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.