Leeward Renewable Energy is a growth-oriented renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of 22 renewable energy facilities across nine states, totaling more than 2,000 MW of installed capacity. We are actively developing new wind, solar, and energy storage projects in energy markets across the U.S., with 17 GW of projects under development spanning over 100 projects. With projects currently under construction and soon to commence construction, we expect to commercialize over 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects in the next two years.
Leeward is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, a preeminent global infrastructure investor and investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with C$105 billion in net assets (as at December 31, 2020).
OUR MISSION & VALUES
As passionate renewable energy advocates, we take great pride in responsible development and the safe operation of our projects. We are focused on building sustainable solutions for clean, renewable energy, and we remain dedicated to empowering communities through energy independence, job creation, and lasting partnerships.
Responsible development is an ethos that runs deep at Leeward. We develop, own, and operate renewable generation assets for the long-term, and we are committed to leaving a positive impact on the communities where we operate. We achieve this by prioritizing our values of community partnership, sustainability and safety.
We work hard to earn the trust and respect of the community, build lasting partnerships with local officials and property owners, and provide frequent and transparent communication through all phases of a project’s life. Besides direct economic investment and opportunity creation, we are also committed to genuine community engagement. This means being highly responsive to community feedback, hiring locally whenever possible, and always seeking opportunities to give back to local causes.
We believe in preserving the environment for the future by developing emissions-free electrical generation projects. Through technological innovation, operational optimization, and our collective passion for renewables, we strive to become a market leader in providing reliable access to clean energy – helping to reduce emissions and positively affecting our surroundings.
Our long-term approach to sustainability means we lead every aspect of a project’s life cycle: from identifying a location, planning the development, seeking government approval and studying the environmental impact, to managing its construction and overseeing the daily operation for 30+ years.
Safety is always a top priority at Leeward—it starts at our corporate office and extends to every project location. All of our employees and contractors are required to complete extensive training programs to ensure more than compliance, but to instill a culture of safety. We manage our facilities with operational excellence, long-term ownership, and continued growth in mind, renewing our commitment to safe work on a daily basis.
At Leeward, we value and track the safety performance of every person that steps foot on our sites, not just our employees. We do not view a day as successful unless every person leaves at the end of the day in the same or better condition that when he or she arrived. We routinely collect and analyze safety data and our employees prepare proactive safety reports that allow us to improve our work environment and address hazards before injuries occur.
Leeward Safety Honor Roll
We are proud to recognize the following sites and the teams that work there. Their relentless pursuit of safety performance has allowed us to achieve our #1 priority of a safe work environment for everyone.
Sites currently achieving more than one year with no recordable injuries:
Our Corporate Heritage
2003 – 2009
The Wind Rush
Our history dates to the early 2000s, when the utility scale wind power business was at a nascent stage in the U.S. From 2003 to 2009, a unit of Babcock & Brown LP, an Australian investment firm, developed many of the projects that are now part of the Leeward fleet, including the five-phase 583 MW Sweetwater Wind complex—at the time of its final commercialization in 2007, it was among the largest wind farms in the world.
2009 – 2015
Global Renewables Offshoot
In 2009, the global wind power assets of Babcock & Brown, including the U.S. asset base, were spun off and the newly independent business was named Infigen Energy. Likewise based in Australia, Infigen held renewable energy assets in Australia, Europe and North America. During these years, in addition to operating the established U.S. wind fleet, the company commenced its initial solar development and construction efforts, which culminated in a successful sale of the 1,400 MW solar business in 2015.
2016 – 2018
Rebranding the Fleet
In 2016, Infigen sold the U.S. business, then comprised of 18 wind farms and other renewable energy development assets, to ArcLight Capital Partners. In 2016, Power Finance & Risk recognized the transaction as the North America Renewables Project Finance Deal of the Year. Following the transaction, our company was rebranded as Leeward Renewable Energy. During this period, we expanded our fleet by acquiring additional interests in wind farms, commencing work on repowering our existing assets, and developing new renewable energy assets.
2018 – Present
Onward with OMERS
In 2018, Leeward was acquired by OMERS Infrastructure Management, Inc., the infrastructure investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. Under OMERS’s ownership, we have continued our expansion by successfully repowering legacy assets, developing and constructing projects from our development portfolio, and embarking on our current growth program that includes over 5,000 MW of wind, solar, and energy storage.
Acquisition of First Solar’s U.S. Development Platform
In 2021, Leeward acquired a utility-scale solar project platform of approximately 10 GW from First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR). The project development platform included 773 MWAC of projects that are expected to commence construction in the next two years, as well as the 30-MWAC Barilla Solar Project, which is operational. The acquisition cemented our position as a leading renewable energy company and significantly expanded our solar development portfolio and geographic footprint across the U.S.
