Movers & Shakers: Enel Green Power, SEIA, GRID Alternatives, Array Technologies, Nevada PUC



Enel Green Power launches E-Solutions business line, appoints Francesco Venturini as head

Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel E-Solutions. Source: Enel Green Power

Enel Green Power has launched a new global business line named E-Solutions, in order to explore opportunities in areas of new technologies to develop customer-centric products and digital solutions. It will focus on e-mobility, vehicle-to-grid projects, batteries and energy optimisation platforms and recharging infrastructure.

Its four primary focus areas are as follows:

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  • E-Home & Consumer Solutions, focusing on smart home solutions;
  • E-City, delivering fibre optic, lighting, signalling and security solutions;
  • E-Industries, developing “off grid”, “limited grid” and distributed generation systems;
  • E-Mobility, also covering recharging infrastructure and second-life batteries.

At the helm of the new business unit will be Francesco Venturini, who has successfully run Enel Green Power for the past three years, at the request of Enel Group CEO Francesco Starace.  Antonio Cammisecra, who is currently responsible for the Group's business development in the Group's renewable energy business, will succeed Venturini. 

SEIA elects new chairman of the board and vice chair

SunLink's Michael Maulick, new SEIA vice chair. Source: EQ

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has appointed new positions to its board of directors.

Tom Starrs, SunPower’s vice president of Market Strategy and Policy will serve as chair of the board, with SunLink’s president and CEO Michael Maulick as vice chair.

SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper praised the new appointees for the “passion” they bring to their work in the industry, and was optimistic about their ability to advance both the Association and the industry at large.

Starrs had been serving since 2014 as the SEIA vice chair to Nat Kreamer of Spruce Finance, whose term as board chair expired earlier this year.

“Driven by dramatic cost reductions and rapid growth, solar energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the US and around the globe,” said Starrs.  “It is also a major contributor to economic development in the US and now employs 260,000 people – more than twice the number of workers in the coal industry.  SEIA is leading the way in encouraging policymakers and the public in recognizing the importance of solar energy to the US economy. I’m delighted to be able serve SEIA as chairman of the board of directors, working with my industry colleagues to deliver the promise of a clean, reliable and secure energy future.”

“Coming off a year of record-breaking growth, solar is now an integral part of the clean energy mix driving the national economy and job growth,” also commented Maulick. “Technology innovations in areas like energy storage and grid security are exciting developments that are making solar the ‘smart’ solution for utilities. I am honoured to serve as vice-chairman to collaborate with the industry’s top leaders to help SEIA successfully reach its goals to ensure the continued growth of solar in the US and a technologically-advanced clean energy economy.”

Nevada utility regulator Paul Thomsen resigns

Paul Thomsen pictured in his capacity as director of Nevada Office of Energy. Source:

Nevada Public Utilities Commissioner Paul Thomsen resigned from his position earlier this month.

Thomsen was tapped by Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and has been chairing the PUC since October 2015. Current chairman Joe Reynolds succeeded Thomsen as chair in September last year. Before joining the Commission, Thomsen served as director of the Nevada Office of Energy.

Thomsen’s reasons for resigning are unknown. In a letter to Sandoval, he expressed the pivotal position of Nevada’s market, stating that “the work of the PUCN is more imperative than ever as it touches the life of every Nevadan, and I will always be grateful to you for being given the opportunity to serve the Silver State.”

Thomsen joined the Commission when the state’s solar market was in a tailspin after eliminating net metering.

Governor Sandoval is yet to name a new board member to replace Thomsen.  

Washington D.C. launches low-income solar job training programme

Washington D.C. has launched Solar Works DC, a three-year solar installation and job training programme for low-income bracket residents.

Non-profit organisation GRID Alternatives is the recipient of a US$950,000 award to implement the first year of the programme.

Solar Works DC will provide PV  installation training for up to 225 D.C. residents and install PV systems on up to 300 low-income single family homes over the three-year programme lifetime, saving each household roughly US$15,000 in energy costs.

The first year of the programme will run a training cohort this summer and again through the autumn and spring. 

In related news, GRID Alternatives recently partnered with the SEIA to launch a national Women in Solar programme to increase gender diversity in the industry.

Array Technologies open for business in Madrid

Martin Mitscher, head of Array's new Madrid office. Source: Solar Expo

North American tracker vendor Array Technologies recently opened a new office in Madrid, Spain to better serve its growing European customer base.

This announcement is the latest of the company’s new international offices – following Australia, Mexico and the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region.

The new Madrid office will be led by director of international sales and business development Martin Mitscher.

“As the global market for utility-scale tracked solar expands, so too does Array,” said Mitscher. “We’re delighted to add Madrid, Spain to Array’s fast-growing list of international offices to provide these clients the same level of service and customer experience as our trusted partners in the US.”

In other news, Array Technologies recently partnered with Affordable Solar to provide trackers for Facebook's new data centre in New Mexico.

OST Energy to expand global reach under new RINA Consulting rebrand

Source: Getty Images

UK-based renewable energy consultancy OST Energy is to rebrand as RINA Consulting from 1 June following the acquisition of parent company Edif ERA in July 2016.

OST now forms part of the newly formed Renewable & Sustainability Business Unit within the wider RINA Consulting division, which provides engineering and consultancy services, as well as testing, inspection and certification.

The unit now includes OST Energy, Edif ERA and D’Appolonia which will now act as a single organisation under the RINA consulting banner.

Simon Turner, director and co-founder of OST Energy, said: “This change will provide us with a far greater geographical reach as well as enhancing and expanding our existing high quality services that encompass environmental impact consulting, health & safety, geosciences, metocean and funded technical innovation projects.

“With a wider network of colleagues, we will be able to bring even more expertise to our existing and future projects, continuing to build on our success of consulting on over 30GW of renewable energy projects in established and emerging markets worldwide.”

In 2016 the RINA Group had an estimated turnover of over €450 million, with approximately 4,000 employees, and 170 offices in 65 countries worldwide.

Roberto Carpaneto, chief executive of RINA Consulting, added: “OST’s global renewable energy expertise will be a core component of the Renewable & Sustainability Business Unit within RINA Consulting, directly complementing the substantial experience of the D’Appolonia and Edif ERA teams, whom OST has already been working with for some time.”

Reporting by David Pratt

16 January 2024
This webinar will look at the expected technology on offer from the PV industry during 2024, including a special look at new European heterojunction manufacturing.

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