15 for 2015: Women in Cleantech

December 9, 2015

By Dawn Lip­pert | Energy Excelerator

Aloha, Dawn here. As 2015 comes to a close, the Energy Excel­er­a­tor team would like to rec­og­nize our fel­low inno­va­tors paving the way for the next gen­er­a­tion of clean­tech lead­ers. There is noth­ing more pow­er­ful to me than work­ing with oth­ers who are excel­lent at what they do and are com­mit­ted whole­heart­edly to a vision. Here are 15 female col­leagues and pio­neers doing just that:

1. Kate Brandt is Lead for Sus­tain­abil­ity at Google, man­ag­ing sus­tain­abil­ity across Google’s world­wide oper­a­tions and prod­ucts. 2015 was a big year for her, mov­ing from her posi­tion as the Nation’s first Chief Sus­tain­abil­ity Offi­cer to man­ag­ing sus­tain­abil­ity across Google’s uni­verse of companies.

2. Lisa Jack­son became known to most as Obama’s head of the EPA. Her move to Apple as VP of Envi­ron­ment, Pol­icy and Social Ini­tia­tives took her to the pri­vate sec­tor in a big way. This year Apple made head­lines by extend­ing their sus­tain­abil­ity impact fur­ther up the sup­ply chain; build­ing 200 MW of solar in China and work­ing with part­ners to boost efficiency.

3. Amanda Raven­hill is the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and Co-​​founder of Project Draw­down. She and Project Draw­down Co-​​founder, Paul Hawken, are cre­at­ing the most com­pre­hen­sive data­base of finan­cial, social and envi­ron­men­tal impacts of 100 cli­mate solu­tions over the next thirty years. This will man­i­fest in a book and open-​​source data­base. In 2015, she is lead­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions efforts at the UN cli­mate nego­ti­a­tions in Paris.
15 for 2015: Amanda Ravenhill

4. Audrey Zibel­man is Chair of the New York State Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, which over the past 24 months cre­ated some of the most forward-​​looking util­ity reg­u­la­tions in the coun­try under Gov­er­nor Cuomo’s “Reform­ing the Energy Vision (REV)”. The New York REV set a goal of 40% reduc­tion in green­house gas emis­sions from 1990 lev­els, 50% gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­ity from renew­able energy sources by 2030, and 23% decrease in energy con­sump­tion in build­ings from 2012 lev­els in a state that’s home to the most pop­u­lous city in the country.

5. Nancy Pfund, is Founder and Man­ag­ing Part­ner at DBL (Dou­ble Bot­tom Line) Investors. She spon­sors or sits on the board of direc­tors of industry-​​leading com­pa­nies, such as SolarCity, Bright­Source Energy, Tesla Motors and more. This year she brought impact invest­ing main­stream and led DBL to close a $400 mil­lion fund, pro­vid­ing a huge cap­i­tal resource for new energy com­pa­nies.
SOCAP TV_slides_2015.002

6. Carla Peter­man is a Com­mis­sioner on the Cal­i­for­nia Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion (CPUC). She recently led the CPUC’s adop­tion of an energy stor­age pro­cure­ment frame­work and the first manda­tory U.S. util­ity pro­gram for pur­chas­ing energy stor­age. She over­sees CPUC’s $1 billion-​​plus annual customer-​​funded energy effi­ciency pro­gram, leads imple­men­ta­tion of California’s new 50% Renew­able Port­fo­lio Stan­dard, and runs the CPUC’s alter­na­tive vehi­cle pro­gram, which aims to put 1.5 mil­lion zero-​​emission vehi­cles on the road by 2025.
Carla Peterman_​Dawn_​C3E_​2015_​16x9

7. Kather­ine Hamil­ton is a Co-​​founder and Prin­ci­pal at 38 North Solu­tions, a pub­lic pol­icy firm focused on clean energy and inno­va­tion. She has been an advi­sor for the Energy Stor­age Asso­ci­a­tion and Pres­i­dent of the Grid­Wise Alliance. She was recently named an Ambas­sador to the Sec­re­tary of Energy’s Clean Energy Edu­ca­tion and Empow­er­ment (C3E) and joins Jigar Shah and Stephen Lacy weekly on Green­tech Media’s Energy Gang podcast.

