Richard Swanson received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1974. In 1976, Swanson joined the faculty at Stanford University where he and his group conceived and developed the point-contact solar cell. Laboratory versions of these cells achieved a record 28 percent conversion efficiency in concentrator cells and 23 percent large-area one-sun cells. In 1991, Swanson resigned from his faculty position to devote full time to SunPower Corporation, a company he founded to develop and commercialize cost-effective photovoltaic power systems. Swanson currently serves as its president emeritus. Along with his students and co-workers, Swanson has published more than 200 articles in journals and conference proceedings, as well as several book chapters. In 2002, Swanson received the William R. Cherry award by the IEEE for outstanding contributions to the photovoltaic field, and in 2006 he was awarded the Becquerel Prize in Photovoltaics from the European Communities. Most recently, Swanson received the Economist’s Innovation Award for Energy and Environment.
Fong Wan is Senior Vice President, Energy Procurement, for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and is responsible for gas and electric supply planning and policies, wholesale market design, quantitative analysis, power plant development, commodity procurement and settlements.
Wan joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 1988 as a financial analyst and spent six years in the Financial Planning and Analysis organization. He served as director in the Gas Supply and Electric Transmission business units before moving in 1997 to PG&E Energy Trading, an unregulated subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, where he served as Vice President, Structured Transactions.
In 2000, Wan moved to PG&E Corporation and served for four years as Vice President, Risk Initiatives. He was named Vice President, Power Contracts and Electric Resource Development at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2004 and Vice President, Energy Procurement in January 2006. He was promoted to his current position in 2008.
Wan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Jurgen W. Krehnke is the president and general manager of SMA America and president of SMA Canada, the North American divisions of global solar technology giant SMA Solar Technology AG. In these roles, Krehnke is responsible for all sales, marketing, finance, logistics, and service in the North and Central American regions.
A native of Hamburg, Germany, Krehnke earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. After starting his career as an integrated circuit designer for Dutch electronics giant Philips Electronics, Krehnke accepted an opportunity in 1994 to move to the U.S. He quickly took on management roles within Philips, leading him to run businesses and startup activities in the U.S. and Europe. When Philips spun out its semiconductor division (now privately owned as NXP) in 2007, he took the opportunity to become the chief marketing officer of Silicon Valley-based IntellaSys, where he was responsible for the commercial launch of its revolutionary high-performance, low-power parallel computing platform. Krehnke brings a unique global view of product development and deployment, as well as an intricate understanding of how solar inverters currently integrate with public utility grids in both Europe and the U.S., the challenges PV has faced and future steps needed to foster widespread domestic adoption.
SMA is the world leader in solar inverter technology and manufacturing with subsidiaries on four continents and takes pride in a product range of inverters compatible with any module and power class, for grid-tied as well as off-grid and backup applications.
Reyaz A. Ahmad is Chief Investment Officer, Climate Change at the IFC Asset Management Company, with responsibility for Climate Funds.
Reyaz joined IFC in 1987 in the Energy Unit, where he worked on oil and gas projects in South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and East Asia. From 1992 through 1999, he worked in IFC’s Corporate Finance Services Department, focusing on privatization transactions mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. He was appointed Division Manager in that group in 1997. In 2000 Reyaz took an external assignment in San Francisco, as Vice-President, Strategy of Softbank Emerging Markets, a Venture Capital fund set up as a joint venture between Softbank Corporation of Japan and IFC. He returned to IFC in 2002 as Division Manager in IFC’s Global Information & Communication Technologies Department, transferring to the Global Manufacturing and Services Department in 2003, where through August 2010 he headed the sector team responsible globally for IFC’s investments in solar, wind and other renewables supply chains, as well as for energy-efficient machinery and transport equipment.
Reyaz, a Netherlands national, graduated from Queens’ College, Cambridge University with a degree in Engineering and Economics. He worked for the Boston Consulting Group before receiving his MBA from INSEAD in 1982. Following a short stint of research and teaching at INSEAD, he joined Courtaulds PLC and subsequently worked at SG Warburg Securities until 1987.
Gregory Ashley serves as vice president and chief operating officer of Solar Frontier in the United States. He oversees sales and marketing for Solar Frontier in the Americas and is responsible for commercializing a breakthrough thin-film solar module in one of the most dynamic global markets.
Ashley brings nearly thirty years of experience in the energy sector, and served most recently as president of the U.S. market for Canadian Solar. In that role, he built a national sales team and launched the marketing and financing programs for the region. In addition to directing sales and marketing efforts within the U.S., he supported global emerging markets.
