GTM has learned that Steve McBee, CEO at NRG Home for a little more than a year, will be leaving the firm. McBee is the founder and CEO of McBee Strategic, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying and advisory firm that has served a number of energy clients. He intends to remain in the energy field.

Last month, GTM covered the resignation of NRG Energy CEO David Crane from a post he’s held since 2003. Also resigning from NRG last month was Robyn Beavers, the "founder and leader of the newly formed Station A Group, a microgrid skunk works within the power company."

Larry Weis, former head of Austin Energy, will become the new CEO of Seattle City Light, one of the largest publicly-owned utilities in the U.S., on February 1. The role has a base salary of $340,000 a year, making Weis the highest-paid city employee, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

SunPower named Eduardo Medina as executive VP of power plants. Medina, based in SunPower's Lyon, France office, most recently served as executive managing director and head of business development for Acciona Energia, a Spanish-based developer of infrastructure, energy, water and sustainable services.

Daniel Hullah is now director of ventures at National Grid. Hullah was a partner at RockPort Capital and prior to National Grid, was VP and interim CFO at Solar Universe/Repower.

Rob Scheuermann has replaced Pete Kadens as president of commercial developer SoCore Energy. In 2013, SoCore Energy was acquired by Edison International.    

Sam Cowley has left a director of product management position at solar startup Solexel to join Google as technical program manager and "bring prototypes to production." Previously, Cowley was at Alta Devices.

Jennifer Torres was promoted to talent management director at the California Public Utilities Commission.


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Bioscience firm Amyris named Margaret ("Margo") Georgiadis, who is president, Americas at Google, to the company's board. Amyris aims to use yeast to convert plant sugars into renewable hydrocarbons. The company's stock is trading at historic lows.

From last week's column:

In 2013, we covered the bankruptcy of VC-backed EV maker Coda Energy and the plans of its new multibillion-dollar investment firm owner Fortress Investment Group, which sought to resurrect Coda as a grid battery systems provider. Despite some success in the behind-the-meter commercial and industrial energy storage market (and unfortunately coinciding with the holidays), Coda has entered Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, according to its CEO, Paul Detering.

"Sadly, effective December 18th, CODA Energy has transferred its business operations to an assignee and placed the company into a General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (an “ABC”). The CODA Energy team achieved much in its short history and established a top three position in the California C&I behind-the-meter energy storage market. Unfortunately, CODA Energy was unable to secure further funding for its 2016 operations. Through the ABC Process, the assignee will seek to sell the assets and the ongoing operations of CODA Energy in an effort to assure a smooth transition for CODA Energy's customers, employees and partners."

Coda Energy had about 60 employees before a round of layoffs last month and had installed a fleet of approximately 60 commercial energy storage systems under California's SGIP initiative. "Coda has a fully equipped battery system manufacturing and integration facility in Monrovia, Calif., which among other assets will be marketed through the ABC process to interested parties," according to a release. Contact [email protected] "if you have a need for great talent or need more information." 

GTM Research senior storage analyst Ravi Manghani notes, "Coda Energy couldn't secure financing to scale up and compete with the likes of Tesla, Stem and Green Charge Networks. Something not well understood in the industry is that the cost to acquire C&I customers is high, with sales cycles lasting a year or longer. So it is challenging to grow a pipeline without access to financing, when existing projects under development are not bringing in revenue."

Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's former CTO, is now U.S. CEO of NextEV, a Chinese startup aiming to compete with Tesla. Warrior has never held a job with a VC-funded startup or in the auto industry.