Juinn Tao

Juinn is a Project Development Manager within AusNet’s Development and Future Networks business. In the role, Juinn is responsible for transforming market and business development opportunities into reality. She works closely with grid scale renewable developers in wind, solar and battery who are seeking to connect onto the transmission network. She also manages cross-functional project teams of engineers, commercial, legal, procurement specialists, delivery partners and suppliers to deliver projects. The connection assets that AusNet builds with its partners contribute toward Australia’s net zero emission targets.

A veteran of 20 years at AusNet, when asked what made her want to join the company Juinn says: “Rather than what made me want to join the company all those years ago, the more pertinent question is what made me stay? Simply, it’s the many opportunities that AusNet has provided. I’ve had a dozen or so roles so far, each one building on the skills and lessons learnt, and then learning some more. Being able to continuously learn, contribute and consolidate the experiences keeps me engaged. The electricity network and its operations are complex and yet runs so smoothly thanks to the many amazing people literally keeping the lights on. I’m very proud to be associated with the company.”

A regular day for Juinn sees her in discussions with developers and project teams identifying their needs and requirements with issues ranging from technical to commercial, pricing to program schedules, social acceptance, land and planning. Once the developers needs are understood, she then sets out coordinating and managing the teams and suppliers to make it happen. For Juinn, she says: “The best part of my job is being able to contribute to renewable energy generation in a sustainable and responsible way and working with a fabulous team. With every job well done, we strengthen our relationships with developers, delivery partners, suppliers, communities, and other important stakeholders

In the years Juinn has been with AusNet she has been exposed to a wide range of roles, from her early start in Finance through to Operations and more recently Renewable Energy Connections. Some of Juinn’s career highlights during her time working in Finance saw her contributing to the AusNet IPO in 2005 and later managing a company restructure in 2015. This provided an opportunity to work with the AusNet Board, executive leadership team and external subject matter experts. Recent highlights in the renewable space include enabling over 4,000 megawatts of renewable generation connections to date in Victoria and New South Wales.

“My contribution in the regulated and unregulated connection space has seen me working with developers, government agencies, distributors, delivery partners and suppliers, giving me a small insight and perspective into what drives decisions and behaviours, and how to achieve our desired outcome and results when the path is not clear. Stepping out of the comfort zone has been a wonderful career and personal growth journey,” says Juinn

Diversity and sustainability are important to Juinn, her involvement in some of AusNet’s diversity and inclusion groups has provided an opportunity to be an advocate and make AusNet a better place to work. In its early days the D&I group created the company’s first quiet room to encourage new mothers to visit and stay engaged with work, provide a space for religious observances and a space for privacy when required.

“Being a member of the current Employee Network Group, I have an avenue to ‘give back’ and contribute to our new diversity targets by trying to equalise opportunities for women, providing tools and support structures. It’s still a long road ahead, but together, we will get there,” says Juinn.

“I share with my kids what I do at work, and when they were younger they would point out an electrical terminal station when we were out driving and say ‘that’s your terminal station Mummy’, not quite kiddos! We visited a wind farm open day where they were so excited that they were able to touch the turbine tower and stand under the huge rotating blades. Just like a lego experience but on a larger scale! It is very important to me that I’m able to provide the kids a balanced view of the realities and challenges of making renewable projects work and how it contributes to net zero emission targets.”

Flexibility is another important matter for Juinn. She says: “Covid lockdowns have normalised flexible working arrangements for most people, but it is a different level when your managers and peers truly accept flexibility, where you don’t feel guilty about not being in the office, being present in mind or fear of being judged. Like many people, my family and I have had a tough year of lockdowns and I’m grateful for the amazing genuine support I’ve had from friends, my Executive General Manager, my line managers and colleagues. Knowing that I can lean on them for anything has helped tide us through a difficult period.”