Brian Janous
Brian Janous
General Manager, Energy & Sustainability, Microsoft

Brian is responsible for leading the development and execution of Microsoft’s global data center energy strategy. These data centers provide the foundational cloud infrastructure for Microsoft’s online and cloud services for consumers and businesses worldwide. His responsibilities include oversight of all energy supply agreements, renewable energy purchasing, distributed generation, and strategic partnerships to ensure a power supply that is reliable and sustainable. As General Manager of the Energy Strategy and Research team, he creates end-to-end strategies that will drive innovations in the next generation of cloud data centers, and supports efforts to establish energy market policies that will foster end-user innovation.

Brian joined Microsoft in 2011 after 12 years in the energy industry where he worked as a Sr. Consultant at Brubaker & Associates, assisting Fortune 500 companies with energy procurement, policy, and sustainability matters. Brian holds an MBA from Webster University, a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Missouri, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Missouri.

Mark Widmar
Mark Widmar
Chief Executive Officer, First Solar

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.
Mr. Widmar holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University and is a certified public accountant.

Stacey Kusters
Stacey Kusters
President, Solar, BHE Renewables

Stacey Kusters has worked in the energy field for over 20 years. She began her career at British Columbia Hydro’s Power Smart division, and transferred to Powerex, the marketing arm of BC Hydro in 1986. At Powerex, she was charged with new strategic market development and executing wholesale structured transactions to further optimize the natural resources for customers in British Columbia. In 2001, she joined PacifiCorp in Portland. From 2001 to 2014, she worked in various strategic and operational roles, eventually promoted to manage all of integrated resource planning for six states, market fundamentals, market contracts, structuring, pricing and modeling, as well as origination. She pioneered contracting for utility-scale renewable resources, managed major asset requests for proposals, analyzed integration of renewable resources, and managed renewable compliance and tracking requirements for Renewable Portfolio Standards and environmental policy in states with highly diverse energy policies. She regularly testified before state utility regulators in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah and Wyoming on subjects related to resource planning, renewable energy, and policies and strategies to meet regulatory requirements. In 2014, she was recruited to sister company NV Energy, newly acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, as the Vice President of Renewable Energy and Origination, to lead a crash acquisition of all generation resources, the design and implementation of renewable requests for proposals, renewable compliance, renewable customer requests, renewable legislation and strategic policy to meet overall renewable objectives. Recently, she was recruited to Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables as the Vice President of Business and Development. She is now responsible for the development, acquisition and financing of renewable generation, distributed generation, and battery technology for this merchant generation business.

David Schatz
David Schatz
Director, Utility of the Future, PEPCO Holdings
Ray Henger
Ray Henger
Chief Development Officer, sPower

Ray has spent his entire career in the energy industry. As the Chief Development Officer he oversees a number of teams including solar development, wind development, permitting, land, origination and long term strategy. sPower’s development pipeline is in excess of 10 gigawatts of wind and solar generation opportunities. Ray joined sPower from wind developer OwnEnergy, where he spent six years as the CFO 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.

Christopher Hansen
Christopher Hansen
Director, Origination & Renewables, Tennessee Valley Authority
Dan Shugar
Dan Shugar
CEO, NEXTracker

As Founder & CEO, Dan Shugar helped build NEXTracker into one of the fastest growing cleantech companies in the U.S. Before he started NEXTracker, he served as CEO for the innovative cell manufacturer Solaria Corp. Decades ago, Shugar played a leading role in commercializing the first utility-scale solar trackers while working at APS & NWP Corp. He later served as president of PowerLight Corp., which was acquired by SunPower in 2006. Shugar oversaw revenue growth at PowerLight and SunPower from less than $1 million to more than $830 million and was responsible for the completion of more than 500 projects serving commercial, industrial, and utility clients worldwide. He has invented various PV system applications, holds multiple U.S. patents and ha

For over 30 years, Dan Shugar has helped advance renewable energy and climate technology solutions in the U.S. and around the globe. As Founder and CEO of NEXTracker, Dan brings together solar expertise and technology innovation in a way few technology leaders can.

 

In six short years, he created a solar start-up in the Balance of Systems (BOS) manufacturing segment and drove a successful acquisition with investment grade component manufacturer, Flex. Since founding NEXTracker, the Company has held global market share leadership for four consecutive years and has delivered close to 30 gigawatts of smart solar trackers on five continents. The company has now expanded its portfolio to include yield and performance software, global services and storage. Prior to NEXTracker, he grew Solaria Corporation’s annual revenue five times over a three-year period. Well-known for his leadership as president of SunPower Corporation and president of Powerlight, he surrounds himself with passionate, tech-savvy, clean energy-driven executive teams who share his mission to make solar a mainstream energy source. From Central California to the Atacama Desert of Chile, there isn’t a solar power plant Dan doesn’t know about or has worked to develop. He holds multiple U.S. patents and has published over 50 technical papers.

