Cheryl Mele
Cheryl Mele
Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

Cheryl Mele became ERCOT’s senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2016. She oversees Grid Operations and Planning, Commercial Operations, and Governance, Risk and Compliance.

Prior to joining ERCOT, Ms. Mele served as deputy general manager and COO for Austin Energy, where she led its power operations, compliance and planning activities.

Ms. Mele brings 30 years of experience in the power industry to ERCOT. Her management and executive roles included both power generation and energy delivery before becoming COO at Austin Energy. Ms. Mele worked for General Electric as both an engineer and system programmer before joining Austin Energy in 1991.

A registered professional engineer in Texas, Ms. Mele has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and completed The Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho.

While at Austin Energy, Ms. Mele served on the boards of the South Texas Nuclear Operating Company, the Texas Public Power Association and the RMEL, an electric industry education and networking trade group. She continues to serve as a board member and chair of the Austin Science Education Foundation, where she has been committed to preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Brian Davis
Brian Davis
Vice President Energy Solutions, Shell New Energies

Brian is the Vice President Energy Solutions, part of Shell’s New Energies business - which focuses on two main areas: new fuels for transport and building an integrated position in power markets.

Brian leads the team building customer facing businesses in power, including consumer retail energy and ‘behind the meter’ distributed energy solutions. The team also looks for commercial business models to provide power for the 1 to 2 billion people who don’t have access to power, or have unreliable access today.

Brian joined Shell Australia in 1988. During his career, Brian has held technical, operational, strategic and business leadership roles in Shell’s downstream, trading and shipping businesses with exposure to most markets around the world.

He most recently served as VP Group Strategy & Portfolio where he worked with Shell Executive Committee and Board on corporate strategy, including the shaping of New Energies, which he is now part of implementing.

Brian holds a Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. He is married with twins and enjoys travel and golf.

Louis C. Ting
Louis C. Ting
Director of Power Planning Development & Engineering, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Louis Ting is the Director of Power Planning and Development for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is responsible for the overall Power System regulatory, resource, grid, and strategic planning. Since joined LADWP in 1992 after graduating from UCLA, he had the privilege of career diversifications and increasing responsibilities from Fleet Engineering designing utility-specific vehicles, Water System pipeline design and construction, including trunk line redevelopment projects. He then moved to the electric side of LADWP to manage major projects including renewables generation, hydroelectric, combined-cycle power plants, transmission line, and substation projects.

Lisa Leipzig
Lisa Leipzig
Director - Renewable Development, AEP Renewables

Lisa Leipzig is responsible for acquisitions of utility-scale wind and solar projects at AEP Renewables, an unregulated subsidiary of American Electric Power. In this role, she originates investment opportunities, leads due diligence activities and negotiates transaction agreements.  In addition, Lisa recently supported development efforts to repower two wind projects totaling over 310 megawatts.

Lisa’s career in renewables has spanned 11 years, with the first half focused on developing and managing over 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar projects from greenfield to construction stages across the U.S. and Canada on behalf of Acciona Energy.  

The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) recently recognized Lisa for her leadership and impact on the advancement of renewable energy.  She holds a master’s degree from Rice University and a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College.

Eran Mahrer
Eran Mahrer
Vice President, Markets, Origination and Government Affairs, First Solar

Eran Mahrer serves as Vice President of Market, Utility and Government Origination. He joined First Solar in 2014 and leads the company's engagement with utilities on solar planning and programming. In this role, Mr. Mahrer establishes and maintains relationships with utilities, engages in strategic planning, integrated resource planning and program design initiatives.

Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Mahrer served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Programs for the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). He joined SEPA in 2012 and led the organization's efforts in driving utility and solar industry strategies and practices in support of solar energy. His experience also includes serving as Arizona Public Service Company's (APS) Director of Renewable Energy and Resource Portfolio Planning. In his 11 years with APS, he led the company's renewable energy strategy, renewable and customer program resource planning, regulatory interface on many renewable matters and implementation of all renewable programs.

Mr. Mahrer received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, a Master of Science from Washington State University and his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Melissa Kemp
Melissa Kemp
Director of Policy, Northeast, Cypress Creek Renewables

Melissa is the Director of Policy, Northeast for Cypress Creek Renewables - one of the largest utility and community-scale solar and storage developers in the US. She has over a decade of experience in the renewables market, including extensive government policy, regulatory, and political work, all scales of development experience, and technical expertise. She has experience advocating for and developing solutions on many key topics including ISO wholesale market structures and revenue streams, state RPS structures and REC systems, carbon pricing, compensating distributed clean energy resources based on value, and interconnection processes and standards, as well as experience with siting and property tax issues. She holds a BS from Princeton University.

Jonathan Adelman
Jonathan Adelman
Area Vice President for Strategic Resource and Business Planning, Xcel Energy

Jonathan Adelman has been employed by Xcel Energy since 2002 and has worked in a number of areas at the Company including Commercial Trading Operations, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing.  Jonathan is currently the Area Vice President for Strategic Resource and Business Planning.  In this role, he oversees the Company’s long-term generation strategy and business planning activities for Xcel Energy four operating utilities, which includes facilitating and developing asset and financial plans.   Xcel Energy, an electric and gas utility with service territory in eight Western and Midwestern states, serving 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers.

Prior to joining Xcel Energy, Jonathan worked in public accounting.  He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Accounting with special attainments in Commerce and is an inactive Certified Public Accountant.

Khalil Shalabi
Khalil Shalabi
Vice President, Strategy, Technology & Markets, Austin Energy

Khalil Shalabi is Vice President of Strategy, Technology, and Markets. He joined Austin Energy in December 2013.

Shalabi has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the electric utility industry. His diverse work history includes research and development; resource planning and acquisition; project evaluation including renewable energy, business development, long-range planning, and market analysis; and nuclear power plant engineering, maintenance, and operations. He also has experience in treasury and corporate risk management. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Shalabi served as chief technology officer and director of Research and Development and Strategic Planning for the New York Power Authority.

Shalabi has a Master of Business Administration in finance and management from New York University, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed a certificate course at the Vermont Law School on legal essentials for utility executives.

Jeffrey Burke
Jeffrey Burke
Director of Resource Planning, Arizona Public Service (APS)

For over 20 years, Jeff has been a leader in the energy industry with a background spanning resource planning, market analysis, forecasting, ratemaking, and regulatory policy. In his current role as Director of Resource Planning, Jeff is responsible for ensuring sufficient resources are available to meet customer demand within APS's broad service territory.  Prior to his role in Resource Planning at APS, Jeff held leadership positions in Resource Planning and Load Forecasting at Dominion Resources. Jeff holds undergraduate degrees in Physics and Economics from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Masters of Science degree in Economics from Illinois State University, and has completed all coursework for a Ph.D. in Economics at Louisiana State University.

John Bonnin
John Bonnin
Vice President of Energy Supply and Market Operations, CPS Energy

John Bonnin oversees the utility's wholesale power portfolio management, including Day Ahead and Real Time operations, bilateral power trading, fuels management, and associated analytics.

Bonnin has 23 years of industry experience, including 14 years at CPS Energy. He has directed the Day Ahead and Real Time activities of Energy Supply and Market Operations since 2012, with a focus on managing market risks to native load customers and optimal dispatch of our power generation fleet.

Bonnin has a Master of Science in Management/Computer Resource Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

Becky Robinson
Becky Robinson
Deputy Director, Division of Economic and Technical Analysis, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Becky Robinson is the Deputy Director of the Division of Economic and Technical Analysis in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  In this role, she helps lead a multidisciplinary group of FERC staff that evaluates the functioning of market rules and offers recommendations on potential policy reforms for Commission consideration.

Prior to her current role, she was a Technical Advisor to Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur for almost three years, where she advised on technical wholesale market matters generally, and in particular was responsible at various times for matters in PJM, the California ISO, the Western Interconnect, and the Southwest Power Pool.  Before joining Commissioner LaFleur’s office in June 2015, Ms. Robinson served for five years as an economist in FERC’s Office of Electricity Policy and Innovation, where, in addition to working on a variety of issues in wholesale market design, she focused on revising Commission rules to facilitate the development of interconnection facilities supporting phased generation resources and clarifying the Commission's policy on merchant transmission.  Prior to her time at FERC, she worked as an associate at LECG.

