Pacific Hydro general manager new business Rachel Watson has been appointed as the new chair of the Clean Energy Council.

Ms Watson replaces Infigen Energy’s Miles George, and will be the organisation’s first female chair.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said it was an ideal time to welcome a new chair with the Renewable Energy Target driving many projects in 2017.

“I am looking forward to working with Rachel on many initiatives which will help to make the renewable energy industry’s peak body even stronger, and build our reputation into the future,” Mr Thornton said.

“Rachel has been an active director of the Clean Energy Council board for several years and I am confident that she will bring strong leadership to the role.”

Mr Thornton said the board had a focus on gender diversity, and announced that Megan Wheatley from Senvion and Jenny Paradiso from Suntrix would also join the board as directors.

“They both have extensive experience and unlimited enthusiasm for the growth of the sector,” he said

Mr Thornton called outgoing chair Miles George “a passionate and fearless advocate for our industry”.

“It is hard to imagine anyone providing better industry stewardship than what Miles has delivered while Chair of the Clean Energy Council. We all owe him a great debt and look forward to him continuing to advocate for the industry in other capacities,” he said.

“I also want to thank outgoing director Chris Judd, who has devoted years of service to the organisation and will be missed.”