Coda Energy announced the appointment of Paul Detering as the company’s first CEO following its move from electric-vehicle manufacturer to a battery-based energy storage provider. Before joining Coda, Detering served as CEO of REC Solar, Tioga Energy, Blueleaf Networks and Wildfire Communications. Detering founded Tioga Energy, a VC-funded commercial solar developer. Under his direction, Tioga Energy secured corporate funding from MEMC, NGEN Partners, Nth Power and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, in addition to project and tax equity capital from De Lage Landen Finance, PNC Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and U.S. Bancorp.
Backed by Fortress Investment Group, Coda Energy designs, builds, and finances energy storage systems. As we've reported, Coda Energy has been building a portfolio of behind-the-meter energy storage projects in six states. It’s the same approach taken by startups like Stem and Green Charge Networks, which have signed up multi-million-dollar financing for their behind-the-meter batteries. Another big contender in the space is SolarCity, which has partnered with Tesla to supply batteries for commercial buildings.
We spoke with the new CEO, who told GTM, "We actually help the grid and save customers money." The new CEO sees a similarity between the storage market of today and the nascent solar market of 2007, but regards storage as having an advantage in terms of the range of different services that it can deliver -- "if we can put smarts in these things."
Array Technologies (ATI), a solar tracking systems leader, named Thomas Conroy as president. Before joining ATI, Conroy was CEO of Wind Tower Systems, a firm developing a new-technology utility-scale wind turbine tower product, which was later acquired by GE. ATI founder Ron Corio will remain as CEO. The company has shipped more than 2 gigawatts of its tracking products for utility, commercial and residential solar PV systems.
Michael Allman joined Bit Stew Systems as president and COO. Most recently, Allman was chairman and CEO of Southern California Gas Company, the largest natural gas distribution company. Prior to that role, Allman was CEO of Sempra Generation. The Vancouver, B.C.-based Bit Stew has received funding from Yaletown Venture Partners, as well as long-time partner Cisco Systems. Founded in 2005, Bit Stew has an array of partners for its “integrated, real-time network solutions” software, including BC Hydro AMI partner Cisco, meter data management vendor Harris Utilities SmartWorks, and systems integrators Capgemini and Wipro. Kevin Collins will maintain his role as CEO.
Varentec named Guillaume Dufossé as Chairman and CEO. Dufossé has held various senior executive positions at Alstom, Areva and Schneider Electric, managing global smart grid and grid automation business units. More recently, he has been managing the international operations of SunPower, focusing on large ground-mount solar PV plants and residential and commercial solar systems. With funding from Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates, Varentec provides solutions for advanced power grid control and management.
Andrew de Pass is the newly named CEO at solar developer Conergy, brought in to lead the company from his prior position as executive chairman of the Conergy Board. (De Pass led Kawa's acquisition of Conergy in 2013.) “Since Kawa acquired Conergy in 2013, we’ve turned Conergy around from a loss-making position to profitability, with nearly half a billion in revenue,” said de Pass. Calling it "a year of rapid financial turnaround," the solar project developer has declared that it is "operating profitability."
Kurt Bruenning joined Aclara Technologies as the CFO. Aclara is a provider of smart infrastructure technologies and software solutions to the utility industry. Most recently, Bruenning was VP of finance and treasury at Foresight Energy. Previously, Bruenning was VP and treasurer at MEMC Electronic Materials. Aclara Technologies is owned by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners.
EnergyHub, a demand response solutions provider, named Erika Diamond as VP and GM of energy markets. Diamond will manage EnergyHub’s DR aggregation business. Most recently, Diamond was SVP of corporate development and strategy at Recyclebank.