Ms. Robinson received an M.A. in economics from Cambridge University and graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with a double major in mathematics and philosophy.

Robert Barrosa
Robert Barrosa
Director, Utility Strategy and Operations, Electrify America (Volkswagen)

Robert Barrosa is the director of utility strategy and operations for Electrify America. In this role, Barrosa is responsible for strategy and business development with a special focus on the California region. Barrosa has over 10 years of experience in the EV infrastructure industry. Previously, Barrosa served as vice president of OEM strategy and business development for EVgo and as an executive with AeroVironment Inc. in product development, engineering and business development.

Melissa Seymour
Melissa Seymour
Executive Director - External Relations, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)

Melissa Seymour is Executive Director of Central Region Member Relations and Seams Coordination for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO is anindependent, non‐profit organization responsible for maintaining reliable transmission of power in 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. In this role, Ms. Seymour leads a team of customer and regulatory advisors who strive to understand and address the needs and issues of members, stakeholders and state regulators. Additionally, Ms. Seymour’s organization develops and coordinates MISO’s strategy with neighboring transmission system operators, and facilitates new member discussions and integrations.

Ms. Seymour has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining MISO, Ms. Seymour was the Director of Regional Markets and Regulation at Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, where she was responsible for advancing policy changes to better accommodate renewable energy into the power system and create business opportunities for the company. Before Iberdrola Renewables, she held various strategic planning, business development, and regulatory positions at the Bonneville Power Administration, PacifiCorp, Southstar Energy Services and Southern Company Energy Marketing. Ms. Seymour holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee.

Alejandro de Hoz
Alejandro de Hoz
Vice President U.S. Offshore Wind, Avangrid Renewables

Alejandro de Hoz, Vice President Offshore Wind in Avangrid Renewables, is responsible for developing the US offshore wind business for the Iberdrola group. Alejandro has 13 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, preceded by several years in the telecommunications sector. Before taking the VP role within Avangrid Renewables, he was Offshore Business Performance director within the Iberdrola Offshore business for 5 years, based both in London and Madrid, and in charge of preparing Iberdrola’s offshore pipeline for competitive auction processes both in the UK and Germany, as well as coordinating the teams to take awarded projects through the Financial close. Prior to this, he held different positions within the Iberdrola group in developing the onshore wind business internationally, including the establishment in the French market and the development of the Mexican and Brazilian markets. Alejandro holds a degree in Physics from the University Complutense of Madrid and an MBA from ICAI-ICADE University of Madrid.

Julia Zuckerman
Julia Zuckerman
Senior Manager, External Affairs, Clearway Energy Group

Julia leads engagement on policy and regulatory issues related to Clearway Energy Group, formerly NRG's renewable energy development, including distributed solar, community solar, and utility-scale wind and solar. She currently serves on the boards of the Coalition for Community Solar Access and the Large-Scale Solar Association.  Prior to joining NRG in 2015, Julia was a Principal in Energy Finance at Climate Policy Initiative, where she co-authored numerous reports on clean energy finance and policy. Her previous work experience includes positions with the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York City Office of Management and Budget.  Julia holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a BA from Brown University.

Gary Durden
Gary Durden
Managing Director, CohnReznick Capital

Gary is a Managing Director with CohnReznick Capital and is based in the New York office. He provides transaction management and advisory services for clients in the sustainable energy sector, including corporate M&A, capital raises, and structured finance solutions for wind and solar projects.

Gary was previously a Senior Vice President at GE Energy Financial Services where he led deal teams in the structuring, diligence, and negotiation of investments in renewable energy projects in the US and Canada.  While at EFS he closed equity investments in over 2,000MW of utility-scale and C&I wind and solar projects, including tax equity, cash equity, and sale lease-back transactions.  Prior to GE EFS, Gary worked at Standard & Poor’s developing models used by commercial banks for assessing the credit risk of C&I companies. 

Earlier in his career, Gary served as an officer in the United States Navy where he supervised the operation of the nuclear reactor plants on an aircraft carrier and taught college-level classes to university students enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Gary is a CFA charter holder and earned an MBA from Villanova University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors from the University of Florida.

Michael Kurzeja
Michael Kurzeja
Senior Manager - Corporate Strategy, Innovation & Sustainability, Exelon

Michael Kurzeja is a Sr. Manager within the Corporate Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability group for Exelon Corporation. During his time at Exelon, Michael has had a dynamic and versatile 17-year career in the electricity industry that includes product development/launch, development of business strategy, and a proven track record of incorporating innovations that drive value and transform businesses.

In his current role, Michael incubates new businesses for Exelon and incorporates advanced technologies into existing operating companies. Michael leverages big data/analytics solutions, mobile application development, robotics, augmented reality, wearables, advanced sensors networks, cognitive computing and social media platforms to address challenges facing our industry.

During Michael’s time at Exelon, he has held numerous roles outside of the company in education and non-profits. Michael is currently an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship and has served as a board member for both Collegium Charter School and NAYGN. Prior to joining Exelon, Michael served 5 years in the United States Marine Corps. Michael holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Grantham University.

Chris Archer
Chris Archer
Senior Managing Director, Head of Green Energy Americas, Macquarie Capital

Chris joined Macquarie Capital’s infrastructure team in London in 2007 and over the last 11 years he has worked across advisory and investment in PPP, renewable energy projects and infrastructure M&A.

Chris relocated from London to New York in early 2018 as Head of Green Energy for the Americas, leading a team which is actively investing across onshore wind, solar and energy storage projects. In 2018 the team has led the investment in a 200MW windfarm, formed two new solar development partnership and completed construction of the largest behind the meter battery project in North America. During his time in Europe Chris led the deal teams investing into a range of sectors from solar and offshore wind, to waste to energy and biomass. The team invested more than €1.4 billion of balance sheet capital, primarily as equity, facilitating transactions in excess of €10bn on behalf of its clients.

In August 2017, MacCap led the acquisition of the Green Investment Bank from the UK Government and merged this with its existing renewable energy investment team. Chris became deputy head of the combined Green Investment Group team in MacCap Europe. Following Chris’ relocation, to New York in June 18, Macquarie Capital launched its Green Investment Group brand in North America, underlining its long term commitment to the sector.

Chris has a Masters in Civil Engineering from Imperial College and a Masters in Finance from INSEAD.

Michael Foster
Michael Foster
Director of Procurement, Origis Energy

Michael has worked in the power and utility industry for nearly ten years. His experience started managing the supply chain for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). During his time at SDG&E Michael focused on the sourcing and contracting for utility and community energy storage, substation and transmission construction, aviation and utility owned solar generation. After spending four years with SDG&E, Michael moved to Sempra U.S. Gas & Power where he led the strategic supply chain for utility scale solar, wind and energy storage for nearly 4 years. In late 2016, Michael joined Origis Energy as their Director of Procurement. He is currently leading the global sourcing and contracting efforts to support the development and construction of the Origis Energy solar and energy storage pipeline, which currently exceeds 1GW+ of projects through 2021. Michael has also completed research engagements for General Atomics into the feasibility of algae to oil facilities in the Pacific.

Michael has Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain/Operations Management from San Diego State University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy both from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

David Kirkpatrick
David Kirkpatrick
Director, Marathon Capital

David Kirkpatrick is a Director at Marathon Capital where he has led multiple project and company M&A transactions in the wind and solar industries along with capital raising for emerging growth and technology companies. Prior to joining Marathon Capital, Mr. Kirkpatrick worked for 20 years as an executive in the energy arena for companies including Ernst & Young, the Boston Consulting Group, General Electric Wind Energy, EDF-EN/enXco, Imperium Biofuels, and NRG Solar. Mr. Kirkpatrick has closed over $3 billion worth of transactions including company and project acquisitions and sales, venture investments, power purchase agreements, procurement of GW’s of wind/solar equipment, joint development agreements, land acquisitions, procurement of feedstocks and chemicals, rail/barge/and storage leases, and EPC contracts in the wind, solar, and biofuels industries.

Mr. Kirkpatrick completed his MBA at Harvard Business School, post graduate work at the University of St. Andrews as a Robert T. Jones Scholar, and his BA, cum laude at Emory University. Mr. Kirkpatrick holds his Series 63 and 79 licenses.

