Vikram Aggarwal is the founder and chief executive of EnergySage, the industry’s leading online solar marketplace for rooftop solar, community solar, and financing. He started EnergySage after more than 15 years of experience with Fidelity Investments, where he specialized in private equity investing, growth strategy, marketing, and new business development. His thought leadership on solar industry innovation has appeared in Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Kiplinger, Money Magazine and Scientific American. He was named to the Boston Globe’s 2016 Game Changers list, one of only two cleantech entrepreneurs included. He holds an MBA from Northeastern University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Julie Arnold is the Community Solar Manager for Nexamp, a commercial solar developer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She helped launch Nexamp’s Community Solar program in early 2015, and is currently managing the growing team. She has directed all marketing and account management efforts, and has extensive experience designing outreach campaigns in local communities.
Julie has had over ten years of experience as a Sales and Marketing professional in sustainability and renewable energy. Prior to joining Nexamp, Julie supported the successful launch of the Community Solar program at Next Step Living, a home energy efficiency company based in Boston, MA. She began her career in renewable energy in 2007 as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Second Wind, a domestic and international leader in wind site assessment based in Somerville and Newton, MA.
Julie completed training in 2015 and became a Climate Reality leader for former Vice President, Al Gore. She represented Climate Reality in Paris, France at COP21 to help educate the public on climate change and renewable energy. Julie is the Boston Chapter leader for Women in Solar Energy (WISE). Julie studied Psychology and Environmental Science at Boston University.
Benjamin Attia is a Research Associate for GTM Research's Global Demand team, covering international downstream solar markets. Prior to GTM, Ben worked in solar asset management and commercial operations at SunEdison and utility regulatory research at the National Regulatory Research Institute. He has published and presented research on several topics in the renewable energy field. Ben holds a Master of Energy & Environmental Policy and a B.S. in Economics and Energy & Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware.
Jim leads Vote Solar’s grid integration program focused on making the operational and planning changes needed to repower the western grid with solar and other clean energy technologies. Jim chairs a Western Electricity Coordinating Council committee charged with long-term transmission planning for the western US and is a member of the Board of Directors for Interwest Energy Alliance.
Jim has nearly three decades of experience in the utility industry, including roles with PG&E, where he helped administer the California Solar Initiative program, and Alameda Municipal Power, where served as a rate analyst and EV program manager.
Jim has a B.S. in economics (magna cum laude) from the University of South Carolina. When he’s not in Commission meetings or on his laptop, he can be found on the soccer pitch refereeing his daughter’s matches, which it turns out is not too dissimilar from regulatory proceedings. He’s also an automotive enthusiast, avid San Francisco Giants baseball fan and music lover – especially blues, rock and jazz.
Mr. Bereckis works with IPP’s, Renewable Energy, Private and Tax Equity clients facilitating the Solar Integration, Business Development and Structured Finance for renewable energy projects while helping Boviet Solar UDA develop and expand their footprint in solar projects throughout the renewable market. Mr. Bereckis is fluent in the acquisition, structured finance, contractual, procurement, design and installation of renewable energy systems. Mr. Bereckis has worked with some of the largest renewable energy companies in North America and abroad responsible for heading up and overseeing large teams of associates which secured substantial municipal, utility, governmental and commercial contracts. Mr Bereckis maintains and has current relationships with global equipment manufacturers, investors, EPC's and large U.S. and international solar developers to expedite due diligence and funding for renewable projects.
William J. (John) Berger has more than 20 years of experience in the power industry. He co-founded Sunnova Energy Corp. in 2012 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Sunnova, he co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of SunCap Financial, a leading residential solar power service company.
Before SunCap, Berger co-founded Standard Renewable Energy (SRE), a top-10 installer of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and services for residential, commercial and government customers. He also co-founded and served as Managing Partner for Contango Capital Partners, LP, a venture capital firm focused on renewable energy and energy technology companies. Berger began his career in 1996 as an analyst for Enron Corp. and completed his tenure there as director for Enron Energy Services.
Berger graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2003. He served as an advisor to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during business school.
Eric Blank is a lawyer and economist who has worked on electric utility and clean energy issues for more than thirty years, ultimately developing and bringing online over 1,200 MW ($2 Billion) of wind and solar energy projects. Eric spent ten years during the 1990s running the energy work for Western Resource Advocates (WRA), a Colorado-based non-profit group that established regulatory and other policies to make it economically feasible for electric utilities in the inter-mountain west to promote clean energy technologies. In 1999, Eric left WRA to co-found Community Energy, a renewable energy marketing and development company, helping to grow it into a profitable 40-person business that was successfully sold in 2006 to Iberdrola Renewables, the largest owner and operator of wind energy facilities in the world. While at Iberdrola, Eric served as an executive vice president leading US wind development, placing over 700 MW of new wind facilities into commercial operation over a three-year period. In 2009, Eric and his business partner re-purchased Community Energy and are now focusing on both utility-scale and community solar development. Since 2009, Community Energy has developed and built almost 600 MW of solar PV, and has a significant pipeline for further additional construction. Eric holds a Master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Mr. Bluford has more than 30 years of professional marketing and business development experience and more than five years experience in the solar industry. He has successfully guided several firms from start-up to acquisition. Mr. Bluford is responsible for the strategic vision and development of EnergyBin LLC’s solar ecommerce platform and its membership. Prior to EnergyBin.com, he served as Sr. Vice President of Marketing & Sales of Sunora Energy Solutions, a solar EPC firm responsible for the implementation of more than 76 MW of solar projects from small distributed generation to large-scale utility projects. In addition to business development for Sunora’s EPC services, Mr. Bluford was responsible for creation and development of a new business unit and introduction of a new residential solar product.
Mr. Bluford has spearheaded and managed startup operations for several technology firms with vertical solutions spanning the energy, manufacturing, financial, medical and other industries. He has expertise in strategic business planning, partnership-relationship development and product positioning. He has also guided companies through the process of pre-acquisition and business development to successful acquisition. In addition, Mr. Bluford is experienced in post-acquisition operations. He has functional expertise in mobile marketing, social media, business intelligence, business process optimization and workflow, and financial, credit union and transaction-intensive industries.
He holds a B.S. in Marketing from Oklahoma State University and is a seasoned speaker. He has received several major industry awards for his outstanding efforts in business.
Peyton is a Managing Director at EnterSolar, where he is responsible for solar project origination, development and financing activities for Commercial & Industrial clients. Before joining the EnterSolar team, Peyton led solar development activities for Fortistar, and was previously the founder of a renewable energy development firm based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to entering the solar industry, Peyton was an investment banking professional for 15 years with J.P. Morgan and Bank of America, primarily focused on private equity transactions, M&A advisory services, and the coverage of corporate clients across a range of industry groups.
Peyton is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has a NABCEP Technical Sales Certification. He earned a BA from Cornell University and holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School.
David heads the marketing department at IronRidge, overseeing all aspects of product marketing, sales enablement, and campaign operations. His team also manages software products and channel marketing. Prior to IronRidge, David managed customer awareness, technical marketing and marketing automation programs for Enphase Energy, the global leader in solar microinverters. David holds a BS in Environmental Sciences and a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.
Ray is the Manager of the Arizona Public Service (APS) Renewable Energy Program. Ray's responsibilities include providing oversight of the company's distributed energy resource policy, interconnections, representing renewable energy programs at the Arizona Corporation Commission, and interfacing with the media and other public stakeholders as the company's principal spokesperson for the company’s 1.4 gigawatt renewable energy portfolio.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps reserve, Ray has held multiple leadership roles as a military officer, to include two tours in Afghanistan, a congressional fellowship with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and tours as a US defense security cooperation policy expert in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Ray is a graduate of Emory University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Unirac is one of the leading racking manufacturers in the industry with a comprehensive portfolio of products serving the residential and commercial market segments. Brandon’s role at Unirac is Senior Product Manager and he is charged with managing residential products, providing strategic direction to product development, and working with customers to generate insights. Prior to Unirac, Brandon worked on the development of utility scale tracking systems. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of New Mexico.
Anthony Carroll is Vice President for the Solar Business of Schneider Electric. He manages Sales and Service for the Residential, Commercial and Utility Scale Solar divisions of the company, and also their Storage business unit. Anthony holds an eMBA from Juan Carlos I University in Madrid and has led other global solar and industrial corporations over the last decade with focus in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Since joining Soltec in 2015, Colin has developed business and relationships with a rapidly expanding list of esteemed contacts and 255 MW of solar tracking projects underway. Colin is driven by his passion for renewable energy and people, and is finding success with the Soltec offer and the positive state of the utility-scale PV tracking market in USA with the ITC extension in place. Colin is a true believer, he drives an electric car! As a New Englander hailing from Collinsville, Connecticut, Colin graduated from the University of Vermont with a double major in Spanish and Political Science. His extra-curricular activity included solar installation vocational training, and his post-graduate opportunities led him to live abroad in Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Ecuador. Colin is professionally dedicated to Sales and Business Development, with previous success. growing an SF Bay Area company to premier status in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering of high-technology three-dimensional printing equipment and services.
Steven Chan is an established thought leader in the North American photovoltaic energy industry, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Sungrow North America where he oversees the expansion of the world’s largest pure-play inverter manufacturer in the US and Mexican commercial and utility market. Prior to Sungrow ,Chan was VP at NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) from 2012 to 2013 serving as head of residential solar for its NRG Residential Solar Solutions business. Mr. Chan created the strategy and built a team and operation to enable NRG to become a leader in residential solar lease financing.
