16 July 2012
Executives from utility, manufacturing and finance companies share the stage at Solar Power International 2012 (SPI 2012) to discuss how their companies manage uncertainty due to the changing nature of policy. SPI 2012 takes place on 10-13 September at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida, US. Senior leaders from DBL Investors, Florida Power & Light, Hannah Solar, NRG Energy, SMA America and SunPower Corporation will offer their perspectives during a panel discussion on Monday, 10 September from 5:00pm to 6:30pm.
While policy and incentives are essential to the growth of the solar industry, changes over time create complicated variables on the US federal, state and local levels that companies must take into account when planning for growth. The distinguished panel will provide insight into policy and incentives and discuss their impact and implications for the industry.
The panelists are:
• Nancy Pfund, managing partner of DBL Investors
Pfund is founder and managing partner of DBL Investors, a venture capital firm in San Francisco, California, US whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions in which it invests. She currently sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including Bright Source Energy, SolarCity, Solaria, Primus Power, Eco.logic Brands, OPx Biotechnologies, Powergenix and, prior to their public offering, Tesla Motors and Pandora Media. Originally a part of JPMorgan, DBL Investors became independent in 2008.
• Eric Silagy, president of Florida Power & Light (FPL)
Silagy is president of FPL, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., a large investor-owned US electric utility. He was appointed to his current position in December 2011. Previously, Silagy served as senior vice president of regulatory and state governmental affairs, responsible for directing regulatory and legislative priorities and as FPL's chief development officer, where he managed all generation development at the utility, including renewable, fossil and nuclear projects.
• Peter Marte, chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Hannah Solar
Marte is CEO and founder of Hannah Solar. Bringing more than 10 years of experience in the engineering and energy business, he is a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified solar photovoltaics (PV) installer, vice chair of the Georgia (US) Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and former board member of the Georgia Solar Energy Association. The team at Hannah Solar have become active in the integration and development of alternative energy facilities throughout the Southeastern US. Hannah Solar, LLC is a five-year-old turnkey Renewable Energy Provider, specialising in planning, design, installation and maintenance of renewable energy solutions for the Southeastern US. These solutions are generally site-specific solar PV systems, with more than 4 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity through mid-2012 focused on commercial and agricultural locations. Marte oversees the management team at Hannah Solar, LLC and Worry Free Power, LLC under the Hannah Energy umbrella of companies. Hannah Solar and Worry Free Power are focused on the assets both companies bring to the table for the implementation of the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for residential, commercial and PV canopy installation services.
• Tom Doyle, professional engineer, president and CEO of NRG Solar
Doyle leads NRG's solar business as well as its generation portfolio in the West. He was instrumental in building NRG into one of the largest developers of solar in the US and continues to lead the development of the company's pipeline of solar projects. He is also responsible for leading efforts to repower NRG's West region's power plants. Joining NRG in 2009 as president of NRG Solar, Doyle has more than 25 years of development and engineering experience associated with large-scale solar and more conventional power generation projects.
• Jurgen Krehnke, president and general manager of SMA America, LLC and president of SMA Canada
Krehnke is responsible for all sales, marketing, service and administrative activities for the North America-based divisions of global solar technology giant SMA Solar Technology AG. Since 2008 he has directed SMA through the most explosive growth period in its North America history, establishing the company not only as one of the largest PV inverter manufacturers in the residential space but also in the fast-growing utility market. Under his leadership, the company established two North American manufacturing sites, significantly expanded its US headquarters, unveiled a dedicated service centre and created hundreds of direct jobs.
• Thomas Werner, president and CEO of SunPower Corp.
Werner is also chairman of the board of directors at SunPower Corp. Prior to joining SunPower, he held the position of CEO of Silicon Light Machines, Inc., an optical solutions subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. Previously, Werner was vice president and general manager of the Business Connectivity Group of 3Com Corp., a network solutions company. He has also held a number of executive management positions at Oak Industries, Inc. and General Electric Co.
According to Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the SEIA, "The solar industry is the most exciting, entrepreneurial industry in the US today. Innovative new business models combined with smart public policy – at the federal, state and local level – are opening up new markets across the country and allowing solar to compete on a level playing field with fossil fuels. Solar is growing at record rates in the US and is now more affordable than ever for consumers across the country who are turning to solar to save money. This growth is tied directly to public policy and this expert panel will provide a unique insight on how their companies work within the ever-changing policy structure that is shaping today's solar market."
"We are honoured to have these six executives who are leaders in energy and finance share their views and insights on the future of policy and incentives with SPI attendees," said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). "This will be a dynamic and unique discussion about the role that state and federal programs have played and will continue to play in the development of solar energy markets in the US," she said.
Just prior to the executive panel, Hamm and Resch will present an industry update.