TREIA Board of Directors
Melissa Miller, President
Melissa Miller, Project Development Manager at EDF Renewable Energy, has experience developing Texas renewables since 2002. At EDF, Melissa’s primary focus is in the development of large scale wind and solar in Texas.
As former President of Miller Wind + Renewables and Vice President of Texas Development for Cielo Wind Power, Ms. Miller has diverse experience in large-scale commercial wind project development, including the operational 161MW Brazos Wind Project, 78MW Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch, 161MW Spinning Spur Wind Ranch, and the 161MW Spinning Spur Two Wind Ranch and the development of the 200MW Unity Wind Project.
Through Miller Wind + Renewables, Ms. Miller consulted in the areas of tax abatement and real estate negotiation for a number of renewable energy developers and developed large-scale wind and solar projects for landowners in Texas. As a longtime advocate for Texas economic and energy initiatives, Melissa currently serves as a TREIA's board President. She is also the former Executive Director for the Austin Independent Business Alliance.
Steve Wiese, Treasurer
Steve Wiese has been a leader in Texas’ distributed solar, wind energy, and energy efficiency sectors for nearly 20 years. He pioneered development of, and has made major contributions to, the continued success of most of the state’s utility-sponsored solar incentive programs, played key roles in enabling solar leasing and commercial PACE financing in Texas, and achieved a unanimous recommendation to substantially boost local solar goals as Chairman of Austin’s Local Solar Advisory Committee in 2012. Steve has been an active contributor to both TXSES and TREIA, having recently served as TREIA’s President for 3 years. Steve currently works as a Senior Consultant in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at Frontier Associates, where he leads and contributes to diverse projects related to distributed solar energy, energy efficiency, demand response, behavioral approaches to conservation and load shifting, and energy market and policy development. Prior to joining Frontier, Steve was a Founder and Principal at Clean Energy Associates, and worked at Conservation Services Group, Planergy, and the Congressional Research Service.
Nisha Desai, Secretary
Nisha is the managing director of Aurora Clean Energy Partners, a provider of growth strategy, business development, and project development services in renewable energy and clean technology. Previously, Nisha served as the Vice President, Distributed Generation for NRG Energy. In that position, she led a team of project development and engineering professionals to identify and create resilient and sustainable on-site energy solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional clients. Prior to NRG, Nisha had a number of leadership roles in the energy and water industries, with a significant focus on business model and technology innovation. Her development expertise included solar power, water infrastructure, energy storage, CHP, and fuel cell projects. Nisha has also served several years as a management consultant with Booz & Company’s energy practice, and she has held finance and business development roles with Enron and Mobil. She holds an economics degree from Yale and and MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was an American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellow.
Dr. Peter Muhoro is the Director of Energy Research and Strategies at Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States. Peter works to strategize on the implementation of cutting-edge, cost-saving technologies such as energy storage, demand response, advanced lighting, and micro-grids, to mention a few. His role oversees initiatives that help the cooperative advance in technology while keeping rates affordable for the members.
Prior to PEC, peter served as an Advisor at the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Peter worked with the whole CRN research portfolio providing both technical and project management support. His specific areas of research were in Renewables, Power Generation, and Environmental Issues. His goals were to find innovative ways to advance technology in power generation while keeping rates low and addressing environmental issues.
Peter is an entrepreneur at heart. He has launched two small businesses, a consulting firm focused on addressing bottom of the pyramid issues and poverty reduction through the access of electricity and serves on the board of directors of two not-for-profit organizations and several committees. He is a sought after speaker both on the national and international arena.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with an emphasis in energy policy from the University of Michigan.
Raina is currently a partner and the General Manager of Caprock Renewables, a renewable energy start-up focused on developing mid-market solar projects for C&I customers in Texas. Raina has worked closely with the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA) over the past year through a rebrand and helped organize TREIA’s annual conference in November 2015. For the past 10 years, Raina was the co-owner of Cielo Wind Power and has been involved in every aspect of wind energy development.
Leslie Libby graduated from Montana State University in 1984 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In December 1992, she graduated with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1991 until she retired in 2015, Leslie worked on solar energy projects and programs for Austin Energy, the City of Austin municipally owned utility. During her tenure she had many roles with Austin Energy including PV system performance and solar data monitoring and analysis, PV system maintenance contract management, project management of both ground mount and rooftop PV system installations, and solar incentive program design and implementation. Under her direction, Austin Energy provided customers with $32.5 million in incentives, which has allowed 2100 participants to install 8.7 MW of solar on their rooftops. Leslie worked on teams responsible for developing innovative solar tariffs, researching the effects of co-location of Wind and Solar on constrained west Texas transmission lines, and rooftop solar potential for the City of Austin. In addition, during her tenure, with the assistance of Department of Energy and State Energy Conservation Office grants she developed and implemented Austin Energy's Solar Rooftop Program, Solar Explorer Program and the award-winning Solar for Schools Program. For more than two decades, she has been active in local, state and national renewable energy organizations. She currently serves on the board of The Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance and on the board of Solar Austin. Leslie is the owner of Libby Solar, a solar energy consultancy.
Annemarie plays a leadership role in the development and implementation of Austin Energy’s Strategic Plan, including risk assessment, engagement and development of cross-functional teams, and fostering alignment in the organization. For the past six years her work has focused on market and industry analysis, supporting executive teams with strategic planning, and leadership of cross-functional initiatives. She also has experience in utility DSM program delivery, energy policy, and regulatory compliance for industrial clients. Annemarie has a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MS in Environmental Health, Policy. She is a licensed Professional Engineer and received a miniMBA certificate from the University of St. Thomas Executive Education program.
