In 2018, Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy launched a new recognition program to highlight women from across the renewable industry for their leadership and work towards a strong diversified workforce and a robust renewable energy economy. We are fortunate at WRISE to work with too many amazing women to be able to acknowledge them all individually but are thrilled to honor these women and their achievements. We are excited to continue this program in 2020.
About the Program:
Throughout the last 2 years, WRISE has recognized several women based on various industry themes. We have honored individuals who:
- have had a measurable impact on advancing renewable energy today and in the future,
- represented a diverse cross-section of technology, backgrounds, and experience,
- positively influenced on women in everyday life and acted as a role model for women looking to enter the field.
Our next category for nominations is Corporate Responsibility.
We are currently living amid uncertain times. As we combat the COVID 19 global pandemic, the economy is in flux, the job market is unstable and our daily lives remain disrupted. In the face of all this uncertainty, anxiety and negative news, we are witnessing companies respond in thoughtful and supportive ways. Many of the companies in the WRISE network regularly give back to the communities where they work and continue to do so today. This awards category is intended to acknowledge the uplifting and positive work of companies that continue to be a force for good, during these challenging times, but also in their regular day to day operations.
We will select 6 companies to honor officially, but given the unique times we’re in and the desire to share positive news, we’ll showcase several honorable mentions as well across the WRISE social media channels.
We also want to offer our gratitude to the amazing companies and individuals that we work with on a regular basis and continue to look for new ways to stay connected during these unprecedented times.
Update on Supply Chain and Manufacturing Honors
At the end of 2019 we opened nominations for our final 2019 honors in Supply Chain and Manufacturing, amid year end activities and final planning for the Leadership Forum, we haven’t finalized this category yet and are still accepting nominations. Learn more>
WRISE Honors for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
George-Axelle is a global Diversity & Inclusion expert with over a decade of experience in Europe and in the US. She is responsible for the design, strategic direction, implementation and business alignment of the Sunrun’s D&I initiatives through Talent, Communications and Public Policy. She leads the company’s efforts to build diverse teams, sustain inclusive work environments and provide affordable home solar solutions for everyone. Under her leadership, Sunrun designed for instance its first integrated D&I policy and scorecard, signed CEO D&I Pledges, co-animated SEIA’s first Diversity workshop & Roundtable and partnered both with Catalyst and Do It Yourself Girls (DIY Girls) to respectively provide career resources to its female employees, and inspire young girls to study STEM and work in the clean energy industry.
With 20 years of experience as a trainer and curriculum developer, much of Irasema’s career has been spent developing management, leadership, life skills; and equity, inclusion and diversity education. She is continuing this work as the Director of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity (EID) at GRID, where she is working on an organization-wide EID strategy
As an energy analyst, Paula has always been passionate about clean energy and understands how important it is to connect the dots between the technical work that she conducts and how it impacts people. That’s why she cares about equity. And that is why she has championed it through the questions that we ask, the audiences that we engage and the solutions that we implement.
Marion leads DNV GL’s Renewable Advisory business in North America where she and her team provide technical expertise enabling the energy transition to accelerate. With concerted effort to expand hiring networks, Marion and her team have increased hiring of women and people of colour. She has also made marked progress on training, networking and empowering the women on the team to grow and further develop their careers.
Trupti manages sPower’s origination efforts for the WECC market. In her 15-year career as an urban planner and clean energy professional, Trupti has worked on multiple initiatives to encourage an inclusive and diverse workforce. She was one of the founding members of Women of sPower, created to amplify and empower female voices within the company. Trupti enjoys mentoring young professionals and organizing events for the WRISE SF chapter.
Melanie has spent more than a decade advancing clean energy policy and opening markets across the country. Recently, she has begun using her voice to ensure the clean energy future is open to everyone and benefits everyone.
In her role at Vote Solar, she oversees the organization’s journey toward becoming a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and just group – both intrinsically and in terms of their program and policy work.
Pooja is a young professional in the renewable energy industry who through her passion, inclusive leadership and commitment to innovation by emphasizing the need for diverse teams is the driving force behind the energy storage and emerging energy markets initiative at Kiewit. She uses every opportunity to mentor, encourage and empower young girls, women in STEM and minorities, and strongly advocates for the use of renewable energy to ensure a sustainable future.
