Solarplaza International BV is an independent international platform for knowledge and events on Solar PV market strategy & business development. The company was founded in 2004 and – in its first decade – has organized over 50 conferences and trade missions in more than 20 countries on 5 continents.
Stefano joined Solarplaza in 2011, taking a lead role in the acquisitions team and managing global accounts. Over the course of 2012 he has assumed a more project focused role and has become deeply involved in the concept development and organization of new events. Stefano has built up specific expertise in the fields of Solar Operations & Maintenance and Solar Crowd Funding. Alongside his work for Solarplaza, he has been involved in crowd funding initiatives in the northern provinces of The Netherlands.
Stefano received his education at the Technical University of Delft and has a Masters degree in Industrial Design (Strategic Product Design).
Cedric Brehaut is an expert in the monitoring and operations & maintenance of PV systems with extensive experience in the solar industry and over thirteen years in Silicon Valley. After seven years spent developing, managing and marketing security software products, Cedric joined the solar industry in 2007 as a director of product management for SunEdison and was a key contributor to the development and growth of the company’s services business unit. During Cedric’s tenure, SunEdison created and launched a new suite of turnkey services for PV plants, including managed monitoring, operations & maintenance, billing, and asset reporting services. Cedric also acted as the business development leader for these products. In 2011, he established SoliChamba Consulting and began offering consulting services to various firms in the solar industry. In 2012 and 2013, Cedric authored the solar industry's most comprehensive reports on PV monitoring and operations & maintenance (O&M) markets, published by GTM Research: 'Global PV Monitoring: Technologies, Markets and Leading Players' and 'Megawatt-Scale PV Plant Operations and Maintenance: Services, Markets and Competitors'.
Greg Sellers is a solar energy executive who has led industry efforts to increase quality and expedite the development of residential solar installations. Greg pioneered the development of residential solar inspections, founding and leading Burnham Energy, a company that inspected more than 2,500 systems in 31 states. He has spoken at major solar conferences, and is a founding member of SolarTech, an industry consortium seeking to resolve barriers to the adoption of solar energy. Prior to his work in the solar industry, Greg served as a public policy consultant for a wide range of public and private sector clients. He has a graduate degree in public policy from California State University Monterey Bay and the Panetta Institute, where he was named Panetta Institute fellow to the Academy of Achievement. Greg was elected and served three terms as City Councilmember in the Silicon Valley community of Morgan Hill, California.
Tim Keating is the SunSpec Alliance Development Director, industry consultant and an advisor to the Solar Access to Public Capital Initiative. For the last 6 years Tim has worked in solar finance, operations and business development. Most recently Tim was SVP Marketing for Mercatus Inc. where he drove strategic marketing and industry alliances during the Company's fund raising and launch of the Mercatus Solar Project Finance Origination and Syndication Management platform. Previous to this he was VP of Marketing and Field Operations at Skyline Solar during Series A to C round funding; he drove company launch, business development and field operations delivering solar projects deployments in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Before entering renewables Tim was the COO of ZVUE Corporation from turn around funding to NASDAQ exit. Tim gained his new company experience as Managing Director of Intel Capital Europe where he made over 105 high tech investments. Tim’s other roles at Intel included General Management and World Wide Director of Pentium Marketing during the development and rollout of Intel’s first processor branding program.
MJ Shiao is a Senior Analyst for GTM Research with a focus on PV inverters, electronics, thin flm PV and U.S. non-utility markets. MJ has experience ranging from fabrication of crystalline silicon solar cells to PV project development. Before joining GTM Research, MJ managed and designed over 5 MW of residential and commercial PV projects with Solar Design Associates. Prior to project management, MJ consulted with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) on residential solar rebate programs and with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on PV experience curves by technology.
David Kenny is a Director at Sunrun, where he leads the Fleet Operations Department. Through supply chain management and field operations, the department is responsible for reducing installation costs and promoting installation quality across a network of partners. The department is also responsible for delivering a positive customer experience by monitoring all operational projects, identifying performance alerts, and managing field service activity. David has over 10 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining Sunrun, David launch a new energy efficiency project finance business (Metrus Energy), developed and operated commercial/utility solar projects (MMA Renewable Ventures), and supported demand-side energy efficiency programs (Nexant and Navigant Consulting).
