SmartSpark Energy taps trio of executives


SmartSpark Energy Systems has added two fresh faces to its executive management team and reassigned a familiar one to new duties. The solar power electronics company has named Noel Foley as VP of engineering and Joseph Scarci as VP of marketing, while Frederick Krein, former president/CEO, will continue in the newly created role of VP of finance and administration.

The Champaign, IL-based company said that these executives will lead the development and product launch of SolarBridge, a PV panel-integrated microinverter designed to lower the cost of residential and light commercial solar power.

SmartSpark, founded in 2004, has licensed a suite of power conversion patents from the University of Illinois. The company says the technologies and products can support electricity conversion and control between almost any energy source and load.

Foley (pictured) comes to SmartSpark from Dell Computer. He has a strong background in design and engineering management, with specific experience in compliance engineering and mechanical and electrical design. “I am excited to be joining SmartSpark, whose breakthrough intellectual property will contribute to meeting our energy needs in the future,” he said.

Scarci joins SmartSpark after 11 years at American Power Conversion, where he worked in strategic planning, new product development, and sales. “I look forward to helping accelerate the solar industry’s drive toward grid parity with SmartSpark’s unprecedented microinverter reliability, which reduces the total cost of ownership,” he said.

Krein will continue with SmartSpark after securing an undisclosed amount of Series A financing from Battery Ventures in October and helping win part of a potential three-year contract worth as much as $6.25 million for the company from the Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) program (a joint effort of the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories).

“Power electronics are an overlooked component of the solar system,” he noted. “It is a tremendous opportunity to continue to be a part of this development.”

SmartSpark president/CEO Ron Van Dell (the former head of Primarion, who joined the company in November) said he is “very pleased to have all three of these individuals on board to round out our leadership team as we take our organization to the next level.”

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