Joint media release: New CEO appointed to Snowy Hydro Limited

18 January 2023

Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, Minister for Finance, Minister for Woman, Minister for the Public Service

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy


The Albanese Government is pleased to confirm the appointment of Dennis Barnes as the Managing Director of Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL) following the SHL Board’s appointment of Mr Barnes as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Barnes served as CEO of Contact Energy in New Zealand from 2011 to 2020 and brings a wealth of experience to the position.

He will replace Roger Whitby, who has been acting CEO since August 2022, following a comprehensive recruitment process by the Board of SHL. 

SHL has been providing electricity to Australia for more than 70 years and plays a pivotal role in Australia’s energy security through supporting the renewable energy transformation.

Minister for Finance Senator Katy Gallagher welcomed Mr Barnes’ appointment saying: “Mr Barnes will help Snowy Hydro continue its work to build Australia’s largest renewable energy storage project and bolster the grid.

“Dennis has demonstrated strong leadership qualities in the energy sector, including through his tenure as CEO of Contact Energy.”

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said Mr Barnes’ appointment comes at a pivotal time for the organisation.

“The work of Snowy Hydro over the next few years is crucial to Australia’s efforts to reach net zero by 2050 and its operations and strategic direction align with Mr Barnes’ previous experience leading development of renewable energy projects,” Minister Bowen said. 

“He’ll be tasked with overseeing key projects, such as Snowy 2.0, it’s connection with HumeLink and the Hunter Power Project. Snowy Hydro operations are crucial to Australia’s transformation to a cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy system.”

Minister Gallagher and Minister Bowen also thank Mr Whitby for his great work as interim CEO. He will return to his role of Chief Operating Officer when Mr Barnes starts work on Wednesday, 1 February 2023.