When David Crane stepped down late last year as president and CEO of energy company NRG (after holding the role for more than a decade), the renewables industry was very interested in his next move.
As GTM's Julia Pyper reported, "Under Crane’s leadership, NRG launched a multi-pronged clean energy business with a unique focus on distributed, customer-centric products and services. Crane had a vision to transition the company from a traditional fossil-fuel power producer into a clean technology powerhouse. He wanted to make NRG the Google of energy."
Unfortunately, the stock market and NRG's board didn't come around to that idea, and he was allowed to step down/fired.
Would Crane end up leading a more patient, more renewables-friendly utility? Helming a startup and bringing his utility savvy to a new company? Leading a renewables advocacy effort? (SEIA has a recent opening.)
Actually, David Crane will be joining Pegasus Capital Advisors as its senior operating executive.
Craig Cogut founded Pegasus, a $2 billion private equity fund that specializes in "sourcing, buying, and building middle-market companies that compete on the basis of sustainability and resource efficiency."
The Guardian referred to Cogut as "one of the founding fathers of private equity as a co-founder of Apollo Global Management." The firm's investments include Universal Lubricants, Molycorp Minerals, Lighting Science, iGPS, Traxys, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Jenzabar, PSI and Carol's Daughter.
Green Charge Networks named Tim Larrison as its new CFO. Green Charge claims to be "the largest provider of commercial energy storage in the United States with more than 45 megawatt-hours of energy storage projects in operation or under construction." Earlier this year, Jeff St. John reported that "Green Charge Networks and Stem have been racing each other for the title of top behind-the-meter battery startup -- and for funding to back their no-money-down deals for customers."
Larrison joins Green Charge from YGEA Holding, "a subsidiary of Yingli Solar where he was CFO and board director, responsible for the day-to-day financial and administrative management of the company and North American finance initiatives." Mark Osborne of PV Tech writes, "As the dust settles on SunEdison’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it's time to get back to focusing on another technically bankrupt former solar market leader, Yingli Green Energy," noting, "In stark contrast to the media storm over the rise and fall of SunEdison, the precarious financial position of Yingli Green has been well documented in 2015, yet the company has said very little publicly about its finances since its third-quarter earnings call way back in early December 2015."
General Fusion, a Canadian startup working to harness fusion power, named Bruce Colwill, formerly of Neuromed Pharmaceuticals, as CFO. The company named Jean-François Béland as VP of government relations and corporate affairs. Most recently, Béland was executive VP of Areva Canada. The company claims to be developing "the fastest, most practical, and lowest-cost path to commercial fusion energy" and is funded by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Cenovus Energy, GrowthWorks, Braemar Energy Ventures, BDC, Entrepreneurs Fund, SET Ventures, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and NRC-IRAP. Stephen Lacey reported on a brief from think tank Third Way noting that private investors have committed $1.3 billion to support nearly 50 startups working on commercializing new reactor designs across the U.S. and Canada. Former GTM Editor Michael Kanellos asked (now-DOE Secretary) Ernie Moniz in 2009 if we'd see fusion reactors anytime soon. Moniz, who was running MIT's Energy Initiative at the time, looked Kanellos up and down and said, "Not in your lifetime."
Canadian Solar, a solar panel manufacturer and developer, named Jianyi Zhang as senior VP, general counsel and chief compliance officer. Most recently, Zhang served, consecutively, as senior advisor to Chinese law firms of Jingtian & Gongcheng Law Firm, Runbo Law Firm, East Associates Law Firm and East & Concord Partners in Beijing. Before that, Zhang held a senior assistant general counsel position at Wal-Mart Stores.
Michael Ratliff joined Enbala as executive VP of product. Most recently Ratliff was the CTO and senior VP of engineering at Comverge. Jeff St. John recently reported on Enbala's software platform to control pumps, refrigerators and other devices in ways that can turn them into fast-responding grid assets.
Tantalus Systems, a maker of smart grid communications, named Hugo Hodge, Jr. as the company’s executive VP and GM, Caribbean Basin. Hodge most recently served as executive director and CEO of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.
Nearly half of California's oil is produced using enhanced oil recovery, which pumps steam into the ground to release oil. GlassPoint generates this steam with concentrated solar power rather than gas. The company is expanding to Bakersfield, Calif. and adding Michelle McGarry as director of project development, Americas. Previously, McGarry was a director of downstream consulting for IHS and held engineering and business development roles at Shell and WorleyParsons. Olu Adeoye, previously with oil companies such as Chevron and Shell, joins as California program manager. McGarry notes, “The single largest operating cost for a heavy oilfield in California is fuel purchase for steam generation."
From last week's column:
Kelcy Pegler Jr. resigned as CEO of NRG Home Solar, according to sources close to the company. With former CEO David Crane gone, there was little appetite for residential solar at NRG Energy, which acquired Pegler's 475-employee firm Roof Diagnostics Solar in April 2014. Sources also tell GTM that NRG Home Solar just laid off its San Diego solar installation crews. Also resigning from NRG recently was Robyn Beavers, the "founder and leader of the newly formed Station A Group, a microgrid skunk works within the power company." Tom Doyle, the CEO of NRG Renew, has left that firm. Recently, GTM also reported that Steve McBee, CEO at NRG Home for a little more than a year, will be leaving NRG. According to Power Finance & Risk, Denise Wilson, the executive VP and president of Alternative Energy Services, recently left the firm as well.
As GTM's Stephen Lacey just reported, Rhone Resch, the man who's steered the U.S. solar industry's top lobbying group for a dozen years, is leaving his position at the end of May. Resch led national advocacy efforts during some of the most important moments for the American solar industry, including the passage of the eight-year federal Investment Tax Credit in 2008, passage of the stimulus package in 2009, and the most recent renewal of the Investment Tax Credit last December.