Mr. Chan was with GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited as EVP, Strategy and System Sales where he helped to build out a system sales division for GCL in North America including establishing and serving as a board member at Sunora Energy Solutions, a joint venture with NRG Energy to focus on utility and commercial solar installations.
Prior to that he was with Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) for five years serving most recently as President of Suntech America and previously serving as Suntech’s President of Global Sales and Marketing, Chief Strategy Officer and VP Business Development. At Suntech, Mr. Chan was instrumental to building the US and European teams and sales channels that enabled Suntech to achieve #1 global market share including selling over 20+% of all modules sold in North America in 2011.
Mr. Chan earned an AB degree in political economy (high honors) from the University of California at Berkeley and received a JD law degree from the Boston College Law School.
Cynthia Christensen is the Director of Commercial Sales for Namasté Solar, an employee-owned cooperative and national engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider of solar electric systems, with offices in Colorado, California and New York. Cynthia has 30 years of experience in commercial and utility scale photovoltaic projects and has led strategic growth for Stirling Energy Systems, Blackrock Renewables and NTR-Ireland, among others. She started her career as a material science engineer, contributing to manufacturing techniques for polysilicon development and high volume module production.
With over 3,500 installed systems in the U.S., Namasté Solar is a leader in the commercial photovoltaic market, leveraging a comprehensive understanding of commercial project development from feasibility studies to financing acumen and quality engineering. Some of Namasté Solar’s most notable project clients include National Renewable Energy Lab, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coors Field, New Belgium Brewery and Kaiser Permanente.
Christensen’s strategic initiatives, coupled with national partnerships through the Amicus Solar Cooperative, have aligned Namasté Solar for fast paced growth in the commercial and industrial sector.
JinkoSolar (NYSE: JKS) is a global leader in the solar industry. JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions. JinkoSolar has built a vertically integrated solar product value chain, with an integrated annual capacity of 8.0 GW for silicon wafers, 5.0 GW for solar cells, and 8.0 GW for solar modules, as of December 31, 2017
JinkoSolar (U.S.) Inc. works closely with top financial institutions and key stakeholders in the solar industry. Publicly vetted by trusted industry third party laboratories, JinkoSolar is one of the fastest growing and most reliable PV suppliers in the United States and Canada. The North American headquarters is located in San Francisco with 5 regional sales offices.
Ron Corio started Array Technologies in 1989. As CEO, Ron is central to product innovation and strategic company planning. After patenting the first solar tracking system in 1993, his groundbreaking inventions have helped pioneer the development of large-scale solar power plants. An entrepreneur with a wealth of experience, Ron works closely with Array’s team of engineers from conception to implementation, designing trackers that keep the company at the forefront of technological innovation. Through his efforts, Array has evolved from a small startup to the leading manufacturer of solar tracking systems globally.
Farid Dibachi, CEO and founder of JLM Energy, is a visionary motivated by impacting behavioral change. He is passionate about changing the way we acquire and use power. He believes it is time that more Americans understand there is a better way to address our insatiable appetite for electricity. The conventional power grid is undergoing a transformation from centralized to locally generated electricity. This transition is being driven by improved energy efficiency, plentiful renewable energy, and enhanced energy storage. People can go grid synergistic, or grid independent. It is an economic decision. Mr. Dibachi is a successful entrepreneur who previously founded technology companies Arzoon and Diba. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Additionally, Mr. Dibachi holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Mr. Dibachi has said he considers himself “first, a citizen of the world and second, an American, and third, an Iranian whose native country has been perpetually and permanently scarred by conflict brought upon its people because of its rich fossil fuel resources.”
Arturo's passion has been clean and cost effective energy solutions that can help ensure the future of our planet. In 2008 by the age of 18 installed his first PV grid tied system, which would become one of the first 5 systems installed in Mexico.
In 2011 created Ecotiza, to help optimize his installation business practices, creating the first solar software proposal tools in the Mexican Market.
Today he is a co-founder in Sunwise a SaaS platform designed to combine functions that optimize, simplify and control a Solar PV Mexican business.
Also co-founded ExelSolar, Mexico’s leading PV products and solutions wholesaler.
A member in both Mexican solar energy associations ASOLMEX and ANES.
His personal mission is to push the sustainability revolution in Mexico, to help ensure the future of our planet.
Erik Ellis is currently the manager for Technology Assessment and Integration at APS. APS Technology Assessment investigates new distribution, transmission, and DG technologies with respect to technical and business merit. Specific responsibilities include development of the energy storage and microgrid business plans, implementation of projects thereunder, and the design and integration of 1,500 smart inverters under a master controller in the 10 MW APS residential-rooftop Solar Partners Program.
Mr. Ellis joined APS in early 2011. He has over 15 years of experience in the power industry in leadership positions at GE, Areva Solar, and EDF Renewable Energy.
Claudia is equal parts business strategist and solar evangelist. Prior to PVComplete, Claudia led a multi-million dollar project to reduce California solar soft costs with the Center for Sustinable Energy. She worked with Governor Brown’s office on solar permitting standardization. She was lead author on the 2014 California Solar Permitting Guidebook. Claudia spent four years working on emerging solar markets in the US with Vote Solar. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark Fillinger is responsible for developing First Solar’s utility-scale solar projects and leading the origination team in the California market. A 25-year energy industry executive, Mr. Fillinger has extensive experience with siting, permitting, financing and negotiating all project related contracts, including over 3,000 MW of utility scale Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
Prior to First Solar, Mr. Fillinger worked with NextLight and OptiSolar, where he led both development and project finance activities (both companies were acquired by First Solar). Previously, he worked at PowerLight Corporation (now SunPower) where he developed the company’s power purchase agreement offering, negotiating and closing the first $40 million of projects developed under this structure. While at the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, he developed a third party PV acquisition program for State agencies. Mr. Fillinger also worked at Enron North America, where he served as Director of Power Origination. Previous experience also includes Calpine Corporation, where he implemented unique financing structures and Security Pacific Merchant Bank, and where he analyzed, structured, and closed over 1,000 MWs of independent power projects.
Mr. Fillinger holds a Bachelor of Science degree in energy economics from the University of California, Davis and an M.B.A in Finance from Columbia University.
Dan is a Senior Analyst with the Energy Storage team at GTM Research, where he focuses on utility-scale storage applications. He previously worked as a Senior Consultant with DNV GL where he focused on competitive energy markets and the intersection of emerging energy business strategies within the broader evolving technological and regulatory environment. Prior to DNV GL Dan worked with Navigant Consulting and the Department of Energy.
Dan has over 8 years of experience in the energy space as a researcher, consultant, and analyst. Dan holds a Master’s of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Wind Energy Center and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Physics from Brown University.
Ben is a Solar Analyst at GTM Research specializing in PV systems and balance of systems components. Before joining GTM Research, Ben worked in China and the U.S. in clean-tech manufacturing and for The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Ben holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Skidmore College and an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Carmen Garralaga is a Senior Applications Engineer for SMA America, the U.S.-based subsidiary of solar inverter leader SMA Solar Technology AG, headquartered in Germany. In her current role, Carmen represents the company’s utility business activities to support customers as a technical product specialist in the U.S., Mexico and Central America.
While Carmen’s focus is utility-scale products, she also has a thorough knowledge of SMA products in residential and commercial applications in regions worldwide. In addition to providing technical guidance, system analysis and design for customers, Carmen also supports the SMA sales team through developing materials and leading training events for team members as well as external stakeholders.
Carmen began her career with SMA Solar Technology in 2013 as an Applications Engineer and Sales Manager for SMA Solar UK Ltd., the U.K. subsidiary of SMA. Prior to her role there, she held various positions in information technology, telecommunications and renewable energy.
Carmen is fluent in Spanish and English. She has a European MSc in Telecommunications Engineering from Unversidad de Zaragoza, located in Spain, and a European MSc in Renewable Energies, with a specialty in Photovoltaics, from Northumbria University, located in the U.K.
Dr. Charlie Gay is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position he is leading the SunShot Initiative, a team that is dedicated to research, manufacturing and market solutions to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.
Dr. Gay is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, he later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the research and development program and led the commercialization of crystalline silicon and thin film technologies.
In 1990, he became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, he was named president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, and from 2001 to 2005 served as founding chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation. He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group. He served as president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council from 2009-2013. As president, Dr. Gay was responsible for positioning Applied Materials and its solar efforts with important stakeholders in the energy industry, technical community and governments around the world.
He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013. He established the Greenstar Foundation in 1997 to demonstrate an economically sustainable model that delivers solar power and internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to developing world villages.
Jan Grimberg is currently Global Business Director at Royal DSM B.V. and is responsible for DSM’s activities in the Solar PV industry. He has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Polymer Processing.
Jan Grimberg joined DSM in 1988 and since then has held various technical, marketing and sales, and business positions in both Material Science and Life Science businesses of DSM. He has lived and worked in a number of different countries around the world.
Mr. Levent Gun has over 25 years of technology experience having worked in technical and senior executive-level positions while establishing a track record of successful leadership at both start-ups and mature companies. Levent joined Ampt as its first CEO shortly after its Series A funding and lead all aspects of Ampt’s product and go to market strategies as well as built the team and Ampt’s customer driven culture. Under Levent’s leadership Ampt has created a new category of optimizers for the utility segment of the Solar PV market and became the #1 optimizer company worldwide for this largest segment.