Ashley is a nationally known authority on alternative power generation, power quality and energy efficiency. Before joining Canadian Solar, he was senior manager of strategic business development for Sun Edison, where he helped build the company to its current position as North America’s leader in solar energy services. Ashley developed the company’s strategic plans, business practices and founding solar projects.
Ashley began his career in the solar energy field in the early 1980s, and later held positions in sales and business development for several of the nation’s largest energy equipment and services providers, including Johnson Controls, Westinghouse and Heliodyne Solar. He brings expertise on utility smart grid solutions, utility-integrated distributed generation, power purchase agreements and demand side management to his work developing the U.S. solar market.
Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Davis
Andrew joined Suntech in the fall of 2008 when his company, EI Solutions was acquired by Suntech Power Holdings. Previous to the acquisition, Andrew grew EI Solutions from a 3-person installer to a major regional player supporting customers such as Google, Disney, Sony Pictures, and British Telecom. The 2MW installation at Google's world headquarters is the largest corporate installation in US history. Andrew has been honored for his work by groups like Global Green, and the California League of Conservation Voters with its "Environmental Leadership" Award. Before leading EI Solutions, Andrew helped found the high-concentration PV company, Energy Innovations with Bill Gross at Idealab in 2002.
Previously, Andrew was a partner with the clean-tech consulting firm Clean Edge, where he served as an advisor to investors and early-stage companies working on a range of renewable technologies including solar, wind power, hydrogen and biomass.
In 1998, Andrew co-founded Bigstep, one of the world's first small business e-commerce solutions available online. As CEO, Andrew led the company in building an award-winning service, raising over $60 million from top-tier venture firms, hiring over 150 talented employees, and developing partnerships with such leading companies as AOL, VeriSign, Oxygen and Compaq. After achieving profitability with over 9,000 paying customers, Bigstep was acquired by Affinity Internet, Inc.
Andrew has served on the boards of the Clean Economy Network, Global Green and The Apollo Alliance. He is one of the founders of the CEO Council for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). He is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a BA in Government.
Raghu Belur has 15 years of experience in engineering and engineering management. He started his career at the Indian Institute of Science where he worked on a team developing an alternative energy gasification system. He was an early engineer at Cerent where he was responsible for the development of the optical 2.5Gig interface for the Cerent-454 ADM. Cerent was subsequently acquired by Cisco for $7 Billion. At Cisco, Raghu was managing the team developing the 10Gig interface products for the ONS-15454. He co-founded Enphase Energy Inc. with Mr. Fornage in March of 2006. Raghu has a MSEE from Texas A&M University.
Mr. John Berdner is the General Manager, North America for SolarEdge. Mr. Berdner has over 27 years experience in photovoltaic system technology and design. For the last 15 years he has been actively involved in US Standards development and regulatory compliance issues. During the last 12 years he has focused primarily on photovoltaic power conversion technology. He has written multiple papers on photovoltaic power conversion and is a frequent contributing author to Solar Pro magazine.
Mr. Berdner holds a BSME from the University of California at Davis with special emphasis in energy systems.
Ben Bierman currently serves as Executive Vice President, Operations and Engineering. He is responsible for worldwide engineering and operations at Solyndra, including the DOE supported $700 million Fab 2 expansion project. Since he joined the company in August, 2006, Solyndra has produced over 16 million modules and shipped over 65 MW of solar panels and expanded the Fremont, California campus to more than one million square feet.
Prior to joining Solyndra, Mr. Bierman served as the Vice President-Business Management of Coherent, Inc., a laser and laser systems manufacturing company from 2005 until 2006. Mr. Bierman served as Managing Director at Lam Research Corporation, a semiconductor manufacturing equipment company, from 2003 to 2005. Previously, during an eight-year tenure at Applied Materials, Inc. Mr. Bierman served as Director of Engineering and Technology, and Managing Director of two product units.
Travis Bradford founded the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit organization focused on harnessing the power of the business sector to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions in technologies, including energy, water, food, and recycling. Bradford also founded Atlas Capital Investments, LP, a global hedge fund dedicated to investing in sustainable technology companies in energy, water, food, and materials. Previously, he has served as a deal partner at Steel Partners II, LLC, in New York; deal principal at the Holding Capital Group in New York; and statistical and financial analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta.
Since 2008, Bradford has been a professor of renewable energy for MBA students at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and has lectured on finance, entrepreneurship, and alternative energy economics to a wide audience including many of the world’s top institutions. His published works include Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry, published by the MIT Press.
