HiQ Solar, an inverter manufacturer, named Rob Howard as its new VP of operations. Howard was most recently Enphase Energy’s senior director of global manufacturing, HiQ just announced an $11 million round A from “a group of private investors,” according to a release. Sand Hill Angels lists HiQ in its portfolio, and HiQ’s board includes John Rockwell, CEO of Accelergy, Chuck Abronson of Accordance Ventures, and Angiolo Laviziano, founder of Mainstream Energy and former CEO of REC Solar. Lutz Henckels, CEO of HiQ Solar, said that the firm has shipped 6 megawatts of its 3-phase inverters to date.

As Jason Deign recently reported in GTM, Philipp Schröder, the head of Tesla’s operations in Germany and Austria, will now lead Sonnenbatterie’s global growth when he returns to the company in October. Schröder, who was director of sales and business development at Sonnenbatterie until January 2014, will return to oversee a major product launch scheduled for the fourth quarter this year. Lifting Tesla’s German sales figures will now be a task for Jochen Rudat, who is currently the automaker’s Swiss country director. Sonnenbatterie claims to be Germany’s leading lithium-battery storage system provider, with 6,000 units sold.

RockPort Partner Daniel Hullah has joined RockPort portfolio company Solar Universe/Repower as VP of marketing and strategy and interim CFO. Repower is a solar installer with a franchise model.

Coronal Group named Philip Leiber as CFO. Leiber served as the CFO of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility. Prior to that, he was CFO at Seattle City Light. Coronal Group is a renewable energy firm that develops, owns and operates solar projects globally, in partnership with Panasonic.

UGE International added new board members: Peter Davidson, appointed by President Obama in May 2013 to serve as the executive director of the Loan Programs Office at the U.S. DOE; Nicholas Parker, who is the managing partner of Global Acceleration Partners and launched The Cleantech Group in 2002; and Michael Doolan, currently EVP and CFO of Molycorp. UGE is a renewable energy provider for commercial and industrial clients, with over 2,000 installations in more than 100 countries. UGE deploys solar and microgrid energy solutions.


We welcome Enertech, an executive search firm with a dedicated cleantech practice, as the sponsor of the long-running GTM jobs column. Here are a few of the positions that Enertech has filled recently. 

  • Paul Carp made the move from senior account manager at Honeywell to director of sales for FirstFuel, a building analytics company.
  • Elise Benoit is now the director of marketing at Ice Energy.

To see a snapshot of Enertech’s active searches, including a vice president of sales role, click here.


Todd Michaels, former VP of product innovations at SunEdison, and Bob Powell, former president of SunEdison North America, have founded Correlate, which Michaels’ website describes as “an energy platform and service model that helps businesses continuously make intelligent energy decisions happen. We organize the market and provide a scalable, understandable resource for participants to create and deploy optimized solutions that manage and reduce energy costs.”

Larry Stapleton joined Optimum Energy as VP of sales and marketing from Ballard Power Systems, where he was president of the U.S.-based subsidiary. Alaina Bookstein joined Optimum Energy as VP of business development and strategy from Bridge Strategy Group. Optimum Energy provides industrial software solutions and mechanical engineering services to lower energy and water use in HVAC systems.    

Brandon Stromack, previously director of business development at UNIRAC, is now director of business development at Inovateus Solar, a large-scale solar EPC and distributor of solar products. Inovateus claims to have built and supplied over 230 megawatts of solar around the globe.

The California Public Utilities Commission noted that the State Senate confirmed the appointments of Michael Picker and Liane M. Randolph as Commissioners of the CPUC. Both were appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was senior advisor for renewable energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a deputy treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999. Commissioner Randolph formerly served as deputy secretary and general counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency. She was formerly an attorney at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Commissioner Randolph served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission from 2003 to 2007. The terms for President Picker and Commissioner Randolph end on January 1, 2021.

GRID Alternatives added three D.C.-based executives to its board of directors: Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program; Oscar Ramirez, principal at the Podesta Group and former staffer for Department of Labor Secretary Solis; and Jonathan Powers, managing director at Bloom Energy, Army veteran and former Obama administration Chief Sustainability Officer.  GRID Alternatives is a 501(c)(3) organization that brings community partners, volunteers and job trainees together to deploy solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families.   

Jen Mihu was promoted to office manager at the Solar Energy Industries Association.