Prior to joining Ampt as CEO, Levent was president and CEO of Kleer, a wireless audio semiconductor company that was acquired by SMSC. Prior to Kleer, Levent was president and CEO of Iospan Wireless, a pioneer in MIMO technology, which was acquired by Intel Corporation. Previously, Levent co-founded and led US Robotics’ Cable Data Business and transformed this fledgling start-up into a $100 million business after 3COM’s acquisition of US Robotics. Earlier in his career, Levent held various engineering management and leadership positions at Motorola and IBM, as well as research positions at several universities and labs.
Levent holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and undergraduate degrees in engineering and mathematics from Bogazici University in Turkey. He has published extensively in technical journals and holds 14 patents and numerous awards for his pioneering work in high speed data communications and broadband access. An accomplished speaker, Levent is often invited to speak at industry events as well as present papers.
Katherine is a Partner and Co-Founder at 38 North Solutions, a boutique consulting firm that provides a suite of business strategy, public policy and communications services to innovative businesses and organizations. Katherine is currently President of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum‘s Future of Energy Global Future Council. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for nearly $5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion. She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. Katherine is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media.
Arthur has extensive regulatory, transactional and litigation experience across a broad range of energy sector issues. His legal work has involved negotiating significant and innovative renewable energy power purchase agreements, as well as permitting, financing and assuring transmission for precedent-setting solar power projects. He has also contributed to the development of major renewable energy regulatory and policy frameworks, including California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard and its procurement mechanisms, wholesale energy and capacity markets, and transmission and land use planning initiatives.
Arthur’s prior experience includes serving as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for BrightSource Energy and as counsel at Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and several national law firms. Arthur has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC), and has served as President of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA), Chair of SEIA’s Utility-Scale Power Division, and on the boards of several energy organizations, including the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT).
Ray directs M&A and structured finance efforts, which in 2016 resulted in securing more than $500 million in new tax equity commitments and $700 million in new construction debt commitments for projects under construction. Ray joined sPower from wind developer OwnEnergy, where he spent six years as the CFO and led M&A and finance during a time of rapid growth culminating in the sale of OwnEnergy to EDF in 2015. Prior to OwnEnergy, Ray was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse in investment banking with clients in the IPP, utility and renewable generation sectors. Ray’s 14-year banking career included positions with Wasserstein Perella, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and Credit Suisse.
Ray holds a BA in Finance from Southern Methodist University.
Cory Honeyman is the Associate Director of U.S. Solar at GTM Research with a focus on downstream demand in the US. He handles 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.
Abigail Ross Hopper is the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade organization for America's solar energy industries. She oversees all of SEIA's activities, including government affairs, research, communications, and industry leadership.
Before joining SEIA, Abby was the Director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. As the BOEM's second director, she weighed complex and sometimes conflicting factors to achieve balanced federal energy policy.
She served formerly as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and has broad experience in the energy sector, including working with a wide variety of stakeholders as well as legal expertise. Abby led the MEA from 2012, first as Acting Director and then as Director in June 2013. She also served concurrently as Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. As MEA Director, Abby was pivotal in ensuring the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013.
She was a lead negotiator representing the State’s interests in both the Exelon/Constellation merger and the FirstEnergy/Allegheny Energy merger, securing millions in benefits for Maryland and its citizens. Abby has also focused significant resources on improving the resiliency of the State’s electric utilities in the face of major storms.
Abby previously spent over two years as Deputy General Counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission, during which she advised commissioners on a broad range of legal matters arising from their duties as utility regulators.
Before embarking on a career in public service, Abby spent nine years in private practice where she specialized in complex merger and investment counseling and corporate law.
Abby graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College.
Lon Huber directs Strategen’s private sector consulting practice. In this capacity, Lon provides independent analysis, strategy, and policy solutions to some of the energy sector’s most controversial issues. On behalf of a diversity of clients, he is involved in numerous public proceedings across the US, covering such topics as rate design modernization, community solar, energy storage policy, and the designing of new ratepayer friendly market structures.
Prior to joining Strategen, Lon worked for the consumer advocate office in Arizona, in the private sector for solar technology firms, and in academia at an energy focused research institute. Due to his efforts in the community, Mr. Huber received a congressional recognition award for his work in educating citizens about solar energy. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and MBA from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.
Stacey Hughes, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder: Ms. Hughes has more than 15 years of experience in renewable energy finance. She was extremely involved in the raising of three private-equity investment funds that have invested in commercial and municipal PV installations. She was previously a Managing Director of Société Générale, in charge of interest rate and currency derivative solutions for corporate clients in North and South America. Ms. Hughes has extensive experience structuring sophisticated financial transactions, particularly within the project finance and infrastructure space. Previously, Ms. Hughes worked in the Capital Markets and Financial Institutions groups at Salomon Brothers. She has a B.S. in Finance from California Polytechnic State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
A senior professional with over 10 years’ experience, Anne spent all her career in the energy industry.
She currently is Solairedirect’s Business Development Manager for the Americas zone. Solairedirect – which is part of the ENGIE group since 2015 - is one of the global leaders of competitive utility-scale solar.
Anne has been involved in Mexico’s renewable power auctions since their inception, back in 2015. She spearheaded Solairedirect’s efforts in the first 2 Mexican auctions, contributing to the award of ~ 150MW of solar projects to ENGIE.
Before joining Solairedirect, Anne worked at ExxonMobil in France, Belgium and Singapore. Her assignments at ExxonMobil included roles such as Aviation Pricing Advisor for the Asia Pacific zone, Strategic Planning advisor for Retail in the EAME and Asia Pacific zones, as well as Project Development and Operations Management roles.
She graduated from HEC Paris.
Olivier Jacques has more than 25 years of experience in industrial, automation, energy and high-tech industries. He brings solid expertise in global management and business development of companies of all sizes with a strong understanding of international markets, including Europe, Middle East, Africa, Scandinavia, USA and Asia. Prior to joining APsystems, he served as Managing Director, EMEA of Enphase Energy. Before that, Olivier was Managing Director for several international organizations including Norgren SAS (IMI group), Danfoss Drives and Schlumberger. He has also held senior executive positions at WATTS Industries and Samsung Electronics. Olivier earned his HVAC-R engineering degree from Jean-Mermoz and holds three Master Certificates and a DMSE (MBA) from ESCP Europe, one of the world´s top business schools and a Strategic Finance credential at HEC, a top-class business school. He also holds a certificate of Advanced English and a diploma of business in English.
Sarah Johnson Phillips is a partner in the firm's Energy Development practice group, where she focuses on energy project development, buying, selling and financing energy projects, and energy regulatory matters. She advises large wind and solar project developers on permitting and real estate matters, including obtaining major project permits, negotiating leases and easements, and title work. She also has particular experience working on distributed solar and communityshared solar projects, including negotiating offtake agreements, leases, financing arrangements, M&A transactions, interconnection agreements, and regulatory matters. In addition, Sarah works with large energy consumers on a range of regulatory issues and proceedings affecting ratepayers and regularly appears before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Prior to law school, Sarah worked for five years in the renewable energy nonprofit sector in Minnesota, concentrating on energy policy, community wind energy and climate change issues.
Jade Jones is a Solar Analyst with GTM Research covering the global solar supply market. Jade aggregates and analyzes technology and pricing data within the solar manufacturing sector which informs both research and consulting. Prior to GTM, she has held several positions providing insight into the key relationships, business models and technology trends that are shaping the cleantech sector. Jade has a BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Lynn is Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, and the creator of the solar-as-a-service model for the residential market. Lynn co-founded Sunrun in 2007 with a passion for creating simple solutions to difficult problems. From a young age she was a competitive athlete who was also drawn to innovation, infrastructure and the environment, all of which prepared her for her current role. Lynn began her career as one of the only female venture capitalists at Summit Partners, a leading growth equity investor. While at Summit she evaluated myriad business models and financing structures and completed investments with an aggregate market value of over $900 million in the financial services and technology sectors. But it was during a summer internship in China while attending business school at Stanford University that she witnessed firsthand the magnitude of the impact that the rapid consumption of natural resources was having on the environment. She knew then there had to be a better way. While back at school Lynn and classmate/ co-founder Edward Fenster recognized the solution to this complex environmental issue could be in simply offering consumers a better choice. By enabling homeowners to purchase clean power in a simple, affordable and more efficient way, Sunrun could pave the way for a cleaner more innovative future – and disrupt the massive and archaic residential energy industry in the process. From the beginning, Lynn helped shape Sunrun’s vision and served the Company in many roles from personally selling Sunrun’s first customers to leading the Company’s growing sales and marketing operations. She subsequently became President and co-CEO and eventually was named Chief Executive Officer in February 2014. She believes in empowering individuals to reach their full potential, a theme prevalent in Sunrun’s vision to create a planet run by the sun.
A native of Hamburg, Germany, Jurgen Krehnke has had a distinguished career with a track record of strong leadership both inside and outside of the PV Solar industry. He joined KACO new energy in February of 2014 as CEO for the Americas and accomplished a turn around of the 10-year old North American subsidiary, expanded state-side manufacturing and supply chains, brought back manufacturing jobs that had gone to Asia and led the company towards sustainable profitability. He had a key role in the introduction of several innovative, award-winning products and was instrumental in the company’s recent entry into the energy storage business.