Kathy Garcia is responsible for Federal, State, and Local Relations at CPS Energy. She executes strategic government and regulatory relations, public policy and business development initiatives to protect and advance the interests of CPS Energy.
Garcia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Executive Education, Accelerated Development Program at Rice University.
Mr. Myers is a nationally known speaker and leader in energy efficiency, renewables and sustainability. Mike is Vice President of CloudForest Software, a start-up focused on building performance analysis. Mike also serves as a sustainability consultant for Allegheny Science & Technology to provide technical support to the U.S. Department of Energy. Mike has an extensive career and is known for his ability to create innovative programs and manage multi-million dollar projects for the U.S Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin Corporation, the cities of New York, San Antonio, and Austin. Mike has served as the Board Chair for the Central TX-Balcones USGBC Chapter, served as a Governor Appointee on the Weatherization Policy Advisory Council and is a member of TXSES.
In his role at Vistra Energy (formerly Energy Future Holdings), Mr. Padilla is responsible for all aspects of the company’s state and federal policy efforts. He has participated in five Texas Legislative Sessions, where he has helped develop the company’s position on legislation, including support for: rooftop solar, wind power development, and energy efficiency, among others. Mr. Padilla also supported Energy Future Holding’s Sustainable Energy Advisory Board.
Mr. Padilla holds a B.A. in European History from DePauw University and is a graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas. He lives in Arlington with his fiancée and daughter.
Chris Reeder has practiced for 20+ years in the energy field, focusing on a wide range of regulatory and commercial matters affecting all types of ERCOT market participants. In addition, he advises clients on power plant development and financing issues, and have led attorney teams that supported numerous Texas wind and solar project developments. Chris also worked for the PUCT as a Staff attorney. He received his degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Mr. Reeder has expanded his practice since 2001 to helping clients develop and market renewable energy in ERCOT. Working with the PUCT and ERCOT to enact favorable regulations and helping clients bring projects to financing or completion has provided insights on the many factors challenging renewable energy development. He works with numerous renewable energy companies whose interests align with TREIA’s, and have spoken often on development issues. Our firm has strongly supported TREIA through sponsoring GridNext, and partnering on the successful 2016/2017 solar webinar series.
Tuel is currently responsible for providing energy storage solutions throughout the Americas and the Caribbean regions. I have over 25 years of experience in developing renewable projects a background in the power and gas industries within Europe and North America. My primary focus is on commercial business transactions for companies in transitioning energy markets.
While at Younicos I lead a commercial team that has closed over 70 MWs of energy storage projects since 2014. Previously, I was Vice President of Business Development at Xtreme Power I held a similar role and was the lead negotiator of the 36-Megawatt Storage System for Duke Energy. At the time this was the largest storage transaction in the world. Prior to joining Xtreme Power, I was the Vice President and a senior advisory board member with E.ON Climate and Renewables, a wind and solar developer. In this role I served as the lead officer overseeing the negotiation of over $2 billion of transactions for 2,000 MWs of wind generation throughout North America. My prior background I held senior roles at Westar Energy, Cargill Power Markets, Aquila Merchant Services and Enron Europe Ltd. Within these companies I was responsible for leading the execution of structured transactions and trading organizations within the power and gas industries in Western Europe and North America.
Advisory Board Members
Jeff Clark has worked within the public affairs arena for nearly 30 years in both public and private capacities. With experiences extending from the nation’s statehouses, to Washington, DC; he has developed a unique expertise, revitalizing and rebuilding governmental affairs teams to efficiently and aggressively deliver results for their clients.
In his current role, he is Executive Director of The Wind Coalition, the leading organization advocating for renewable energy within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Jeff manages a team of technical and policy experts working to educate the public and lawmakers on renewable energy and to support state policies that will facilitate wind and solar energy’s continued development and integration.
Raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, Jeff is a 6th generation Texan and returned to West Texas as a college student. He attended Abilene Christian University where he studied Political Science. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in energy policy at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. He and his wife, Judge Elisabeth Earle, reside in Austin and have two teenage daughters.
Currently the Manager of Resource Planning and Integration for the City of Georgetown, and has served in the capacity since 2008, with a primary role of managing the City’s Municipally Owned Utility power supply. Previous work includes managing payroll for the Health and human Services Commission, fixing computer equipment for CVS and Walgreens, and running his own tech repair company. Chris is a graduate of Georgetown High School, holding a bachelor’s in Economics/Finance from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas State. Chris is also a Certified Government Finance Officer through the Government Finance Officers Association. Chris is best known for orchestrating the successful transition of Georgetown’s power supply from a single provider that was over 90% fossil fuel based, to being 100% wind and solar powered by 2017. Outside of energy Chris acts as the City’s economist and lead contract negotiator including water rights, garbage contracts, technological systems, development agreements, etc. Chris is married with three kids. His dissertation titled “Does Proximity Matter? Measuring the effect green space has on residential water consumption”, and can be found in the Texas State MPA ARP archives.
Luke Metzger is the founding Director of Environment Texas, a statewide, citizen-funded advocate for clean air, clean water and open spaces. The San Antonio Current has called Mr. Metzger "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has played a key role in dozens of successful environmental campaigns, including winning permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend, getting Shell and ChevronPhillips to cut air pollution at two Texas refineries and chemical plants, and getting the Legislature to dramatically boost funding for water conservation and state parks.
Dr. Annette Sobel
GridNEXT Conference Committee Chair: Hala Ballouz, Electric Power Engineers
Luncheons & Webinar Committee Chair: Nisha Desai, Aurora Clean Energy Partners
Marketing & Communications Committee Chair: Leslie Libby, Libby Solar
Membership & Supporting Organizations Committee Chair: Raina Hornaday, Caprock Renewables
Policy & Data Committee: Eric Padilla, Vistra Energy