John Pflueger
John Pflueger
Principal Environmental Strategist, Dell

John Pflueger, Ph.D., is Dell's Principal Environmental Strategist.  In this role, John is responsible for driving Dell's strategy on issues around Environmental Sustainability – including energy, GHG emissions, materials of concern, material use/recovery/reuse, water and the application of technology to environmental issues.  In addition, John is Dell's lead on understanding Net Positive and how it relates to Dell's current and future business.

Prior to this role, John was Dell's subject matter expert on data center energy efficiency and managed initiatives to help customers improve the productivity of their computer systems and facilities. Since graduating from MIT in 1991 with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, John has been in a number of roles including product definition, development and manufacturing, as well as corporate and social responsibility.

Dean Solon
Dean Solon
Founder & CEO, Shoals Technologies Group

As the President and CEO of Shoals Technologies Group, Dean Solon is responsible for running all facets of the business. Dean has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales and technological growth in the solar industry. Dean founded Shoals in 1996 with partners and in the year 2000, bought all their shares in the business and changed the course of Shoals from manufacturing for the automotive industry to the solar industry. While solar was in it’s infancy, Dean saw an opportunity to bring his extensive automotive knowledge and experience to a fledgling industry. Prior to the founding of Shoals, Dean worked in technical sales at multiple automotive tier one and tier two companies. During that time, Bosch Automotive approached Dean with a request for him to start his own manufacturing business and become their sole vendor for automotive brush cards. This request was the catalyst for Dean to found Shoals Technologies Group and supply Bosch Mexico with product for many years. Dean attended college at Purdue University in 1988 and studied mechanical engineering.

Laura Stern
Laura Stern
President, Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC

Laura E. Stern is the President of Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, which she cofounded in 2006. Under her leadership, the company has grown to become one
of the leading solar developers and third-party asset managers in the US. With over twenty years of finance and power industry experience, Ms. Stern has sourced, structured and executed over $3 billion of power, energy and infrastructure investments. During her banking career, she specialized in originating and structuring renewable energy debt financings in the wind, hydro and biomass sectors. Ms. Stern has also sourced and executed senior debt financings for greenfield power development and acquisitions of distressed assets.

Ms. Stern began her career as a consultant, advising the Philippine Government on the privatization of its power, water and wastewater sectors. She holds an AB
with honors from Harvard University and a MA from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

She has been an Elected Director on the SEIA Board of Directors since 2014, currently serving as Treasurer.

Tim Jones
Tim Jones
Manager, Environmental Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, Samsung

Tim currently leads the Environmental Compliance & Regulatory Affairs Group for Samsung Austin which also includes their Environmental Sustainability Program.  Tim has over 20 years’ experience developing EHS policies and industry standards and as such has worked with the businesses, state and federal lawmakers, & agencies to develop meaningful legislation regarding natural resources, regulatory compliance, and sustainability.

He serves on several local and national organizational boards including the Environmental Science Institute Advisory Board @ The University of Texas – Austin.

Tim earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of South Florida and is currently pursuing his MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria in Carlisle, England.

Jonathan Reinbold
Jonathan Reinbold
Head of Sustainability, Organic Valley

Jonathan works at the nexus of energy, water and food systems to promote carbon drawdown. He has worked in sustainable agriculture and food systems for ten years, currently for Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. He has set their strategy to become the world’s largest 100% renewably-powered food company.

Jonathan currently serves on the board of the land conservation non-profit, Ojai Valley Green Coalition and is Board President of the Sustainable Food Trade Association. He earned his MA in Environment & Community from Antioch University Seattle.

Victoria Beasley
Victoria Beasley
Principal, Prelude Ventures

Victoria joined Prelude Ventures in 2016 upon completing her MBA and MS in Environment & Resources at Stanford University.  During her time at Stanford, Victoria worked at the Boston Consulting Group and started an agriculture supply chain company.  For her MS Capstone, Victoria authored a comparative feasibility study evaluating utility-scale solar across various Sub-Saharan African markets.

Prior to graduate school, Victoria was Director of Finance at Suniva, a venture-backed solar manufacturer and one of Prelude’s portfolio companies.  At Suniva, Victoria was instrumental in raising capital, expanding manufacturing globally, and executing sales.  She was also a Special Projects Leader at d.light, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products.  During her time at d.light, Victoria worked across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop the company’s asset financing solution to allow low-income customers to pay over time.  Victoria began her career in investment banking at Cary Street Partners.

Victoria holds an MBA, MS in Environment & Resources, and Certificate in Public Management & Social Innovation from Stanford University, where she was an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow and a Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco Scholar.  Victoria also holds a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Copland Scholar.

Victoria serves on the board of directors of Yerdle and is actively involved in the firm's investments in Scoop, ClearMetal, Sense Photonics, Powerhive, Pivot Bio, Ripple, Nyriad and Metalenz.

Brian Callaway
Brian Callaway
Vice President, Structured Finance, sPower

Brian is responsible for structured finance and due diligence economic evaluation and execution. Prior to joining sPower, he worked as Senior Analyst with the Commercial Execution group at NRG Renew in Carlsbad, CA. With NRG, Brian was responsible for project-level structured valuations, due diligence and the execution of key documents. His work led to the successful acquisition or development of domestic and international utility scale solar and wind assets. Some highlights include the acquisition of a 25% interest in the Desert Sunlight solar project as well as a landmark C&I PPA award with Cisco Systems Inc.

Brian is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, emphasis in Finance.

Alta Yen
Alta Yen
Managing Director, Strategic Planning, GE

Alta Yen is the Managing Director of Strategic Planning for General Electric Company as of February 2018.  In this role, she is responsible for managing long-term strategic planning across GE.  As a 20-year veteran in the energy industry, Alta is a consummate analyst who seeks to maximize value and drive outcomes using data, numbers and good judgment.  Her experience spans several business cycles, multiple large-scale energy crises and the massive disruption currently undertaking the energy industry.

In 1999, Alta joined GE Structured Finance Group as a portfolio manager where she ultimately managed and worked-out a $1.4 billion portfolio consisting primarily of distressed assets related to Enron, PG&E and Mirant.  In 2004, she helped launch GE Energy Financial Services, a debt and equity investor specializing in the energy sector through an operational role and in 2005, she returned to the investing side.  In 2007, Alta was promoted to Managing Director and served as the Chief Risk Manager for the $4 billion energy lending business. There she led or played a critical role in numerous transactions, most notably the ~$1 billion project finance loan acquisition from the Bank of Ireland.  In 2013, Alta became head of the Investment Strategy team responsible for developing long-term investing strategies based upon energy fundamentals and leading the unit’s new business development activities, notably in the commercial & industrial solar and storage sectors.

Prior to joining GE, Alta worked in New York City and Hong Kong before joining a Taipei-based freight forwarding company in business development. 

Alta earned a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, a certificate in advanced Mandarin from the Inter-University Program (“The Stanford Center”) and received a M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from The University of Michigan.  In 2016, she co-founded the Greater New York City Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network where she remains a board member today.

Peter Candelaria
Peter Candelaria
Chief Technology Officer, Silicon Ranch

Peter is responsible for the day-to-day technical operations of Silicon Ranch Corporation and is leading efforts to develop innovative power marketing strategies and comprehensive energy solutions for our diverse set of customers across the U.S. Peter brings 20-years of experience in the design/build and energy industry. His background includes EPC and asset management experience in conventional and renewable power projects, EHV transmission projects along with power procurement. As a professional engineer and general contractor, Peter brings tremendous operational depth to the Silicon Ranch team.

Ken Schuyler
Ken Schuyler
Manager, Renewable Services, PJM

Ken Schuyler is Manager, Renewable Services in the Market Services Division at PJM Interconnection.

Mr. Schuyler’s primary responsibilities include coordinating PJM initiatives to support integration of renewable energy resources into PJM markets and operations, and managing the operation of the PJM Environmental Information Services’ Generation Attribute Tracking System.

Mr. Schuyler has over thirty years of experience at PJM in System Operations and Markets. Previous assignments were in interconnection coordination for new generation projects, generator operations, and operations planning.

Mr. Schuyler is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Business Administration from Temple University.