Bradford earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Georgia State University in 1992 and an MBA in 1996 from the NYU Stern School of Business with distinction in finance, management, and international business. In 2006, he received a master's degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Mit Buchanan is one of 20 professionals who originate, structure and execute energy investments at JPMorgan Capital Corporation. Since 2003 that team has been responsible for approximately $6.7 billion of tax equity for over 6,700 megawatts of wind power in 67 wind farms representing an approximate market share of 45%. In addition, the team recently closed 53 MW of geothermal projects. With respect to solar, Ms. Buchanan led the transaction team which was the lead investor for the largest solar transaction ($266MM) in the U.S. in 18 years and recently closed a distributed generation portfolio which results in a $60 MM investment. The team is also actively pursuing similar investments in biomass projects. She has been with JPMorgan and its predecessor companies since 1987.
Mit is a frequent panelist and speaker for a variety of organizations in the renewable energy industry. Ms. Buchanan completed her MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and has an AB in Economics from Duke University.
Mark Chen is Director of Marketing at Abound Solar, where he is responsible for corporate marketing, strategic development, and product management. Prior to Abound Solar, he was a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on strategic and operational issues for semiconductor and telecommunications clients. Mr. Chen holds bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ken is a Product Manager for the Solaron utility-scale inverter product line at Advanced Energy. Prior to joining Advanced Energy, Ken was with Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies for 20 years in a variety of leadership positions including Business Operations Management, Product Management, and Engineering Management. Mr. Christensen holds Master and Bachelor degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Iowa State University.
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of solar power and is a widely recognized solar power expert. Mr. Cinnamon started his career in solar energy in the late 1970’s as a researcher into new flat plate and concentrating collector designs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he designed and installed active solar, passive solar and ground coupled heat pump systems.
Mr. Cinnamon’s work in solar power computer modeling led him into the software industry, where he served as CEO of Software Publishing Corporation, and founded Allegro New Media a multimedia software publisher, which he led to an IPO in 1995. He resumed his solar career in 2001 when he began installing rooftop solar power systems in California. His work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems has led to over 25 issued or applied for patents held by Westinghouse Solar.
Mr. Cinnamon earned a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA degree in Marketing from Wharton. He is a NABCEP Certified Solar Installer, a licensed California C-46 Solar Contractor, an active member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a member of the Board of Directors of the California Solar Energy Industry Association, Vice Chair of the Solar Energy Industries Association PV Division, and a Senior Fellow of ALF - American Leadership Forum, Silicon Valley.
Chris Constantine is currently Director of New Technologies within the Solar Segment of Oerlikon Corporation, a Swiss Technology Conglomerate.
Chris graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Fordham University in New York, completing a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the City University of New York (C.C.N.Y.) and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.
Chris has worked within the Semiconductor Industry for 20+ years and was the Chief Technical Officer of Oerlikon Wafer Process Group and Head of Oerlikon USA before moving to the Solar Industry.
Chris joined the Oerlikon Solar Team 3+ years ago and assumes an increasingly active role within the New Technology Development area. He is currently responsible for evaluating all Next Generation Thin Film and Wafer based Photovoltaic technology as well as the development of Strategic Innovation and Technology Roadmaps.
Mr. Cravalho is responsible for marketing, product management and business development at Innovalight. He brings to the company a passion for solar energy and a rich history of commercializing innovative technologies.
Prior to joining Innovalight in 2007, Mr. Cravalho was responsible for product management at the thin-film solar start-up Miasole. Mr. Cravalho spent the first seven years of his career at Applied Materials where he managed engineering and commercialization teams in the design, development and commercial launch of automated material handling equipment.
Mr. Cravalho received his Masters in Management and Engineering from the Sloan School of Business and the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ben Cook is responsible for originating and structuring financing for SolarCity's residential and commercial solar projects. Ben joined SolarCity with more than fifteen years of experience in energy project financing and development for solar and traditional energy projects. Prior to SolarCity, Ben was vice president of finance at Recurrent Energy, a distributed utility-scale solar project developer. Prior to Recurrent, he served as director of structured finance and business development in SunPower Corporation's systems division. Prior to SunPower, Ben developed and financed projects for Bechtel Enterprises, the project finance and project development group of the Bechtel construction group. Earlier in his career, Ben started and ran SELCO, a solar power developer, financier, and operator focused on emerging markets. Ben holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and bachelors degrees in physics and economics from the University of Virginia.
As General Manager of North America, Tim Derrick manages SunEdison project development businesses in utility scale and distributed generation, as well as operations and maintenance of SunEdison's global project portfolio.
Derrick was previously the CEO and Co-Founder of Axio Power, a PV utility scale development company in the US and Canada, which was acquired by SunEdison in June 2011. Tim previously worked in wind and solar project development at Enron Wind, General Electric, and 3 Phases Energy.
