(Hart Energy) – Gabriel Alonso has joined private equity capital provider Quantum Energy Partners as executive in residence. Alonso will work with Quantum to identify, evaluate and execute on multiple investment opportunities across the renewable and technology segments of the energy industry.
Prior to joining Quantum, Alonso served as CEO of EDP Renewables North America LLC, a subsidiary of Energias de Portugal, S.A. (EDP). During his tenure at EDPR NA, he led EDP’s entrance into the U.S. renewables arena through the acquisition of Horizon Wind Energy in 2007. Under his leadership over the last decade, EDPR NA became the fourth largest renewable energy operator in North America by growing its installed capacity from 800 megawatts (MW) to approximately 6,000 MW.
Alonso chaired the Board of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) between 2012 and 2013 and was a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of AWEA for 10 years.
“Quantum is a leading private equity firm and I am pleased to be joining their team for the next chapter in my career,” Alonso said in a statement, “Quantum has demonstrated its commitment to being a wholistic energy investor, including participating in the significant growth of the renewable energy industry over the next decade. I am excited to join the Quantum franchise and work closely with its senior leadership and portfolio companies to use my more than 20 years of global experience in the renewable energy space to create value for our investors.”
In addition, Quantum Energy Partners Fund VII has established a new renewable energy company called ConnectGen LLC (ConnectGen) that is headquartered in Houston. Quantum and senior members of the ConnectGen management team have collectively made significant capital commitments to develop renewable energy and energy storage projects across North America. In connection with its formation, ConnectGen acquired the non-transmission development assets of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC (Clean Line), including its interests in a 600 MW wind project and a series of utility-scale wind and battery storage development projects. Clean Line will retain its existing transmission assets.
ConnectGen will be led by renewable energy veterans Jayshree Desai as president and David Berry as CFO and head of strategy. Prior to forming ConnectGen, Desai was COO of Clean Line, and previously was CFO of Horizon where she led the company through various strategic transactions including an IPO.
Prior to forming ConnectGen, Berry was CFO and Head of Strategy for Clean Line and was previously Director of Finance for Horizon, where he led over $2 billion in project finance transactions. In addition to Desai and Berry, ConnectGen’s team includes seventeen professionals with deep experience in project management, commercialization, permitting, transmission and market analysis.
“The entire ConnectGen team is excited to be partnering with Quantum as we continue executing on our strategy of developing a portfolio of world-class clean energy projects,” Desai said. “We believe that to be successful in this business, you need creative and committed partners who understand the unique complexities of the renewable energy industry and who can add value throughout the life of your company. We are confident that we have found the right partners in Quantum and Alonso to help us capture the robust opportunity set at hand.”
Alonso will serve as executive chairman of the ConnectGen board of directors.
“At Quantum Energy Partners, our primary focus is helping experienced entrepreneurs build great energy companies. We believe that there is vast potential for growth in the renewable energy industry and are very pleased to be working with Alonso, Desai, Berry and the highly talented ConnectGen team. Together, we are confident that our understanding of the energy value chain, our significant experience in the renewables space and our disciplined investment approach will enable us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investors,” said Dheeraj Verma, Quantum’s president.