Zaid Ashai serves as Nexamp’s Chairman and CEO, providing the vision and leadership to drive the company’s continued growth and innovation. Before joining the management team, Ashai oversaw Nexamp as a General Partner at venture firm Point Judith Capital.
Previously, he worked at Good Energies, where he was elected a Kauffman Fellow and focused on investments in next-generation energy efficiency technologies—including Nexamp, 3TIER, Emergence Bioenergy, Everpower, and Kalpan in India. He joined Good Energies from Harbourvest Partners and was previously an investment banking analyst in Credit Suisse’s Technology Group.
Ashai holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, he was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has an AB in International Relations and Economics, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. He has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Ashai currently serves on the boards of SEIA, NECEC and Vote Solar.
Jon Carson is the Founder and Managing Partner of Trajectory Energy Partners, a Midwest-based solar development company that works closely with landowners and communities to develop community solar and small utility-scale projects with strong local support. Prior to founding Trajectory, Jon spent 2 years at SolarCity, serving a year each as Senior Director on the Policy and Electric Markets team and as the Senior Director of the Solar Ambassador program.
Prior to joining SolarCity in December 2014, Jon was the Executive Director of Organizing for Action, a grassroots advocacy movement built by millions of volunteers and focused on building local capacity and training the next generation of progressive organizers. Carson was previously the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Assistant to the President from January 2011 through January 2013. Before leading OPE, he served as the Chief of Staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) from 2009-2010. Prior to joining the Administration, Carson was the National Field Director for President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008 and worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential transition team. Prior to the Obama campaign, Jon worked on political campaigns across the country.
Carson served in the Peace Corps in southern Honduras for two years, building water systems for rural villages and teaching land surveying. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and received a Master’s Degree in Geography from the University of California-Los Angeles. He lives in Highland Park, IL, with his wife Rebecca and their three children.
David Crane is a global thought leader in the push towards a clean energy economy and sustainable development. Mr. Crane recently joined Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity firm with a principal focus on sustainability investing, as Senior Operating Executive. Mr. Crane previously served for 12 years as President and CEO of NRG Energy, one of the largest competitive energy providers in the U.S.
Under his leadership, Mr. Crane committed NRG, with about 52 GW of generating assets (47 of which were fossil fueled), to reduce their carbon emissions by 90% from 2014 levels (including an interim goal of 50% by 2030). This commitment is roughly in line with what all emitters need to achieve in order to keep global temperatures from rising above 2° C. NRG became one of the country’s largest developers of renewable energy, both in utility-scale and distributed generation.
During Mr. Crane’s tenure, NRG and Mr. Crane personally won numerous industry, community, and environmental awards. David Crane was named Energy Industry “CEO of the Year” by EnergyBiz in 2010, top CEO in the electric utility sector by Institutional Investor in 2011 and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young in 2010. Mr. Crane was also awarded the Corporate Environmental Leadership award by GlobalGreen in 2014 and The C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership in 2015. Vote Solar also recognized Mr. Crane in 2015 as a Solar Champion, an award that honors outstanding efforts to make solar power a mainstream American energy resource.
Danny Kennedy is a pioneer in clean energy investment and innovation, managing director of the California Clean Energy Fund, and president of CalCharge, a membership consortium that drives breakthroughs in energy storage technology. In 2007, Mr. Kennedy co-founded Sungevity, Inc., the country’s largest privately held solar company. He also co-founded Powerhouse, the only incubator and accelerator focusing solely on supporting solar entrepreneurs. Mr. Kennedy serves on the boards of Vote Solar, the Solar Foundation in Washington, D.C., and several solar startups, including Powerhive in Kenya and Sunergise in Fiji. He is the author of the clean energy manifesto Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy—and the Planet—From Dirty Energy. Working in collaboration with other groups, he spearheaded Sungevity’s Solar on the White House campaign, which resulted in the Obama administration’s decision to place solar panels on the First Family’s residence.
Kris Mayes serves as the Director of the Utility of the Future Center and the Energy Policy Innovation Council at Arizona State University, where she is also a professor of utility law and policy at the Global Institute of Sustainability and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. The UFC and EPIC are working to design the regulatory structures and utility business models that will be needed to assist the utility industry and its ratepayers through the coming transition to a more decentralized energy system.
Mayes served as a Republican member of the Arizona Corporation Commission from 2003 to 2010, where she helped co-author the Arizona Renewable Energy Standard, which requires that by 2025, utilities must generate 15 percent of their overall energy portfolio from renewable sources, like wind solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal and other technologies. Mayes also helped establish one of the most ambitious energy efficiency standards in the nation, requiring utilities to sell 22 percent less energy by 2020 than they would have under current forecasts, and helped craft the state’s solar net metering standard.
Mayes currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation, the Vote Solar, and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). She also serves on NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility Technical Advisory Board and the ARPA-E Braintrust in Washington, DC. She is frequently asked to speak across the country on topics ranging from the utility of the future, to the design of energy law and policy, in particular around energy efficiency and renewables.