He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Arno Harris is the CEO of Recurrent Energy, a leading solar project developer and generating company. As the primary global development platform for Sharp Corporation worldwide, Recurrent Energy is helping our world find a more sustainable way to meet its energy needs. Prior to Recurrent Energy, Arno was general manager of EI Solutions, serving large-scale commercial and government solar customers. EI Solutions was formed when Arno sold his pioneering solar business, Prevalent Power, to Energy Innovations. Arno's previous experience includes founder and leadership roles for high tech startups. His background combines marketing, business development, and consulting with experience serving such clients as Berlex, Toyota Motor Sales USA, GlaxoWellcome, MCI, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Nikon Precision, IKEA International and NBC Digital Publishing. Arno writes about solar and renewable energy on his blog Clean Energy Future.
Nancy Hartsoch is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for SolFocus, with responsibility for global marketing as well as business and market development. She joined SolFocus in 2006 when the company had just begun manufacturing early prototypes. Since that time she has led the development of SolFocus’ leadership position in the CPV market, and its global footprint of product deployment. Nancy also led the formation of the CPV Consortium, a global industry organization founded in 2008, to facilitate the proliferation of CPV technology. She is on the Board of Directors of that organization, and has served as its Chairperson for three years. Prior to joining SolFocus Nancy was CEO of Pacific Technology Group which she co-founded in partnership with Taiwan-based Acer Labs Inc. to provide marketing, sales and applications engineering to launch an existing product line into the global market. Her 25 years of technology experience includes five years as COO and VP of Marketing and Sales for Acer Labs, Director of Marketing for Appian, and six years running her own marketing consulting business. She has an MBA and a BA from San Jose State University.
Mr. Hogan is Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Spire Solar Division of Spire Corporation. He has worked in photovoltaic processes and equipment for over 30 years. He has been involved in the development of new processes and equipment for solar module production and responsible for the establishment of numerous photovoltaic production facilities around the world during his 25 years of employment at Spire. Prior to joining Spire Corporation, he was a member of the technical staff of the Solar Energy Research Institute, now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in Golden, CO. Mr. Hogan serves on the Board of Directors for the Solar Energy Industries Association, and is a member of ASTM Committee E-44 on Renewable Energy. He is active in domestic and international standards organizations dealing with photovoltaic energy.
Danny Kennedy is a passionate activist, successful cleantech entrepreneur and recognized opinion leader on global environmental issues. Kennedy’s accomplishments in the cleantech sector have earned him numerous awards, including “Innovator of the Year,” from PBS program, Planet Forward, for pioneering an easy-to-access and affordable residential solar solution. The process, which Kennedy refers to as “Sunshine online,” harnesses the power of the Internet by using satellite images and aerial photography to assess rooftops remotely and deliver an online solar quote (or iQuote) within 24 hours and is used by the solar company he founded, Sungevity® Inc.
Alan King, General Manager for the United States Division of Canadian Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), is responsible for leading the U.S. organization including development of the U.S. sales strategy, overseeing its implementation, managing operations and contributing to the country organization’s critical path of success through his industry experience and leadership.
Prior to joining Canadian Solar, Mr. King worked for almost a decade with Evergreen Solar, Inc. as the Americas Sales Director managing OEM and development and sales for distributors, dealers and the utility market. He was responsible for managing more than a billion dollars’ worth of long-term contracts with both domestic and international integrators and distributors. He also developed a channel marketing strategy leading to more than $100 million in sales. Mr. King has established sales networks and developed consistent pipelines driving sales volumes of over $200 million. He has a long history in sales and business development working in several privately held companies in the equipment and industrial automation industries, as well as the solar industry.
Mr. King has hands-on experience with U.S. solar policy on both a national and state level and is actively involved as a member of the Solar Alliance and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). He was also a board member of the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE). Mr. King is a sought-after speaker on solar industry trends and global markets, and has presented at a variety of tradeshows and conferences, including Intersolar North America and the Distributed Solar Summit.