Previously, Krehnke was President & General Manager of SMA America, LLC, an inverter company that he successfully managed between 2008 and 2013 and turned into the well-recognized industry leader. Under his leadership the company grew more than 15-fold and established US and Canada based manufacturing as well as a nationwide service network. Several hundred sustainable and direct “green collar jobs” were created in the process. Before joining SMA, Krehnke was an Executive in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley, most notably with top 10 players Philips Electronics and NXP Semiconductors where he headed several business units.
Mr. Krehnke holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Germany’s Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig and completed Executive Education Programs at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Daniel LeCloux is responsible for worldwide research and development investment for DuPont Photovoltaic and Advanced Materials (PVAM), the manufacturer of DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes that help improve the power output of solar cells and panels, and Tedlar® PVF film-based backsheets that have been the industry standard to protect photovoltaic modules under the harshest environmental conditions for over 30 years. Dr. LeCloux directs project selection and the execution and management of technical resources. He has 12 years research management experience creating and leading large, multidisciplinary project teams in corporate and business groups, and has over 50 issued patents within the chemical and electronic markets.
He began his career with DuPont in 1998 as a research chemist and held a variety of technical and leadership positions in research and product development within DuPont Displays. In 2011, he worked as an Associate Research and Development Director for Dow Chemical in Core R&D (Homogeneous Catalysis), and rejoined DuPont in 2014 in his current role.
Dr. LeCloux received his doctoral degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota. He is based in Research Triangle Park, NC.
One of the early solar pioneers, Tom Leyden began his solar career in 1980 and over the years has held a number of executive management positions. He was VP of Sales and Marketing at EPV, a thin-film PV manufacturer, and at WorldWater, a remote-power and solar-water pumping company that installed solar projects in Africa and Asia. He served as VP of East Coast Operations for PowerLight, the commercial PV pioneer bought by SunPower, where he became SunPower’s East Coast Managing Director, and later was VP of Commercial Development at SolarCity. In 2012 he became CEO of the energy storage start-up Solar Grid Storage that was acquired by Sunedison in January 2015 where he became VP of Energy Storage Deployment.
Tom has served the industry in various other roles, including President of MDV-SEIA and Mid‐Atlantic Solar Energy Industry Association, board member of national SEIA and PV Now, and advisor to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. He holds a BA from Princeton
Nicole Litvak is a Solar Analyst at GTM Research with a focus on the downstream US solar market. In addition to tracking the competitive landscape of installers, financiers, and technology providers in the residential and commercial market segments, Nicole serves as editor of PVNews, the solar industry's longest running market research periodical. Nicole has prior internship experience in corporate sustainability, solar water heating, and business development. She graduated from Brandeis University magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with majors in Economics and Psychology.
As Senior Vice President of Development, Eric is responsible for overseeing the origination, development and acquisition of solar projects.
Eric brings over twenty years of experience in the renewables and infrastructure industries. Prior to joining SoCore, Eric was responsible for origination of distributed solar opportunities within Edison International’s subsidiary, Edison Energy, as well as day-to-day coordination with the SoCore and Edison teams.
Eric was a Director and later a Managing Director at Edison Mission Energy (EME), a competitive power generation business of Edison International. Eric was responsible for project origination and development primarily focused on the wind generation market. Responsibilities included originating, structuring, and closing new wind energy investments as well as managing all phases of development of a portfolio of Edison wind projects. During that period, EME acquired, developed and constructed nearly 1,800 MW of wind projects located throughout the US.
Eric joined the Edison companies (Edison Capital) in 2000 as a Senior Associate focused on structuring and pricing infrastructure and mezzanine investments. Prior to joining Edison, Eric worked in the project finance group at the Fluor Corporation where he evaluated major infrastructure project investments.
Eric received a Bachelor’s from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA in Finance from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Carl Mansfield is General Manager and Founder of Sharp Electronics Corporation's Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG), which focuses on developing innovative energy management and energy storage products for the U.S. market. Mr. Mansfield is the driving force behind the development and business roll-out of Sharp's SmartStorage® energy management product and has served as General Manager of ESSG since its formation in the spring of 2014.
Mr. Mansfield has more than 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry, with an emphasis on communications, information technology and control systems. Prior to founding ESSG, Mr. Mansfield spent eight years developing new business opportunities for Sharp, leveraging innovative technologies and business models to create new products and services. He joined Sharp in 1998 as Manager, Sharp Laboratories of America. In 2004, he was named Senior Manager of Home Networking Technologies, where he successfully led development of system and intellectual property for a powerline carrier communications system, and oversaw the successful license and royalty agreements for several patents. He has also served as Sharp's representative on the Board of Directors for HomePlug and WiMedia.
He holds a Master of Science in Telecomms Engineering degree from the University of London and an MA in Physics and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Justin Marron is a Managing Partner and Head of Origination for Altus Power America, Inc. Before joining Altus, Mr. Marron served as Senior Vice President of Business Development for Conti Solar, a leading global EPC Corporation. Prior to Conti, Mr. Marron co-founded Wind Farm Capital, which was acquired by American Wind Capital/Barclays where he served as the Vice President of Acquisitions. Before Wind Farm Capital Mr. Marron founded Level Communications, a wireless infrastructure firm, which was acquired by Wireless Capital Partners, where he served as Senior Vice President. Mr. Marron began his career when he co-founded Fidelity Communications, a cell tower development company where he served as the Director of Business Development until it was acquired by a publicly traded REIT. Mr. Marron brings over 17 years of business development, finance, renewables, infrastructure, executive leadership and entrepreneurial experience to Altus Power. Mr. Marron holds a BA from Rollins College in Florida.
Bates Marshall is Vice President and General Manager for Huawei North America Smart PV Plant Solution. Before being named to his role at Huawei, he was Senior Vice President Global Sales and Marketing for Advanced Energy Industries. Prior to his work at Advanced Energy, Marshall served as Vice President Medium Power Solutions at SMA America LLC, the North American subsidiary of German-based inverter supplier SMA Solar Technology AG. Marshall serves on the Board of Directors of the Sunspec Alliance, and has also advised rule-making bodies in key solar states including the California Public Utilities Commission and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.
Peter Mathews leads the North America team as General Manager for SolarEdge in the Americas and is responsible for all business activities. He is a veteran of more than 25 years in the global semiconductor and solar industries in senior sales, marketing and business development roles. He has led various companies through the start-up, IPO and growth phases including Enecsys, Solyndra and FormFactor.
Alex McDonough is a Vice President for Public Policy at Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN), the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States. Before joining Sunrun, Alex served for 11 years as Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s Senior Policy Advisor for Energy and Environment. In that role he advised the Leader and the Senate Democratic Caucus on energy and environmental policy matters nationally, internationally and in Nevada. Alex is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law at American University.
Kate McGinnis is the Western US Market Director for AES Energy Storage. She leads business development and sales in the region for the AES Advancion® platform. Prior to joining AES, she led development of stationary storage projects co-located with oil & gas infrastructure globally at Chevron. While there, she was also involved with renewable projects including geothermal, solar thermal and wind. Kate is Board Chair of the California Energy Storage Association. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from George Washington University and an MBA from Cornell.
Dan is a VP of Business Development for CEC. He focuses on providing bundled community solar and community solar software and customer service solutions to both utilities and community solar asset owners. Dan has 25 years of sales and business development experience. He started in the reinsurance business in London and later New York and San Francisco. He also worked in the software business with Oracle. He has been at CEC for 4 years and has completed over 15 MW’s of transactions with utilities such as Xcel, Avista and Black Hills Energy.
Mike Mehawich is responsible for NEXTracker’s corporate marketing, product management, corporate strategy, and corporate development functions. A veteran of the solar industry, he has spent the past 10+ years commercializing transformative solar technologies for global markets, with an emphasis on commercial and utility scale applications.
Prior to cofounding NEXTracker, Mehawich served as VP of Product and Strategy for Solaria Corporation, an innovative solar panel manufacturer. His experience has encompassed a broad series of leadership positions in marketing, product management, and business development with companies ranging from prerevenue stage to the Fortune 500. Mehawich began his career in management consulting with numerous engagements in financial services, healthcare, and utility industry verticals. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University.
Dirk Michels, a partner in Ballard Spahr's Energy and Project Finance Group, is one of the leading energy technology and renewable energy attorneys in California. He represents energy technology and renewable energy companies, as well as investors, developers, lenders, and equipment vendors, in developing and financing solar, biomass, wind, thermal, transmission, storage, smart grid, and other energy projects in corporate, M&A, energy project development and financing, debt and equity financings, tax equity financings, joint ventures, and other strategic alliances within the United States and abroad.
During a 20-year career practicing law in California and Germany, he has advised publicly traded and privately held clients in venture funding, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and project financing transactions worth billions of dollars. A recognized leader in the domestic distributed solar energy industry, Mr. Michels has been at the forefront of representing solar, wind, and energy storage projects involving collaboration between U.S., German, and Canadian companies.
Allison is a Solar Analyst at GTM Research, focusing on the competitive landscape of the U.S. downstream solar market. Prior to joining GTM, Allison was a Senior Analyst at Compass Lexecon, an economic consulting firm, where she did research and data analysis for litigation and regulatory cases in the electricity and natural gas industries. Allison holds a B.A. in Economics from Colby College.
Scott is a Senior Analyst at GTM Research covering global demand and balance of systems components. Before joining GTM Research, Scott was active with Engineers Without Borders where he was co-lead on water and sanitation implementation trip to the Peruvian Amazon. Scott has a B.E. in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis, where his work focused on Energy Efficiency, Life Cycle Analysis, and Environmental Law.
