Duke executive takes over as REC Solar CEO

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Today REC Solar announced that it has appointed Matt Walz, a former vice president at Duke Energy, as CEO. The commercial solar company characterizes the move as “an extension of Duke Energy’s commitment to provide affordable and accessible energy solutions to REC Solar’s commercial customers”, and says that REC Solar will “further integrate with Duke Energy Renewables”.

Walz worked at Duke for 12 years, and joined REC Solar after serving on the company’s board of directors. He replaces former CEO Al Bucknam.

Duke acquired a majority stake in REC Solar in February 2015, and in the process committed to invest $225 million in commercial solar projects which REC will develop. Company spokesperson Tammie McGee told pv magazine that there is “still a good portion of those funds available”.

REC Solar emphasizes the work of its Channel Partner program, under which it provides financing and project support for a range of solar companies, as well as its Enterprise Solutions group, which focuses on providing packages of solar and energy solutions including energy storage to Fortune 1000 companies.

Through these two programs, REC Solar is actively pursuing partnerships with developers, service providers and lead originators. This is the opposite of the vertically integrated approach which is being pursued by SolarCity.

Following a merger with Progress Energy in 2012, Duke has become the world’s largest utility company, with an estimated market value of $53 billion dollars as of April 2016.