by-product, rather than waste carbon dioxide. It can be said that Hazer has developed an inherent form of carbon capture and utilisation/storage.

Teresa Smit – Energy Professional of the Year Award
As Group Manager of WA Operations, Ms Smit oversees AEMO’s operations in Western Australia, including managing the power system and the energy market, as well as the Gas Bulletin Board. 

Ms Smit has led engineering and technical teams responsible for short-medium term planning for the SWIS, including development of a unique frequency stability power system model as well as personally contributing to significant industry projects, including work programs to manage the technical challenges of reducing system load and longer-term planning through the Whole of System Plan. 

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