Charging Up: Vestas North America gets a new president and more women’s career moves in cleantech

A former FERC chair takes a new perch, hydrogen experts land at Lifte H2 and Hydra Energy, and women assume new leadership roles at CarbonQuest, Smart Wires, WeaveGrid and Arcadia.

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Canary Media’s Charging Up column chronicles women’s career advancements in the cleantech sector. Future editions of the column will include interviews with successful women in the field, a feature suggested by readers. Please continue to send us feedback and tips at [email protected]

Laura Beane, currently chief renewables officer of Engie North America, will become president of Vestas North America. Beane joins Vestas from leadership roles at Engie, Avangrid and PacifiCorp. Vestas is developing a process to recycle thermoset composites, the stuff used to build wind turbine blades. According to Windpower Monthly, 85 percent to 90 percent of a wind turbine’s total mass can be recycled, with blades accounting for much of the deficit.”

Anna Pavlova is now VP of strategy and market development at CarbonQuest. CarbonQuest has developed a process to perform carbon capture in buildings to reduce CO2 emissions. Pavlova was previously VP of government relations at Schneider Electric.

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Angie Ackroyd is now CTO at Lifte H2, focusing on engineering and supply-chain development in the emerging hydrogen economy. Ackroyd was previously hydrogen product development team lead at Shell.

Jessica Verhagen was promoted to CEO of Hydra Energy, a hydrogen injection technology startup looking to reduce emissions and replace diesel in commercial fleets. Hydra recently raised $12 million in funding from incubator Just Business.

Smart Wires promoted Marie Hayden to chief engineer. Hayden joined the company in 2018 after a 25-year career at EirGrid, the Irish transmission system operator, where she held roles in scenario planning, connection policy and operational planning.

Amanda Myers is now regulatory manager at WeaveGrid. WeaveGrid develops software for the scalable deployment of electric vehicles on the grid. The startup just raised a $15 million Series A led by Coatue along with Breakthrough Energy Ventures, existing investors The Westly Group and Grok Ventures and angel investors including Ramez Naam and Josh Felser. Myers was previously with Energy Innovation: Policy & Technology.


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Windraeder, 2003, woodcut on handmade paper, Christiane Baumgartner, German, b. 1967

Nancy Hersh is now chief data officer at Arcadia, a startup that makes it easier for homeowners and businesses to connect to community solar and renewable energy. Hersh was previously at Applied Analytics and before that, Opower.

Tanya Willacy is now VP and general counsel at esVolta, a developer, owner and operator of utility-scale battery energy storage projects. Willacy was previously head of legal for grid-scale solar and storage at Engie North America.

Kristin Landry is now a senior regulatory analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission. Landry was most recently with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute and Guidehouse before that.

Cheryl LaFleur, a member of the board of directors of ISO New England and commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2010 to 2019, is now an adjunct senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy and a member of the External Advisory Council at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Jennifer Leisch is now an energy sector specialist at Deloitte. Leisch has spent significant portions of her career with USAID and NREL and has worked in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Alder Agency and ImpactB2B have merged. The Latina- and women-owned climatetech B2B marketing firm is helmed by founders Bettina Grab and Melanie Adamson.

Eric Wesoff is the editorial director at Canary Media.