pvMB 2/1/2019: Tesla CFO replaced, LaFleur to resign at FERC, GameChange hits 4 GW in sales, and more…


Tesla CFO replacement – As revealed early this morning in an 8-K: “Tesla intends to appoint Zachary Kirkhorn, Tesla’s current Vice President, Finance, Financial Planning and Business Operations, to replace Mr. Ahuja as Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer.” Deepak Ahuja had been with the company for over a decade, and Kirhorn has been with Tesla for eight years, starting as a senior financial analyst. Source: Tesla


Cheryl LaFleur to step down at FERC: Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur (D) has announced that she will not seek a third term, after being told by leadership of the Democratic Party that she will not be nominated again. LaFleur has been a voice of moderation and professionalism at FERC, which the Trump Administration has been loading with pro-fossil ideologues; however now that Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) is ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, anything is possible. Source: FERC


Update on S-5!’s patent infringement case – S-5! Has issued an update on their patent infringement case that we previously covered. Here is the update in full: The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut upheld the claims of S-5! in its patent infringement lawsuit against Ace Clamp/PMC. The court found that PMC directly infringed S-5!’s patent and the court ordered that PMC be permanently enjoined from making, using, offering for sale, or selling in the United States the ColorSnap system and replacement parts until S-5!’s patent expires.” Source: S-5!


Renewables are the people’s pick – In a survey conducted by Michigan State University College of Engineering researchers, 90% of respondents supported more solar power use in Michigan. Furthermore, 75% of respondents support Michigan’s plan to switch 75% of its electricity production from coal to other sources of energy in the next five years. Source: WKAR


Gamechange Solar hits 4 GW in sales – “GameChange Solar announced today that it has surpassed 4 GW in sales over the past four years. The total includes over 1 GW of trackers, which enjoyed a 500% growth rate in 2018. GameChange has become the fastest growing solar structure and tracker company in the US market due to a relentless focus on cost reduction, faster install, and higher power output for owners.” Source: Gamechange Solar


Grid modernization by way of renewable energy and technology – This week, Black & Veatch released its 2019 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities report, outlining how utilities are changing their business models to accommodate for the rise and penetration of renewables onto the grid. “The report explores how transformative initiatives — from the greater integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DER) to the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) — are reshaping the market, fueling the push for grid modernization.” Source: Altenergymag


Primer to help adopt the new IEEE Standard for Distributed Energy Resources – So just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another entry in the pvMB about a resource outlining ways to make the grid smarter, we hit you with the left hook. Today this comes from the Interstate Renewable energy Council which published “Making the Grid Smarter: State Primer on Adopting the New IEEE Standard 1547™-2018 for Distributed Energy Resources.” “The IEEE Standard 1547™-2018 establishes a nationally applicable standard that will transform how DERs function on the electric distribution system. The standard also addresses updates to technical and performance categories that will increase the intelligence of DERs and the distribution grid itself.” Source: IREC


New director for GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund – GRID Alternatives announced that it has chosen Tanksi Clairmont to direct the company’s Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. The fund was established in part due to a $5 million commitment from the Wells Fargo Foundation and aims to to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities in tribal communities. “Tanksi has worked extensively across Indian Country and brings her experience in grant administration, coordination, research, and evaluation from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Indian College Fund to the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.” Source: GRID Alternatives


Charles Ellis promoted to Vice President of Sales for the Americas at SMA – SMA America has promoted Charles Ellis to the role of Vice President of Sales for the Americas, overseeing operations in North, Central and South America. In this role, Ellis will be responsible for sales, marketing, application engineering and operations. Ellis… joined SMA America in 2016 as Director of Distribution and was promoted in 2017 to Vice President of Distributed Sales.” Source: SMA


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