Beth Reid
Beth Reid
CEO, Olivine

Beth Reid is a proven leader with over 15 years of experience in the energy industry including senior management positions at multi-national corporations such as ABB and VECTRA Technologies.  Throughout her career she has specialized in creating and implementing customized solutions for clients in regulated and de-regulated markets that incorporate both technological and non-technological components.  Most recently, she has been focusing on helping clients develop cost-effective solutions in the areas of demand response, renewable resource utilization, and other environmental topics.

Beth is a results oriented professional with a record of implementing successful initiatives in the industry ranging from coordination of regulatory filings, to the development of  innovative demand response programs to market entry for renewable generation resources.  Having worked in both the retail and wholesale sectors, most recently as Managing Director at APX, responsible for the Demand Response and Professional Services group, the breadth of Beth’s experience enables her to bring a unique and valuable perspective to client collaborations.

Through her leadership complex initiatives have come to life.  Olivine provides Beth with an opportunity to leverage these skills and capabilities to contribute lasting value to the shift in our energy use and sources.

Beth holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington and completed her undergraduate degree work with a specialty in Economics at the University of Michigan.

Thomas Tynes
Thomas Tynes
Regulatory Counsel - Policy & Corporate Development, Tesla

Thomas “Tommy” Tynes serves as Regulatory Counsel for Tesla’s Policy & Corporate Development team. In that capacity, Tommy represents the company’s interests related to electric vehicles, battery storage technology, and solar distributed generation before governing agencies across the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Tesla (and SolarCity), Tommy served as: a Staff Attorney at the Texas Public Utility Commission, a Federal Government Relations Specialist at NextEra Energy, and legislative staff in the Texas House of Representatives.

Gerry Froese
Gerry Froese
Managing Director, Market Structure & New Technology Initiatives, Avangrid Renewables

Gerry Froese is the Managing Director, Market Structure & New Technology Initiatives at Avangrid Renewables. In this role, Gerry is responsible for acting as Avangrid’s interface with all of the U.S. electricity markets as well as optimizing Avangrid’s extensive renewable portfolio and thermal assets across the United States. He is one of the industry’s experts in integrating intermittent wind resources into the electricity grid and has played a major role in creating Avangrid’s “Self Supply” Pilot program in Bonneville Power Administration’s balancing authority. Gerry has worked at Avangrid Renewables for 24 years and has held a number of senior management positions including Managing Director of Asset Management and Managing Director of Origination. He has more than 37 years of experience in the electricity industry including key management and operating roles at PacifiCorp, Grant County PUD and Manitoba Hydro.

Ellen Friedman
Ellen Friedman
Partner, Co-leader, Energy and Infrastructure Projects Team, Nixon Peabody

Ellen Friedman is a project finance attorney focused on domestic and international infrastructure and energy projects. She counsels a wide variety of clients, including project developers and sponsors, tax and equity investors, commercial lenders, underwriters and buyers and sellers of projects with respect to project development, transaction structure, risk assessment and due diligence, financing, purchase and sale arrangements and partnership/joint venture matters.

Giles Bicknell
Giles Bicknell
Investment Executive, Infrastructure, InfraRed Capital Partners

Giles has been a member of InfraRed’s New York-based team since 2014, and is responsible for originating and executing infrastructure investments in North America, principally in the energy, power and renewables sectors, and across both development-stage and operating assets and platforms. Giles also has experience executing transportation transactions in the U.S. and energy transactions in Mexico and Israel.

Prior to joining InfraRed, Giles was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in New York focusing on financial advisory for corporate and asset transactions in the power & utilities, clean energy and chemicals sectors within North America. Before that Giles worked in the infrastructure advisory group at Macquarie in Melbourne and Abu Dhabi. Giles has a B.Com/LLB (Hons) combined degree from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Edgar Ferrara
Edgar Ferrara
Director of Sustainability, Circuit of the Americas

Edgar Farrera is Director of Sustainability at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas; home of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, Moto GP, Indycar, and the A360 amphitheater. Farrera’s responsibilities focus on environmentally responsible management of major sporting events, corporate social responsibility, community outreach, and responsible stewardship of the motorsport complex’s 1300 acre campus.
In recognition of The Circuit’s environmental accomplishments, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme awarded the 2014 FIM Environmental Award to COTA. Edgar is a member of the American Society of Automotive Engineers Green Racing Committee, and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Santosh Raikar
Santosh Raikar
Managing Director, Renewable Energy Investments, State Street

Santosh Raikar currently heads the renewable energy investments group at State Street that invests in tax equity investments. Since joining the group in January 2012, State Street has provided close to $2 bn in tax equity commitments primarily in wind and solar sectors. Santosh has more than 16 years of experience in energy and infrastructure finance with expertise in renewable energy, oil & gas, power, and midstream infrastructure assets. Santosh previously worked at Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers in principal finance areas. During his finance career, Santosh has underwritten more than $6 billion of investments across the capital structure as a principal investor. Santosh also teaches a full-semester graduate level course titled “Renewable Energy Investments” at Carroll School of Management (Boston College). Santosh holds a Master of Science in Technology and Policy Program from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned an MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Mumbai.

Prajit Ghosh
Prajit Ghosh
Head of Global Strategy, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Prajit Ghosh currently leads a global team responsible for developing and commercializing Wood Mackenzie's views of the Power and Renewables markets. His experience spans oil, gas, coal, power and renewables markets. His current focus is on energy market transition and the impact of emerging technologies. 

Prajit joined Wood Mackenzie in 2006 where he has lead Wood Mackenzie’s North American and European gas, power & renewables market outlooks.  His recent focus has been Asia Pacific markets.

Before Woodmac, he worked at Constellation focused on US upstream and power markets.

He has extensively worked on policy issues liaising with the Government of India during his tenure at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce. His focus there was on the Indian hydrocarbon and renewables sector.

Prajit holds a Masters degree in Energy and Mineral Resources from the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds an MBA from Symbiosis College, India and an Economics degree from Delhi University, India. He is based on Houston.

Gene Settoon
Gene Settoon
Senior Manager, Corporate Development, Invenergy

Gene is a Senior Manager on the Corporate Development Team at Invenergy, a Chicago-based clean energy developer.  His role on the Corporate Development Team is developing new market strategy, and he leads the investigation and implementation of strategies to grow Invenergy’s business into new business lines, new geographies, and new technologies.  Gene has led Invenergy’s strategy efforts in Offshore Wind as Invenergy seeks to take advantage of its global footprint and industry leading onshore development team to bring value to the offshore wind segment.

Previously, Gene worked on the M&A team responsible for wind and solar project M&A across the US.  Prior to Invenergy Gene worked at an energy storage start-up, Ambri, McKinsey, and ExxonMobil. He has an MBA from Chicago Booth and an undergraduate degree in engineering from MIT.

Ravi Manghani
Ravi Manghani
Head of Solar, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Elta Kolo, Ph.D.
Research Manager, Grid Edge, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Elta is a Research Manager for the Grid Edge team at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), working on demand-side management in U.S. electricity markets. Prior to joining GTM, Elta pursued a joint Ph.D. funded by the European Commission on Sustainable Energy Technologies and Strategies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. During her doctoral studies, she researched demand response policies for the implementation of smart grids and has presented her work at both U.S. and European conferences in addition to publishing in international scholarly journals. Elta holds a Master of Science degree in economics and management of network industries and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College.

Cory Honeyman
Cory Honeyman
Business Development Manager - Channel Partner & Strategy, AES Distributed Energy

Cory Honeyman is a Business Development Manager - Chanel Partner & Strategy with AES Distributed Resources.

Previously, Cory was the Director of Solar Research at Wood Mackenzie (previously GTM Research) with a focus on downstream demand in the US. There he handled primary data collection and analysis for the SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight reports and covers U.S. utility and commercial project development. His prior internship experiences include work in corporate sustainability and carbon markets. Cory has a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and MS from Columbia University with a concentration in energy and sustainability.

Brett Weal
Brett Weal
Principal, CohnReznick

Brett Weal is a principal in CohnReznick’s consulting group. Based in the Atlanta office, he is responsible for advising clients on structuring renewable energy transactions under partnership tax guidelines. He is also responsible for the compilation and analysis of financial models and for the due diligence of renewable energy projects.

