When David Crane stepped down late last year as president and CEO of energy company NRG (after holding the role for more than a decade), the renewables industry was very interested in his next move. As GTM's Julia Pyper reported, "Under Crane’s leadership, NRG launched a multi-pronged clean energy business with a unique focus on distributed, customer-centric products and services. Crane had a vision to transition the company from a traditional fossil-fuel power producer into a clean technology powerhouse. He wanted to make NRG the Google of energy." Unfortunately, the stock market and NRG's board didn't come around to that idea, and he was allowed to step down/fired. Would Crane end up leading a more patient, more renewables-friendly utility? Helming a startup and bringing his utility savvy to a new company? Leading a renewables advocacy effort? (SEIA has a recent opening.) Actually, David Crane will be joining Pegasus Capital Advisors as its senior operating executive. Craig Cogut founded Pegasus, a $2 billion private equity fund that specializes in "sourcing, buying, and building middle-market companies that compete on the basis of sustainability and resource efficiency." The Guardian referred to Cogut as "one of the founding fathers of private equity as a co-founder of Apollo Global Management." The firm's investments include Universal Lubricants, Molycorp Minerals, Lighting Science, iGPS, Traxys, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Jenzabar, PSI and Carol's Daughter. Green Charge Networks named Tim Larrison as its new CFO. Green Charge claims to be "the largest provider of commercial energy storage in the United States with more than 45 megawatt-hours of energy storage projects in operation or under construction." Earlier this year, Jeff St. John reported that "Green Charge Networks and Stem have been racing each other for the title of top behind-the-meter battery startup -- and for funding to back their no-money-down deals for customers." Larrison joins Green Charge from YGEA Holding, "a subsidiary of Yingli Solar where he was CFO and board director, responsible for the day-to-day financial and administrative management of the company and North American finance initiatives." Mark Osborne of PV Tech writes, "As the dust settles on SunEdison’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it's time to get back to focusing on another technically bankrupt former solar market leader, Yingli Green Energy," noting, "In stark contrast to the media storm over the rise and fall of SunEdison, the precarious financial position of Yingli Green has been well documented in 2015, yet the company has said very little publicly about its finances since its third-quarter earnings call way back in early December 2015." General Fusion, a Canadian startup working to harness fusion power, named Bruce Colwill, formerly of Neuromed Pharmaceuticals, as CFO. The company named Jean-François Béland as VP of government relations and corporate affairs. Most recently, Béland was executive VP of Areva Canada. The company claims to be developing "the fastest, most practical, and lowest-cost path to commercial fusion energy" and is funded by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Cenovus Energy, GrowthWorks, Braemar Energy Ventures, BDC, Entrepreneurs Fund, SET Ventures, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and NRC-IRAP. Stephen Lacey reported on a brief from think tank Third Way noting that private investors have committed $1.3 billion to support nearly 50 startups working on commercializing new reactor designs across the U.S. and Canada. Former GTM Editor Michael Kanellos asked (now-DOE Secretary) Ernie Moniz in 2009 if we'd see fusion reactors anytime soon. Moniz, who was running MIT's Energy Initiative at the time, looked Kanellos up and down and said, "Not in your lifetime." Canadian Solar, a solar panel manufacturer and developer, named Jianyi Zhang as senior VP, general counsel and chief compliance officer. Most recently, Zhang served, consecutively, as senior advisor to Chinese law firms of Jingtian & Gongcheng Law Firm, Runbo Law Firm, East Associates Law Firm and East & Concord Partners in Beijing. Before that, Zhang held a senior assistant general counsel position at Wal-Mart Stores. Michael Ratliff joined Enbala as executive VP of product. Most recently Ratliff was the CTO and senior VP of engineering at Comverge. Jeff St. John recently reported on Enbala's software platform to control pumps, refrigerators and other devices in ways that can turn them into fast-responding grid assets. Tantalus Systems, a maker of smart grid communications, named Hugo Hodge, Jr. as the company’s executive VP and GM, Caribbean Basin. Hodge most recently served as executive director and CEO of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. Nearly half of California's oil is produced using enhanced oil recovery, which pumps steam into the ground to release oil. GlassPoint generates this steam with concentrated solar power rather than gas. The company is expanding to Bakersfield, Calif. and adding Michelle McGarry as director of project development, Americas. Previously, McGarry was a director of downstream consulting for IHS and held engineering and business development roles at Shell and WorleyParsons. Olu Adeoye, previously with oil companies such as Chevron and Shell, joins as California program manager. McGarry notes, “The single largest operating cost for a heavy oilfield in California is fuel purchase for steam generation." Kelcy Pegler Jr. resigned as CEO of NRG Home Solar, according to sources close to the company. With former CEO David Crane gone, there was little appetite for residential solar at NRG Energy, which acquired Pegler's 475-employee firm Roof Diagnostics Solar in April 2014. Sources also tell GTM that NRG Home Solar just laid off its San Diego solar installation crews. Also resigning from NRG recently was Robyn Beavers, the "founder and leader of the newly formed Station A Group, a microgrid skunk works within the power company." Tom Doyle, the CEO of NRG Renew, has left that firm. Recently, GTM also reported that Steve McBee, CEO at NRG Home for a little more than a year, will be leaving NRG. According to Power Finance & Risk, Denise Wilson, the executive VP and president of Alternative Energy Services, recently left the firm as well. As GTM's Stephen Lacey just reported, Rhone Resch, the man who's steered the U.S. solar industry's top lobbying group for a dozen years, is leaving his position at the end of May. Resch led national advocacy efforts during some of the most important moments for the American solar industry, including the passage of the eight-year federal Investment Tax Credit in 2008, passage of the stimulus package in 2009, and the most recent renewal of the Investment Tax Credit last December.