Sheridan Pauker is a Partner at Keyes & Fox LLP, where her practice focuses on distributed solar, energy storage, microgrids, and energy efficiency regulation, incentives, and financing. She represents clients before the California Public Utilities Commission and other state PUCs and agencies and counsels businesses and investors on the evolving nature of energy regulations and incentives. Sheridan also advises clients on energy and consumer law applicable to customer-facing distributed energy agreements, including PPAs, leases, and community solar arrangements.
Sheridan has been proudly working with Vote Solar since 2008, when she led a team of summer associates in analyzing PACE background authority in 16 states and then helped us draft PACE legislation around the country. She continues to advocate for strong PACE policies and advises clients on PACE programs, legislation and transactions.
Rob (Daniel) Wallace is a Co-Founder and a Principal in Power52 Energy Solutions, Power52 Foundation's sister company. An electrical & energy engineer, project manager and business consultant, Rob has more than 11 years-experience in program management, renewable energy systems design and development, systems implementation, training and technology management. Rob has developed and built more than 100 MW of solar and wind projects in the U.S. and Africa. Mr. Wallace has also worked in the power market, focusing on frequency response, energy arbitrage and battery storage.
Mr. Wallace also has experience managing engineering, design, and development of all renewable energy projects for a host of private and public clients. Some noteworthy clients include University of Maryland Medical Systems, Johns Hopkins University, City of Baltimore, Carroll County Government, CHIMES International, and the Federal Government.
Rob sits as Chairman of the board for CHIMES International and has served as President of the Baltimore Chapter of AABE (American Association of Blacks in Energy). Recent projects/awards include a 13.24 MW solar portfolio for Carroll County Government, 10MW Virtual Aggregate Net Metering project located at Nixon Farms in western Howard County, a 4.8MWDC ballasted ground mount system for Fort Campbell, and a 20MWDC ground mount system located in Frederick/Carroll Counties.
Mr. Wallace has over 15MW of experience with capped landfills, in addition to two 10MW solar facilities in Howard and Carroll Counties. His flagship accomplishment was the development of BITHENERGY’s HRES (Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems) solution for residential and commercial structural retrofits. Recognizing that solar PV energy systems have limitations, and that wind power based clean energy generation also has its drawbacks, Mr. Wallace designed, built, installed, and successfully tested a user-friendly integrated PV & wind-based small energy system that can be modified for use on both small and large commercial and residential buildings. The test system, installed on a residential townhome in Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood, is realizing energy savings and serves as a model of the future in clean energy for low-income housing.
Under Mr. Wallace’s leadership, in 2014 BITHENERGY was ranked #8 in the Country for Solar Developers and #49 for Solar Contractors. In 2015 BITHENERGY was ranked #1 by Fortune Magazine for the fastest growing “Inner City Business” in the country. In addition, BITHENERGY has just recently been awarded the first task order under the MATOC (Multiple Award Task Order Contract) for the Department of Army (7 Giga Watt opportunity). Mr. Wallace has over 100MWs of solar projects constructed, and over 200MWs in various stages of development/construction including the only successful VANM (Virtual Aggregate Net Metering) and bilateral settlement power clearing systems in the region.
Mr. Wallace pursued his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He is an SMA Solar Academy graduate, a certified Wind System Design Specialist, and a certified EVSE installer for GE’s. He is currently pursuing his CEM and LEED certifications to further broaden his Energy knowledge base.
Sanjay J. Wagle Sanjay has over 15 years of experience in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He serves as an investor and advisor in clean energy and resources companies. Currently, Sanjay serves as Senior Advisor at Diamond Foundry, a technology company making beautiful gem-quality diamonds in an ethical and sustainable manner, and Operating Advisor at Broadscale Group, advising corporate clients including GE, Johnson Controls, Duke Energy, and National Grid, on opportunities in distributed energy. Sanjay also serves on the Advisory Boards of several cleantech companies. Recently, Sanjay co-led the development and launch of SunMax, a new worldwide solar business within Ubiquiti Networks (Nasdaq: UBNT), a publicly listed global technology company selling wireless internet hardware.
Before Ubiquiti, Sanjay served as SVP for Corporate Development at Soligent, the largest US solar distributor ($200 million in revenues), where he led the acquisition and integration of Soligent’s #2 competitor, SunWize ($70 million in revenues). Sanjay also served as an investor and Senior Advisor for Corporate Development at Solazyme (Nasdaq: SZYM), an industrial biotechnology company converting plant-based feedstocks into tailored, sustainable foods, chemicals and fuels. From early 2009 through 2011, Sanjay served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the Office of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. At DOE, Sanjay helped oversee the implementation of $15 billion in Recovery Act programs for clean energy, including grant programs supporting renewable energy, electric vehicles, and battery manufacturing, as well as tax credit programs for renewable energy (Section 1603) and energy manufacturing (Section 48C). Sanjay also helped in the formation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency –
Energy (ARPA-E) and served as the agency’s Associate Director for Commercialization, founding and running a “technology to-market” program to commercialize high-risk, high reward energy technologies funded by the agency.
Sanjay holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.