Chief Executive Officer
Jason Allen brings over 30 years of leadership experience overseeing natural gas, hydro, coal, wind, solar and battery storage power generation fleets to the Leeward team. He is responsible for managing Leeward’s strategic direction, growth initiatives, and overseeing business operations for an operating portfolio of nearly 2,000 MW of installed capacity of renewable energy assets.
Before joining Leeward, Jason served as Vice President of Operations – Power at AltaGas, where he had operational and P&L responsibility for the North American generation fleet. He also enjoyed more than 20 years at Duke Energy Corporation in various executive roles including Vice President, Fossil Hydro Operations Carolinas West, Senior Vice President Environmental Health and Safety for Duke Energy Corp. and Vice President of Operations for Duke Energy Renewables.
Jason holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Cincinnati.
“I have always enjoyed the challenges associated with the power industry, but I most enjoy the opportunity to work with some of the most talented professionals in the industry. The Leeward team exemplifies this expertise and focuses every day on providing safe, clean, reliable, low-cost energy to our customers.”
Willem van der Ven
Chief Operating Officer
Willem van der Ven brings more than 25 years in the energy business, with 18 years of experience in renewables. His responsibilities at Leeward include leading field and energy services, asset management, EHS, fleet procurement, operational engineering, control center and data analytics.
Prior to Leeward, Mr. Van der Ven served as VP, Power Operations for Enbridge and also held senior leadership roles at Atlantic Power Corporation, KR Wind Inc. and Suzlon Energy Corp. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing corporate growth strategies within the renewable energy sector and has played integral roles in establishing new departments, teams and markets for corporations that place high value in company cultures of safety, reliability and performance.
Mr. Van der Ven holds an international executive master’s in business administration from the University of Twente, a master’s degree in electrical energy systems from the Technical University of Eindhoven, a bachelor’s degree in control systems from the Technical Academy in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and an associate degree in electronics from the Technical Academy in Nijmegen.
Chief Financial Officer
With more than 20 years of total experience in the energy industry, Chris Loehr has spent the last 15 years focused on renewables and joined the company in 2012. His responsibilities at Leeward include finance, accounting, financial reporting, treasury, and risk management. He has closed more than $1B of project and corporate finance transactions with our company.
Previously, as Director of Finance for Invenergy, he oversaw more than $700M of natural gas financings and over $2B of wind financings—totaling more than 2,400 MW of installed capacity of energy assets.
He also held various finance roles at Edison International, Enron Corp, and investment banking at Jefferies & Co.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rice University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Becky Fisher brings more than 25 years of strategic leadership in Human Resources, with progressive experience directing all aspects of HR for small-, mid- and large-cap organizations. Ms. Fisher is responsible for leading the company’s human resources strategy and systems, talent acquisition, talent management, total rewards, diversity & inclusion, and cultural development.
Prior to Leeward, Ms. Fisher spent the majority of her career with PepsiCo, Inc., where she led large-scale organizational and culture transformation and talent management. During her 14 years at PepsiCo, Ms. Fisher’s roles included Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Talent Management; Vice President of Human Resources, PepsiCo Customer Teams & PepsiCo America Foods; Vice President of Human Resources, Frito-Lay; and Senior Director of Human Resources, Frito-Lay. Ms. Fisher has spent the last two years providing strategic HR consulting to private and public companies as HR and Business Consultant at Fisher Consulting Partners, LLC. She also currently serves on the board of directors of SunOpta where she chairs the compensation committee.
Ms. Fisher holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minor in Business Administration from Texas Christian University.
Chief Development Officer
Andrew Flanagan leads our development team, overseeing the strategic growth of our portfolio of over 5,000 MW of wind, solar, and energy storage development projects. He has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, including development, power marketing, project finance, operations, and asset management of wind, solar, and natural gas power generation projects across North America and Europe.
Mr. Flanagan joined our team in 2011 and previously led asset management and development for the company including the origination of the initial solar development business that was sold in July 2015.
Prior to joining the company, Mr. Flanagan was Vice President of Development at Invenergy and held various development and asset management roles at Calpine Corporation.
Mr. Flanagan earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Systems from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Theodore D. Matula
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Tedd Matula has more than 25 years of legal, transactional, and renewable energy experience. He currently manages all aspects of our legal department and leads corporate development efforts to meet our strategic growth plan.