Mr. Latham is Vice President, Development for NRG Solar LLC. He has been in this position for the past year, helping to lead NRG Solar’s Greenfield development and M&A activities. Previously, he supported NRG’s solar development efforts on a contract basis, and ran his own energy consulting firm, Kaltech, Inc. At Kaltech, one of Mr. Latham’s primary clients was Solel, a leading solar thermal company. His responsibilities at Solel included project development for Solel’s solar projects in California and other states, as well as working with the business development team to support other developers with their CSP development efforts. Before that, Mr. Latham worked for Sempra Generation as part of their development team, overseeing permitting for a wide variety of energy projects. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
As Vice President of Research and Development at Suniva, Bruce and his team of scientists are responsible for successfully advancing the ARTisun® Series of monocrystalline cells. The team's impressive 20% cell efficiency results are being incrementally deployed into manufacturing, using low-risk steps that maintain low manufacturing costs. Working closely with Dr. Steve Shea, Chief Engineering Officer, Bruce transitions ideas from the R&D lab environment into full-scale, viable manufacturing. Together, Suniva's R&D and manufacturing teams have recently added more than 1% cell efficiency gains without adding any new manufacturing processes.
Bruce is the co-author of several advanced cell structure patent applications that are currently in progress. Prior to joining Suniva, Bruce was Vice President of Strategy/Product for Tradex, which was acquired by Ariba; he held a similar position with DWL, which was purchased by IBM. Bruce's career also includes management roles in research and development, product management and strategic planning.
Mr. Morgan began his energy career with over 14 years at the AES Corporation, helping it become one of the leading independent power producers in the world. At AES, he developed greenfield projects, led a number of mergers and acquisitions in North America and internationally, and served as CEO for one of Latin America’s largest publicly traded power companies—AES Gener.
In March 2004, Mr. Morgan co-founded Agile Energy LLC with Glen Davis, providing development and consulting services to the independent power industry. Today’s company, Agile Energy, Inc., builds upon the foundation and track record established by Agile Energy LLC. Mr. Morgan served as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Ausra, Inc. from 2007 to 2008.
Mr. Morgan holds an MS in Engineering Economic Systems and a BA in Economics from Stanford University and is currently on the Board of Directors of Grid-Net, Inc.
Mr. Robert Muhn has a MBA from Pepperdine University and a BS in Engineering from the University of Colorado. He has spent the past 30 years in the renewable energy field, mostly in the photovoltaic industry. He has held various sales, marketing and business development management positions, based in the USA, Europe and South America. Prior to joining Trina Solar, he was the General Manager of Sales at SoloPower and was mainly responsible for bringing a new CIGS thin film solar technology to market, including defining addressable markets for their unique product characteristics. Before that, he was the General Manager of Sales at Kyocera Solar, responsible for sales to the grid-connected, off-grid industrial and rural electrification markets in the Americas and Australia, significantly growing each. Previously, Mr. Muhn helped AstroPower expand their sales worldwide and co-managed a manufacturing and sales joint venture with Atersa in Spain. He worked for Siemens Solar / ARCO Solar where he was responsible with bringing new solar technologies and products to market, as well as setting up and managing their Latin America business operations.
Bruce Norman is the General Manager of GE’s Solar business, where he oversees the development of new technologies. Bruce has over 25 years experience in technology development within the Energy and Aerospace fields, included managing an Energy venture capital fund where he selected and drove high payback, big bet development programs; making significant investments in Solar.
Prior to accepting his current role, Bruce held several management positions within GE. Most recently, Bruce was the General Manager of Controls Product Management for GE Energy where he drove the strategy, execution and growth of the Controls and Power Conversion product lines. Other roles include: Chief Engineer of Controls for Energy and Energy Business Program Manager for GE's Global Research Center where he was responsible for their research in Energy and Oil and Gas.
Throughout his tenure with GE, Bruce has been recognized for his significant achievements including being named the first recipient of the General Electric Edison Award for Energy, The Outstanding Technical Contribution Award and The Outstanding Young Engineer Award.
Bruce holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bruce is also a graduate of the "ABC" Course and is a certified Master Black Belt. He currently lives in Burnt Hills, NY with his wife Cheryl.
Won Park is a senior manager of North American marketing and business development for First Solar. Based in San Francisco, California, Mr. Park is responsible for defining and developing the marketing strategy for First Solar’s utility systems business. Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Park served in management roles at Pacific Gas and Electric Company and IBM. Mr. Park holds a degree in Chemistry from Harvard University and an MBA from the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business.
Mr. Robert Petrina is the Managing Director for Yingli Green Energy Americas, Yingli's wholly owned subsidiary. Mr. Petrina has more than 10 years of experience in international business development and entered the solar sector in 1998 when he spent time with Atersa (currently Elecnor, S.A.) in Madrid and Valencia, Spain. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Petrina worked at Chori America, Inc. where he was responsible for Mitsubishi's product sales in Latin and South America. Mr. Petrina has focused on the solar sector exclusively since 2002 when he worked at AstroPower, Inc. for two years, where he was responsible for the company's silicon sourcing in Asia, Europe and North America. Prior to joining Yingli in 2007, Mr. Petrina was responsible for global silicon procurement during his time at General Electric's Solar Technologies business unit. Mr. Petrina received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and Management and his master's degree in Business Administration from Cornell University where he was a Park Fellow.