Dirk Michels is a partner with the international law firm of K&L Gates LLP, resident in its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, where he is one of four global leaders of the firm’s Cleantech and Renewable Energy Practice. Mr. Michels advises renewable energy and cleantech companies in project development and corporate and project financing matters. His work on behalf of cleantech companies, particularly those focused in solar, includes the full range of corporate and strategic advice, as well as assistance with all aspects of project development and financing, complex debt and equity financing, and securing of public grants. In his more than 15 years of practicing law in Germany and California, he has developed and negotiated corporate and project agreements for many companies engaged in centralized and distributed renewable energy projects – from power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements, to construction contracts, O&M agreements, debt and equity financing agreements, and agreements related to renewable energy and carbon credits.
Dirk has been recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the “Top 25 Clean Technology Lawyers in California” for his work in project finance.
Murad Can has over 18 years experience in business development, sales, production and customer service in the aerospace and renewable energy markets. He joined skytron energy in 2010 and is responsible for global business development and customer operations.
Prior to joining skytron energy Murad worked with AEG Power Solutions, first as director global service of the power controller division and later as director business development asset management solar & data/IT global services. In this role he successfully established operations & maintenance (O&M) service centers for the global PV and IT markets.
Murad started his career at Rolls Royce plc, where he held various positions from flight test engineer for Boeing, Gulfstream, and Bombardier to director of production and operations.
Murad has a master degree in Aerospace and Aeronautic Engineering from the Technical University Berlin, Germany. He speaks German, English and Turkish, as well as some French and Russian. Murad is married and has two children.
Leigh is the Director of Sales & Marketing, North America for meteocontrol; the world’s largest independent PV quality services and performance monitoring company. For the last 7 years, Leigh has worked in solar performance consulting. His focus is on efficient technical project management and operation of photovoltaic power plants throughout their lifecycle. His consulting work has drastically improved component choice, design efficiencies, system performance, and reduced the LCOE on plants ranging in size from 2kW to 100 MW, and has been involved in the performance review of more than 1.5 GW of total capacity. He is an expert on weather adjusted and DC component technology performance models. He is developing quality assurance and power control projects for residential portfolios, commercial rooftop installations, and utility scale power plants across North America; assisting asset owners in improving project quality, performance yields, and revenue streams. Prior to meteocontrol, Leigh was lead data services engineer for Aurora Vision Brand of Power-One, Inc.
Andy Walker is a Principal Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he conducts engineering and economic analysis of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for Federal agencies such as national parks and military bases and also for commercial and industrial clients. He holds a patent on the Renewable Energy Optimization (REO) method of planning renewable energy projects across a portfolio of properties based on economic value. Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Walker worked at the Colorado Office of Energy Conservation and at the Solar Energy Applications Laboratory at Colorado State University. He conducts renewable energy training for developing countries for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the UN, and other agencies.
Vassilis Papaeconomou brings executive solar photovoltaic (PV) development and construction expertise to his role as co-founder and managing director of Alectris, a global operations & maintenance (O&M) independent service provider. As a German trained engineer, he drives continues improvement in every aspect of the company including operational, engineering and team performance to re-define O&M and outperform client expectations.
Prior to Alectris, Vassilis held the position of Operations Director for Advartia, a European based solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm he also co-founded. The firm’s solar PV portfolio includes the construction of medium- to large-scale assets in Greece.
Before solely focusing on the solar market, he held the position of Operations Director at Agrology, a firm active in Greece, Italy, Belgium, Spain and the U.S. in the fields of agriculture and renewable energy.
Vassilis Papaeconomou has authored several White Papers on O&M and is a subject matter expert presenter. Vassilis is multilingual and holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Universität Karlsruhe (TH) and an Abitur from Deutsche Schule Thessaloniki.
Troy Lauterbach has fourteen years of Energy Industry experience, with six years concentrating on Renewable Energy. Troy started his energy career with Calpine Corporation, where he served in various capacities within the Plant Optimization Group. In 2008 Troy joined the O&M team at SunPower as the Senior Commercial Manager. In 2010 Troy transitioned into a Business Development role which focused on developing the next round of solar opportunities with existing commercial customers. Troy has been with First Solar as Director of O&M Business Development since April of 2013, where he is focused on developing First Solar’s O&M business model and creating value by means of new revenue, operational cost reduction, risk mitigation and customer satisfaction and retention. Troy has a BS in Computer Information Systems from Oklahoma Christian University an MBA from Colorado State University.
Andrew leads the Asset Management team at Recurrent Energy, a leading solar project developer.
He is responsible for operations & maintenance, performance, and monitoring of Recurrent Energy’s portfolio of solar projects, in addition to managing the projects’ ongoing commercial, contractual, compliance, and regulatory requirements.