Dana manages SEIA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, including education content for members, strategic events to engage the broader energy industry, and partnerships with organizations focused on advancing DEI for various populations.
WRISE Honors for Technology and Innovation
For the last several years, Tasha’s personal North Star has been, ‘To change the way the world is powered.’ She is grateful to have been able to contribute her engineering and business skills to the decarbonization, decentralization, and digitalization of the energy sector.
Katherine Elliott has worked as a software engineer in the renewables sector since 2011. She is a software engineer for HelioStats, KWh Analytics’ risk management platform, that helps solar investors to deploy more capital more intelligently by providing data integration, analytics, and performance benchmarking for their solar investments.
Alaska is a world-leader in Microgrid development and operations, with 12% of the world’s mini grids. Piper Wilder is the CEO of 60Hertz, which has brought the first microgrid maintenance software to market, developed collaboratively with Alaska Native users.
Ugwem Eneyo is Co-founder and CEO of Solstice Energy Solutions, a company pioneering the use of novel connected technology and data-driven approaches to enable the next generation of the distributed energy grid in emerging markets. From winning MIT and Berkeley’s Clean Energy Prize, to being a Cisco Global Problem Solver and the recipient of the Global Climate Action Summit’s Climate Cup Winner, Ugwem considers it a fulfilling and exciting time to be working at the nexus of energy, sustainability and emerging markets.
As a professor at CMU, Dr. Jaramillo is currently involved in multi-disciplinary research projects to better understand the social, economic, and environmental implications of policy-driven changes in the operation of the U.S. energy system. Most recently, Dr. Jaramillo has expanded the focus of her research and education efforts to include issues related to energy access and development in the global south (Africa and Latin America).
Jen King has been active in pursuing wind farm level controls that will help wind farms operate more efficiently. Her mission is to lower the cost of wind energy making it a sustainable and economic energy choice. Her most recent work has focused on integrating wind energy with the grid to create autonomous energy systems of the future. Jen King has contributed to over 30 scientific journals and conference proceedings, including 15 first author publications, in renewable energy since joining the field in 2012.
WRISE Honors for Clean Energy Finance
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global investment in clean energy reached an estimated $335.5 billion in 2017. From Financial Analysts to Chief Financial Officers, the finance field envelops several careers to ensure the flow of capital across the renewable energy marketplace. These honors recognize the women financing all aspects of the clean energy economy.
Across years, geographies and professional roles (lawyer, developer, banker), the through line of Caroline’s career is energy. Over the past 17 years she has led clean energy development and financing efforts and environmental markets businesses at EnelGreenPower, NRG Energy and JP Morgan, culminating in her role as founding COO of NY Green Bank – a $1 billion state-sponsored investment fund focused on clean energy and sustainable infrastructure and the largest green bank in the nation.
Since joining the solar industry in January 2017, Adelita has financed 350 megawatts of solar projects across markets in North and South Carolina, focusing on QF facilities, community solar, and solar-plus-storage, in addition to being a Clean Energy Leadership Institute fellow and spearheading Cypress Creek’s fundraising effort for solar in post-hurricane Puerto Rico.
Zoe oversees CleanCapital’s portfolio of clean energy assets that includes asset management, operations and optimization efforts. During her time at CleanCapital, she has worked to onboard and manage approximately $150 million of distributed generation solar assets across the US while developing and implementing a unique strategy to increase their value in the market and shed inefficiencies along the way.
Mit Buchanan is a 12 year veteran in the renewable sector with a career spanning 31 years in the energy sector with J.P. Morgan and its heritage organizations. Mit is a member of the AWEA and ACORE boards and has senior originator responsibilities as a member of the Energy Investments Team of J.P. Morgan. She is a frequent panelist and speaker for a variety of organizations in the renewable energy industry.
Since 2012, Asha has worked on securing, structuring and negotiating over $1.4B of tax equity investments and managed a portfolio of $3B of tax equity investments. In 2017, she led the largest tax equity wind deal for the year, raising $439.6M.
