The Solar Foundation’s Board of Directors holds substantial experience in the areas of energy policy, law, international energy consulting, government, and campaign building.
Mary Powell – Chair
Former President and CEO, Green Mountain Power
Mary Powell served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Green Mountain Power Corporation beginning in 2008, following seven years as Chief Operating Officer. Mary initiated and implemented a strategic and comprehensive restructuring of the company that dramatically transformed Green Mountain Power and has been the backbone of a cultural transformation and service quality improvement. Mary launched an ambitious energy vision to provide low carbon, low cost and reliable power to Vermonters. As a result, the company has built Vermont’s largest wind farm, is building New England’s Solar Capital in Rutland, Vermont and has installed smart grid technology across the entire utility infrastructure. Mary realizes the traditional role of a utility is changing, and is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers. In 2012, Mary led an acquisition of Central Vermont Public Service, with a promise to generate $144 million in savings for customers. GMP has grown from serving 88,000 customers in 2008 to serving well over 260,000 customers, with revenues of more than $640 million and $1.3 billion in assets. In 2014, Mary announced a new partnership with NRG Energy, Inc. to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy. The partnership will bring innovative clean energy products and services to Vermont, while helping customers manage energy use and save money.
Scott Sklar – Secretary
President, The Stella Group, LTD
Scott Sklar helms a technology optimization and strategic policy firm, The Stella Group, Ltd, which he founded in 1995. Previously, Scott served as Executive Director for 15 years of two national trade associations concurrently, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association. He also cofounded and ran the US export consortium of renewable energy trade associations, the US Export Council for Renewable Energy, and cofounded its sister energy efficiency entity. He has also held roles at The Solar Lobby and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Scott began his career as an energy aid to Senator Jacob K. Javits, during which time he co-founded the Congressional Solar Caucus. He serves on the boards of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Renewable Energy Policy Project, in addition to co-chairing the Policy Committee of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council and serving as Steering Committee Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Coalition. He has coauthored two books, “The Forbidden Fuel: A History of Power Alcohol” and “The Consumer Guide to Solar Energy.” Scott serves as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University, and lives in a solar-powered home in Virginia.
Abigail Ross Hopper
President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association
Abigail Ross Hopper is the President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade organization for America’s solar energy industries. She oversees all of SEIA’s activities, including government affairs, research, communications, and industry leadership, and is focused on creating a marketplace where solar will constitute a significant percentage of America’s energy generation. Before joining SEIA, Abby was the Director of the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, where she led the agency that oversaw the leasing and development of all offshore energy, from oil and natural gas to offshore wind.
She served formerly as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), serving as acting beginning in 2012, and then as Director starting in June 2013. She also served concurrently as Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. In those roles, she had significant engagement with the state’s electric distribution utilities on matters ranging from resiliency and reliability of the grid to multiple mergers of the state’s utilities.
Abby previously spent over two years as Deputy General Counsel with the Maryland Public Service Commission. Before embarking on a career in public service, Abby spent nine years in private practice. Abby graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College. She is the very proud mom of three children and loves to read, run, do hot yoga and lay on the beach in her (not so free) time.
Senior Manager, CohnReznick
Lee Peterson is a licensed attorney and Senior Tax Manager for CohnReznick’s National Renewable Energy Practice. To date, Lee has been a critical tax advisor in over 10 billion dollars of renewable energy projects within the U.S. and its’ territories. He is responsible for thought-leadership and governmental affairs and his clients include the U.S. Department of Energy, Fortune 100 companies, state and local governments and domestic and foreign renewable energy project developers and manufacturers. Lee also advises the nation’s top financial institutions regarding their tax equity investment structures. Lee has published numerous articles in both the traditional and trade press, including, North American Windpower and Solar Industry magazine and he is regularly quoted in the media. Lee is also the author of numerous white papers on a wide range of critical renewable energy finance and tax topics and is a regular speaker at national professional education and industry events dealing with renewable energy policy, tax credit finance and federal and state tax policy. Lee volunteers hundreds of hours, pro bono, assisting non-profit renewable energy organizations, federal and state legislators as they seek to improve and implement new energy policies. For 10 years, Lee was an adjunct professor at Clayton State University and is a guest lecturer for the J. Mack Robinson MBA program at Georgia State University. Lee has also served as instructor for the State Bar of Georgia continuing legal education seminars.
Vice President for Market Strategy and Policy, SunPower Corporation
Tom Starrs serves as SunPower Corporation’s vice president for market strategy and policy, where he is responsible for the company’s global market analysis, policy analysis, and policy advocacy. He has 25 years of experience in solar and renewable power, including senior management positions with Iberdrola Renewables (now Avangrid), PPM Energy, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and Schott Solar. Starrs is widely recognized as a leading strategist on solar energy market development, business strategy, and policy. He is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Solar Energy Industries Association. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, The Solar Foundation, and the Wind Energy Foundation; and on the advisory board of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Electricity Innovation Laboratory (eLab). Starrs holds a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Program at the University of California, Berkeley; and a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.