Our Team

The REF team are all owners and Directors of the company who bring to REF complementary skills, a substantial depth of experience, and a proven capability to deliver high-quality wind farm projects to potential investors in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Peter Lausberg

Peter (Pete) Lausberg is one of the Australian wind industry’s most respected faces. In 2001 Pete helped establish Wind Power Pty Ltd with Executive Director responsibility for project acquisition and planning development. From 2001 until its acquisition by Origin Energy in 2009, Wind Power developed over 800 MW of wind farm projects including Waubra (192 MW), Bald Hills (104 MW) and Stockyard Hill (484 MW).

In 2012 Pete joined other industry colleagues in Melbourne development company Future Energy (FE). Together they developed, funded and constructed Chepstowe wind farm in 2014, and Maroona wind farm in 2017. Later that year German renewable energy company BayWa r e GmbH acquired FE and its portfolio of four wind and one solar farm projects. BayWa has subsequently constructed and sold two of the wind projects, and the other two are currently being built.

From 2017 until recently, Pete has consulted to BayWa as Head of Development and has been responsible for the site identification and development oversight of over 500 MW of Victorian wind projects which are now under development by BayWa.

As REF Development Director, Pete’s responsibilities include the identification of potential wind farm project sites, and coordinating the planning development activities of the team.

David Shapero

When it comes to experience, David (Shep) Shapero can rightly claim a track record few in Australia’s wind industry can equal. A career spanning nearly 20 years has seen David playing key roles in the development and permitting of over half a GW of projects in Victoria. David’s first involvement in the wind energy field was in 2003, and whilst consulting to Wind Power, an enduring close relationship with Peter Lausberg was forged.

In 2005 David founded Future Energy Pty Ltd to develop his own renewable energy projects in Victoria, and in 2008, was joined by Adrian Nelson. Under their stewardship Future Energy became a successful and highly respected wind farm developer. Starting with the Hepburn Community Wind Farm in 2010, the company developed, financed, constructed, and now manages the Chepstowe and Maroona wind farms in Victoria.

In 2015, Future Energy began developing four new Victorian wind projects, and in 2017 this portfolio and the rest of the Future Energy assets were acquired by BayWa r.e. David was invited to head up BayWa’s Australian operations, and as Managing Director until mid 2020, he oversaw the construction of the four Future Energy projects, the sale of the first two, the construction and commissioning of over 200 MW of solar projects, and the establishment of a strong development pipeline for BayWa across Australia’s eastern states.

As Managing Director of REF since late 2020, David’s broad experience is supporting the company’s development activities, while his considerable industry knowledge is helping to set up partnership and investment opportunities for the growing project pipeline.

Adrian Nelson

Early retirement in 2006 from a successful international corporate career provided Adrian with the opportunity to get involved in a personal passion – the expansion of renewable energy in Australia.
A chance meeting in 2008 with founder of wind farm development company Future Energy (FE) David Shapero, began a working relationship and friendship that has endured to this day. As a co-Director of FE, Adrian was able to bring marketing and sales skills to the business as well as ensuring that the organisational basics were compliant, efficient and cost effective.

The FE Directors identified the market gap for sub-10 MW wind farms connected directly to rural 22kV feeders, thereby dramatically reducing grid connection and permit approval timeframes and costs. FE developed the Hepburn wind farm, and developed, funded and constructed Chepstowe and Maroona wind farms before the sale of FE to BayWa. Apart from his involvement in REF, Adrian currently asset manages these two wind farms on behalf of their investor-owners.

As Executive Director of REF, Adrian ensures thoroughness in strategic decision making and oversight of legal matters, as well as maintaining tight control over the company’s compliance and administration obligations.

Severin Staalesen

Very few people in Australia can claim to have held a key management role in all aspects of the development and construction of five wind farms. Severin (Sev) has built up that expertise over 13 years in the wind farm industry.

Armed with an Honours Degree in Arts and an Honours Degree in Civil Engineering from Monash University, Sev joined Future Energy (FE) in 2007 as a Wind Farm Planner. In 2009 Sev was appointed Project Manager to coordinate the development of the Hepburn wind farm, and subsequently Chepstowe and Maroona.

In 2017 Sev was invited to join BayWa as Senior Project Manager to oversee the construction of the Yawong and Timboon wind farms. He was also responsible for the final stages of development and subsequent tendering and contract negotiation for the Ferguson and Diapur Wind Farms, both of which are currently under construction.

In 2019 Sev resigned from BayWa to commence a PhD in Philosophy at Monash University, however his passion for renewable energy has prompted him to rejoin former colleagues as a Project Director at REF.

Peter Higgins

Every energy development company needs a strong in-house engineering capability with a detailed understanding of the electricity grid and the equipment that each wind farm requires. In REF that role is filled by Peter (Higgo) Higgins.

Peter holds a qualification in Mechanical Engineering and an Honours Degree in Mechatronics Engineering and was recognised as one of the top students of his year. He brings to REF experience in small-scale infrastructure project management, wind turbine maintenance, and programming skills in data acquisition and SCADA networks.

Coincidentally, Peter has a regional farming heritage deeply rooted in Western Victoria, and his knowledge and understanding of the relationships of landowners and communities across the region has proved invaluable in the early stages of project planning.

In 2012 Peter started consulting to Future Energy as part of the wind farm development group, and joined FE full time in 2016 and then moved over to BayWa. Being based in Geelong, and with many other interests to pursue, Peter left BayWa in 2019 but has continued to provide engineering services in a consulting role until recently.

As a Project Director at REF, Peter is leading the development of several of the larger pipeline projects, and is REF’s key contact point with AEMO and the local NSPs in the coordination of grid studies and connection applications.