 

Dan Shugar has delighted and inspired audiences at over 100s of events, keynotes and technical panels. Some notable venues include: Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s “Future of Energy” Summit, FORTUNE Brainstorm E, the MIT Energy Conference, Solar Power International, Intersolar, Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) Solar Week Conference, Greentech Media Solar Market Insight, Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit, Photovoltaics Summit, PV USA, Cleantech Open West, and Commonwealth Club’s Climate One, among numerous other notable events and conferences.
 

Mr. Shugar holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Golden Gate University. If asked of his most coveted achievement, he would most likely mention the six years he served as a Board Member of the Sierra Club where we worked on the Beyond Coal Campaign. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and The Solar Foundation (TSF).s published more than 50 technical papers. Shugar earned a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Golden Gate University.

Mike Hall
Mike Hall
CEO, Borrego Solar

Mike Hall currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and board member for Borrego Solar. Mike was one of the original co-founders of the business, joining his brother Aaron at Borrego Solar in 2002. In 2009 he transitioned into the role of CEO, after leading the company’s sales and marketing organization for 7 years. Today Mike focuses on continuing to develop the high performing and engaging culture that has allowed Borrego to be successful over the last two decades. He is passionate about building high performing teams, leadership development, and all things related to renewable energy. Prior to joining Borrego Solar, Mike worked as a Process Engineer for Applied Materials in Santa Clara. Mike holds a MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University California Santa Barbara.

Eric Blank
Eric Blank
Co-Founder, Community Energy

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.

Beth Galante
Beth Galante
Senior Vice President of Business Development, PosiGen

Beth practiced energy and environmental law in Louisiana for 15 years, including work with the Tulane Law Clinic when it received the National Law Journal's Runner Up Lawyer of the Year and Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award from the American Bar Association. After Hurricane Katrina, Beth directed Global Green New Orleans, a nonprofit focused on the sustainable rebuilding of the city to build LEED Platinum homes in the Lower 9th Ward. She was named a Champion of Change by the White House for creating New Orleans energy efficiency program, and is an Aspen Institute Fellow in its flagship Henry Crown program.

Benny Ethridge
Benny Ethridge
Senior Vice President, Power Generation, CPS Energy

Benjamin Ethridge is responsible for the safe, environmentally responsible operation of CPS Energy’s fleet of fossil-fueled power plants which includes 22 generators with combined generating capacity of more than 4,600 megawatts. Ethridge joined CPS Energy in 2015. He has over 30 years of diverse, energy industry experience in the Western, Southeast/Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. He has served in various technical and leadership roles at NRG Energy, Topaz Power Management, Reliant Energy/RRI Energy, and Houston Lighting & Power. Ethridge holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering form Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Houston Baptist University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Steven Zhu
Steven Zhu
President, North America Region, Trina Solar

Mr. Steven Zhu has more than 15 years’ experience in management of photovoltaic enterprises.   He worked as Executive Principle at the Trina International School, and at GCL Solar as Chief Operation Officer of Global Power Sector, where he managed a portfolio of over 600MW of project and over $600 million assets. Steven has also served as Head of the Project Development and Business Development departments at Trina Solar.

Melanie Santiago-Mosier
Melanie Santiago-Mosier
Managing Director for Access & Equity, Vote Solar

Melanie Santiago-Mosier serves as the Managing Director, Access & Equity for Vote Solar, where her work centers on implementing the organization's vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.  In her role, Ms. Santiago-Mosier manages Vote Solar's work to build partnerships with underserved communities, and to work with them to design and advocate for programs that spread solar's opportunities and benefits equitably.  She also coordinates Vote Solar's work to grow as organization that welcomes and supports people from all races, genders, identities, and backgrounds.    

Melanie has worked to advance clean energy policy for a decade, leading regulatory and legislative affairs at a number of organizations.  She is an attorney licensed to practice law in Maryland.  In 2015, she was named one of Maryland’s “Leading Women” by The Daily Record.  In 2018, she won the prestigious C3E Award for Clean Energy Advocacy.  She is a co-author of the Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, www.lowincomesolar.org, a comprehensive tool for policymakers, community leaders and others who are working to make solar accessible and equitable.

Matt Brost
Matt Brost
Senior Director of Sales, Americas, SunPower

Mr. Brost is Sr. Director of Sales for SunPower’s New Homes division. Mr. Brost has 25 years of experience in the energy sector working with large public and private clients. He currently leads SunPower’s sales channel focused on Top US Homebuilders, a business segment SunPower launched in 2005. Mr. Brost has been with SunPower’s New Homes division since 2006 and has developed partnerships with 18 of the top 20 US Builders and delivered more than 50,000 new homes built with solar included. Mr. Brost has been deeply engaged in CA policy relating to the solar mandate, including codes and standards, since 2006. Prior to joining SunPower Mr. Brost was Vice President of RLW Analytics, a nationwide energy consulting firm focused on energy policy, demand-side management, load forecasting and measurement and verification for gas and electric utilities throughout the US. Mr. Brost holds an Environmental Studies degree in Energy Management and Design.