8. Con­nie Lau is the Pres­i­dent and CEO of Hawai­ian Elec­tric Indus­tries. Born and raised in Hon­olulu, she joined Hawai­ian Elec­tric in 1984. Since 2012, she has chaired the National Infra­struc­ture Advi­sory Coun­cil, which advises Pres­i­dent Obama through the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity on the secu­rity of the crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture sec­tors and their infor­ma­tion sys­tems, includ­ing both the energy and finan­cial ser­vices sec­tors. In 2015, she made head­lines with the pro­posed sale of Hawai­ian Elec­tric to Nex­tEra Energy.
15 for 2015 — Con­nie Lau

9. Grace Over­lan­der is man­ager of New Prod­uct Intro­duc­tion for Tesla Motors where she is respon­si­ble for the suc­cess­ful launch of more than a dozen prod­ucts across more than 12 pro­duc­tion lines at Tesla Motors. Her team launched new bat­tery and electrics com­po­nents that are at the heart of the Model X sport util­ity vehi­cle. This year she was part of the team respon­si­ble for intro­duc­ing Tesla Energy.

10. Erica Mackey is Co-​​founder and Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer of Off Grid Elec­tric Ltd. She leads one of the world’s first mas­sively scal­able, off-​​grid elec­tric com­pany, which deliv­ers reli­able, afford­able energy to African com­mu­ni­ties. In 2015, the com­pany raised $25M to pro­vide over 100,000 African homes with clean, mod­ern electricity.

11. Danielle Fong is the Co-​​founder and Chief Sci­en­tist at Light­Sail Energy, which is pio­neer­ing a novel energy stor­age sys­tem using com­pressed air. Born and raised in Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia, Fong dropped out of junior high school at the age of 12 to attend uni­ver­sity and grad­u­ated at age 17. 2015 brought the announce­ment of LightSail’s first large-​​scale com­mer­cial project.

12. Emily Kirsch is Co-​​founder and CEO of Pow­er­house, an incu­ba­tor ded­i­cated to solar star­tups (for­merly Sfun­Cube). The Oakland-​​based incu­ba­tor boasts 20+ star­tups and 100+ entre­pre­neurs. Their port­fo­lio includes Mosaic and, recently acquired, Sunible. Pow­er­house and its com­pa­nies have con­tributed to the instal­la­tion of more than 500 MW of solar in the US in 2014.

13. Lynn Jurich is the CEO and Co-​​founder of Sun­run, the largest ded­i­cated res­i­den­tial solar com­pany in the United States. To date, Sun­run cus­tomers have gen­er­ated more than 1.3 ter­awatt hours of clean elec­tric­ity and saved more than $100 mil­lion col­lec­tively on their elec­tric­ity bills. In 2015, Sun­run passed the 100,000 home mark.

14. Sarah Kear­ney is the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the PRIME Coali­tion, a non­profit that helps phil­an­thropic foun­da­tions con­nect with new clean­tech ven­tures. This year they made big news by con­nect­ing the Will and Jada Smith Foun­da­tion with a new energy stor­age startup, mobi­liz­ing pri­vate invest­ment in the impact space.

15. Avra Durack is head of strate­gic part­ner­ships and oper­a­tions for Stem, Inc., a lead­ing energy stor­age and ana­lyt­ics com­pany. She was for­merly a Cli­mate Corps Fel­low and Pres­i­dent at One Block Off the Grid (1BOG). Stem had another huge year, kick­ing off a $2.1-million demon­stra­tion project with Energy Excel­er­a­tor and the util­ity in Hawaii and bid­ding aggre­gated cus­tomer stor­age into the Cal­i­for­nia ISO (CAISO) real-​​time mar­ket as a demand response resource.