Vittoria Bellissimo

President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Clean Energy Career Profile

Ever wonder what it would be like to work as a wind turbine technician, 500 feet in the air? Or to work as a solar farm electrician, harnessing the power of the sun and using it to charge a massive on-site battery system? CanREA’s Clean Energy Career Profiles series asks Canada’s renewable energy and energy storage workers what they do, how they got into this line of work, and what advice they have for others looking to join the renewable energy and energy storage sector.

CanREA spoke with Vittoria Bellissimo, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association to find out more about her occupational journey. 

Name:Vittoria Bellissimo
Job:President and CEO 
Company:Canadian Renewable Energy Association

Career journey 

Vittoria obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Engineering at Queen’s University, and her Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. During her master’s she completed a dissertation on policy mechanisms to support the development of renewable energy projects. Following her education, Vittoria started her career in the renewable-energy industry in procurement at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Since then, she has worked in electricity markets and with large electricity consumers, before returning to renewable energy and energy storage as CanREA’s President and CEO.

A day in the life

In her day-to-day role, Vittoria leads CanREA’s impressive and capable staff, working from coast-to-coast to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions power Canada’s energy future. She also frequently meets with policy-makers, system operators and crown corporations across Canada to provide input on ongoing and future renewables and energy storage procurements. Vittoria supports the Policy team in facilitating CanREA Network meetings and events, helps CanREA’s technical and utility affairs teams provide the information needed to integrate more renewables and energy storage into Canadian electricity systems, and bolsters the Operations team in exploring how CanREA can support the growth of the electricity workforce of the future.

Quick advice 

“Explore internships, career fairs, learning opportunities and training programs that match your interests. There are so many career opportunities available in the renewable energy industry. Talk to people in the industry and ask them about their career journeys—we would be happy to share and help you!”

—Vittoria Bellissimo

Important skills 

  • Data analysis: This involves extracting meaningful insights from various data sources to inform decision-making, assess industry trends and identify opportunities for advancing renewable energy and energy storage initiatives in Canada.
  • Writing: This is essential for drafting reports, proposals and policy documents, as well as for articulating CanREA’s vision and priorities to stakeholders and the public.
  • Public speaking: This involves delivering compelling presentations, participating in panel discussions and effectively conveying key messages to diverse audiences, including policymakers, industry stakeholders and the public.
  • Quick mental math: This enhances efficiency in problem-solving and decision-making processes, particularly in fast-paced environments where rapid responses are required.
  • Facilitating and convening: This skill includes creating agendas, moderating discussions and ensuring productive outcomes from group interactions, ultimately driving progress in the renewable energy and energy storage sector.