Andrew currently manages 415 MW of projects across the U.S. and Canada on behalf of Recurrent Energy and counterparties.
Prior to joining Recurrent Energy, Andrew had a senior business development role at Applied Materials’ Solar Energy Division. Prior to the Solar Energy Division, Andrew had various business management roles within Applied Materials’ Product Divisions in Europe and the U.S.
Dominic has over 15 years of experience in infrastructure investment, project financing, asset management and project management. He is responsible of all assets operations and management including portfolio valuation and reporting to investors, in addition to leading transactions for the acquisition of assets.
Fiera Axium Infrastructure is an independent portfolio management firm dedicated to generating long-term investment returns through investing in core infrastructure assets. The firm has investments in Solar, Wind and Hydro power plants in Canada and in the US for a total of approximately 750 MW in renewable power including 175 MW in Solar . The firms currently has two funds with total commitments of approximately $1 billion. Dominic has joined Fiera Axium Infrastructure at its inception in 2009. He was previously with the Macquarie Capital Funds' asset management group.
Edmée Kelsey brings a wealth of solar asset management expertise to her role as founder and CEO of 3megawatt. 3megawatt provides solar asset management software designed to support asset owners with managing their solar portfolio risks and asset managers with reducing their asset management costs. As former CFO of Main Street Power, she closed project financing for over 100 of distributed solar PV projects and was responsible for the asset management of those solar assets. As a former VP at the investment bank JP Morgan and managing director of a clean energy corporate finance advisory firm, she gained a deep understanding of the requirements of project finance providers and sponsors, funds and investors. Her background as a founder and CEO of a venture-backed telecom service provider brings utility billing, asset tracking and O&M service ticketing experience.
Dr. Mani is the president of TÜV Rheinland PTL at Tempe, Arizona and the director of Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (PRL) at Arizona State University. He has more than 30 years of research and certification testing experience in photovoltaics. He is a working group member of various standards developing organizations including IEC and TUV-R. His research is primarily focused on predicting lifetime of PV modules in varied climatic conditions through field and accelerated reliability and durability evaluations.
Clyde Loutan is presently a Senior Advisor at the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) focusing on power system operation performance and was the Principal Investigator for the ISO’s renewable resource integration studies published in 2007 and 2010. Mr. Loutan serves on the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Frequency Responsive Reserve, and the NERC Reliability Based Control Standards teams developing national operating standards. Mr. Loutan previously worked at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for 14 years in various capacities such as Real Time System Operations, Transmission Planning and High Voltage Protection.
Mr. Loutan is a licensed professional engineer in the State of California. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Howard University in Washington D.C., and is a senior member of the IEEE.
Bob Callery serves as the V.P. of First Solar’s Operations & Maintenance department. In this role he directs the company’s Operations & Maintenance Group in the management of utility Scale PV Power Plants. The O&M group is responsible for operating and maintaining, including managing the company’s performance engineering department, large scale PV power plants on behalf of First Solar’s customers.
Bob brings more than 32 years of electric utility and IPP industry expertise to his position at First Solar Electric. His experience includes positions in plant operations, plant design, commissioning, performance engineering management, and asset and plant management.
Chris Lambert is the Global Commercial Manager for First Solar’s O&M Team. Chris has fifteen years experience a Cleantech professional; and has a diverse background in corporate finance, commercial operations, strategic planning and business development.
Previously he served as General Manager, Business Development with Samsung where he was brought in to refine and commercialize the North American wind turbine business. Prior to joining Samsung, he held a succession of roles at TPI Composites, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, GE Energy, and Enron Wind.
Chris graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in accounting.
Rue Phillips is the CEO of True South Renewables, Inc., the largest independent solar operations and maintenance company in North America. He is also an advisor and entrepreneur, active in the development, engineering, design and installation of over 350MW of commercial distributed generation and utility-scale solar projects. Considered an industry pioneer in the development of standards and comprehensive commissioning protocols now widely used throughout the solar industry today, Rue has advised and consulted on multibillion dollar EPC installations. He has also developed a unique solution towards the operations and maintenance of solar PV systems focusing on higher output using unique preventative maintenance protocols, a nationwide OEM 24 Hr response support infrastructure, and, a unique construction integrated commissioning protocol.