Over his career, Mr. Matula has been responsible for legal aspects of the development, construction, acquisition, and related financing of over 3,500 MW of installed capacity of renewable and conventional energy assets.
Prior to joining Leeward, he co-founded and served as Managing Director of High Road Clean Energy in Austin, Texas, a solar development company. He was also Vice President and General Counsel of Tierra Energy before its acquisition by Duke Energy, where he continued as Deputy General Counsel overseeing legal support to its renewables business. Prior to his in-house positions, Mr. Matula practiced corporate finance and securities law at Hogan & Hartson, in Denver, Colorado, and Vinson & Elkins, in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Matula holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Philosophy and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University.
Senior Vice President of Power Marketing and External Affairs
Eran Mahrer oversees Leeward’s engagement with utilities and generation asset owners, leading the company’s efforts at originating project and energy sales with these customers. Mr. Mahrer establishes and maintains relationships with utilities, engages in strategic planning, integrated resource planning and program design initiatives.
Prior to joining Leeward, Mr. Mahrer worked at First Solar for more than six years where he served as vice president of market origination and government affairs. During this time, he was responsible for First Solar’s State Government Affairs organization, engaging nationally in working to ensure that solar energy resources were appropriately considered and leveraged as part of the nation’s sustainable energy transition. Mr. Mahrer and his team worked across all stakeholder groups to ensure that solar technologies were well understood, appropriately valued and thoughtfully integrated.
Mr. Mahrer also served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Programs for the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). He joined SEPA in 2012 and led the organization’s efforts in driving utility and solar industry strategies and practices in support of solar energy. His experience also includes serving as Arizona Public Service Company’s (APS) Director of Renewable Energy and Resource Portfolio Planning. In his 11 years with APS, he led the company’s renewable energy strategy, renewable and customer program resource planning, regulatory interface on many renewable matters and implementation of all renewable programs.
Mr. Mahrer received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, a Master of Science from Washington State University and his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego.
Vice President, Procurement, Technology and Integration Services
Mark Hensley oversees Leeward’s project execution and procurement teams and is responsible for managing the engineering, construction and procurement teams from green field project development through construction and bringing our solar and wind assets online. Mr. Hensley has 25 years of experience in the construction and renewable energy fields having first entered the solar industry in the mid-1990s.
Prior to Leeward, Mr. Hensley worked at First Solar for 13 years exiting the company as Vice President of Operations for the Americas on the Global Business Development team. Upon the acquisition of First Solar’s development pipeline by Leeward, Mr. Hensley was managing a portfolio of First Solar functions including the engineering, procurement and construction of First Solar’s development assets and the negotiation, management, and fulfilment of solar module supply contracts for customers in the Americas.
Mr. Hensley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts.
Deputy General Counsel
With more than 10 years counseling clients in the energy industry, Caitlin Beer has extensive experience in the development, acquisition, construction, financing, and management of renewable energy projects, transmission assets, and other energy investments.
A partner in the Pittsburgh office of K&L Gates LLP before joining our team, Ms. Beer specialized in real estate law with a particular focus on wind, solar, biomass, and battery storage projects.
Ms. Beer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law.
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Beth Deane has more than 25 years of legal experience across a spectrum of practice areas, including development, construction, M&A, financing, litigation and renewable energy. She is responsible for energy procurement, interconnection and other aspects of renewable energy development.
Before joining Leeward, Ms. Deane was Chief Counsel of Project Development at First Solar, Inc., a solar manufacturing, construction, and development company with over 17 GW of installed capacity globally. In that role, she is involved in all aspects of solar project development, including real estate, permitting, interconnection, tax, and power procurement, as well as having responsibility for other transactional, litigation, regulatory, and corporate matters.
Prior to joining First Solar, Ms. Deane was Of Counsel at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, where her practice was focused on environmental law, including compliance with hazardous waste, water and air requirements, regulatory strategy, permitting, civil and criminal litigation, land use, and redevelopment of contaminated property. Prior to that, she was at Munger, Tolles & Olson, where she gained experience in litigation, employment and corporate law.
Ms. Deane attended the Yale Law School and the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a B.A. in Economics.
Vice President of Commercial Optimization
Matt McGowan leads Leeward’s Commercial Team, which is responsible for asset management, engineering, purchasing, and information services. He has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry in both renewable and conventional energy projects. Mr. McGowan has been a part of the team since 2011.
Prior to joining the company, he served as Director of Commercial Management at Calpine, where he managed all commercial aspects of 2,500 MW of installed capacity of natural gas fired projects.
