Another week brings moves and shifts at the upper levels of renewable energy.
Jing Tian has been promoted to president of North American region at Trina Solar. Trina Solar CEO Goa Jifan was recently quoted in Handelsblatt Global as saying that European anti-dumping measures against solar companies are unfair, and that “SolarWorld is a company with no competitiveness,” adding, “It has to drop out of the market sooner or later, and it will. You cannot rely on government protectionism or subsidies forever. SolarWorld will die, the only question is when.”
Vivint Solar named Maggie Heile as VP of marketing for the residential solar specialist. Prior to Vivint, Heile led marketing for the retailer brands division of Sun Products, a laundry product manufacturer.
Microinverter and energy storage system builder Enphase named Badri Kothandaraman as its first COO. Kothandaraman started with Cypress Semiconductor in 1995 and worked in process technology and chip design before becoming a VP in 2008 and subsequently executive VP of Cypress's data communications division. He will receive an annual base salary of $350,000, with a target bonus opportunity of 75 percent of his base salary. Kothandaraman will also receive an initial stock option grant of 1,000,000 shares. According to reports, Enphase shed four VP positions and consolidated operations under the new COO role. Enphase now has approximately 344 employees.
Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and founding director of the MIT Energy Initiative, has been named as the first distinguished fellow of Emerson Collective, a social impact effort headed by Laurene Powell Jobs (net worth: $19 billion). Moniz will focus on “equitable access to technology, workforce development, and clean energy innovations in communities across America in support of a low carbon future.” Andy Karsner is a managing partner of Emerson Collective.
Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator, a prominent energy and infrastructure accelerator that has worked with a portfolio of 53 companies, also recently became a part of Emerson Collective. Under the new name Elemental Excelerator, EEx plans to expand beyond Hawaii to California and will broaden its reach into sectors other than energy, including water, transportation and agriculture.
N.Y. Governor Cuomo will nominate New York State Energy Research and Development Authority CEO John Rhodes to chair New York's Public Service Commission. Rhodes would fill the position left by Audrey Zibelman, who departed last month to lead a large Australian grid operator.
Powin Energy, a provider of energy storage systems for utilities, C&I and microgrids, announced that Craig Eastwood joined the company in March 2017 as CFO and Jan Jacobson joined as VP of business development. Most recently, Eastwood was the corporate controller at Erickson. Prior to joining Powin Energy, Jacobson led technical business and project development at behind-the-meter energy storage developer Stem.
Karen Khamou was promoted to director of electric generation and load interconnection — electric asset management, at Pacific Gas & Electric.
Enertech Search Partners, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, is the sponsor of the GTM jobs column.
Among its many active searches, Enertech is looking for an Enterprise Account Manager — NE Operational Risk
The client is the world's leading provider of sustainability, EHS and Operational Risk Management Software. More than 1,000 global companies and 1 million users rely on the client's solutions to manage their environmental and social performance, minimize risks and improve profitability.
This client is seeking an Enterprise Account Manager that will be responsible for the sales of its software solutions. This candidate must have a consistent track record and experience with complex sales cycles and customer-facing deals, as well as possessing a strong hunter mentality.
Power Finance & Risk reports that there have been a “spate of departures” at Canadian Solar-owned Recurrent: “At least 10 senior employees who worked in areas including finance, development and procurement at Recurrent Energy have left the solar sponsor in a wave of departures in recent months.”
American wind power added jobs over 9 times faster than the overall economy, according to the American Wind Energy Association's most recent annual market report. The U.S. industry installed more than 8,000 megawatts of new wind power for a second straight year, and invested over $14 billion in 2016 in new wind farms — supporting a record-high 102,500 jobs.
Silver Lake, a private equity and venture debt firm with occasional forays into greentech, raised $15 billion for its latest fund. New Energy Capital Partners, an asset management firm, raised $325 million for its most recent fund. Obvious Ventures, an early-stage sustainable technology-focused VC firm, raised $178 million for its latest fund. We covered Congruent Ventures' fund-raising here.
From the previous jobs column:
Jon Wellinghoff, the chief policy officer at SolarCity, left the company now that it has merged with Tesla. It makes sense that Tesla is integrating its respective legislative and policy teams with SolarCity. Letting go of a skilled ex-FERC commissioner appears to make less sense.
Wellinghoff's LinkedIn page has him now at Policy/DER Consulting. The firm “assists energy tech companies from startups to fully commercialized enterprises to get to market and expand markets by addressing critical policy barriers to business success.”
Wellinghoff was the longest-serving chair in FERC's history, leading efforts to fit PV and wind into wholesale electric markets, and to ensure that resources like demand response and distributed generation could participate. Wellinghoff also served as general counsel at the Nevada PUC. He was at SolarCity for one year and one month. We've reached out to him for a comment.
Steve Case joined the board of fuel-cell builder Bloom Energy in August 2014. Today, he's no longer on the board. He was replaced by Mary K. Bush at the turn of the year. Late last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloom submitted a confidential registration for its IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 15-year-old startup claims to have installed more than 200 megawatts of its Bloom boxes in the U.S.