Ms. Palmer currently leads the team that procures energy and electric infrastructure for Google Inc. Key efforts of her team include managing the company's energy portfolio, and sourcing as much renewable energy as possible to power Google's operations. As a result of these initiatives, Google has announced over 2.6 GW of renewable energy purchases around the globe, and is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.
Prior to joining Google, Ms. Palmer held several positions at PG&E, where she quickly rose to become the Director of Corporate Development. She has also worked for Goldman Sachs, serving clients in the electricity sector.
Ms. Palmer holds an MBA in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.
Manan Parikh is a Solar Analyst for GTM Research covering global downstream markets. Prior to GTM, his work has been extensively research based, centering upon alternative fuels infrastructure development and Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) policy models for the Schatz Energy Research Center and UC Berkeley in Northern California. In California, he was also an ambassador to start-up teams within the Clean Tech Open accelerator as well as a consultant to DOE SunShot Catalyst Award winner, PVComplete. In Washington, DC he worked on biomass policy at the American Council On Renewable Energy. He is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry, as well as the DC-based Clean Energy Leadership Institute in its inaugural class.
Austin is an analyst for GTM Research covering downstream demand for the U.S. solar market. Prior to joining GTM Research, Austin worked at The Boston Consulting Group, where he supported the energy practice as a research associate. During his undergraduate tenure at the University of New Hampshire, he spent time in Egypt and Jordan researching the potential for Islamic microfinance in poverty alleviation and established the first sustainable investment sector in the University's student-run investment group. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies
Thomas Plagemann is the Chief Commercial Officer at Vivint Solar. In this position, he is responsible for developing Vivint Solar’s tax equity, capital markets, market expansion, and fundraising efforts and leading the financing strategy beyond its existing third party financing structures. Thomas is based in New York City and has more than 20 years of experience originating and executing financings and investments in energy and infrastructure assets.
During his career, Thomas has been involved with projects valued in excess of $29 billion and has completed transactions across the balance sheet from debt to equity. Prior to joining Vivint Solar, Thomas was Head of Energy, U.S. Corporate & Investment Banking for Santander Global Banking & Markets. While there he was responsible for all the bank’s activities with North American Energy clients across the energy sector, including Oil & Gas, Utilities, and Independent Power Producers.
Prior to joining Santander, Thomas was at First Solar as the Global Head of Project Finance and Transaction Execution. There he ran the sales processes for all of First Solar’s utility scale solar projects globally. He and his team financed and closed the sale of projects totaling over 1.6GW-AC of capacity with a total value in excess of $8 billion across 6 transactions.
Prior to First Solar, Thomas was responsible for AIG FP’s principal investment strategy in the renewable energy sector. His responsibilities included covering the renewable and conventional power industry and general infrastructure and also leading the team that closed tax equity investments in wind and geothermal projects totaling over $1 billion.
Before joining AIG, Thomas was a Managing Director with GE Capital’s energy investment business. There he was responsible for originating specialized equity, debt, and structured transactions for the financing of power plant construction and acquisitions. Thomas started his career as a banker in Deutsche Bank’s project finance group where he was responsible for originating, underwriting, and syndicating non-recourse energy financing.
Thomas received a BA from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in International Affairs with a specialization in finance from Columbia University.
Fazli brings over 25 years of utility, consulting, financial and energy-industry experience as Executive Vice President of EPC and Chief Technology Officer of Hecate Energy. He is widely respected in the industry for optimizing project financial returns through innovative use of technology and transaction structuring. Fazli is a founder of Hecate Energy, and in addition to EPC, leads Hecate’s international project development efforts and project financial structuring.
Prior to Hecate Energy, Fazli was a founder of OCI Solar Power’s predecessor, CornerStone Power Development, where he served as Senior Vice President of EPC & Operations. There he developed the concept of bringing the solar power manufacturing supply chain to San Antonio, Texas along with 800 permanent high paying jobs as part of an economic development package associated with a 400MW PV solar power project with CPS Energy of San Antonio. Fazli identified and built the manufacturing supply chain consortium and led economic optimization of the 400MW PV solar facilities in San Antonio that resulted in the winning proposal for the project’s PPA. Fazli also oversaw the development, design and construction of the 3 MW Delsea Drive solar PV project in Vineland, New Jersey, the 3 MW Forbes Street solar PV project on a landfill in Rhode Island and a 1 MW solar PV project in Georgia.
Fazli has held numerous leadership positions during his career. He has previously worked as a management consultant at AT Kearney and has been the head of the Market Intelligence group at DTE Energy. At DTE Energy, he developed the industry’s leading forecasting model for electricity, gas, coal and emissions allowance prices. Fazli was also responsible for evaluating business development decisions, M&A and asset divestitures along with developing DTE’s coal fleet’s long-term environmental compliance strategy. Fazli has also led strategic sourcing efforts for some of the largest corporations that resulted in billions of dollars of annual spend savings for his clients.
Mr. Reed started his career in telecommunications network operations and has worked across all major segments of the PV industry. He did solar resource analysis and optimization for OptiSolar's development of large utility scale projects. Since that time he has managed utility interconnect and custom applications in both the megawatt commercial rooftop and high penetration residential space. Across all categories inverter selection and monitoring has been a key design issue. As the industry develops, innovative technologies are changing the nature of both solar plant design and distribution network design. He will discuss the implications of these changes. Reed holds Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in electrical engineering and international studies, both from Washington University.
Daniel Roesler is the co-founder of UtilityAPI, which automates utility data access. The goal of UtilityAPI is to lower the installed cost of solar by 5-10%. Previously he was a project manager at a commercial solar company, a project engineer for an air quality testing company, and the CTO of a popular fitness app. In his spare time, he works on open source security and cryptography projects.
Amanda Rosenberg's practice focuses on federal income tax law, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy investment, energy tax credits, government incentive programs and domestic and international project finance transactions. She is also an expert on CFIUS filings for foreign acquisitions of US companies and projects.
Miles C. Russell joined the executive team at Yaskawa - Solectria Solar as the Director of Product Management in October 2016. In this role he has responsibility for the company’s product roadmap to ensure that our solutions continue to exceed customer expectations and market demands, and further the company’s success. This involves navigating the always-changing global landscape of solar markets, and the various forces that shape it. He brings the perspective of a solar industry veteran and accomplished leader in the field.
Prior to joining Yaskawa - Solectria Solar, Miles led the engineering team at SunEdison in the development of a micro-inverter and AC module -- a role that came about through the acquisition of his 2006 startup, GreenRay. Miles has broad industry experience including product innovation, engineering design, simulations and modeling, codes and standards, business development, and an overarching drive to advance the solar industry.
Originally hailing from central Illinois, Miles has called Massachusetts home since coming east for a position in solar at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, following completion of his graduate degree at Stanford University. He enjoys staying fit and hopes to be driving an electric vehicle in the near future.
John Schroeder is a minority founder of DEPCOM Power, which is a top 10 solar EPC company, and one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. Prior to his experience at DEPCOM, John spent 8 years with First Solar, most recently leading their technology development in balance of system (BoS) products. During his tenure at First Solar, John was part of the leadership team that produced several patents, gigawatts of scale in module manufacturing, and revolutionary systems in renewable energy on some of the largest PV plants in the world.
John is a 6-degree black belt, MCSE, MBA, and earned his BSEE from Purdue University.
Jigar Shah is the President and Co-Founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE, TERP), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. He is the author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Generate Capital, the Carbon War Room and SunEdison all follow from Jigar’s vision that business model innovation will unlock the largest wealth creation opportunity – resource efficiency. Jigar is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using “pay as you save” project finance models. Jigar holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute. Jigar lives in New York City and is trying to find the perfect cocktail.
MJ Shiao is the Head of Americas Research for GTM Research and is a leading expert on PV inverters, electronics, and balance of system components. A 9-year veteran of the solar industry, MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed several MWs of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ worked at the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). MJ holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, where he was named a National Truman Scholar. A believer in the social benefits of solar power, MJ has researched, installed and tested rural off-grid PV in India and Thailand and formerly served on the Steering Committee of SustainUS, a non-profit engaging U.S. youth in sustainable development advocacy.
Paul Smerchanski is Senior Manager of Energy Storage and Business Development at Recurrent Energy, a leading U.S. solar and battery storage project developer. Paul currently oversees Recurrent Energy’s energy storage origination activities across the United States. During his four and a half years at the company, he has also worked on Corporate Strategy, Project Development and EPC Procurement. Prior to joining Recurrent Energy, he worked in energy efficiency as a mechanical engineer designing mechanical systems for commercial and industrial buildings. Paul holds an MBA from the University of Toronto and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba.
Colin Smith is a Solar Analyst at 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.
Brandon Smithwood is SEIA's Director of California State Affairs, overseeing both regulatory and legislative activity in the state. Prior to joining SEIA in 2015, Brandon worked on state and federal electric sector policy at Ceres and Conservation Services Group and as a consultant to the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council. Brandon received his B.A. from Colby College and his M.A. from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
John Smirnow is Principal at Smirnow Law, a boutique law firm specializing in international trade and customs law, trade policy, and renewable energy advocacy. He has practiced international trade and customs law for more than 20 years.
In 2015, John founded the Global Solar Council on behalf of 17 national and regional solar associations, and was appointed to serve as the organization's first Secretary-General. In addition to building the institution from the ground up, he helped recruit 21 leading corporations as founding members.
