Richard Ratcliffe

Group Director | VPE Protection & Projects Lead

Voltex Richard Ratcliffe

Richard has more than 30 years’ of experience in power systems development, commissioning, maintenance, and project management in generation, transmission, and distribution. He holds an AD-Electrical, is a registered HV Auditor, Practicing Project Manager, Cert IV Trainer, and holds a Diploma in Quality Assurance.

His foundation is from his early experiences in Africa, where he worked for Anglo American Corporation – at the sugar mills of Hippo Valley Estates. Richard then combined his skills in Electrical Engineering with Business Transformation / Re-engineering with McKinsey & Company, in a project that saw the organisation drive to reduce operational costs by US$ 250M in realisable savings in 2 years. He applies some of these skills in his roles in the Voltex Group of companies – for the benefit of both our clients and the organisation.

Richard spent most of his mid-career life in the hydro-power stations of NZ’s South Island, such as the Manapouri project, and in Transpower’s substation upgrades and maintenance. Here he gained in the modernisation, testing, commissioning, and maintenance of up to 850 MW hydro-generators, 220kV Transpower transmission network substations and ±350 kV HVDC converters. Richard has also project managed commercial electrical projects for hospitals (Middlemore Auckland NZ) and Westfield shopping malls. He has working experience with most manufacturers and equipment suppliers, including Alstom, ABB, Schneider, SEL, Siemens, and GE.

Since 2010 Richard has managed major projects in IEC61850 power systems modelling, in Australia, Oceania and South-east Asia. Some of the engagements include Newcrest Mining – Lihir Gold Mine, Goro Nickel (New Caledonia), MMG Century Mine, Ok Tedi Mining, Harmony Gold Mine, Exxon Mobil (PNGLNG), Niupower (Oilsearch PNG), Santos GLNG, QGC (as an HV Auditor), Hong Kong Sludge Treatment Facility, Oceana Gold Philippines / New Zealand, PNG Power Ltd and P&O Cruise Ships.

Being able to meet challenges means Richard can mobilise teams to meet the challenges such as in brownfield development and commissioning of a 3-terminal differential scheme (2015), then a 4-terminal differential scheme development and commissioning (2019) implemented for Oilsearch’s (Niupower), ExxonMobil, & PPL’s Port Moresby Power Stations. Richard has successfully led power systems modelling management for large projects on ETAP such as that for Lihir Mine site-wide studies, PPL’s Ramu grid, and various other small to medium scale grids.

The wide experiences he has gained over the last 30 years brings a wealth of confidence so much needed in the ever-evolving power systems industry. Richard and his teams have met the challenges of power systems project management and modelling of renewables projects from 50 MW up to 250 MW. Scope of works has included AEMO compliance requirements from GPS testing – R1 studies to R2 site validation tests. The ability to adapt, manage, innovate and evolve qualifies him as one of Australia’s leading power systems protection engineers, familiar with the technologies required to stabilise power networks.