Brett’s experience with numerous tax credits, including the Investment Tax Credit, the Production Tax Credit, the Low-income Housing Tax Credit, the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, and the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program, has led him to be involved in every stage of development of the projects that involve these tax credits. During his time at CohnReznick, he has helped to structure renewable energy transactions in excess of $6 billion.

Brett has broad knowledge of, and experience in, all areas of structuring renewable energy portfolios. His clients include major, publicly-held Fortune 500 companies and renewable energy developers and investors across the United States.

Kathryn Rasmussen
Kathryn Rasmussen
Principal - Clean Energy Infrastructure, Capital Dynamics

Kathryn is a Principal on the Clean Energy Infrastructure team and has been with the team since October 2011 . She has over 8 years of energy-related experience. Prior to joining us, she worked at Wells Fargo Securities as an investment banking analyst in Energy & Power. In this role, Kathryn was involved in the evaluation and execution of mergers, asset purchases, divestitures and capital markets transactions in the power and utilities sector. Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Florida.

Matt Kibbe
Matt Kibbe
PR Ambassador & Senior Economist, IEC

Matt Kibbe is Senior Economist at Inductance Energy Corporation, a company delivering distributed energy via ZEROGRID powered by the Earth Engine.  Producing power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the Earth Engine requires zero fossil fuels, no combustion, sun, wind, hydro, bio-fuels, or radioactive fuel sources.  ZEROGRID powered by the Earth Engine allows you to consume power where you produce it. The future of distributed energy.

Kibbe is Co-founder and President at Free the People, an educational foundation reaching young people with stories about freedom, community and disruptive innovation. He is also Co-founder and Partner at Fight the Power Productions, a strategic communications firm focused on video production, social media branding and distribution, and compelling storytelling.

He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.  In 2004 Kibbe founded FreedomWorks, where he served as President and CEO for 11 years. Steve Forbes said, “Kibbe has been to FreedomWorks what Steve Jobs was to Apple.” Previously, Kibbe served as Chief of Staff for a U.S. Congressman, as Budget Director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and as Senior Economist at the Republican National Committee.

Dubbed “The Scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is the author of several best-selling books, including the #2 New York Times bestseller Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto (HarperCollins, 2013).

Kristin Hanczor
Kristin Hanczor
Corporate Member Engagement Manager, North America, RE100 (The Climate Group)

Kristin leads corporate engagement for North America for The Climate Group. She is responsible for working across the EP100, EV100 and RE100 campaigns to enhance corporate ambition on energy productivity, sustainable transportation and renewable electricity. She focuses on member management to strengthen the offerings of each initiative to best support companies on their journey towards a clean energy future. She also assists with the coordination of Climate Week NYC.

Kristin joined The Climate Group in May 2017 as the Affiliate Events Manager for Climate Week NYC 2017, where she also supported the corporate team leads on the EP100, EV100 and RE100 campaigns.

She has several years of experience working in corporate sustainability and reporting. She led internal CSR programs at Thornton Tomasetti covering energy efficiency, emissions reduction and employee engagement. At Edelman, she worked on the Business + Social Purpose team to support clients with program development and implementation, communication strategies and external reporting.

Prior to joining The Climate Group, Kristin worked at Bowdoin College as both the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator and Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach, where she led campus programs addressing energy, waste, and water issues.

Kristin holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Government from Bowdoin College. She is currently pursuing her MBA in Sustainability from Bard College.

Daniel Finn-Foley
Daniel Finn-Foley
Head of Energy Storage, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
Suzanne Bertin
Suzanne Bertin
Executive Director, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance

As Executive Director, Suzanne Bertin leads TAEBA’s efforts to promote the advanced energy industry in the State of Texas.

Immediately prior to joining TAEBA, Suzanne handled regulatory and government affairs in Texas and the Southeast for EnerNOC, a global leader in demand response and energy intelligence software.  Suzanne was also at Reliant (NRG) for more than a decade, where she worked on a wide range of wholesale and retail legislative and regulatory issues, from the inception of the competitive retail market in ERCOT and through its first eleven years of operation.  In these roles, Suzanne has had direct business and policy experience relating to numerous advanced energy technologies including energy efficiency, demand response, natural gas, solar, wind, electric vehicles, and smart grid.

Suzanne worked in the Office of Policy Development at the Public Utility Commission of Texas during the late 1990s, when the ERCOT competitive retail market was established by Texas Senate Bill 7.  Suzanne co-led the team responsible for implementing the transition to competition, which encompassed more than 40 regulatory proceedings, many of which were highly complex and contentious.  

Suzanne also previously held electrical engineering positions at Austin Energy and at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. 

Suzanne holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.  Suzanne also holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts (Managerial Studies), both from Rice University in Houston, Texas. 

Suzanne is a lifelong Texan and resides in Austin.

Matt Cox
Matt Cox
Principal and Founder, Powder Day Capital

Matt Cox is the Principal and founder of Powder Day Capital and a register representative for the broker-dealer Pickwick Capital Partners. Matt advises clients in the power and renewables sector on raising debt and equity capital.  He also assists clients with commodities risk management.

Prior to his current role, Matt spent eleven years at Deutsche Bank in New York where he was the Managing Director and Head of Project Finance Origination.  He was also the Managing Director and Head of Commodities Origination for North America.

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he spent fourteen years in the PSEG family of companies.  He was a Senior Origination Director for PSEG Energy Resources & Trade focused on the PJM, New York and New England markets.  Matt also had a nine year career as a power engineer at PSEG and held the role of Manager of Engineering Services at PSEG Energy Technologies.
He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology from Temple University and an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University. Matt is also a graduate of the Power Technology Institute’s two-year program in advanced power system engineering.

Zach Ward
Zach Ward
CEO, Sungrow North America

Zach Ward is the Head of Sungrow’s North America Division where he manages the leading inverter and storage manufacturer’s expansion into the US and Canadian markets.

Zach started his career working in the semiconductor industry managing sales and service platforms in N. America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. 

In 2005, he helped form the PV inverter business at Advanced Energy, establishing the organization as the US inverter market share leader. Zach has held executive positions at PanelClaw and Array Technologies Incorporated (ATI). Zach is based in Denver, Colorado.

Zach Baumer
Zach Baumer
Climate Program Manager, City of Austin

Zach has been with the City of Austin since 2011 where he manages the Climate Program in the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability.  His primary duties include overseeing the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies across the City organization and community.  Prior to the City of Austin, Zach spent 10 years working in the environmental consulting industry, primarily assisting large industrial clients with environmental data management, greenhouse gas inventories, and sustainability planning.  Zach holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Chad Singleton
Chad Singleton
Principal Analyst - Americas Power & Renewables, Wood Mackenzie
Izzet Bensusan
Izzet Bensusan
Managing Partner, Managing Partner & Founder, Captona

Izzet Bensusan is a Managing Partner & Founder of Captona Partners. He brings several years of expertise in investing, transacting and managing power assets in the emerging sectors of Wind, Solar, Hydro, Biomass, Storage and other new energy sectors.

At Captona, he has built a strong team with deep sector understanding, internal technical and asset management capabilities, and investment expertise across multiple technologies. This integrated, multi-disciplinary approach has allowed Captona to be a more effective operator and selective investor of development and operating-stage assets in the power generation and energy infrastructure sectors.

In his current and prior roles he has been involved in both investing and structuring the capital of numerous power projects. To these projects he has arranged and structured various forms of capital such as Tax Equity, project finance, private placement funds, and preferred equity from institutional markets.

Prior to Captona, he founded Karbone, an award-winning financial services company focused on renewable and traditional energy markets. Since inception over a decade ago, Karbone has serviced utilities, energy developers, institutional investors, and investment firms via its Banking Capital Advisory, Brokerage and Research divisions.

Karbone has helped its clients transact across many commodities such as RECs, SRECs, Carbon Credits, Power Capacity and Hedges. Through its Capital Advisory arm, the Group has advised on Tax Equity structuring, debt and equity raises, and M&A. Karbone's Research division publishes bespoke analytical research in power pricing and environmental commodities for institutional clients.

Prior to Karbone, Mr. Bensusan was a partner at Net2s, a global consulting firm, where he built a division, on privacy and IT security. He managed a team of over 100 consultants.

Mr. Bensusan holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA/MA from Brandeis University.