Dan Swayze
Dan Swayze
Chief Operating Officer, Onyx Renewables

Dan has served as the Chief Operating Officer for the past 1.5 years managing the engineering, procurement, construction and asset management divisions of the Company. Prior to this, Dan was responsible for managing the engineering design of all projects. He has over 26 years of engineering experience representing private developers, public agencies and contractors. Since 2009, Dan has been involved in the development, design and construction administration of numerous renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. As a Professional Engineer, Dan has over 22 years of consulting and engineering experience in the planning, design, construction and project management of a wide variety of capital improvement and infrastructure projects. Dan has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Rutgers.

Vikash Venkataramana, PhD, MBA
Vikash Venkataramana, PhD, MBA
Head/Director of Product Management and Technical Services, USA, Jinko Solar Co., Ltd.
Mitch Bowman
Mitch Bowman
Director of Engineering, FTC Solar

Mitch has over 10 years of professional experience in the solar power industry starting with work at SolFocus leading design, installation & commissioning of systems around the world.  He moved on to lead the Global Design and Engineering team at SunEdison before joining FTC Solar as its Director of Engineering at the start of 2017.  Mitch has Masters degrees in Business & Industrial Engineering from Cal Polytechnic and also holds a B.S. in Physics.

Dean Solon
Dean Solon
Founder & CEO, Shoals Technologies Group

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

Colin Caufield
Colin Caufield
VP of Sales, North America, Soltec

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.

Paul Spencer
Paul Spencer
Founder & CEO, Clean Energy Co

Paul Spencer leads the vision and strategic direction for Clean Energy Co (CEC), the nation’s leading community solar developer and solutions provider. Mr. Spencer has an extensive background in green development, energy efficiency, and building successful organizations. He has built ten companies in the last 30 years within various industries including energy, software, systems engineering, medical, brokerage, and real estate development. He holds an electrical engineering degree from Colorado State University. 

Mr. Spencer’s vision and leadership driving new innovation in clean energy resources has spawned an entirely new market, and is directly influencing the shift toward clean energy. He is a respected expert on current and emerging developments in distributed energy generation and its role in broader energy markets with respect to financial structures, utility assimilation, IT systems, and long-term asset and customer management. Through his leadership, CEC has built or developed more than 380MW of community solar projects over the past ten years, with 87 projects currently connected to the grid across 17 states and 35 utility partners – serving nearly 8,000 customers.

Ross Heiman
Ross Heiman
Senior Director, Engineering, Clearway Energy
Swami Venkataraman, CFA
Swami Venkataraman, CFA
Senior Vice President, ESG Analytics and Integration, Moody's Investors Service

Swami Venkataraman manages the development of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analytic tools, assessments and the integration of ESG considerations into Moody’s credit ratings and research. As senior vice president-manager in Moody’s ESG group, he also leads Moody’s global renewable energy task force, is a member of the Infrastructure Finance Franchise Committee, and a ratings chair for the North American utilities and infrastructure ratings team.

Before moving to the ESG team, Venkataraman was a lead analyst in the North American utilities and infrastructure team since 2014. Prior to joining Moody’s, Swami was a director of project & export finance at Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai, India, responsible for business development and execution of project and export credit financings in Asia covering power, renewable energy, and other infrastructure sectors. One of his solar PV projects won the “PFI Asia-Pacific Renewables deal of the year” award in 2013.

Venkataraman has broad expertise in energy and infrastructure, especially clean energy, across geographies over the past 20 years. He is a CFA charterholder, with a B.Tech in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras and an M.B.A. in finance and information systems from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta.

Andrew Grin
Andrew Grin
Director, Investments, Sol Systems

Andrew Grin leads Sol's Investments team, coordinating investment decisions, due diligence, negotiation, and financing of Sol developed distributed generation projects. Mr. Grin has supported the development, acquisition, and financing of solar projects since joining Sol Systems in 2016 and is a critical member of the team that built Sol's development business.

Previously, Mr. Grin worked within SunEdison’s Financial Leadership Development Program, where he led project initiatives for the Corporate Treasury group and supported renewable energy project due diligence and investment decisions for the senior executive team. Mr. Grin began his renewable energy career at Brightergy Solar, where he supported the sales and business development departments, and TradeWind Energy, where he evaluated the financial viability of potential new ventures.