Helen Priest is Director of PG&E’s IDSM Emerging Markets team. Helen’s team is responsible for exploring emerging demand-side technologies and service offerings and introducing these capabilities into PG& E’s product portfolio. Currently, Ms. Priest’s team covers customer generation, demand response, dynamic pricing program implementation, new information products/services, home area networks, and energy storage.
Ms. Priest joined PG&E in 2010 after gaining broad experience in the Cleantech field. As well as previously being at a Silicon Valley- based venture capital firm, she has consulted for a range of cleantech clients and has been in a range of senior management roles at two innovative energy utilities in New Zealand. Ms. Priest was the Head of Corporate Venturing for Meridian Energy - the largest integrated utility in New Zealand and one of the world’s largest 100 % renewable energy companies – and both a Strategy Manager and IT Planning Manager at Transpower, owner and operator of New Zealand’s national grid.
Ms. Priest earned her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Canterbury.
Jessica is responsible for Regulatory and Compliance for Southern California Edison’s (SCE) utility owned Solar Photovoltaic Program (SPVP). Prior to joining SPVP she facilitated the Wholsale Energy Procurement process and associated Regulatory and Compliance activities in SCE's Energy Supply and Management group. At Edison International, she managed the public outreach activities for solar project development. Jessica holds Master and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration from California State University Dominguez Hills.
Boris Schubert comes to Q-Cells North America with over ten years of experience in the photovoltaic and utility industries. As Chief Operating Officer he is responsible for Q-Cells’ systems business, which includes project development, engineering, installation, and plant operations. Prior to joining Q-Cells, Mr. Schubert worked as a management consultant for Accenture where he served Utilities and Commercial clients within the Utilities Operating Group.
He received his MBA from the University of Augsburg and has a graduate degree in Industrial Engineering.
Peter Shannon joined Firelake Capital Management as a Partner in 2010. He is focused on early stage investments in renewable energy, technologies improving use and delivery of natural resources, and other innovations on mature industries.
From 2005 until joining Firelake, Peter was a Principal at Atlas Venture, where he focused on solar, grid-scale energy storage, industrial energy efficiency, solid state data storage, and related software investments. Over his time at Atlas, he served as an observer on the boards of Advanced Electron Beams, Simple Tuition, MiaSolè, Songbird, Active Endpoints, Pixtronix, and Lilliputian Systems.
Before joining Atlas Venture, Peter was an MBA student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and prior to that was Vice President of Technology at Browz Group, a company he invested in and advised throughout start-up. Browz Group provides large customers in power generation, chemical, mining, and other heavy industries with on-line supply chain verification services, to help them and their suppliers exchange compliance-related information in an effort to mitigate risk.
Peter's experience in software design and management in startups began while an undergraduate, when he co-founded Eye Response, Inc., a company that pioneered computer eye tracking systems. He authored a U.S. Patent and drove commercialization of the technology for applications in healthcare as communication aid for quadriplegics, as well as broader consumer applications as an augmentation to the computer mouse. Eye Response was acquired by DynaVox in 2009.
Peter holds an MBA, with High Honors, from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business and a BS, with Distinction, in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Peter Shannon joined Firelake Capital Management as a Partner in 2010. He is focused on early stage investments in renewable energy, technologies improving use and delivery of natural resources, and other innovations applied to mature industries.
Mr. Smith has held senior executive positions in a number of successful energy development and technology companies including those that develop solar and wind energy projects as well as natural gas and biomass-fired electricity generating facilities. In the last twenty years, Mr. Smith has actively managed the successful development, acquisition, financing and construction of more than forty power generation facilities in the US and internationally with total capital costs of more than $4.5 billion and long-term electricity sales contracts approaching $50 billion. This includes projects located in the United States and more than a dozen countries around the world including the successful development and construction of projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Mr. Smith has led numerous private equity financing activities for three different startup companies - raising more than $450 million in development funding. Prior to joining SolarReserve, Mr. Smith was Senior Vice President of Development at Invenergy LLC where he led the development of Invenergy Wind from a startup stage in 2004 to one of the largest privately owned renewable energy businesses in the world just three years later with more than $2.0 billion of projects in operation and construction.
Prior to Invenergy, Mr. Smith was President of Insight Energy, Inc., was Chief Operating Officer of London-based Rolls-Royce Power Ventures, and was General Manager & Vice President of Indeck Energy. At Rolls-Royce Power Ventures Mr. Smith led the aggressive growth of this start up group into one of the leaders in the international development of industrial power projects while building an international team and building projects in ten countries.
