Tomorrow, Vivint Solar will announce its new CEO, which will be Greg Butterfield, the former CEO of Altiris, a software firm which went from small to IPO to acquisition by Symantec.

Last month Vivint Solar of Provo, Utah secured $200 million in two new tax equity funds to finance solar power systems on residential rooftops. With 800,000 customers, it's one of the largest home security and automation companies. It's looking to get into solar in a big way with a strong sales network and lower costs of customer acquisition. The company was acquired by Blackstone for $2 billion in September of last year.

GTM Research sees the residential solar financing market in the U.S. growing from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $5.7 billion in 2016.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming report from GTM Research on customer acquisition costs. Residential customer acquisition cost in the U.S. is now reckoned to be close to the cost of the solar panel itself (!) and is the fattest target for cost reduction in residential solar financing and installation.

Vivint Solar's previous CEO, Tanguy Serra, joined SolarCity. 



Joe Kishkill is First Solar's new Chief Commercial Officer. Kishkill most recently held senior executive roles at energy services firm Exterran. First Solar's previous CCO, James Hughes, is now its CEO. 



Suntech Power saw Susan Wang, Julian Worley, and Zhizhong Qiu resign as directors of the firm. According to a release, the three indicated that "they could no longer serve effectively as independent directors for reasons that included not being provided with information that was critical for them to fulfill their responsibilities and the company's failure to implement some of their proposed actions." The departing directors cited:    

  • Severe cash flow drain with unclear prospects of securing new capital
  • Difficulties completing consensual restructuring with convertible bondholders
  • Lack of a clear business plan
  • Loss of critical talent and potential severe HR retention issues
  • Failure to pay outside legal counsel
  • Potential erosion of internal controls
  • Impairment of employees' ability to function effectively

Philip Fan, Michael Nacson, Kurt Metzger, Weiping Zhou, Zhengrong Shi, and David King continue to serve as directors of Suntech.

"The remaining three independent directors, Mr. Fan, Mr. Nacson and Mr. Metzger, are of the view that the matters of concern cited by the resigning directors are demonstrative of disharmony and issues of communication between the executive management and the resigning directors that decreased the efficiency of the Board's decision-making process," according to the release. 

The remaining directors have elected Michael Nacson as Chairman of the Board.


VC firm Foundation Capital named former Comcast Ventures and Enphase Product Manager Adit Singh as Partner. 


Power Analytics, a provider of power management systems for microgrids, named its CTO, Kevin Meagher, as CEO. Meagher replaces Michael Nark and will also retain his CTO role. Jeff St. John covers the company's recent military microgrid action here.


Genomatica, a bio-based process technology licensor, named Just Jansz to its Board of Directors. Jansz has 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the chemical industry. Genomatica’s process for the intermediate chemical BDO is now commercial and has been licensed by BASF and Novamont.