Verengo Solar named Dan Squiller, the former CEO of battery developer PowerGenix, as its new CEO. Residential solar installer Verengo is ranked No. 7 nationally according to GTM's Q4 2015 U.S. PV Leaderboard (based on Q1-Q3 installs), but its market share hit a new low of 0.6 percent in Q3.      

Helena Kimball, formerly Yingli's head of marketing for the Americas, is now VP of global marketing at 8minutenergy Renewables. Last month Yingli received $300 million from the Chinese National Development Bank to lower its debt burden. PV Magazine noted that "there is intense speculation in China that Yingli’s cash flow situation must be dire, with rumors abounding that, without the funds from the loan, the solar company might be unable to remunerate its staff."  

GTM just covered the fund-making, record-breaking 43X return on Veolia's $400 million acquisition of nuclear cleanup expert Kurion. We spoke with Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital and chairman at Kurion, in a recent GTM Squared piece. Wolfe is now a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations. (I totally called that right here.)

Patrick Hogan was promoted to senior VP of electric transmission and distribution of PG&E. Dinyar Mistry was named senior VP of HR at PG&E. He currently serves as VP, CFO and controller of PG&E, as well as VP and controller of PG&E Corporation. Mistry will maintain both of these finance roles until successors are hired. 

Trojan Battery, a manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, named Robert Gibson as VP of quality. He most recently served as VP of global quality assurance and regulatory affairs at Rapiscan Systems, a supplier of security inspection systems. Trojan Battery also named Michael Everett as senior VP of engineering. Previously, Everett was CTO at Maxwell Technologies, an ultra-capacitor firm.    

SolarCity promoted Matt Kaufmann to director of energy storage project development. SolarCity just introduced a system suitable for Hawaii's Customer Self-Supply program. It's a home energy system made up of a SolarCity PV panel installation, battery storage from Tesla, a smart thermostat from Nest, a smart electric heater from Steffes, and a gateway that controls the hardware to maximize solar generation and self-consumption.

On a recent episode of The Energy Gang podcast, founder of SunEdison, Jigar Shah, said these things out loud:  

  • "The challenge with SunEdison is that they are just not managed well."
  • SunEdison CEO "Ahmad is a tech guy from the semiconductor industry and still doesn't understand solar."  
  • "They should get rid of everything that is not core. Everyone who works in energy storage at SunEdison should no longer have a job."
  • Shah expressed some surprise that Cathy Zoi is still employed by the firm.

This week's podcast includes a discussion on the supposed "troubles" at Google-owned Nest.   

9to5Mac covers Tesla's rampant poaching of Apple's elite engineers, including a duo of chip designers, feeding the rumor that Tesla intends to design its own silicon.  

According to StrictlyVC, "At a private dinner in Beverly Hills last week, Elon Musk agreed to audit pay at his rocket company, SpaceX, to ensure that men and women are paid fairly."

From last week's column:

SolarCity named its current president, Tanguy Serra, as CFO, ahead of the previously announced resignation of CFO Brad Buss. Serra joined SolarCity in 2013 as executive VP of operations and was promoted to COO in 2014 and president in 2015. Prior to joining SolarCity, Serra was CEO of Vivint Solar. Serra, 37, "will not receive any additional compensation for serving as CFO."
 
Stephen Prince is the new CEO at Younicos, replacing James McDougall, who left the firm "under amicable terms." Prince was most recently the chief revenue officer at the energy storage startup. Founded in 2005, the Berlin-based company has raised about $200 million from investors including First Solar, Korean lithium-ion battery maker Samsung, German-Japanese flow battery maker Gildemeister/DMG Mori Seiki, and Grupo Ecos. In 2014, Younicos acquired the 60-megawatt portfolio of bankrupt U.S. storage startup Xtreme Power.