Former CEO of Airtricity, Dr. O’Connor founded Mainstream Renewable Power in February 2008 and during this time has created a significant pipeline of onshore and offshore windfarm projects in Europe, North America, South America and South Africa. Mainstream was also shortlisted for the “Entrepreneurial Developer of the Year” award at the renewable energy awards ceremony.
Dr. O’Connor is also widely known for his personal commitment to bringing forward the concept of the European Offshore Supergrid – a vision of electricity interconnectivity which has the power and scale to transform the outlook for European energy security. Large-scale grid interconnection has been adopted as EU energy policy, and a number of EU member States are looking closely at the concept as part of their efforts to meet the challenge of the 2020 and 2050 carbon reduction targets.
Commenting at the awards ceremony, Dr. O’Connor said: “The European Offshore Supergrid has the potential to achieve energy independence for Europe as well as reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. I am personally and wholeheartedly committed to realising this potential.”
Now in their sixth year, the Ernst & Young renewable energy awards, dubbed the 'Green Oscars' recognise projects, companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the global renewable energy sector. Dr. O’Connor received the award in recognition of his “vision, leadership and personal commitment to advancing the renewable energy sector”.
Dr. O’Connor was named world energy policy leader by Scientific American magazine in 2003 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from University College Dublin in June 2008. He is currently Secretary of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).