Mr. Grin holds his B.S.M in Finance with a Specialization in Energy from Tulane University, where he graduated magna cum laude. During his tenure at Tulane, Mr. Grin spent two years leading a social entrepreneurship incubator for Tulane's Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, as part of a student work fellowship. Mr. Grin is also a Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) fellow and an active member of the CELI alumni community.

Jeremy Susac
Jeremy Susac
Vice President of Government Affairs, SunStreet
Ravi Manghani
Ravi Manghani
Head of Solar, Wood Mackenzie

Ravi is the head of solar research at Wood Mackenzie, where he focuses on solar-plus-storage, solar integration on the grid and related power markets issues. Prior to his current role, he was the head of Wood Mackenzie’s energy storage research practice and covered global storage markets and value chain analysis. As an industry expert, Ravi has been quoted in various publications including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Wired, and Verge. Ravi has over 10 years of experience in renewables as a consultant, analyst and engineer. Ravi holds a Master of International Business degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from University of Washington, Seattle and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India.

2020 Advisory Board:

Beth Galante
Beth Galante
Senior Vice President of Business Development, PosiGen

Beth practiced energy and environmental law in Louisiana for 15 years, including work with the Tulane Law Clinic when it received the National Law Journal's Runner Up Lawyer of the Year and Distinguished Environmental Achievement Award from the American Bar Association. After Hurricane Katrina, Beth directed Global Green New Orleans, a nonprofit focused on the sustainable rebuilding of the city to build LEED Platinum homes in the Lower 9th Ward. She was named a Champion of Change by the White House for creating New Orleans energy efficiency program, and is an Aspen Institute Fellow in its flagship Henry Crown program.

Phil Robinson
Phil Robinson
Director of Project Finance, Constellation Energy

Phil leads the dedicated Project Structuring team that provides transaction pricing, financial and commercial structuring, and asset portfolio management services to Constellation’s Distributed Energy business line.  Since joining the group in 2010, Phil has worked closely with Sales and Engineering & Construction to extend Constellation’s Commercial & Industrial and Public Sector product offerings beyond Solar and Energy Efficiency to also include stand-alone and integrated solutions involving Battery Storage, Emergency Generation, Fuel Cells, and Combined Heat & Power/ Co-Generation plants. 

Prior to joining the Distributed Energy sales team, Phil worked for 10 years in the Credit Risk Management Group within Constellation’s marketing and trading organization, where he led credit structuring for large wholesale and retail energy transactions.  Phil has an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Political Science from McDaniel College.

Hans Isern
Hans Isern
Senior Vice President of Origination, sPower

Hans Isern leads early stage development, origination and power marketing efforts for sPower. For over a decade he has led teams in diverse roles including utility engineering, power trading, regulatory affairs, and generation development and finance. This broad knowledge base allows him to create innovative strategies to optimize sPower’s development operations.

Throughout his career, Mr. Isern has directly shaped the renewable industry by affecting renewable policy at the CPUC, negotiating and closing over 600 MW of renewable PPAs, obtaining 2 GW of capacity on the power grid, and leading permitting efforts for over 15,000 acres. Mr. Isern has led development teams on over 30 utility-scale projects that are now online and operating. Prior to his current role, Mr. Isern was the Chief Operating Officer at Silverado Power, where he negotiated and executed over $1 B of power purchase and sale agreements with utilities and municipalities. Prior to this, Hans ran Recurrent Energy’s IOU development efforts in California, where he led over 30 interconnection processes and closed three of Recurrent’s first four utility-scale PPAs. Before his role at Recurrent, Mr. Isern ran sales and trading for 3 Phases Renewables, an Energy Service Provider that provides retail power under California’s Direct Access laws. Mr. Isern began his career as a utility engineer in PacifiCorp’s Asset Management group, where he led several multi-million dollar investments to improve the power grids in Utah and Oregon. Mr. Isern holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and graduated with honors from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell
Director, Solar & Storage Origination, Strata Solar

Will leads Origination of solar & storage for Strata Solar. In this capacity, Will is building on Strata’s success as a solar and storage solution provider. Serving all customer classes, Strata combines extensive EPC experience with industry-leading development practices to offer highly competitive and compelling utility-scale solar and battery storage solutions.

Prior to Strata, Will spent four years at Recurrent Energy where he served on the leadership team and led the government affairs group. Prior to leading the team, he managed policy initiatives in a variety of regions and co-led the company's market entry into the mountain west. 

With over a decade in the independent power development space, Will has worked on projects throughout the North American market. He has presented at numerous industry events and serves on the governing body nominating committee of the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market.

Prior to joining Recurrent Energy, Will spent six years with Competitive Power Ventures, a leading North American independent power producer, where he supported external affairs and business development activities across a multi-state portfolio of combined and simple-cycle natural gas, wind and solar energy facilities.

Will is active in his local community where he is an elected Fire District Commissioner and serves as a volunteer firefighter. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.