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CleanTech Update 2013: Solar and Wind Technologies and Opportunities

September 11, 2013

The EcoCom SIG Presents…

The EcoCom SIG presents two innovative companies in the areas of solar and wind, Soitec Solar and BayWa re Wind LLC. Their representatives on the panel, Mr. Mike Armstrong, Business Development Manager of Soitec Solar and Mr. Florian Zerhusen, CEO and President of BayWa re Wind LLC (formerly known as WKN USA, LLC) will discuss the energy market needs they decided to focus on and the technology and business models they are using to scale the growth of solar and wind in the energy sector. Soitec Solar is an international leader in manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials. It is one of the few companies that has succeeded using concentrated solar photovoltaic or CPV technology. Their solar efficiency is close to 41% or almost double that of normal photovoltaic technology. As one of the few remaining CPV manufacturers in existence, Mr. Armstrong will guide us with respect to what makes their technology and business model able to survive where others have failed.

BayWa re Wind LLC is a turnkey developer and operator of renewable energy projects in North America. It seeks to complete the life-cycle by either divesting of or partnering on the operating assets. BayWa AG, its affiliate, employs over 16,000 people. The company is actively seeking new projects in the renewable energy fields of wind and solar and its recent acquisition of WKN marks its entry into the US commercial renewable space. Mr. Zerhusen, CEO of BayWa re Wind LLC will guide us with respect to what makes a winning project and the key skill sets and technologies involved now and anticipated in future efforts to globally scale wind and solar projects.

Soitec and Baywa r.e. Wind will lead us through the what, when, where, and how of their story that enabled them to overcome the challenges they faced and what challenges they anticipate lie ahead to reach their desired goals. Anyone interested in any part of the life cycle of solar and wind, whether from the investment, financing, project development, global scaling or technology and work force aspects, will walk away with a better understanding of the many opportunities in these growing energy markets.

Mike Armstrong
Business Development Manager USA, Soitec Solar
Mike Armstrong is responsible for business and project development for Soitec’s US headquarters located in Rancho Bernardo, CA. He has over 20 years of experience in commercial development and renewable technology.  He is responsible for business development, sales and deploying Soitec’s ConcentrixTM Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) technology in the US market. During the last four years he has been a key member of the Soitec team that identified, acquired and is now developing 5 major project sites.  These projects now total 155 megawatts with approved PPA’s.  As part of his Business and Project Development duties, Mike Armstrong manages relationships with: SDG&E, CAISO, The County Board of Supervisors, The Mayor’s Office, IPP’s, Community Planning Groups and land owners. As part of Soitec’s ongoing Business Development efforts, Mike spends a significant amount of his time creating future opportunities for Soitec’s Project Development Team.

Florian Zerhusen
CEO and President, BayWa re Wind LLC

Florian Zerhusen  is the founder, CEO and President of Windkraft Nord USA, Inc (“WKN”). Upon graduation from one of Germany’s leading business schools, he advised companies seeking to strategically expand their business by raising capital or through M&A. In late 2001, he approached one of Germany’s largest wind developers, WKN Windkraft Nord AG, with a business plan to establish its U.S. presence and subsequently built WKN from the ground up in San Diego, CA. He developed the first project, known as Project Snyder, within three years of joining WKN. Under his leadership, Project Snyder was built on time/on budget, utilizing twenty one Vestas V90 3MW turbine on a 105m hub height, a  wind project deploying the tallest towers in the US.  Experienced in all levels of growing a business Mr. Zerhusen continually develops, creates and executes WKN’s strategic business plan. He is responsible for all aspects of establishing, growing and operating WKN and has experience negotiating all contracts related to the business. Florian built a high quality portfolio of projects currently in development that have a potential transaction volume exceeding US$1 billion. He has achieved recognition in the market and has raised over US$400 million in equity to date.   In 2011, Germany’s trading giant BayWa AG acquired a 70% stake in WKN which now operates as WKN USA, LLC. BayWa AG employs over 16,000 people and this acquisition marks BayWa’s entry into the US commercial renewable space. The acquisition closed in August 2011 and is widely considered to be the only corporate M&A transaction in the US wind industry in the year 2011. Under his leadership, WKN USA is currently constructing two wind projects with multiple others in development.   Mr. Zerhusen was recognized as a Finalist in M&A Advisors “Top 40 Under 40” Award in May 2012. He has recently been invited to join the Wind Energy Foundation as a Board Member, a non-profit organization in DC dedicated to supporting and growing the wind energy workforce.

Maria Sendra
Partner, Jones Day

Maria Sendra  is a partner in the Private Equity practice at Jones Day.  She has built an emerging technologies practice which helps companies to scale innovation globally by leveraging capital markets, private equity, and technology relationships in key jurisdictions around the world.  She has managed international teams of over 500 experts, in helping to globally scale start ups, as well as Fortune 500 company,  venture capital, private equity and investment banking efforts in disrupting a wide variety of industries, including data analytics, energy, cleantech, biotechnology, the convergence between healthcare and wireless, consumer goods, retail and e-commerce sales and scaled revenue strategies.  She has structured and managed domestic and international alliances and businesses linking California innovation to financial markets in NY, London, all over Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Maria Sendra is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Valenciano, and has studied German. She received a BA from Yale University (magna cum laude), an MA from Indiana University (with distinction), and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley (with an award for excellence in written advocacy).

Maria Sendra, Partner, Jones Day
Joel Garcia, Founder & Partner, CM Tech Partners
Thomas Hartman, Founder & President of Leaders/BoardsAssociates
Vic Romero, Director, Asset Mgmt & Smart Grid Projects, SDG&E
Mark Bowles, Chief Marketing Officer & Founder, EcoATM
Steve Alexander, President, STA & Associates


Wednesday, September 11th 2013

5:30PM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
6:00PM Program Begins
7:30PM Program Ends


12265 El Camino Real #300
San Diego, CA 92130


Pre-Registration: (Please pre-register by noon on 9/10/13)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door:
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$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

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Contact Brittany Bjerke at


September 11, 2013
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