Rémy Tasse is Director of 3E’s software unit: SynaptiQ. He is in charge of business development for PV monitoring and reporting software and handles the general management of the software development, operations and customer service teams. Rémy has over 15 years of experience in the high-tech and clean-tech sectors and has co-founded two technology companies. He combines a strong background in business development in technology driven companies and he’s active in renewable energy sector since 6 years. Previously he held sales, marketing and technical positions in various innovative software companies in aeronautic and building industries. Rémy is an electro-mechanical engineer by training with a PhD in fluid dynamics from the Von Karman Insititute and the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Chip Stalica first worked at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. headquartered in San Francisco, California in 1984 as an engineering intern while finishing his mechanical engineering coursework at California State University, Chico. Following graduation, Chip joined Pacific Gas & Electric Company as an Engineer Trainee working at the three utility owned co-generation facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. He continued his experience through a series of engineering and project assignments at the Moss Landing Power Plant located near Monterey, CA moving into the Hydro Generation Department in 1990 as a Project Engineer. Following this assignment, he worked as a Business Planner and then move into the Hydro Maintenance and Operations Department as a Generation Supervisor in 1995. He continued on as a Generation Supervisor over the following years in three different geographical regions in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley region where in 2009, he became the Hydro Area Manager in the Shasta Hydro region. In 2011, he became the Director of Projects, Engineering and Construction in Hydro Generation later filling the role in 2012 which he is currently serves as the Manager of Asset Management in Power Generation. Chip is a licensed Mechanical Engineer in the state if California.
Jimmy is director of O&M at SolarCity. He has gained extensive experience in construction of all size of PV installation through his positions as Lead installer and Construction manager. So far he is responsible for installation or direct management of 62 MW of installed capacity at SolarCity. Jimmy is a NABCEP certified engineer and holds a degree in B.A. and History and Spanish Literature from the Villanova University. He speaks Spanish fluently.
Kevin R. Lang, Ph.D., leads the Independent Engineering practice for solar power generation and technology at Leidos Engineering, LLC, formerly part of SAIC. He brings more than seven years of experience with a focus on solar technology, performance, and project management, as well as evaluation of new energy technologies. Since joining the firm in 2009, Dr. Lang has been extensively involved in PV projects and technology reviews, and he has emerged as a trusted authority on all solar matters for the firm. Dr. Lang has been involved in more than 100 different solar projects and technology reviews since joining Leidos, including some of the world’s most notable solar power projects. He holds a Ph.D., S.M., and S.B. in Mechanical Engineering, each from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tom Snowdon began his career in electric power as a plant performance engineer in 1985 at Houston Lighting and Power Company. Through 19 years at HL&P and Reliant Energy, Tom held positions as startup supervisor, plant technical supervisor, production coordination supervisor, plant manager, and director of operations planning. Since the inception of competitive wholesale electric markets in the United States, Tom has been a student of electric market structures. As a Business Development Manager for Emerson Process Management, Tom works to understand and quantify the value of changes to power plants’ operating characteristics and, in particular, to develop the plant control techniques needed to enable PV facilities to participate fully in provision of ancillary services to grid operators.
Chad Sachs is the CEO of Radian Generation, a provider of solar asset management and advisory services to investors and owners of projects. RadianGEN’s current customers include utilities, private equity/hedge funds, developers, and publicly traded vehicles that are looking for more predictability and improved operating performance of their assets. Mr. Sachs has held senior executive positions at leading developers in the commercial dg and utility sectors including MMA Renewable Ventures, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and SunEdison. He has raised over $1.1 BN of financing for solar projects since 2005, including tax equity, permanent debt and construction
financing. Prior to entering the solar sector, Mr. Sachs worked at J.P. Morgan Partners, the
private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase, where he focused on growth equity, and Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Sachs holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in International Economics from Georgetown University.
CEO Robert Schaefer and CTO Holden Caine co-founded AlsoEnergy in 2007 with a mission to provide the most powerful and comprehensive monitoring solution in the emerging solar power market.
With nearly 30 years experience, Robert built upon his Electrical Engineering (MIT) and Control Systems (University of Colorado) education to lead operations at companies including Digital Equipment Corp., MaxOptix, and Hertric Development. Prior to founding AlsoEnergy, he was CEO at storage systems and software maker Breece Hill Technologies.
Matt Archer is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Houston office. He focuses his practice on project development and finance and mergers and acquisitions in the energy industry. Matt has a very active renewable energy practice and regularly advises clients on a wide range of issues relating to wind, solar, landfill gas, energy storage and other alternative energy projects. His extensive experience in renewable energy includes each stage from early development, construction, operation and maintenance and offtake agreements (including power purchase agreements) through commercial operation, financing (including tax equity structures), repowering and disposition. Matt has extensive experience with both utility scale and distributed generation solar projects and has worked on some of the largest pv projects in the world.
