Dana Hull of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Steve Case, former chairman and CEO of AOL, has been added to fuel cell powerhouse Bloom Energy's board of directors, joining VC John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor; and Scott Sandell, a partner at VC firm, NEA. According to Hull's reporting, "It was Powell who first reached out to Case about joining the Bloom board." Case is now chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, an investment firm with stakes in Zipcar and LivingSocial. Bloom's most recent funding source is Exelon, the Chicago-based competitive energy provider, which will seek to finance 21 megawatts of Bloom's fuel cell deployments.
Ygrene Energy Fund, a provider of residential and commercial property-assessed clean energy financing, raised $30 million in growth capital from Virgo Investment Group and appointed Mike Cary, former president of CIT Home Lending, as COO. Cary will manage Ygrene's marketing, origination, underwriting and funding operations.
GMZ Energy, developing high-temperature thermoelectric generation (TEG), named Scott Rackey as VP of business development. GMZ Energy’s TEG systems convert waste heat into usable electricity to improve efficiency in internal combustion engines. The company also recently added Cheryl Diuguid as CEO. GMZ was spun out of MIT with more than $14 million in funding from KPCB, BP Alternative Energy, Mitsui Ventures, I2BF and Energy Technology Ventures, a JV between GE, NRG Energy, and ConocoPhillips. The startup is working on a bismuth-telluride thermovoltaic device that converts heat directly into power via the Seebeck effect, in which a sharp temperature gradient can result in an electric charge.
Canadian Solar named Andrew Wong as an independent director on its board. Wong is currently senior advisor to the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Henderson Land Development, as well as a director of Ace Life Insurance Company and China CITIC Bank Corporation.
American Solar Direct, a residential solar installer in the California market, named Kevin A. Bauer as its president. Kevin has been CFO at the firm since 2013.
David Shaffer has been appointed to the roles of president and COO at battery vendor EnerSys, reporting to John D. Craig, the chairman and CEO. Shaffer is currently serving as president of the firm's Europe, Middle East and Africa business unit, and prior to that, he was president of the company's Asia business.
Platts reports that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member John Norris is "expected to announce that he will be leaving the regulatory agency" this month. Reports have suggested that Colette Honorable, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, may be his replacement. President Obama recently named Cheryl LaFleur as chair of FERC until April 2015; Commissioner Norman Bay will serve as chair after that, according to Platts.
SolarCity continues to draw employees from Vivint Solar. The latest to make the move is Thomas Jones, formerly director of operations at Vivint Solar, who is now director of business intelligence at SolarCity.
SolarCity named Brad Buss as its new CFO, replacing the retiring Bob Kelly. Buss served as Cypress Semiconductor's CFO from August 2005 through June 2014. Before that, he was VP of finance at Altera. Robyn Denholm, CFO of Juniper Networks, has been added to Tesla Motors' board of directors and will assume Brad Buss' committee positions as he joins SolarCity as CFO. Tesla's board includes Elon Musk (chairman and CEO), Ira Ehrenpreis (Technology Partners), and Steve Jurvetson (DFJ).