Energy transition jobs: Empower Energies, Borrego, CPower Energy Management, and more


Empower Energies’ board of directors promoted Michael Belko to president and CEO following his term as Chief Operating Officer. Before Empower, Belko held positions in several renewable energy firms, including as former president of RCS Energy Services, and as senior director of operations at SunEdison.

Borrego named Mikael Backman as executive VP of its operations and maintenance group. He joins Borrego after more than 20 years with Wärtsilä Energy Business, most recently as head of North America energy business. Borrego also announced a number of promotions. Joe Thorpe was promoted to senior VP of O&M and Greg Shambo to VP of O&M business development. Brian Barker was promoted to VP and general manager of the EPC utility-scale division. In that same division, Ben Walter was promoted to VP of a new engineering and technology department. In the distributed generation EPC business unit, Joanie Brooke was promoted to VP of operations for the Western division. The leadership changes follow the recent appointment of Daryl Hart, VP of utility-scale project development, who joined Borrego from NextEra Energy Transmission where he was director of development.

The Solar Energy Industries Association welcomed Inovateus Solar, Sunnova, Sunlight Financial, and Aon M&A and Transaction Solutions to its board of directors. The four companies represent a range of solar sectors, including finance, residential and commercial installation, and utility-scale solar development. They come to SEIA’s board as the organization focuses on new market opportunities for solar to reach 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. Sunnova is a residential solar and energy storage provider with customers across the United States. Inovateus Solar develops commercial and utility-scale solar projects. Sunlight Financial is a point-of-sale finance company that provides homeowners with financing. And Aon is a global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health products.

The Electric Power Research Institute appointed two utility executives to leadership positions on its Research Advisory Committee. Southern California Edison executive VP of operations Steve Powell is now chairman. Southern Company VP of Research and Development, Dr. Mark S. Berry, is vice chair.

CPower Energy Management announced six new hires related to distributed energy resources. Ben Pickard was hired as VP of corporate development. He brings more than 15 years of experience in investing, strategy, and new business creation at multiple scales in distributed and renewable energy, utilities, real estate, and industrials. Darren Hammell was hired as director of energy storage. He specializes in renewable microgrids, distributed generation, electric vehicles, and energy storage, and was a co-founder of Princeton Power Systems. Ed Toppi was hired as VP of sales operations. He has more than 20 years of experience in the electric industry, and was a member of the Customized Energy Solutions management team since 2006. KC Mares was hired as director industry strategy-data centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in data center design and operation in 20 countries, and recently led factory engineering and battery production engineering for Tesla. Kenneth Schisler was hired as VP of regulatory affairs. He is a former chair of the Maryland Public Services Commission and was a market development and regulatory affairs executive for EnerNOC, Enel X, and Vicinity Energy. Nancy Chafetz was hired as senior director regulatory and government affairs for New England. She has more than 15 years of experience in the regulatory arena, and served on the leadership team for the New England Power Pool from 2017 through 2020.

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