Fei Wang
Fei Wang
Senior Grid Edge Analyst, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Fei Wang is a Grid Edge Analyst with Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research), specializing in customer energy management. Fei was previously a consultant in ICF’s energy practice where she worked on assessing the impact of environmental regulations for commercial, government and non-profit clients. Prior to that, Fei earned her Master of International Affairs with a concentration in energy and environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). During graduate school, Fei worked with New York Power Authority (NYPA) on renewable energy procurement, the State Energy Plan and the ReCharge New York program. Fei holds a B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College.

Rich Latto
Rich Latto
Managing Partner, Spray Rock Capital

Rich Latto is the managing member of Spray Rock Capital, an investment firm that focuses on energy transformation. The fund invests in companies that will benefit from the growth of renewable energy generation, utility transformation, electrification of transportation, and increasing industrial efficiency. Spray Rock focuses both on financing private transactions, primarily renewable energy generation, and a broader portfolio of public investments that will benefit from energy transformation. 

Previously, Spray Rock Capital worked with Warburg Pincus’ energy group to evaluate investments. Rich was a founding partner of Longroad Asset Management, where from 2001-2014 he helped create and manage a middle market private equity portfolio.  Prior to that, Rich worked at Goldman Sachs, Amerada Hess, and Drexel Burnham in their energy businesses. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Rich currently is on the board of directors of two companies. He is chairman of Greenwich Associates, which is the leading global provider of market intelligence and advisory services to the financial services industry. In addition, Rich is a director of ABS offshore SPC, a multibillion dollar long short equity fund, where he also serves as an independent trustee for ABS’s long short strategies.

Colin Smith
Colin Smith
Senior Analyst, Solar, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Colin Smith is a Solar Analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (formerly GTM Research) leading the U.S Utility PV Market Tracker where his research focuses on the developer landscape, economic and political market drivers, U.S. market trends, and utility solar forecasts. Prior to joining GTM, Colin worked with several companies in the PV sector specializing in sales, online marketing, and operations of small companies. He holds a B.Sc with Honours in Environmental Biology and Sustainability from Queen's University, ON.

Daniel Muñoz-Álvarez
Daniel Muñoz-Álvarez
Senior Analyst, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Daniel is a senior research analyst based in Houston currently covering North American power markets with a focus on market design and modeling. As part of GTM Research, he previously covered grid edge markets focusing on grid modernization, utility non-wires alternatives projects, and volt/VAR control. He joined Wood Mackenzie in 2017.

Prior to Wood Mackenzie, Daniel obtained a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Applied Economics at Cornell University. During his doctoral studies, he conducted research on power markets and rate design focused on the integration of renewable energy, energy storage, and distributed energy resources including the co-development of financial storage rights. He graduated magna cum laude from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Richard Ethington
Richard Ethington
CFO, IEC

Richard Ethington is a seasoned accounting professional with on hands operational experience in manufacturing, data centers, as well as research and development.

Richard's financial experience spans the world as well with deep experience in the Middle East and Europe.

Jerry Polacek
Jerry Polacek
Managing Director - Clean Energy, Tortoise Capital

Jerry Polacek is a co-founder of Tortoise’s Clean Energy and Infrastructure business and serves as a Managing Director and Group Lead. Previously, Mr. Polacek was a co-founder of Energy & Infrastructure Capital LLC (EIC) and served as its CEO and Chief Investment Officer from 2014 to 2016. Prior to forming EIC, Mr. Polacek was a Managing Director at GE Capital, Energy Financial Services (GE EFS), where he held various leadership roles focused on private equity and credit investment in the global energy infrastructure sector since joining in 2001.

At GE EFS, Mr. Polacek co-founded the renewable energy group in 2006 as head of portfolio management and also managed its energy technology venture capital portfolio. Prior to joining GE, he was a controller at Morgan Stanley in its venture capital investment division and a senior auditor with Ernst & Young where he passed the Certified Public Accountant exam.

Mr. Polacek graduated magna cum laude from Adelphi University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and
Entrepreneurship with honors from Columbia Business School. He is a CFA® charterholder.

Hongbin Fang, Ph.D.
Hongbin Fang, Ph.D.
Director of Product Marketing, LONGi Solar

Hongbin Fang is Director of Product Marketing at LONGi Solar, a leading dedicated monocrystalline solar cell and module manufacturer.

Previously Hongbin Fang has been working in semiconductor and solar industry for more than 18 years. His past experience at Applied Materials and SunPower has been focusing on semiconductor equipment process development/integration and solar cell manufacturing process. More recently at SunEdison, he has led the effort on solar wafer, cell and module integration, new technology and new supplier introduction into HVM manufacturing.  He has published 14 scientific papers, and holds 14 US patents. He earned his BS degree in Materials Science from University of Science and Technology of China and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.

Jamie Fine
Jamie Fine
Director, Energy Research & Sr. Economist, Environmental Defense Fund

James “Jamie” Fine works to reduce the impacts of energy systems used to power buildings, transport and service people, and produce and move goods.

His areas of research and advocacy include design and implementation of market-based policy, modeling the economic, air quality, and health consequences of policy decisions, deploying smart grid for environmental and electricity customer benefits, and facilitating the meaningful involvement of community stakeholders in environmental planning.

Advisory Board

Khalil Shalabi
Khalil Shalabi
Vice President, Strategy, Technology & Markets, Austin Energy

Khalil Shalabi is Vice President of Strategy, Technology, and Markets. He joined Austin Energy in December 2013.

Shalabi has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the electric utility industry. His diverse work history includes research and development; resource planning and acquisition; project evaluation including renewable energy, business development, long-range planning, and market analysis; and nuclear power plant engineering, maintenance, and operations. He also has experience in treasury and corporate risk management. Prior to joining Austin Energy, Shalabi served as chief technology officer and director of Research and Development and Strategic Planning for the New York Power Authority.

Shalabi has a Master of Business Administration in finance and management from New York University, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed a certificate course at the Vermont Law School on legal essentials for utility executives.

Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Shay Bahramirad, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering & Smart Grid, ComEd

Dr. Shay Bahramirad serves as a strategic business leader at ComEd, the electric utility serving northern Illinois, including Chicago. She drives the company’s efforts to visualize and implement the 21st century power grid transformation and the new energy economy. She is responsible for ComEd’s vision of the grid of the future and communities of the future, system reliability, engineering and planning. Bahramirad also develops frameworks for emerging technology roadmaps and investment strategies to enable higher levels of resilience, sustainability and equitable economic development. To achieve this, she is driving an effort to reskill ComEd’s existing workforce to prepare for new challenges and possibilities. Bahramirad is an editorial board member of Electricity Journal, a professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the IEEE/PES Vice President of New Initiatives and Outreach, overseeing the organization’s engagement with policymakers globally, and developing strategies for next generation of standards and frameworks, including smart cities.

Prior to her current role, Bahramirad was the Director of Distribution System Planning, Smart Grid & Innovation at ComEd, where she acted as technical lead for projects including the Bronzeville Community Microgrid, defined an energy storage roadmap and headed an effort to develop transactive energy models. In addition, she provided technical analysis for policy issues related to electrification, the Future Energy Jobs Act, and the Illinois Commerce Commission’s NextGrid process, while fostering a cross-organizational culture of innovation. Before joining ComEd, Bahramirad served in a number of engineering roles for over a decade. She has published extensively on subjects ranging from smart grids to smart cities and has served as an expert witness at the state and federal levels on issues including distributed energy resources, microgrids and advanced distribution planning.

Bahramirad serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Leader Council of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, the Board of Directors of HFS Chicago Scholars, the Board of Directors of Chicago Architecture Foundation. and the Executive Board of Director of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers/ Power and Energy Society. She fundraises for the Chicago Special Olympics, St. Jude Hospital, and the American Heart Association, among others. She is the founder and a member of the board of Power and Energy Society Women in Power.

Dr. Bahramirad holds multiple advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.Sc. in both electric power engineering and computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. She is a graduate of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern Women’s Senior Leadership program and Finance for Executives.

Doug McMahon
Doug McMahon
Vice President of Corporate Strategy, New York Power Authority

Doug McMahon is the Vice President of Corporarte Strategy for the New York Power Authority, the country’s largest state owned electric utility. He is responsible for the development and execution of NYPA’s corporate strategy. In addition, Doug leads incubation and commercialization of new products, services and technologies at NYPA - aimed at catalyzing New York State’s REV and clean energy goals by developing scalable and financeable solutions that make the energy system cleaner and more efficient, intelligent, flexible and resilient.