John also served as Vice President for Trade & Competitiveness at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). During his tenure at SEIA, he led the organization’s efforts to overturn a key customs ruling and develop an industry proposal for resolving the U.S.–China solar trade conflict. He also established SEIA's codes and standards and sustainability initiatives. On behalf of SEIA, John served as Chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee and Member of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee.
Earlier in his career, John served as Legal Advisor to the Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission and Law Clerk to the Honorable R. Kenton Musgrave at the U.S. Court of International Trade. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Juris Doctor from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
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.
Julian is a staff writer at Greentech Media, where he reports on energy storage and other clean energy sectors. He also has experience covering clean transportation, state and federal energy policy, and climate adaptation. Previously, Julian reported for CityLab at The Atlantic and conducted grant-funded climate change reporting in Bangladesh. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in political science.
Richard Swanson received his BSEE and MSEE from Ohio State University in 1969 and his PhD from Stanford University in 1974. After completing his PhD, he joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Stanford. His research investigated the semiconductor properties of silicon relevant for better understanding the operation of silicon solar cells. These studies have helped pave the way for steady improvement in silicon solar cell performance.
In 1991 Dr. Swanson resigned from his faculty position to devote full time to SunPower Corporation, a company he founded. Today, SunPower produces the highest performance photovoltaic panels available, and has become the world’s third largest by market capitalization manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic systems.
Dr. Swanson has received widespread recognition for his work. In 2002, he was awarded the William R. Cherry award by the IEEE for outstanding contributions to the photovoltaic field, and in 2006 the Becquerel Prize in Photovoltaics from the European Communities. He was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 and a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2009. He received the 2009 Economist Magazine Energy Innovator Award. In 2010 he was awarded the IEEE Jin-ichi Nishizawa Medal for the conception and commercialization of high-efficiency point-contact solar cell technology, and in 2011 the Karl Boer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Award.
Dr. Swanson is currently retired from SunPower. He serves on the board of the Worldwatch Institute, as well several advisory boards, and is Chairman of the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium Executive Board.
With more than 15 years in corporate leadership positions, Mike Teresso brings a wealth of experience in growing dynamic businesses – combining exceptional customer support, leading edge product and service offerings and driving impressive profitability. Leveraging his wealth of business and management experience, Teresso has made Baker Electric Solar one of the top 10 fastest growing privately-held companies in San Diego. As president, Teresso is responsible for strategic and operational planning. His hands-on leadership, knowledge of sales, marketing, forecasting, budgeting and cost control helps ensure the Baker’s solid financial foundation and exponential growth. Teresso’s passion for renewable energy has positioned him as a respected thought-leader, active in solar energy policy and driving the future of the industry. Previously Teresso served as president of a bathware manufacturer, St. Thomas Creations, Div. of Villeroy & Boch, where he led the company in a turnaround effort – achieving record profitability. Most recently Teresso was director at LAUFEN North America, Bathroom Culture Since 1892. Teresso received his M.B.A. from Texas Christian University, M.J. Neeley School of Business. He resides in San Diego.
Alfonso is based in Mexico City and he has a cumulative experience in the solar industry close to fifteen years. He has served several roles in his career, from designer to business development manager and has contributed to over 5,000 MW of projects assisting lenders, developers and technology manufacturers. His technical experience ranges from project development and technology assessment, through project execution and commissioning. Alfonso’s business development and leadership experience includes former assignments as country manager for a leading thin film module manufacturer and director of a consulting services firm, both based in Mexico City.
His core-competencies include project management, strategic planning, business development, efficient coordination of interdisciplinary teams, planning and design of large-scale PV systems, solar construction management, performance analysis, economic analysis of PV projects, solar policy assessment and technical evaluation of solar technologies. He holds a Masters in Environmental Systems from the University of California and a BS in electronics.
John Tucker is responsible for Genability’s tariff rates, customer integrations, QA and testing and energy market research. John is Genability’s energy price guru and works with our current customers to incorporate their feedback into our offerings. John has overseen nearly all of Genability integrations with the leading solar, storage, EV and connected energy companies.
Dr. Elaine Ulrich is a program manager at the Department of Energy where she leads the SunShot balance of systems/soft costs team. Her team which works to reduce the non-hardware (soft costs) of solar, lower barriers to solar adoption, and foster market growth through support for state and local development and technical assistance programs; information & data assets; finance & business model development; workforce & training programs; and policy & regulatory analysis.
A former American Physical Society/American Association for the Advancement of Science policy fellow, Dr. Ulrich has spent the past few years working on renewable energy. She previously held positions in the office of former U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, the Energy Department’s Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis, and in the office of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, where she worked to build a comprehensive solar energy portfolio.
Dr. Ulrich holds a B.A. in physics from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in optical science from the University of Arizona.
Sam Veague serves as COO for Ecolibrium Solar. Prior to Ecolibrium, Sam was Commercial Leader of the Solar Racking product line at Eaton (formerly Cooper B-Line), where he led the development and launch of both fixed tilt ground mount and commercial flat roof racking products. Prior to Eaton, he was Sales Manager with HatiCon Solar, LLC. Sam began his career with Cooper B-Line, where he developed support and balance of system solutions for solar projects, as well as traditional power and construction projects. He holds a Dual Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and Physics from Knox College. Sam lives with his wife in Pasadena, CA.
Brian von Moos is Vice President of Origination for Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic. In this role, Mr. von Moos manages a team of solar professionals focused on deal origination with utility and corporate customers across North America. With more than 12 years of solar industry experience, Mr. von Moos joined Coronal Energy in March 2017 from Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., a leading EPC and O&M provider of large-scale solar solutions.
During his tenure with Borrego Solar, Mr. von Moos held a wide range of leadership roles in solar project development, business development and consulting, most recently serving as Vice President of Utility Project Development. Mr. von Moos launched, built and lead the utility project development team from 2009-2017, focusing on growing a portfolio of utility scale PPA and EPC projects in North America. He also served as Director of Consulting Services from 2009-2012, when he established and managed a new consulting division to provide PV expertise to IPPs, cities, product manufacturers and Fortune 1000 companies. Previously, he was Director of Business Development from 2007-2009, providing leadership to a fast-paced, growing sales team. He started his career at Borrego Solar in 2004 as a residential and commercial solar system Solar Technician.
Britta von Oesen is a Director with CohnReznick Cap Markets based in the San Francisco office. She has 10+ years of experience in investment banking, tax equity, corporate strategy, and development in the wind, solar, and broader environmental sector.
Britta primarily focuses on transaction management for the renewable energy sector including M&A, structuring, and negotiation of tax equity. She has previously been involved in numerous renewable energy transactions including utility-scale and distributed generation solar transactions in the US market and utility scale wind and solar transactions internationally.
Britta received an MBA with honors in Finance from Cornell University’s Johnson Business School in 2009 and a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Colgate University in 2003. Britta also serves as Co-Chair of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Women’s Empowerment Sub-Committee.
Mark Widmar became Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, Inc. in July, 2016. He joined First Solar in April 2011 as Chief Financial Officer, and oversaw all financial operations, including financial planning and analysis, treasury, internal audit, investor relations, accounting and tax. While in that role, he also served as CFO and as a director on the board of directors of 8point3 Energy Partners, the joint yieldco formed by First Solar and SunPower to own and operate a portfolio of selected solar generation assets. Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Widmar was the CFO for Graftech International, and was also President of Graftech's engineering solutions business. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Widmar served as Corporate Controller for NCR Inc. Prior to his appointment to Controller, he was a business unit CFO for NCR, with responsibility for setting the financial vision and strategy for a $2 billion global enterprise. In this position Mr. Widmar was instrumental in the establishment of strategic plans, annual operating plans and pricing strategy. Mr. Widmar has also held various financial and managerial positions with Dell, Lucent Technologies, AlliedSignal and Bristol Myers/Squibb. He began his career in 1987 as an accountant with Ernst & Young.
Julian Willenbrock - is Enlight`s Cofounder and CEO. Julian has over 10 years of experience in the German, Spanish and Mexican PV market. He cofounded Enlight in 2011 and today Enlight is one of the leading companies in the DG segment in Mexico. Julian led the company to close their Series A funding with Engie beginning of 2017. Prior to Enlight, he found and operated the distribution center Operadora Farmaderm, for a 50-store pharmaceutical chain in Mexico. Julian also worked for the german PV company SEN - Solare Energiesysteme Nord on utility projects in Germany and Spain. Julian holds a BS in Industrial Engineering (Tecnológico de Monterrey) and an Executive MBA from IPADE Business School.
Dr. Michael Woodhouse is a senior analyst within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC). His analysis activities are focused on solar energy technologies, economics, finance, and policy. He has led the development of numerous silicon and thin film photovoltaic module supply chain and bottom-up manufacturing cost models, as well as installed project LCOE and IRR models, which are utilized by NREL, the U.S. DOE, and the solar industry. He also serves as Associate Editor for the American Institute of Physics peer-reviewed Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, where he is responsible for selecting and coordinating papers for publication in the areas of energy economics and policy. In addition, he is the lead economics analyst for the Bay Area Photovoltaics Consortium, a program of university and U.S. national lab research sponsored by the DOE SunShot program and administered by Stanford University.
José Zambrano is President and CEO at Galt Energy, Mexico's leading residential and small commercial solar developer. In the four years since its founding, José has led Galt Energy to more than 1,000 residential and small commercial systems amounting to more than 5 MW of installations, of which 30% have been financed through its own fund. José is board member of the Energy Cluster for the state of Nuevo León and holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas.
