As reported by the San Jose Business Journal, SolarCity has leased the 200,000-square-foot building in Fremont, Calif. that once housed now-defunct solar firm Solyndra. SolarCity "expects to hire about 200 employees in Fremont for the division in 2015" that will be performing "technology development and production equipment validation." These activities will support the Silevo solar panel production center in Buffalo, New York.
Stefan Zschiegner has been named VP of product management at microinverter firm Enphase Energy. Previously, Zschiegner was VP of marketing and product development at Nanosolar, a now-departed CIGS thin-film solar module manufacturer. Before Nanosolar, he served as VP of new market development and global product management at First Solar.
First Round Partner Rob Hayes weighs in with "Here's the Advice I Give All of Our First-Time Founders."
Cambrian Innovation, an industrial wastewater treatment technology firm, added Baji Gobburi, most recently at desalination firm Energy Recovery, as its VP of sales. Prior to ERI, Gobburi held management positions at GE Water and Process Technologies.
Jamie Ormond, formerly Public Utilities Regulatory Analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission, is now an advisor to CPUC Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval.
Preston Schultz was promoted to director of development at Hecate Energy, a developer of solar and wind power, natural gas plants and energy storage projects.
NextEra Energy CFO Moray Dewhurst will be retiring in the spring of 2016. John Ketchum is expected to replace Dewhurst upon retirement. Ketchum is currently senior VP of business management and finance for NextEra Energy subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources. Mark Hickson, currently VP of operational excellence, strategic initiatives and corporate development, has been named senior VP of corporate development and strategic initiatives.
Vivint Solar, an installer and financier of residential solar systems, has extended job offers to all 20 graduates of the U.S. Department of Energy's Reach for the Sun solar-job training pilot program at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Paul Gaynor was named SunEdison's executive VP for the company's North America Utility and Global Wind business. Since 2004, Gaynor served as the CEO of First Wind Holdings, which was recently acquired by SunEdison, one of the world's largest renewable energy developers.
Vijit Sabnis, one of the founders of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) semiconductor startup Solar Junction, now works for Khosla Ventures as a venture partner, according to his LinkedIn profile. In July of last year, we reported that Solar Junction had been acquired by Saudi entity King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and one of its investment arms, Taqnia. Last month, Solar Junction announced, "The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has approved Taqnia International’s recent investment in Solar Junction Corporation. [...] Solar Junction Corporation, based in San Jose, California, will remain a U.S. company." Mike Wiemer, a Solar Junction founder, has resigned from the firm, according to sources; he notes one of his achievements as having "sold" Solar Junction in a "full acquisition" on his LinkedIn page. Yet another founder, Homan Yuen, has also resigned from the firm. Solar Junction raised more than $30 million from investors ATV, DFJ and NEA. The startup executed on its technical goals, developing record-setting triple-junction solar cells in the lab for CPV applications at a relatively modest burn rate. But building semiconductor components for a systems market that barely exists is not a workable business plan for a VC-funded firm. What will the Saudis do with this science project?