Andrew Beebe, most recently NextEra's VP of distributed generation, has joined Obvious Ventures as managing director. Obvious is an early-stage-focused venture capital firm founded by Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams, along with entrepreneurs James Joaquin and Vishal Vasishth. The company's investment themes include “sustainable systems, people power, and healthy living."
The Obvious portfolio includes plant-protein startup Beyond Meat and energy-efficiency firm Flux. Beebe and the investment firm remain intent on early-stage sustainability and energy investments. Obvious Ventures co-founder James Joaquin noted, "Over the last five years, we've seen a big reduction in available venture capital for sustainability startups." He added, "That puts us in a position where we can focus on early-stage energy technologies and help build the next Tesla and SolarCity.”
Beebe notes in an essay: "If your business is based on fossil fuels, you’re not future-proof. If your business is based on exploitation of workers, you’re not future-proof. If your business has a view that health and wellness are secondary, you’re not future-proof. And if you’re not future-proof, you’re in trouble."
The investors closed a $77.7 million first fund last month, according to this SEC document.
Innovari, an interactive energy platform developer announced Manuel Arancibia as president of Innovari Latin America, along with the opening of its Colombia office. Most recently, Arancibia helped a Portuguese utility expand its commercial operations in the U.S. by growing a wind generation portfolio from six to 30 wind farms, with a total of 3,700 megawatts of wind generation under management.
E.ON is launching an energy services venture to provide custom asset management, maintenance, and repair services to the U.S. wind and solar energy industry. The venture will be headed by Keith Day, who joins the company as president. Day most recently has been a regional VP of operations for E.ON. Guy Dees, previously with General Electric, Upwind, and Clipper, will be VP of operations. Michael Cossentine, previously with a subsidiary of Bosch Rexroth, will head sales and marketing. E.ON is one of the world’s largest investor-owned power and gas firms, with more than 58,000 employees.
Sunrun, the "largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S.," according to the firm, is expanding its presence in Nevada, and expects to add more than 45 new jobs this spring, nearly doubling the company's local workforce. According to the Wall Street Journal, the residential solar installer is going public later this year. We suggested this might happen in a recent IPO candidate forecast.
Energy storage platform builder Sunverge has added David Hebert as director of business development on the East Coast. Previously, Hebert was at Petra Systems, a provider of smart city infrastructure technology.
Erfan Ibrahim, formerly with EPRI and most recently a smart grid and cybersecurity consultant, has joined NREL as Director of Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience at the Lab within the Energy Systems Integration Directorate, led by Bryan Hannegan, the Associate Director of NREL for ESI.
Climate Central reports, "As part of President Obama’s plans to combat climate change, the White House announced a program on Friday for the U.S. Department of Energy to train 75,000 people to work in the solar power industry by 2020, many of whom will be part of a military veterans jobs initiative called Solar Ready Vets."
Joseph Matamoros, most recently the VP of commercial operations at energy storage startup Stem, is now the principal for utility services at microinverter, energy storage, O&M, utility and energy services company Enphase Energy. GTM reported on some of Enphase's recent work with Hawaii's utility, HECO, in this article.
Last month, Canadian Solar acquired project developer Recurrent Energy from Sharp for $265 million. This month, Recurrent's founder and CEO Arno Harris announced that he is leaving the firm and taking some time off, according to Bloomberg. Harris will be replaced by the COO of Recurrent, David Brochu.
Julie Blunden has joined SunEdison as SVP and Chief Strategy Officer. Blunden was formerly CEO of ClimateWorks and executive VP at SunPower.