Dr. Zhou is responsible for R&D, Engineering and technology roadmap for the renewable energy portfolio that Flex offers. He has extensive experience in product development and process engineering in both the solar and semiconductor industries. Prior to joining Flex, he has worked in Applied Materials, Intevac, and Applied Microstructures covering process engineering, marketing, and sales roles. Dr. Zhou holds a Ph.D of Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor of Science from Tsinghua University.
Prior to founding RPM, George was a Portfolio Manager at SolarCity where he started and led the Portfolio Management group. In this role, he managed the company’s $4 billion, 750 MW portfolio of solar assets and directed investor relations with all funds. Additionally, he was a leading contributor to the successful structuring and issuance of distributed solar’s first three rounds of asset backed securitization. Prior to SolarCity, George worked at Sunrun, where he built up and led the Corporate Finance and Asset Management teams (overseeing over $1 billion of solar assets). George’s experience at solar’s two leading solar developers granted him unique insight into the needs and challenges of building an effective asset management solution and is what inspired him to start RP
S3 Solar Software Speakers
Bryan Birsic, Cofounder and CEO of Wunder Capital brings extensive finance and capital raising expertise to Wunder, from private equity investing at Bain & Company to financing online commercial lending companies at Village Ventures. Notably, Bryan’s firm led early investments into commercial lending market leader OnDeck Capital. Along with his finance background, Bryan has built and led several companies that bring software approaches to new markets, most notably and recently SimpleReach, where Bryan was President and which has raised more than $15mm. Bryan attended Williams College, and moved with his family to Boulder from New York City several years ago.
Nate Blair is a Group Manager within the Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC) at NREL. Nate has over twenty years of experience in renewable and efficiency energy systems modeling and energy analysis. He worked as the TRNSYS project manager at the Univ. of WI – Solar Energy Laboratory, briefly at Sandia National Laboratories, Global Energy Partners, and Thermal Energy System Specialists. Nate has a B.A. in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College, an M.S.M.E. and an MBA from the UW-Madison.
His 14 years of NREL activities include helping develop the Solar Analysis Model (SAM) and PVWatts as well as working with the ReEDS electric grid palnning model. He currently manages a team of system modelers and the geospatial Data Science (GDS) staff. Recently, he worked at the World Bank from 2015-2016 on assignment from NREL.
Kelsey Bobrinskoy is a Senior Analyst on Recurrent Energy’s Asset and Operations Management team. In her tenure at Recurrent Energy, Kelsey has managed over 425MW of solar projects across the US and Canada. Her responsibilities include oversight of operations, performance, financial and contract administration, and compliance for operating projects. She has spearheaded Recurrent Energy’s implementation of Asset Management software systems, alongside general process development and optimization, helping her team’s operating portfolio to grow from 160MW (2013) to 1.3GW (2016).
Prior to her work at Recurrent Energy, Kelsey was a General Engineer in the Energy Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, where her research focused on bringing renewable and sustainable energy practices to military installations. Kelsey holds a Master of Engineering Management from Duke University, a B.S. in Mathematics and in Physics from Elon University, and a Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute.
Deep is an entrepreneurial business leader, currently leading ENACT SYSTEMS an award-winning cloud platform for the distributed energy industry, that he co-founded in 2013. Prior to ENACT, Deep was CEO of Centrosolar’s North American photovoltaic systems business that he co-founded in 2009, where he pioneered a unique business model for sales, financing and distribution of complete, packaged PV-systems configured on a unique software platform and serviced by a dealer network in 20 states.
Deep has a decade-long experience leading strategy and operations, spanning global leadership roles in US and Europe. Prior to Centrosolar, Deep led Project Management for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants at their headquarters in Munich, Germany, focusing on growth strategy, due diligence and financial re-structuring for large automotive clients. Deep’s team supported the turn-around strategies for one of the largest global automotive OEMs, as well as the re-organization of a top French global automotive supplier. Deep led the firm’s strategy on powertrain electrification where he engaged with German OEMs and utilities on electric vehicle deployment.
Deep started his career in the automotive industry at DaimlerChrysler, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Product Engineering, Program Management and Product Strategy for the Chrysler Group headquarters in Michigan. Deep won the prestigious Lynn Tilly Award for Corporate Quality in 2005, and his earlier work on design for high-volume manufacturing of engines was awarded ‘Technology of the Year’ by Industry Week in 2001.
Deep has a Mechanical Engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur, India, Master’s degree in Engineering from Penn State University, and an MBA in Strategy and Finance from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
As VP of Software Engineering for NEXTracker, Allan Daly leads the software team and is lead product manager on the Company's storage + solar solution called NX Fusion Plus. In this capacity, he leads a team of 10 software engineers to design and develop intelligent, connected industrial software to enhance the NEXTracker customer experience. His formative training is in mechanical engineering with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. He has substantial expertise using complex building and system analysis and simulation software to predict building energy consumption, thermal performance, natural ventilation, and occupant comfort. He also is skilled in modern engineering design and documentation tools, such as EnergyPlus and Revit. Prior to working at NEXTracker, Mr. Daly was the Co-Founder and VP of Engineering for BrightBox Technologies, and a Principal at Taylor Engineering. He previously worked for Ove Arup and Partners, San Francisco, and was also a contractor for the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Daly has always been an ‘energy guy’, with a life-long interest in energy and buildings. He brings together his broad experience from policy-work, research, teaching, and consulting to inform the design and operation of innovative and sustainable mechanical systems. Allan has particular expertise in controls, energy modeling, commissioning, and low-energy high-performance buildings. Mr. Daly holds a BS in Civil Engineering and a BA in Drama from Stanford University as well as a MS in Civil Engineering (Structural) and an MS in Architecture (Building Science) from UC Berkeley. Allan serves at the Partner Vice-Chair for the UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment, and is a past-member of the USGBC LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Committee.
Thomas is a passionate leader in the Solar Energy industry, and prides himself on building lasting teams and facilitating alignment and cohesion of business models across diverse projects and programs. He balances the business capability roadmap with energy sustainability and renewable technology solutions, quality, service, and process simplification to achieve a positive return on assets.
Thomas currently serves as President for Soligent Distribution and is responsible for the day-to-day operational responsibilities of the company. Prior to joining Soligent, Thomas served as a member of the Management Board and ran the Solar Energy Division at Fronius USA for over five years. Before his time spent at Fronius USA, Thomas co-founded and managed joint ventures and conducted multiple successful mergers and acquisitions.
Peggy (Hannon) Flannery is currently Head of Origination for Solar for Generate Capital, a specialty finance company that funds infrastructure assets involving the world’s critical resources: energy, water, agriculture, and basic materials. Peggy brings over a decade of experience in business development, M&A, contract negotiation, financial services, and relationship management to the Generate solar team. Prior to Generate Capital, Ms. Flannery spent 7 years at SunEdison. There, she focused on structuring project acquisitions and joint development agreements in the US Commercial & Industrial space and was responsible for over $300 million in solar C&I assets that were developed, constructed, and financed. She spent the first several years of her career at Goldman Sachs, in Sales and Trading in New York City. She holds a BA from Columbia University in New York in Environmental Science and Mathematics.
Paul Gibbs had the idea for building HelioScope while working in distributed electronics for PV arrays. Witnessing the painful process it takes to design, develop and finance a new solar project was eye-opening, and he saw the need for a better system. New and emergent technologies only appeared to confound these problems.
His unique background spanning physics, optimization and energy has enabled him to begin building the technology platform behind HelioScope. Paul received an MBA from Harvard Business School and has degrees in Physics and Economics from the University of Chicago.
Prior to attending business school he was a founder at Nodal Exchange, where he led new product development and designed a market allowing utilities to hedge electricity transmission costs in a structure that parallels the actual physical power flows.
Paul Grana is the co-founder of Folsom Labs, where he leads sales and marketing, where he has helped to grow the company to thousands of installers in over 70 countries. He founded the Solar Software Summit in partnership with GTM Events. He previously worked at Abound Solar, and led product management and technical marketing with Tigo Energy. Paul holds a BS in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Chicago, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sheeraz Daniel Haji is the founder and managing partner of zipdragon ventures (ZDV), a San Francisco firm providing seed capital to industry cloud startups. Sheeraz is an investor passionate about the power of software-as-a-service (SaaS) to transform vertical markets such as energy, mobility, and buildings.
Sheeraz has co-founded, operated, and invested in numerous startups. As the founder and managing partner of ZDV, Sheeraz has led investments into ten industry cloud startups. He often represents ZDV on the board of portfolio companies, and he also advises a couple of funds.
Prior to founding zipdragon ventures, Sheeraz served as CEO of Cleantech Group and played a pivotal role in the transformation towards cleaner energy and resource efficiency. Sheeraz co-founded and served as CEO of GetActive Software, which pioneered SaaS for nonprofits. He led GetActive’s merger with Convio and served as Convio’s President. Convio went public on the NASDAQ and was acquired for $325m post-IPO. Sheeraz started his career as an environmental engineer at Environ and a consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Sheeraz earned degrees in environmental engineering from Brown University and Stanford University. When he’s not working, Sheeraz enjoys family time, chess, skiing and riding his bike.