Marc van Gerven
Marc van Gerven
Vice President, Solar, Shell New Energies

Marc is responsible for Shell’s Solar activities globally and heads up the Shell New Energies office located in San Francisco, California. The office is active in a diverse range of operation, including New Fuels, Connected Energy, Shell Technology Ventures and Solar. Prior to joining Shell, Marc served as the Regional Vice President, Africa, Europe, and Turkey at First Solar. As part of his role he led a multi-national team that covered business development and sales operations from offices in Germany, Turkey, Belgium, Morocco and South Africa. Marc joined First Solar in 2011, where his responsibilities included the incubation of new business models and market segments globally, the leadership of the Company’s strategic marketing functions including the Company’s corporate development activities, as well as the development and implementation of a global accounts sales strategy and team.

Before his transition to First Solar, Marc was the Chief Executive Officer of Q-Cells North America where he built a turnkey solar power plant business in the distributed generation market serving Utilities and IPP’s. He was also part of the founding team of Solaria, a solar technology startup. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for an Upstream Oil & Gas business segment at GE and spent four years with Chevron Geothermal, where he developed large scale geothermal power production projects in Asia and Latin America.

Marc currently serves on the Shell Foundation “Energy Company of the Future” Advisory Board. He previously served on the Boards of Powerhive and Clean Energy Collective as well as the Solar Energy Industries Association and Solar Power Europe.

Barrett Stambler
Barrett Stambler
Vice President, Renewable Origination, Avangrid Renewables

Barrett has more than 20 years experience in the renewable energy business with Avangrid Renewables and its predecessor PPM Energy, PacifiCorp, U.S. Windpower, Calpine, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Barrett oversees Avangrid Renewables’ wind sales and marketing activities across the U.S. and Canada and is also responsible for expanding the company's customer relationships there. Prior to this he served as managing director of renewable origination. He has been integral to the company's wind power business from its earliest days, including its first-ever power purchase agreement for Stateline Wind Energy Center in 2001.

Barrett holds a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.B.A. from Yale University.

Julia Zuckerman
Julia Zuckerman
Senior Manager, External Affairs, Clearway Energy Group

Julia leads engagement on policy and regulatory issues related to Clearway Energy Group, formerly NRG's renewable energy development, including distributed solar, community solar, and utility-scale wind and solar. She currently serves on the boards of the Coalition for Community Solar Access and the Large-Scale Solar Association.  Prior to joining NRG in 2015, Julia was a Principal in Energy Finance at Climate Policy Initiative, where she co-authored numerous reports on clean energy finance and policy. Her previous work experience includes positions with the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York City Office of Management and Budget.  Julia holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a BA from Brown University.

Jonathan Adelman
Jonathan Adelman
Area Vice President for Strategic Resource and Business Planning, Xcel Energy

Jonathan Adelman has been employed by Xcel Energy since 2002 and has worked in a number of areas at the Company including Commercial Trading Operations, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing.  Jonathan is currently the Area Vice President for Strategic Resource and Business Planning.  In this role, he oversees the Company’s long-term generation strategy and business planning activities for Xcel Energy four operating utilities, which includes facilitating and developing asset and financial plans.   Xcel Energy, an electric and gas utility with service territory in eight Western and Midwestern states, serving 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers.

Prior to joining Xcel Energy, Jonathan worked in public accounting.  He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Accounting with special attainments in Commerce and is an inactive Certified Public Accountant.

Gary Durden
Gary Durden
Managing Director, CohnReznick Capital

Gary is a Managing Director with CohnReznick Capital and is based in the New York office. He provides transaction management and advisory services for clients in the sustainable energy sector, including corporate M&A, capital raises, and structured finance solutions for wind and solar projects.

Gary was previously a Senior Vice President at GE Energy Financial Services where he led deal teams in the structuring, diligence, and negotiation of investments in renewable energy projects in the US and Canada.  While at EFS he closed equity investments in over 2,000MW of utility-scale and C&I wind and solar projects, including tax equity, cash equity, and sale lease-back transactions.  Prior to GE EFS, Gary worked at Standard & Poor’s developing models used by commercial banks for assessing the credit risk of C&I companies. 

Earlier in his career, Gary served as an officer in the United States Navy where he supervised the operation of the nuclear reactor plants on an aircraft carrier and taught college-level classes to university students enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Gary is a CFA charter holder and earned an MBA from Villanova University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors from the University of Florida.

Jack Godshall
Jack Godshall
Vice President, Origination , Invenergy

Jack Godshall leads Invenergy’s Origination group, responsible for sales and marketing activity for the company’s solar, wind, natural gas and advanced energy storage portfolio.  Prior to his current role, he formed and led Invenergy’s Corporate Development group, charged with development M&A and strategic planning. Godshall has over a decade of development, M&A, and sales and marketing experience, primarily in the power industry.  Since joining Invenergy in 2010, Godshall has transacted on over 5,000 MW of generation currently operating or under contract. Before joining the company, Godshall held various development positions with urban real estate firms in New York City. He earned a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Philip Bassil
Philip Bassil
Senior Vice President & Country Manager - Canada, Marathon Capital

Philip Bassil is Senior Vice President and Country Manager for Marathon Capital, LLC in Canada. He is focused on the Canadian energy and infrastructure sectors. Philip has over 15 years of international business, finance and energy experience in Canada, the US and Europe.

Before joining Marathon Capital, Philip was a Managing Director with BSM Global Partners, Inc. focused on delivering investment banking, merger and acquisition (M&A), capital raising, corporate finance and strategic advisory services to clients in the power, energy and infrastructure sectors across Canada. He earlier served as a respected equity analyst covering the power, utility and the energy services sectors in Canada with a boutique investment bank, as well as an equity research associate covering the technology sector at Scotia Capital on Bay Street in Toronto.

Philip is a sought-after thought-leader and speaker at industry events and conferences including the Euromoney Renewable Energy Finance Forum and the Canadian Clean Energy Ontario Feed-In-Tariff Forum.

Philip earned an MBA from the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Computer Science with the Electrical Engineering stream from TUNS. He has also successfully completed Level 1 and 2 of the CFA designation, and the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) as well as the PDO.

Grant Brummels
Grant Brummels
Senior Manager, Corporate Engineering, Exelon

Grant Brummels leads the Predix implementation for fossil, hydro, wind, solar and battery storage. He is also responsible for engineering governance, oversight and support of Exelon’s wind and solar business. He has spent 13 years in the power generation sector, focused primarily on renewable technologies. Throughout that time, he has held roles that oversaw or supported origination, development, design, finance and operation of renewable projects. Prior to his current role, Brummels was Sr. Manager, Generation Development at Exelon Generation, and Sr. Manager, Design Engineering and Applied Sciences at Exelon Wind. Before joining Exelon, he served as Director, Technical Services at Foresight Renewables. Brummels holds a Master of Science in Applied Geospatial Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from Northern Arizona University.

Vanessa Miler-Fels
Vanessa Miler-Fels
Renewable Energy Strategy, Microsoft

Vanessa is a Renewable Energy Strategist at Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations,  working on energy strategy, renewable energy procurement and investment. She counts on 10 years+ of experience in unlocking capital for renewable energy and environment projects in EMEA and emerging markets. Vanessa has experience across the public and private sectors, and she was a former senior adviser on climate finance and negotiations at the French Ministry of Finance. A French and Indian national, Vanessa holds a masters from Sciences-Po Paris and the ENA - Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

Abe Azar
Abe Azar
Vice President, Equity Research, Deutsche Bank

Abe Azar is a Vice President in the Deutsche Bank US Utilities and Power equity research team and has lead coverage of the listed Independent Power Producers.  Abe also plays a central role in developing the team's views on competitive power market thematics.  Abe joined Deutsche Bank in 2014 from PSEG, where he worked for six years.  During his time at PSEG, Abe worked on the sale of the company's Texas combined cycles and its ten-year service contract to manage the Long Island power grid.  Abe holds a BS in Finance and Information Systems and an MBA, both from New York University-Stern School of Business.