Mr. Smith earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed Professional Engineer. In October of 2008, Mr. Smith received the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer Award from Purdue University.
Tom Starrs is managing director of the North America utility business unit. He manages business development and strategic planning for SunPower's utility sector business, including the growth and management of the project pipeline. Starrs has been highly committed to the renewable energy sector virtually all of his professional life. Most recently, Starrs served as managing director of solar power for Iberdrola Renewables, where he led the acquisition of a portfolio of nearly 150,000 acres of right-of-way applications for solar power development on federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, representing nearly 24,000 MW of solar generating potential. Starrs holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley's energy and resources program, a J.D. from the University of California's School of Law (Boalt Hall), and a B.A. in economics and environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
With a decade of experience in venture capital, Erik has been a catalyst for Cleantech in Silicon Valley and abroad. He leads MDV's Cleantech investment team and applies his expertise in areas of solar, biofuels, energy storage, industrial biotech and clean coal.
Prior to MDV Erik worked at Interval Research Corp., a technology incubator funded by Paul Allen, and at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a technical staff member. He also consulted to several seed and early stage venture capital firms.
While pursuing a PhD in engineering at Stanford, Erik led an interdisciplinary project between the electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering departments to develop a next-generation monitoring system for critical facilities. He holds a U.S. patent from his research work.
Erik serves on the advisory council of the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, as well as on the advisory boards of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), Stanford's BASES, NVCA Cleantech Council, and Cleantech Venture Network. He is a winner of the 2006 World Technology Award for Finance, presented by the World Technology Network, in association with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Dow Chemical, Cisco, TIME magazine, Fortune magazine, Science magazine/AAAS, Red Herring, and CNN.
Erik earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and both doctoral and master's degrees from the Stanford University School of Engineering.
Over the past four years, Mr. Stephens has worked closely with the Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry through the Department of Energy’s applied grant and loan programs. Currently he is the solar manufacturing project manager for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Loan Guarantee program which has issued $1Bn in loans to start-up PV manufacturers. Previously Mr. Stephens managed photovoltaic grants as the photovoltaic technology manager for the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program. From 2007-2010, these grants included over 100 industry and university-led PV projects with total funding of over $100M per year. Prior to working with the DOE, Mr. Stephens worked for the U.S. Patent Office examining applications pertaining to optical systems including solar concentrating systems. He holds a M.S. in physics from the University of Delaware where he specialized in PV thin film research at the Institute of Energy Conversion and a B.A. in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.
Aaron Thurlow, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at Silevo, has over a decade of experience creating and establishing some of the most successful sales distribution channels in the solar industry. At Silevo, Thurlow oversees continued market expansion for the company’s Triex technology, hybrid solar modules that combine high efficiency and exceptional energy yield with a low cost structure.
Thurlow has previously worked for solar manufacturers; Kyocera Solar, SunPower, National Semiconductor and Stion. Thurlow speaks at numerous global industry conferences, was elected to and serves on the Board of Directors for the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), and previously served on the Board of the national SEIA. Thurlow received a master’s degree in energy and environmental policy from the University of Delaware, where he studied photovoltaics, and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, San Diego.
Simon Watson is the Director of Utility Market Strategy at SunEdison based in their metropolitan Washington DC headquarters. He is responsible for product development and market strategy for the North American utility business segment. Prior to joining SunEdison he was General Manager of Tetronics Ventures LLC, a thermal plasma technology and investment company and has held senior positions in management consulting firms, including Accenture and Navigant Consulting, advising a wide range of US and international utility businesses on strategy and regulatory matters. He began his career as an economist at British Aerospace plc and then at British Energy plc, the nuclear generator, where he also served as the company’s representative to the European Union in Brussels.
Simon is a graduate of the University of Liverpool and the London School of Economics.
Chase Weir is co-founder and CEO of Distributed Sun. A serial entrepreneur, he has raised $40 million in angel, seed, series A/B/C equity and debt commitments in Principal, CEO and Chairman roles for TinselVision, Readiness Company, ASI Entertainment and Consumer Dynamics.
Mr. Weir founded and Chairs the EarthShot Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating clean energy adoption in the US, and serves on ACORE’s Leadership Council and Speakers Bureau. He previously served as an executive-in-residence to a global renewable energy portfolio in Dubai, UAE, and was senior advisor to over $100 million of renewable development and generation projects in the US and Germany.