Sahar is developing scalable, data-driven tools to evaluate, monitor and diligence the forward-looking value of wind project revenues. Her work at Resurety Inc is at the intersection of physical science, big data, and financial engineering, enabling the better understanding and mitigation of the risks inherent to reliance on the weather as a fuel source.
WRISE Honors for Operations and Maintenance and
Operations and Maintenance teams encompass several services and roles and manage the day to day operations of renewable energy projects. The services and roles include: operations, management, procurement, routine and emergency maintenance, technicians, managers, support staff and asset management. The overarching goal of O&M teams is to increase project operational performance and profitability.
Project Development is dedicated to creating value by managing projects from greenfield through commercial operation. Project developers find potential project sites, establishing relationships with landowners, build community relations and secure permits and transmission rights. As projects progress, contracts, financing and equipment is secured. There are several parts that make up the project development whole, which include: developers, program managers, contract specialists, land and title, community relations, resource assessment, interconnection, permitting and environmental specialists.
Amy is responsible for managing the critical O&M services supporting Avangrid Renewables’ 6,000 MW operational fleet, including: asset management, land management, performance reporting and quality, GIS, operational permitting and wildlife, and overall operational strategies.
Laurie has spent the past fifteen years working on the development of utility and distributed generation-scale renewable energy projects and has directly managed the development of thousands of megawatts of renewable energy projects throughout the United States.
The first half of Lisa’s 11 years in renewables was focused on developing and managing over 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar projects from greenfield to construction stages across the US and Canada. In her current role in business development, she originates investment opportunities, leads due diligence activities and negotiates transaction agreements related to utility scale renewable project acquisitions. In addition, she recently supported development efforts to repower two wind projects (310 megawatts) currently under construction.
After five years developing wind projects in the southwestern US, successfully bringing 350 megawatts of projects to commercial operations, Tricia now leads a group of over 100 employees responsible for the acquisition of land rights, the management of land contracts, and the processing and analysis of GIS data for NEER’s wind, utility scale solar, and battery storage portfolio.
WRISE Honors in Policy and Advocacy
There are several diverse ways policy is worked on – within government, companies, non-governmental organizations, regulatory agencies and at local, state, federal and international levels. Policy is also achieved through analysis, community engagement and outreach, direct lobbying and advocacy.
Promoting good policy goes hand-in-hand with working in the renewable energy sector. As does passion, commitment and drive. Those nominated for this category have championed renewable energy policy, pushed through policy challenges and undertaken efforts to promote stability and growth for the renewable energy sector.
Elyssa leads legislation and market development initiatives at PACENation, and also serves as Chair of the Policy Committee for the NYC Agriculture Collective. She has spent her career focused on crafting and supporting policies that democratize clean energy, advance local job creation, and drive community based economic development.
Jessica worked with diverse local partners to advance 11 clean energy bills out of the Nevada State Legislature in 2017–nine of which were signed into law by Governor Sandoval, and two of which remain active campaigns to expand NV’s RPS and a strong statewide community solar program with strong provisions for ensuring that low-income families have access to the benefits of solar power.
Rikki leads the development of legislative strategy on organizational clean energy goals for the Pacific Northwest region (Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho). In this role she works with multiple stakeholders, cultivating new advocates for renewable energy in the region.
Nicole serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of MDV-SEIA and leads Sunrun’s Mid-Atlantic legislative and regulatory policy efforts where she advocates for strong RPS policy, progressive rate design, energy storage integration, streamlined interconnection procedures and consumer protection.
Vanessa is responsible for governmental affairs and regulatory policy initiatives that impact the wind energy industry. Her work focuses on ERCOT, SPP, and MISO markets, and states therein — region includes Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.
Manal is Co-Founder of one of the nation’s leading energy storage companies. Manal jointly coordinated California’s effort to bring the state closer to its goal of providing at least 33% of electricity from renewables and worked to streamline permitting for tens of billions inin-state investment and ultimately 16,000 megawatts of electricity. In addition, she helped lay the foundation for Governor Brown’s energy program to develop 12,000 megawatts of distributed power in California.