Top U.S. Business Executives Join Leadership of Advanced Energy Economy

Feb 16, 2012, 09:00 ET from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)

Utility, Solar, and Wind Leaders Named to AEE Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business organization promoting U.S. companies as global suppliers of innovative energy technologies and solutions, today announced the addition of three of the nation's top energy executives to its board of directors.  Joining the AEE Board of Directors are: Jim Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO of Duke Energy; Mike Ahearn, Chairman of First Solar; and Tom Carnahan, Founder and former CEO and Chairman of Wind Capital Group.

"Advanced Energy Economy is a platform for promoting the growth and expansion of the entire industry, as evidenced by the leading business executives joining the board of directors," said Hemant Taneja, interim CEO and co-founder of AEE.  "Mike Ahearn, Tom Carnahan, and Jim Rogers have helped create thousands of jobs in diverse segments of the industry and their expertise will prove invaluable in helping more American companies and workers succeed as the world transitions to a smarter energy future."

Other business leaders on the AEE board include: AEE co-founder Hemant Taneja, Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners; Tim Healy, CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of EnerNOC; Samir Kaul, a Founding General Partner at Khosla Ventures; Martin Lagod, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Firelake Capital Management; and Phil Giudice, CEO of Liquid Metal Battery Corp.

"It is vitally important that the AEE board represent companies and investors in the advanced energy industry, and these three new members are proven industry leaders," said AEE co-founder Tom Steyer, Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. Steyer co-chairs the board of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI), a nonprofit educational organization promoting greater public understanding of advanced energy and its economic potential for the U.S. The AEEI board includes public leaders such as George P. Shultz, former secretary of Labor, Treasury and State and Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution; William Ritter, former Colorado Governor; and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt.

With global energy consumption projected to rise more than 50% by 2035, future prosperity depends on new ways to meet the world's energy needs. These energy solutions will need to be affordable, secure, and clean – "advanced energy." Advanced energy therefore presents an economic opportunity for American companies and workers.

All three new board members have extensive backgrounds in advanced energy:

Michael J. Ahearn serves as Chairman and interim CEO of First Solar. Ahearn is currently Chairman and Managing Partner of True North Venture Partners, L.P., a venture capital firm he launched in 2011 to invest primarily in early stage companies in the energy, water, agriculture and waste sectors. Ahearn holds a B.A. in Finance and a J.D. from Arizona State University. During his original nine-year tenure as CEO of First Solar from 2000-2009, Ahearn led the development and expansion of First Solar from a small privately held company to a successful multinational industry-leading public company.

Tom Carnahan is the founder and former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wind Capital Group. He is currently Chairman-elect of the board of the American Wind Energy Association. In 2005, Carnahan drew upon his background in law, politics, development, and farm management and partnered with Missouri farmers and rural electric cooperatives to develop the state's first wind farm. Since then, Wind Capital Group has developed nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind power in rural America. Carnahan has a B.A. degree from William Jewell College and a J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law.

James (Jim) E. Rogers, Jr. has served as chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy since 2007. He has 23 years of experience as a CEO in the electric utility industry. Over that period, he has delivered an average total shareholder return of more than 12 percent per year by focusing on stakeholders and finding business solutions to environmental challenges. Rogers has served more than 50 cumulative years on the boards of directors of eight Fortune 500 companies, and has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including current participation on the boards of the Asia Society and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In 2012, he will assume the chairmanship of the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, the nonprofit organization of the world's largest electricity utilities. He earned his bachelor's degree and his law degree from the University of Kentucky, and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The country and the world need a wide range of solutions to meet growing cleaner energy needs," said Rogers. "I am happy to work with AEE to secure a leading role for the United States."

"This new organization will help the advanced energy industry speak with one voice, for the first time, to promote a broader advanced energy economy and the prosperity that comes with it," said Ahearn. "I look forward to making a contribution to this important mission."

"It's vitally important for the entire advanced energy industry to stand together," said Carnahan. "New technologies and new business models are being brought to bear on a fundamental component of modern life – energy. In this way, AEE speaks not only for an industry, but for the future. I am delighted to lend a hand."

About AEE

Founded in 2011 by Tom Steyer of Farallon Capital Management and Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst Partners, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a business organization representing the entire advanced energy industry. As a business federation, AEE is dedicated to promoting a better business climate for all segments of the sector and helping American companies and workers succeed as the world transitions to a smarter energy future. AEE provides a platform for business leadership to promote the growth and expansion of advanced energy by creating a unified industry voice, establishing a national network of businesses and business organizations, and leveraging the unique assets of regions across the country. Chapters and affiliates of AEE work at the state level to help local advanced energy member businesses connect, collaborate, and grow and advocate for a better business climate for advanced energy companies.

AEE has offices in San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, and Washington, DC.  For more information about AEE, please go to www.AEE.Net.

SOURCE Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)