John Woolard is CEO of BrightSource Energy. In this role, John brings more than two decades of experience in the energy technology sector as an executive, entrepreneur and investor.
Prior to joining BrightSource Energy, John co-founded Silicon Energy, one of the first successful clean tech companies, and was President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board from 1997 to 2003. John joined the executive team at Itron, Inc. in 2003 following its acquisition of Silicon Energy, and was Vice President of Software Solutions and subsequently the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. John previously held positions with VantagePoint Venture Partner's CleanTech Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
John is a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and has served on the Board of the California Clean Energy Fund, the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust, and the Strategic Advisory Board for Xcel Energy and currently serves on the Lester Center Advisory Board-Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley.
John holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, a Masters in Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia. John is a lifetime member of the Sierra Club.
Scott Clavenna has been leading high-tech market research firms for over 15 years. In his capacity as a trusted analyst and consultant, Scott has helped dozens of companies enter and succeed in complex and intensely competitive markets worldwide. He also has authored more than 30 reports that helped define important emerging market segments in optical and broadband communications.
Prior to founding Greentech Media, Scott was chief analyst at Heavy Reading, the market research arm of Light Reading, the dominant online media company in the telecommunications market. CMP bought Light Reading in 2005. Before creating Heavy Reading, Scott founded PointEast Research, providing strategic consulting and market intelligence to a broad mix of startups, venture capitalists and major suppliers in the communications/IT industry, and worked as director of research for Light Reading. In 1997, Scott co-founded Pioneer Consulting, which quickly grew into the leading market research firm covering the optical and broadband communications industry.
Michael Kanellos covers emerging technologies and companies in the green world. Prior to joining the company in 2008, he worked for CNET Network's News.com for eleven years. Among other jobs at CNET, he launched the company's push into clean technology. He has appeared on NPR, CBS, CNBC, Fox News and other media outlets and has spoken at CES, the Japan Business Strategy Summit, Ceatec, the Irish Software Association, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, the Flash Memory Summit and Clean Energy Venture Summit. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of California (Hastings), he has worked as an attorney, a travel writer and a busboy at a pancake house.
Shayle Kann is the Vice President of Research for Greentech Media. He has spoken in conferences around the world and been cited in publications such as The Economist, New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, and more. He has also testified in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on the state and future of the U.S. solar market. Mr. Kann joined GTM Research upon returning from Australia, where he was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar studying renewable energy project finance during the credit crisis. Prior to this, Mr. Kann worked in the Clean Energy Markets division of Conservation Services Group, focusing on voluntary and compliance markets for renewable energy certificates. He has a Bachelor’s cum laude, phi beta kappa from Pomona College.
Shyam Mehta is a Senior Analyst at GTM Research, focusing on global solar markets. Before joining GTM Research, Shyam was a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research where he covered equities in the alternative energy sector, primarily solar companies. Prior to Goldman, Shyam was a Research Analyst at The Brattle Group, an economic consulting firm, where his work focused on problems within the electricity industry. Shyam received his Bachelor's in Mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.
Brett Prior is a Senior Analyst with GTM Research, focusing on renewable energy. Prior to joining GTM Research, Brett served as the Director of Business Development for Solasta, a thin-film solar startup backed by Kleiner Perkins. Brett also worked as a summer associate in the strategy group at Evergreen Solar. Before business school, Brett spent six years working for mutual fund companies as a buyside equity research analyst covering energy and other sectors. Originally from the U.S., Brett lived in England for two years, where he earned an MBA with distinction from London Business School. Brett holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Yale University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
MJ Shiao is a Senior Analyst for GTM Research with a focus on PV inverters, electronics, thin flm PV and U.S. non-utility markets. A 5-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed over 5 MW of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ consulted with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) on residential solar rebate programs and with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on PV experience curves by technology. MJ holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was named a National Truman Scholar. A believer in the social benefits of solar power, MJ has researched, installed and tested rural off-grid PV in India and Thailand and currently serves on the Steering Committee of SustainUS, a non-profit engaging U.S. youth in sustainable development advocacy.
Prior to joining Greentech Media, Eric Wesoff founded Sage Marketing Partners in 2000 to provide sales and marketing-consulting services to venture-capital firms and their portfolio companies in the alternative energy and telecommunications sectors. Mr. Wesoff has become a well-known, respected authority and speaker in these fields. He also was the publisher of the Venture Power newsletter, a subscription-only newsletter covering venture-capital investment in renewable energy.
Eric's expertise covers solar power, fuel cells, biofuels and advanced batteries. His strengths are in market research and analysis, business development and due diligence for investors. He frequently consults for energy startups and Silicon Valley's premier venture capitalists.