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News Article | January 6, 2016
One of China’s rapidly emerging solar power project developers and operators, United PV, has secured a fresh credit line to expand its footprint further. United PV, which has been on an acquisition spree for the last several months, has secured RMB 10 billion (US$1.5 billion) to acquire more solar power projects. The company has raised this funding from CITIC Financial Leasing Co. The company raised funds through various means throughout 2015 and signed several deals to acquire solar power projects across China. United PV recently reported that it raised $100 million from the sale of convertible bonds to Huaqing Solar Power Limited. United PV issued 3-year convertible bonds at an interest rate of 6.75% to be paid every six months. In 2014, United PV signed an agreement with Yingli Solar to acquire 300 MW of solar power capacity between 2014 and 2016. The company currently has an operational capacity of 652 MW. The company also has a pipeline of 8.4 GW capacity which it is expected to acquire from companies like GD Solar, CTIEC, Huawei, Zhongli Talesun, among others. In May 2015, United PV announced what it claimed to be the largest single transaction of solar power project in the world. The company acquired 930 MW worth of solar power capacity from Hareon Solar, taking over 17 projects located in various provinces of China. The projects are located in Xinjiang, Hebei, Yunnan, Shanxi, Jiangsu, among other provinces. This acquisition seems doubtful as United PV claimed that Hareon Solar has failed to meet the conditions of the transaction. United PV is seeking a refund of $64.5 million from Hareon Solar as the latter has been able to commission only 30 MW capacity by late December. Hareon Solar, on its part, stated that it is working to commission more projects. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
China's Yingli Solar to help build largest PV plant in Bolivia The flag of Bolivia. The country wants to see a big RE expansion Bolivia's central bank (BCB) approved a 654m bolivianos ($94.6m) loan for the construction of a 20-30MW PV plant that will be the country's largest, the government news agency reported.
News Article | January 14, 2016
Yingli Solar has announced plans to set up its first solar panel manufacturing unit outside China. Yingli Solar’s subsidiary Hainan Yingli New Energy Resource announced the joint venture with Demeter Power to set up a solar panel manufacturing facility in Thailand. Panels manufactured at the facility will be marketed under Yingli’s brand. Hainan Yingli New Energy Resource will invest $19 million in the joint venture and retain a 40% share in the joint venture. The facility is expected to be operation in the second half of this year. Several Chinese and Taiwanese companies have started developing overseas manufacturing facilities so as to circumvent the anti-dumping duties levied by the European Union. A number of Chinese companies, including Trina Solar and Zhongli Talesun, have extensive plans to set up production facilities in Thailand. The increased interest in the south-east Asian country is the result of the Thai Government’s proactive policies to promote investment in the solar power production as well as manufacturing sectors. Trina Solar will set up their manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 500 MW solar photovoltaic modules and 700 MW of solar cells. The facility is expected to be operational by early 2016. Zhongli Talesun will set up a manufacturing facility and also develop 1 GW of solar power projects over the next 3 years. Taiwan-based Gintech Energy also announced $45 million investment to develop 350 MW solar cell production facility last year. The modules manufactured at the facility may also be used by Yingli itself to set up power plants in Thailand. In late 2014, Yingli Green Energy Holding and Huawei Technologies signed an agreement to jointly develop solar power projects in Thailand. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.