Melissa Kemp
Melissa Kemp
Director of Policy, Northeast, Cypress Creek Renewables

Melissa is the Director of Policy, Northeast for Cypress Creek Renewables - one of the largest utility and community-scale solar and storage developers in the US. She has over a decade of experience in the renewables market, including extensive government policy, regulatory, and political work, all scales of development experience, and technical expertise. She has experience advocating for and developing solutions on many key topics including ISO wholesale market structures and revenue streams, state RPS structures and REC systems, carbon pricing, compensating distributed clean energy resources based on value, and interconnection processes and standards, as well as experience with siting and property tax issues. She holds a BS from Princeton University.

Chris Archer
Chris Archer
Senior Managing Director, Head of Green Energy Americas, Macquarie Capital

Chris joined Macquarie Capital’s infrastructure team in London in 2007 and over the last 11 years he has worked across advisory and investment in PPP, renewable energy projects and infrastructure M&A.

Chris relocated from London to New York in early 2018 as Head of Green Energy for the Americas, leading a team which is actively investing across onshore wind, solar and energy storage projects. In 2018 the team has led the investment in a 200MW windfarm, formed two new solar development partnership and completed construction of the largest behind the meter battery project in North America. During his time in Europe Chris led the deal teams investing into a range of sectors from solar and offshore wind, to waste to energy and biomass. The team invested more than €1.4 billion of balance sheet capital, primarily as equity, facilitating transactions in excess of €10bn on behalf of its clients.

In August 2017, MacCap led the acquisition of the Green Investment Bank from the UK Government and merged this with its existing renewable energy investment team. Chris became deputy head of the combined Green Investment Group team in MacCap Europe. Following Chris’ relocation, to New York in June 18, Macquarie Capital launched its Green Investment Group brand in North America, underlining its long term commitment to the sector.

Chris has a Masters in Civil Engineering from Imperial College and a Masters in Finance from INSEAD.

Laura Stern
Laura Stern
President, Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC

Laura E. Stern is the President of Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, which she cofounded in 2006. Under her leadership, the company has grown to become one
of the leading solar developers and third-party asset managers in the US. With over twenty years of finance and power industry experience, Ms. Stern has sourced, structured and executed over $3 billion of power, energy and infrastructure investments. During her banking career, she specialized in originating and structuring renewable energy debt financings in the wind, hydro and biomass sectors. Ms. Stern has also sourced and executed senior debt financings for greenfield power development and acquisitions of distressed assets.

Ms. Stern began her career as a consultant, advising the Philippine Government on the privatization of its power, water and wastewater sectors. She holds an AB
with honors from Harvard University and a MA from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

She has been an Elected Director on the SEIA Board of Directors since 2014, currently serving as Treasurer.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos
Sotiris Georgiopoulos
Head of Smart Grid Development, UK Power Networks

Sotiris is the head of smart grid development at UK Power Networks, responsible for business rollout of the successful innovation projects and the delivery of UK Power Networks’ DSO strategy.  Sotiris has over 10 years experience with UK Power Networks in the areas of innovation, construction and energy services development.

Michael Foster
Michael Foster
Director of Procurement, Origis Energy

Michael has worked in the power and utility industry for nearly ten years. His experience started managing the supply chain for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). During his time at SDG&E Michael focused on the sourcing and contracting for utility and community energy storage, substation and transmission construction, aviation and utility owned solar generation. After spending four years with SDG&E, Michael moved to Sempra U.S. Gas & Power where he led the strategic supply chain for utility scale solar, wind and energy storage for nearly 4 years. In late 2016, Michael joined Origis Energy as their Director of Procurement. He is currently leading the global sourcing and contracting efforts to support the development and construction of the Origis Energy solar and energy storage pipeline, which currently exceeds 1GW+ of projects through 2021. Michael has also completed research engagements for General Atomics into the feasibility of algae to oil facilities in the Pacific.

Michael has Master of Business Administration in Supply Chain/Operations Management from San Diego State University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy both from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also is a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Santosh Raikar
Santosh Raikar
Managing Director, Renewable Energy Investments, State Street

Santosh Raikar currently heads the renewable energy investments group at State Street that invests in tax equity investments. Since joining the group in January 2012, State Street has provided close to $2 bn in tax equity commitments primarily in wind and solar sectors. Santosh has more than 16 years of experience in energy and infrastructure finance with expertise in renewable energy, oil & gas, power, and midstream infrastructure assets. Santosh previously worked at Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers in principal finance areas. During his finance career, Santosh has underwritten more than $6 billion of investments across the capital structure as a principal investor. Santosh also teaches a full-semester graduate level course titled “Renewable Energy Investments” at Carroll School of Management (Boston College). Santosh holds a Master of Science in Technology and Policy Program from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned an MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Mumbai.

Rafael Belda Marin
Rafael Belda Marin
Managing Director, Mexico, Sunco Capital

Rafael Belda Marin joined the ENGIE group in 2017 as Renewable and Infrastructure Director. During his more than 17 years of professional experience he has been leading infrastructure and energy assets both in Europe and LATAM, with direct participation in their development, structuring, execution and operation.

In recent years he has been focused on the promissing Mexican energy sector triggered by new energy Reform acting as ABENGOA's México Business Development Director. Throughout his carrer, he has served leading positions with CINTRA, Iberdrola and Acciona. Rafael holds an MsC. Civil Engineer by Universidad
Politécnica de Valencia. He obtained an MBA from IESE Business School and has specialized in corporate finance, financial modelling, capital markets and
liquidity risk with several modules at Wharton, CEIBS and IEB.

Kelly Speakes-Backman
Kelly Speakes-Backman
CEO, Energy Storage Association (ESA)

Kelly Speakes-Backman is the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Kelly has spent over 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors, including organizations such as United Technologies, SunEdison and Alliance to Save Energy. She is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission where she also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, co-vice chair of the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and member of the EPRI Energy Efficiency & Grid Modernization Public Advisory Group.  She is a mechanical engineer from Boston University.

Victoria Beasley
Victoria Beasley
Principal, Prelude Ventures

Victoria joined Prelude Ventures in 2016 upon completing her MBA and MS in Environment & Resources at Stanford University.  During her time at Stanford, Victoria worked at the Boston Consulting Group and started an agriculture supply chain company.  For her MS Capstone, Victoria authored a comparative feasibility study evaluating utility-scale solar across various Sub-Saharan African markets.

Prior to graduate school, Victoria was Director of Finance at Suniva, a venture-backed solar manufacturer and one of Prelude’s portfolio companies.  At Suniva, Victoria was instrumental in raising capital, expanding manufacturing globally, and executing sales.  She was also a Special Projects Leader at d.light, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products.  During her time at d.light, Victoria worked across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop the company’s asset financing solution to allow low-income customers to pay over time.  Victoria began her career in investment banking at Cary Street Partners.

Victoria holds an MBA, MS in Environment & Resources, and Certificate in Public Management & Social Innovation from Stanford University, where she was an Arbuckle Leadership Fellow and a Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco Scholar.  Victoria also holds a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Copland Scholar.

Victoria serves on the board of directors of Yerdle and is actively involved in the firm's investments in Scoop, ClearMetal, Sense Photonics, Powerhive, Pivot Bio, Ripple, Nyriad and Metalenz.

Lily Donge
Lily Donge
Principal - Business Renewables Center, Rocky Mountain Institute

Lily Donge is a Principal with RMI’s electricity practice, where she leads the Business Renewables Center. Lily focuses on accelerating the market for corporate renewable energy. She is exploring new markets for the rapid uptake of renewable energy and developing tools and products for corporate leaders to purchase renewable energy. Lily joined RMI in December 2014.

Lily came to RMI with over 17 years experience in sustainability and cleantech investment. Before coming to RMI, Lily led Ernst & Young’s Cleantech knowledge management, where she developed thought leadership and strategy. She previously worked at Calvert Investments, where she managed the environment and climate change team. She has helped launch and manage Calvert’s Sustainability Index, Global Alternative Energy Fund, the Global Water Fund, and the first green bond fund strategy. Lily has covered utilities, alternative energy, and water sectors. She has also worked at the World Resources Institute and in investment services at Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette.

Lily holds a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management, a Masters in Development Economics, Yale Graduate School and Bachelors of Arts, Economics and International Relations, from Claremont McKenna College.