Eric brings 30 years of industry experience leading, facilitating, and supporting critical operations and technologies in power plant operation, transmission, and large grid management systems. Over the years Eric held leadership roles at Southern California Edison, California ISO, Midwest ISO, and WECC, serving in positions of Project and Technical Management, Plant Manager, EMS Manager, Manager of Reliability Applications, and Director of EMS/IT Services. These roles have focused on grid operations and technologies, IT leadership, project management, NERC compliance, and developing high performing teams in support of critical systems.
Joe Kastner is the Vice President of Operations for Radian Generation, provider of ongoing solar asset management (solarAM) and consulting services to investors, lenders and owners of projects. RadianGEN’s current customers include utilities, private equity/hedge funds, developers, and publicly traded vehicles that are looking for more predictability and improved operating performance of their assets. Joe has over 12 years of technical management experience in solar PV project development, construction and operation. He co-founded Renewable Ventures (RV), a pioneering solar developer and financier that was acquired by MMA Financial. He has also been an executive leader at three successful U.S. solar power producers (RV, MMA Renewable Ventures, and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures), where he managed the firms’ technical teams and oversaw all solar power plant construction, operation and management activities.
Joe holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, an M.S. in Energy Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Stefan Szulc is a client executive with Marsh, the insurance brokerage and risk advisory subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies. In this role he works with renewable energy developers, equipment manufacturers and investors to implement effective risk strategies thru all stages of project development. Stefan has over 20 years’ insurance industry experience including specific Performance Warranty, Tax Recapture, and Financial & Weather products expertise. Stefan holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Denison University.
Peter Burcat has been a practicing trial attorney for over 25 years and has handled in excess of 10,000 cases, including over 200 trials. He is a member of the State Bar of numerous states, numerous Federal Courts, and a proud member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. He is listed and recognized in the Who’s Who of American Business Professionals.
Over the past 14 years, Mr. Burcat has co-founded three renewable energy companies, with a focus on project design, engineering and development. He has been a former COO of the United States division of an international renewable energy company that was directly responsible for the development of over 3 Gigawatts of renewable energy projects. He has been invited by owners/investors to inspect and evaluate renewable energy systems worldwide, focusing on overall system operations and maintenance.
As Vice President of Asset Management, Lex Coen is responsible for the operations & maintenance of Main Street Power’s PV asset portfolio including system monitoring, data acquisition and intelligence, performance data analysis, host relations, vendor and warranty management, client billing, regulatory compliance, remote diagnostics, preventative maintenance, automated field service dispatch and solar asset fund reporting. Lex works diligently to maximize production and revenue across Main Street’s commercial PV asset fleet now totaling over 50 MW across 200 sites throughout North America. Prior to this role Lex also served as VP of Development at Main Street Power where he directed the companies first installations, which consisted of over 50 commercial sites spread throughout the Colorado Front Range. Lex joined the solar industry in 2007 as the Vice President of Peak Solar Corporation. Lex brings a background of real estate and solar development management experience to the Main Street team. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado in Environmental Sciences, is a Certified Project Manager from Colorado State University/Project Management Institute and an Advanced Grid-Tied photovoltaic graduate.
Thomas Tansy is Chairman of the SunSpec Alliance and has served in this position since 2009. During that time, the Alliance has grown to over 60 members and has published de facto standards that have been broadly deployed. Most recently, SunSpec has published an advanced inverter control specification, based upon international recommendations (IEC 61850), that is in the process of becoming U.S. national standard. Once implemented, this standard will become the technical underpinning for DG to participate in markets for ancillary grid support services. These services have the potential to increase the value of DG by 100%, thus placing DG on equal footing with fossil fuels in the energy market.
Thomas also serves on the board of the Solar Energy Finance Association (SEFA). SEFA was formed as an offshoot of the Solar Access to Public Capital initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by NREL. This initiative has the goal of bringing $1 trillion in low-cost capital to the DG market via proven financing methods such as securitization. SEFA is backed by the world's biggest banks, rating agencies and solar developers.
Thomas’ tenure in the solar industry dates to 2007. Since then, he has served as Vice President of Marketing for Fat Spaniel, General Manager of Power-One, Chairman of the SunSpec Alliance and now board member of SEFA. In the 20 years prior to that time, he was involved in the computer networking industry as a successful entrepreneur, marketing practitioner, and company executive. Thomas studied computer science and marketing at San Jose State University.