Our Wind Farm Consultants

Dr. Philip Surman, Chairman

Philip Surman - ChairmanPhilip is a wind power pioneer with over 40 years’ experience in the electricity supply industry. He spent 28 years working for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), including some time as the Head of Renewable Energy.

Philip founded The Energy Workshop and is now our Chairman.

Philip has had a varied career in conventional, nuclear and renewable power generation. This broad experience and technical expertise means that he is able to advise on various aspects of renewables projects.

Philip specialises in a number of the more technical elements of wind farm development. His work on Shadow Flicker has led to him being appointed as an Expert in Shadow Flicker by the “Planning Expert Support Network” managed by The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Centre for Sustainable Energy. In this role, Philip will respond to queries raised by planning officers within Local Planning Authorities.

Philip also delivers DECC-sponsored Advanced Planning Workshops on wind power to local authority Planning Officers and planning Inspectors.

As well as holding a PhD, Philip is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist.

Jake Surman, Director

Jake Surman - Director During the first 5 years of his time with us, Jake worked closely with Philip and received intensive training in all aspects of wind energy development, such as wind technology, policy and industry software. Philip and Jake have worked closely together ever since.

Jake has helped guide the business from a small family business of three consultants to the successful dynamic business with a team of 10 today.

Jake can advise on all elements of wind farm feasibility and design, and he has a particular expertise in wind farm visualisations and the production of photomontages, wireframes and ZTVs (Zones of Theoretical Visibility). Jake’s work has been praised by a number of local authorities for its accuracy and clarity and recommended to other developers as a benchmark for wind farm visualisations.

Jake has also worked with a number of public bodies and industrial clients.

Jake has been involved in over 20 consented wind farm sites throughout the UK and project managing several schemes through to determination.

Tom Surman, Director

Tom Surman - DirectorTom joined us in 2006, following in the footsteps of Jake (his brother) and Philip (his father).

Tom previously spent 5 years working for npower renewables as a wind farm developer in Scotland. During his time in Scotland, Tom was Project Manager for the consented Lochelbank Wind Farm (10MW) and the Over Enoch and Ardoch Wind Farm (6.5MW) and was part of the project team responsible for consenting the now operational Farr Wind Farm (112MW).

Tom is an experienced project developer, with an excellent working knowledge of the planning system (both in England and Scotland). He has proven EIA management, public relations and negotiation skills.

Tom’s experience in working for a large utility further strengthens our offering in EIA project management and planning work.

James Perkins, Director

James Perkins - DirectorJames is a qualified and practising solicitor.

James joined us in September 2007, after spending 6 years working at one of Manchester’s leading commercial law firms. James handles all of our legal business, including Option Lease negotiations. He completed Option Agreements on four projects in his first 12 months at the company.

James can advise our clients on all manner of legal issues, from a quick piece of discrete advice, right through to leading Option Lease negotiations on complicated multi-landowner wind farm projects. James also has experience of managing the planning appeal process. As a solicitor, he is able to instruct Counsel on behalf of clients and steer projects through Planning Inquiry.

Thomas Chappell, Director

Thomas Chappell - DirectorThomas joined us in January 2009, having spent 5 years working at npower renewables in a number of project-related roles.

As a developer, Thomas was responsible for project-managing 5 onshore wind farms with a total capacity of over 100MW. Across this portfolio, he was responsible for all aspects of pre-construction development including site identification, feasibility study, negotiating and securing land agreements, managing multi-disciplinary teams of consultants to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment, managing stakeholders and guiding projects through the planning process and securing grid connection. He consented Novar II wind farm (32MW). Thomas then moved into a post-consent delivery role, which expanded his expertise to include a knowledge of grid connection issues, financial modelling of project economics, turbine procurement negotiation and other tasks necessary for the delivery of an operational wind farm.

Thomas has a broad and a proven expertise in almost every aspect of the pre-construction phase of wind farm projects.

Dan Grierson, Planning Director

Dan Grierson - Planning DirectorDan joined us in April 2010. Dan is a qualified planner and member of The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and he also holds a degree in Environmental Management Practice.

Dan specialises in site identification, the de-risking of proposals, the effective screening and scoping of proposals and the effective and proactive management of the consent process, both up to and following submission.

Dan has worked in the onshore wind sector since 2001 and has played a major role in the delivery of planning consents for over 20 wind energy schemes throughout the UK, including: the Nissan wind turbines and Great Eppleton wind farms in Sunderland, Langley, Holmside, High Hedleyhope, Trimdon, Hare Hill and Broom Hill wind farms in Durham, the Edinbane site on Skye, the Clachan Flats sites in Argyll, the Glenkerie site in the Scottish Borders, the Croda turbine in Hull and a range of sites on behalf of Tesco including the Crick turbine in Northamptonshire.