Ross Heiman is the Director, Design Engineering at NRG Energy Inc. based in San Francisco where he leads a large group of engineers responsible for developing, designing, and supporting the construction DG and utility scale solar projects. Prior to joining NRG, Ross spent over 9 years at SunPower where he held various leadership roles in the Design & Engineering group of SunPower’s EPC division supporting the construction of 3+ GW of utility and commercial scale solar projects globally. He was active in the development and deployment of several iterations of SunPower’s utility and commercial racking products, and led multiple process improvement and closed loop learning initiatives. Ross holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Shawn Kerrigan, Ph.D., heads technology and new product development. Kerrigan’s prior experience includes more than four years as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. focusing on the energy and materials industries, where he worked on growth strategies, operations transformations and merger planning/post-merger integration. He also spent two years as a senior investment associate with Bridgewater Associates, a leading global macro quantitative hedge fund. He earned a doctorate in engineering from Stanford University, where he conducted interdisciplinary research across engineering, computer science, and law.
Emily Kirsch is the Founder and CEO of Powerhouse, an Oakland based co-working space and seed fund that houses and invests in intelligent energy entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Powerhouse, Emily worked with Van Jones, a former advisor to President Obama turned CNN political commentator, to launch the Green Jobs Corps; Oakland's first renewables focused job training program.Emily is the founding convener of the the Oakland Climate Action Coalition which drafted and secured passage of what was the most ambitious Energy and Climate Action Plan of any city in the country. In addition, Emily worked with the solar company Mosaic to secure their first customers and launch their pilot platform. Emily is a 2012 New Leaders Council Alumni, was featured in the '15 for 2015 Women Leaders in Cleantech', was a 2015 winner of the 'East Bay Innovation Award for Cleantech', and was a 'Grist 50: The 50 People You'll Be Talking About in 2016.' Emily serves on the Board of PV Complete and is on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco’s Masters of Science in Energy Systems Management. Emily has guest lectured at UC Berkeley and Stanford.
Dirk Liebich was recently appointed Global Chief Technology Officer of REPOWER by Solar Universe, one of the top 10 providers of residential solar in the U.S. In his new role at this high-growth company, Dirk will drive expansion and scalability through technological innovation, enablement and collaboration. REPOWER operates across 11 states through 100+ partners that market, sell, and install solar under the REPOWER brand. Their innovative business model has created a marketplace linking specialty players including Manufacturers, Lead Generators, Sales/Origination firms, Financiers, Distributors and Installers into a cohesive network that collectively provides homeowners with the best solar solution available.
He is an accomplished senior executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience driving digital transformation through strategic and technical leadership. His extensive experience across industries has focused on leading demand-driven business strategies through process optimization, advanced information modeling and deployment of cloud-based technologies. He has transformed multiple prototypes into comprehensive platforms by leveraging enhanced business intelligence and machine learning techniques.
A widely respected thought leader in the field of Digital Transformation, his bIog “Das Magazin” enjoys a global following. He is a frequent guest speaker and author - his latest book “Social goes Mobile - Kunden gezielt erreichen” is available on Amazon. A native German, Dirk speaks German, English and French. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bochum.
Paul has spent more than 20 years in enterprise software consulting. Prior to founding LeanCog, Paul started his career in Accenture's Technology Labs, follow by two consulting startups in Supply Chain and CRM, helping both of them grow to successful acquisitions. Paul founded LeanCog to bring user centered and iterative development approaches to IT consulting and software development services. Paul's passion for double bottom line businesses has lead to a strong practice area for LeanCog in renewable energy, helping clients across the Solar and Storage value chain design, develop, and integrate software systems to improve their businesses.
Conlan O'Leary is Co-Founder and CEO of Sighten. Prior to Sighten, Conlan helped manage the structuring and pricing desk at Clean Power Finance, a leading residential solar financing platform. Conlan has a deep knowledge of the US solar marketplace with 6+ years working exclusively in residential solar financing and quoting software. Conlan has prior experience in technology and cleantech investment banking as well as environmental commodities trading. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and holds degrees in economics and philosophy.
Eric Reinhardt is a Director of Software Product Management at Sunrun. His team’s focus is on BrightPath, an end-to-end automated software platform that gives Sunrun and its partners the ability to create customized proposals that meet the unique needs of their customers in minutes. In addition to leading product strategy for growth initiatives at Sunrun, Eric also directs technical integrations with the company’s strategic partners.
Prior to Sunrun, Eric was Co-founder of Alliance Memory, a legacy semiconductor startup, where he served as VP of Marketing and Operations. He holds a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Mccombs School of Business at University of Texas, Austin.
Tim Rochman is the Director of the Energy Markets at EagleView. His leadership in the energy market includes data solutions derived from aerial imagery in the Solar, Electric Utility, and Oil & Gas Pipeline industries. For Solar, Rochman is responsible for addressing and engaging the needs of PV Solar manufacturers and installers. Under his guidance, EagleView creates and delivers property centric data empowering stakeholders with remote site knowledge to facilitate proposal, design, survey and operations activities.
Rich Robinson is SunPower’s high-energy vice president of digital transformation (and former chief information officer) focused on deploying technology-driven solutions for the global solar company.
A Native of West Virginia, Rich graduated with honors from West Virginia University Institute of Technology where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and his commission as an Officer in the U.S. Army. As an Army Communication officer, Rich served for five years on active duty including deployments to Bosnia Herzegovina and Afghanistan, as well as three years of reserve duty.
In his civilian career, Rich has held senior leadership positions of increasing responsibility with companies including Dendrite International, NBC Universal, kgb (formerly InfoNXX), and Bazaarvoice. He is a recognized thought leader in the spaces of Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud), and the evolving discipline of DevOps.
Rich resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife Valerie and their three children. In his free time he enjoys riding his motorcycle, playing guitar, and trying to keep up with his children’s extra-curricular activities.
Michael leads commercial sales and marketing for GE’s Digital Solar Business as the Global Director of Sales & Marketing. He joined GE Power in 2010 as a Regional Sales Manager for Renewables where he led GE Solar Power Plant, inverter and photovoltaic module sales efforts targeting the US, Caribbean, Africa and Australia. In 2012, he was promoted to a Senior Manager in Market & Competitive Intelligence for Power Services where he implemented profitable deal strategies, led quantitative market modeling and provided relevant business intelligence which drove new product adoption and incremental margin dollars. Prior to joining GE, he led Global Marketing and Pricing Strategy for the microprocessor and chipset business at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and held leadership roles in engineering, software development, marketing, and product management during his 12 years at the company. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas in Austin.
Greg Sellers is Vice President of Residential Services for SunSystem Technology, a leading solar EPC, O&M and Asset Management company. Prior to joining SST, Greg spent three years as VP of Field Operations for Clean Power Finance (now Spruce Finance), overseeing a portfolio that grew tenfold during his tenure. Prior to CPF, Greg founded and led Burnham Energy, the solar industry’s leading residential inspection and permitting company. Greg’s career has focused on improving public and private sector collaboration and growth. He is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and has a graduate degree in Public Policy from the Panetta Institute at CSU Monterey Bay. He spent 12 years as a City Councilmember in Morgan Hill, California, where he lives with his wife and four children.
Stephen Simons is the Chief Information Officer for Direct Energy Solar, the residential and small commercial solar division of Direct Energy, one of the largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home services in all of North America. Stephen has been with the business since its inception as Astrum Solar, which in 2012 was ranked #2 on the INC 500 list of fastest growing companies in the United States and is responsible for the creation and evolution of their end-to-end enterprise software platform.
A customer-driven business executive and technology thought leader with experience at every stage of the corporate lifecycle from start-up to large enterprise, Stephen not only brings his practical, visionary leadership to the energy industry, but also finds time to serve as a board member for Yet Analytics, a high growth, data-forward start-up out of Baltimore, MD that is revolutionizing the way that companies think about, manage, and motivate their people. When he is not crunching data, he and his wife provide insight on other topics like life, the universe, and everything as the founding pastors of Creation Springs Church in Carroll County, MD.
Mark Trout is the chief technology and information officer for Vivint Solar, a leading full-service residential solar provider. Mark serves as a member of the executive leadership team and is responsible for overall systems development, implementation, and information technology operations. He has spent more than 20 years in Silicon Valley, including roles serving as chief transformation officer at eBay Enterprise and managing partner at the international consultancy firm Accenture.
Abe Yokell is Managing Partner and co-founder of Congruent Ventures, an early stage venture firm that backs companies in the sustainable technology ecosystem.
Prior to co-founding Congruent Ventures, Abe spent 13 years at RockPort Capital, helping the RockPort team build nearly half of its portfolio, with a primary focus on business models and software solutions that address climate change challenges. While at RockPort, he was responsible for opening the West Coast office in 2007, where he helped lead investments in energy fintech, residential solar, companies focused on blending software and hardware, data analytics platforms, urban transportation solutions, and energy storage companies.
His RockPort board seats included Renovate America, RePower, Qnovo, Flywheel, and EcoFactor, and he was previously involved with Enphase Energy (NASDAQ: ENPH), Streetline Networks (acquired by Kapsch), Recurve (acquired by Tendril), and Eka Systems (acquired by Cooper Power), among others.
Ilén leads the Enphase Energy Management System product team, and is responsible for advancing this Enphase technology solution across all target business segments. Previously, Ilén served as Enphase’s director of product management for the residential segment and prior to that role was the principal software manager of the Enphase Enlighten product, where she led the cross-functional team of software engineers, product managers and technical writers. With 15 years of combined e-learning software, SaaS and website development expertise, Ilén has enhanced the overall Enlighten platform and its mobile installer tools that measure the output and efficiency of solar energy systems. Ilén holds a B.A. in humanities from New College of the University of South Florida.