Mr. McGowan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Jennifer Shears has been part of our leadership team since 2012, when she joined our predecessor company, Infigen Energy. Ms. Shears is responsible for all accounting, tax, and financial reporting for Leeward Renewable Energy.
A licensed Certified Public Accountant in Oklahoma and Texas, she worked in public accounting with an emphasis in tax before transitioning to the energy industry.
Ms. Shears earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oklahoma State University.
Director of Human Resources and Administration
Carley Huie began her career with our company in 2010. She now has over 10 years of experience in human resources, holding both the Senior Human Resources Professional certification and the SHRM Senior Certified Professional designation from the Society of Human Resources Management.
Her many responsibilities include recruiting, training, onboarding, and managing talent, overseeing payroll and employee benefits, and leading our organizational development plan.
Ms. Huie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior/Human Resources from the University of North Texas.
Board Chair; Chair, Audit Committee
Kenton Bradbury joined the Board of Leeward Renewable Energy in December 2019 and was appointed Chair in April 2020. As Managing Director, Asset Management of OMERS Infrastructure, Mr. Bradbury is responsible for the active management of its investments, with a focus on the Americas. Mr. Bradbury joined OMERS in June 2015 in London and moved to Toronto in 2019.
In addition to Leeward Renewable Energy, his asset management experience includes Puget Sound Energy, BridgeTex, Teranet, Thames Water, London City Airport, Caruna, Ellevio, NET4GAS, and Tank & Rast. Mr. Bradbury has also served as Director at Infracapital for M&G Investments, Senior Vice President of Infrastructure and Regulation at E.ON in Germany and has held a seat on the boards of various portfolio companies.
Mr. Bradbury earned a First Class Honours degree in Engineering from Cambridge University, attended the Management Development program at Harvard and is an Institute of Engineering and Technology member.
Senior Managing Director, Americas, New York
Gisele Everett joined the Board of Leeward Renewable Energy in March 2019. Ms. Everett currently serves as Senior Managing Director, Americas for OMERS Infrastructure and is based in New York City.
Since joining OMERS in 2019 Ms. Everett has been instrumental in shaping portfolio company strategy and value creation, including in our investments Leeward Renewable Energy and LifeLabs. In her current role she leads the Americas team and is responsible for OMERS Infrastructure’s investing strategy in the region.
Prior to joining OMERS, Ms. Everett held roles at Anchorage Capital Group, Deutsche Asset Management and Citigroup, having led teams responsible for the investment lifecycle from origination, transaction execution through value creation to exit, across sectors including energy, industrials, telecom and cleantech. She also held board director roles in over 15 companies covering various geographies and sectors.
Ms. Everett has a BBA (finance major) from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Brazil and an MBA (finance major) from Cornell University. She speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Chair, Commercial Committee
Tom Frazier joined the Board of Leeward Renewable Energy in June 2019. As Managing Director of OMERS Infrastructure in New York, Mr. Frazier is responsible for the origination, execution, and management of infrastructure investments, as well as co-leading the power and utilities practice in North America.
Prior to joining OMERS in 2019, Mr. Frazier spent 12 years at Global Infrastructure Partners, where he led investing across the energy value chain and rose to the role of Principal. He began his career as an auditor with Deloitte & Touche and Arthur Andersen, and later spent two years at Lehman Brothers in investment banking before transitioning to the energy sector.
Mr. Frazier holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma and an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mary Doswell joined the Board of Leeward Renewable Energy in December 2019. Ms. Doswell currently serves as Founder and CEO of Doswell Strategic Consulting Services, LLC, an energy sector consultancy providing regulatory, legislative, marketing, technology, and business planning services to energy technology start-ups, governmental agencies, and international energy companies.
Most recently, she was senior Vice President, Dominion Resources, Inc. where she enjoyed a 30-year career and was responsible for Alternative Energy Solutions and Dominion’s support of Offshore Wind Development. She has also served as Chair of the 7th Power Grid Resilience Conference 2018, senior advisor to a large European energy company, and board member with Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia and Performance Food Group, Inc.
Ms. Doswell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Steve Trenholm joined the Board of Leeward Renewable Energy in August 2019. Mr. Trenholm has extensive experience in the energy industry with a focus on renewables—including board positions with American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Mr. Trenholm most recently served as President, Solar PV and Storage at E.ON Climate & Renewables, overseeing the German utility’s wind and solar business holdings in North America. His long history as a renewable energy executive also features serving as Chairman, North America and CEO of Wind North America for E.ON.
Mr. Trenhom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in General Sciences and Master of Science degree in Radiation Biology from Oregon State University, as well as an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.