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.
EnACT Systems is acquiring Energy Finance Strategies to broaden its sales and financing software platform forsolarand energy efficiency projects. As part of the acquisition, Thomas King, founder and managing partner of EFS, is now CFO at enACT. Prior to starting EFS, King was a founding partner and managing director of US Renewables Group. Ryan Hamilton, also a founder and managing partner of EFS, has taken the role of CCO and EVP for sales and business development. Before EFS, Hamilton held management positions at NRG and Solar Power Partners.
Heather Peterson is now GM at Pristine Sun. She was previously managing director of GreenTech Solar Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Pristine Sun develops and helps fund wind, solar and solar thermal projects in about 20 U.S. states.
RET Capital named business development and finance professionals Anna Kulic Van Dyke and Jonathan Cheng as its new managing directors of business development. Van Dyke spent the last eight years as Duke Energy’s director of project finance and business development. She was part of the team supporting greenfield renewable projects, including Duke’s 1,300-megawatt Tierra Energy acquisition. Cheng comes to RET Capital after having served six years as director of business development at GCL Solar Energy, where he led the development of eight distributed generation and utility-scale solar projects with a combined capacity of 180 megawatts and total capital cost of more than $700 million. RET Capital is a finance platform aiming to lower the cost of capital for qualified developers by providing reliable takeout financing. In the past year, RET Capital has acquired more than 100 megawatts of solar generating capacity. The company's lead investor is $19 billion investment firm BlueMountain Capital Management.
Gigaom reports on staff departures and a reorganization at Nest, the Google-owned smart thermostat and home security firm: Greg Duffy, the former CEO of Dropcam, as well as Nest’s VP of Technology Yoky Matsuoka, have left the firm. Matsuoka is "reportedly heading for a role at Twitter." The reorganization separates the hardware groups from the software and services portion of the firm, according to the report.
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?
Alectris, an O&M service provider for PV assets, added Makis Tzierakis as business development manager for Greece, where the firm is headquartered. Prior to Alectris, Tzierakis focused on new business strategies for solar panel manufacturer Sungen International. Solar asset protection includes "solar operations and maintenance, asset management, check-up and diagnostics, and engineering and improvement services."
Bloomberg reports on Tesla Motors poaching talent from Apple. According to the article, Tesla has poached more employees from Apple than from any other company, including carmakers. The Palo Alto-based electric vehicle upstart has hired at least 150 former Apple employees.
Pete Ogden, recently an Obama administration staffer, has joined the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute, a think tank that bills itself as a research institute focused on the "economic and social consequences of energy policies." Ogden will maintain his post as a fellow at the Center for American Progress and an adviser at the Rhodium Group consulting firm. Before joining the Obama administration, Ogden was chief of staff to John Podesta, who was then president of the Center for American Progress and is now presumed to be leading Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.