Alex Au leads NEXTracker’s technology and engineering, driving the creation of the NEXTracker120 and SPT products and now the NX Horizon and NX Fusion. Most recent product focus has been on long duration energy storage that is fully integrated through software with NX Horizon and an inverter per row. Yes, an out of the box, flexible, renewable baseload power plant in 30kW increments. The software integration allows for full plant control, enabling O&M Services and Predictive Analytics.
The NEXTracker co-founder has over 13 years of PV product development experience, ranging from residential to utility scale applications. As director of advanced technology R&D at Akeena Solar, he helped to invent the Andalay AC module. At SPG Solar he led the SunSeeker G3.2 tracker design, reducing cost by more than 30% compared to previous versions. Au is listed as the sole inventor for the first PV tracker designed to stow for high wind speeds up to 155 mph, and he holds design patents on the Andalay rack and framing, the SunSeeker tracker, and the NEXTrackerSPT. He studied mechanical engineering at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Managing Partner, Trajectory Energy Partners
Jon Carson is the Founder and Managing Partner of Trajectory Energy Partners, an Illinois-based solar development company that focuses on community supported solar projects. 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.
Geoffrey Eisenberg is a Principal at the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, and has been a member of the EIF investment team from its inception. EIF is a top-performing venture fund, focused on investments in clean energy, efficiency, agriculture, water, and green chemistry. EIF’s solar investments include Zep Solar, Pegasus Solar, OneEnergy Renewables, Clean Fund Commercial Pace Finance, Complete Solar, and T-Rex Group Geoff serves on the board of Complete Solar, and is a board observer at T-Rex Group and Clean Fund.
Prior to joining EIF, Geoff was at Cambridge Associates, a global institutional investment consulting firm. While at Cambridge, he provided investment counsel to institutional, pension, and ultra-high net-worth clients. He initiated the firm’s 2007 white paper on cleantech investing for institutional clients, and conducted extensive research on the cleantech industry, including company and venture capital/private equity fund analysis.
In addition to his role at EIF, Geoff is a mentor for the Hawaii Energy Exelerator, helping clean energy start-ups scale. He also serves as a director to the Forsythia Foundation, a non-profit focused on the commercialization of safer green chemistry replacements for toxic chemicals in our products and environment.
Kate Gordon is Vice Chair of Climate and Sustainable Urbanization at the Paulson Institute, where she provides overall strategy and coordination for the Institute’s climate change, air quality, and sustainable urbanization programs both in the US and China. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper’s “Energy Experts.”
Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Before joining the Paulson Institute, she was Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy at Next Generation, a non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco, where she worked on California policy development as well as large-scale national communications and research projects. While at Next Generation, she helped launch and lead the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change.
Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, where helped develop and author policy recommendations related to the Congressional cap-and-trade negotiations, Gulf oil spill, and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act implementation. Prior to CAP, Gordon was the Co-Director of the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance). She still serves on the Apollo Alliance board, as well as on the board of Vote Solar.
Gordon earned a law degree and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
CEO and Founder, 8minuteenergy
Martin is a serial entrepreneur with 26 years of experience in the solar, clean-tech and high-tech industries, who has closed business transactions in excess of $5.3B. He is the CEO and founder of 8minutenergy, which is now among the largest independent developers of solar PV in the U.S. with a portfolio of more than 5,500 MWs and a track record of 1,500 MWs in executed PPAs.
Martin also developed a 100 MW solar PV module manufacturing plant as Chief Strategy Officer with Advent Solar. Prior to his engagement in renewables, he owned a semiconductor tools company for 10 years, which he sold to Intel in 2001. For six years after the acquisition, Martin served on the executive management team with Intel’s wireless business group.
David Hochschild was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in February 2013. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.
Commissioner Hochschild’s career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a Special Assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings.
He went on to co-found the Vote Solar Initiative, an 80,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state and federal level. He served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. In 2007-2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
For his work to advance clean energy, Commissioner Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award and the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Commissioner Hochschild holds a B.A. degree from Swarthmore College and a Masters of Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.
Tom Matzzie is founder, president and CEO of CleanChoice Energy. Tom started CleanChoice Energy in 2011 to offer consumers a simpler way to purchase renewable energy for their home or business. Tom has been creating and growing businesses for more than 20 years, from inspiring innovation at Fortune 500 media, technology, and telecom companies as the principal of Gladius Strategy to transforming MoveOn.org into a leading national political voice through his prior work as Washington Director. Prior to MoveOn, Tom developed powerful online communities and pioneered Internet innovations now considered best practices. Tom is a widely-recognized entrepreneur. He has raised more than $250 million to start and expand his businesses and organizations. In 2015 he was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and was named “a rising star” by The New York Times Magazine.
Veery Maxwell is a Director at Energy Innovation, where she helps clients achieve their goals in climate and energy philanthropy. Veery is also a Principal at Ajax Strategies, where she focuses on regulatory, financial, and legal due diligence on technology companies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Veery is a member of the California Bar, having earned a J.D. degree with honors from UC Hastings School of the Law where she focused on environmental issues. She was Managing Editor of West-Northwest, the Hastings environmental law and policy journal, and wrote and published on regulatory barriers for clean energy technologies. Veery received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a double major in finance and international business. Previously, Veery worked for The Nature Conservancy, ClimateWorks Foundation, and the environmental law division of Union Pacific. She serves on the boards several companies and nonprofits, including Element Analytics, Sunfolding, Voltus, WaterSmart Software, and Clean Energy Trust.
Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions and sectors in which it invests. As a leading player in impact investing, DBL has helped to reveal the power of venture capital to promote social change and environmental improvement, and Ms. Pfund writes and speaks frequently on the field of impact investing. She sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including; Farmer's Business Network, The Muse, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Off-Grid Electric, Primus Power, and, prior to their public offerings, Tesla Motors and Pandora.
She also served on the board of SolarCity, and was on both the audit and compensation committees, and also chair of the corporate governance committee from 2008 until its acquisition by Tesla in December 2016. Ms. Pfund was featured #17 in the 2014 FORTUNE Inaugural World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators; and appeared on Fast Company’s 2016 List of Most Creative People in Business. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society, as a member and former chair of the Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University; the UC Davis Center for Energy Efficiency; and co-chairs the Yale School of Management Program on Entrepreneurship. She has been a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Yale School of Management; and is a C3E Ambassador to the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Program, led by the U.S. Department of Energy. She is also a founding officer and director of ABC2, a foundation aimed at accelerating a cure for brain cancer. Ms. Pfund received her BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University, and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Philippe Selendy is a founding partner of Selendy & Gay.
In 2016, The American Lawyer named Philippe “Litigator of the Year,” awarding him its first Grand Prize in Litigation. Over the last decade, Philippe has recovered over $35 billion for his clients on the plaintiff side, while also successfully defending clients in a broad range of areas. Named a National Law Journal “Trailblazer,” a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by Benchmark Litigation, a “Leading Lawyer” by LawDragon 500, and both a Securities MVP and a Banking MVP by Law360, and described as “outstanding” by The Legal 500, Philippe is a four-time AmLaw “Litigator of the Week.” As Benchmark Litigation reports, Philippe “has achieved national prominence for his litigation and international arbitration practice in areas including securities, insurance, and energy.” Lauded by the Financial Times as “The Man Who Took on Wall Street,” and by Reuters and AmLaw as the “$25 Billion Man,” AmLaw reported that the Federal Housing Finance Agency “hit the jackpot” when it hired Philippe to lead its “litigation assault on Wall Street.”
Philippe has 25 years of experience in complex commercial litigation with expertise in areas including securities, financial products, insurance, energy, antitrust, appellate, domestic and international arbitration, and public-sector litigation.
For 30 years, Dan Shugar has helped advance renewable energy in the U.S. and around the globe. As Founder and CEO of NEXTracker, Dan brings together solar expertise and technology innovation in a way few technology leaders can. In five short years, he created a solar start-up in the Balance of Systems (BOS) manufacturing segment and drove a successful acquisition with investment grade component manufacturer, Flex. Since founding NEXTracker, the Company has held global market share leadership for two consecutive years and has sold over 11 GW of products and services on five continents. Prior to NEXTracker, he grew Solaria Corporation’s annual revenue five times over a three year period. Well-known for his leadership as president of SunPower Corporation and president of Powerlight, he surrounds himself with passionate, tech-savvy, clean energy-driven executive teams who share his mission to make solar a mainstream energy source. From Central California to the Atacama Desert of Chile, there isn’t a solar power plant Dan doesn’t know about or has worked to develop. Part of his genius has resulted in multiple U.S. patents and over 50 published technical papers.
Dan Shugar has delighted and inspired audiences at over 100s of events, keynotes and technical panels. Some notable venues include: FORTUNE Brainstorm E 2015, the MIT Energy Conference, Solar Power International, Intersolar, Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) Solar Week Conference, Greentech Media Solar Market Insight, Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit, Photovoltaics Summit, PV USA, Cleantech Open West, and Commonwealth Club’s Climate One, among many others.
Mr. Shugar holds a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Golden Gate University. If asked of his most coveted achievement, he would most likely mention the six years he served as a Board Member of the Sierra Club where we worked on the Beyond Coal Campaign. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), and The Solar Foundation (TSF).
Executive, entrepreneur, and investor in clean power ventures
Mr. Wenger has worked for more than 30 years in the solar and utility power field, as an entrepreneur, engineer, policy-maker, and ultimately as an executive and board member of leading solar power companies -- from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar public companies. He continues to help enable a clean all-electric future for buildings and transportation.
Mr. Wenger worked at SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) where he served as an executive officer for 10 years, including the company’s President, Business Units with global responsibility for SunPower’s residential, commercial, and utility power plant divisions. He also was president and CEO of SunPower Systems, the company’s turn-key power systems group. Previously, he was an executive and board director for PowerLight Corporation, which was acquired by SunPower for over $300 million. PowerLight/SunPower grew from $20 million to over $3 billion in revenue under Wenger’s leadership and P&L responsibility, with over 10,000 employees.
Mr. Wenger also held management positions at Pacific Gas & Electric Company of San Francisco, AstroPower Corporation (acquired by GE) and Pacific Energy Group, a company he co-founded.
During his career, Mr. Wenger has led and scaled companies, driven the establishment of public policies to mainstream solar including the first net metering law in the US (California, 1994), and written software programs and tools that are still used today to design and engineer solar power systems.
Wenger holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.