Asheville, NC (October 20, 2020) – Pine Gate Renewables announced today that it has hired three new policy experts to join its regulatory and government affairs department, continuing its active role in policy initiatives for the solar energy industry. Joining are Blan Holman, vice president for regulatory affairs; Brett White, director of regulatory affairs; and Maggie Clark, director of government affairs.
Under the leadership of Senior Vice President Steve Levitas, the team will manage all of the company’s engagement in public policy matters at the federal, regional, state and local levels.
“Policy has a huge impact on the energy sector, the solar industry and our company,” said Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables. “This team of talented and experienced professionals will allow Pine Gate to engage at all levels of government to ensure that the right policies are in place to facilitate the country’s rapid transition to a competitive and decarbonized energy sector.”
Pine Gate has a long track record of being actively engaged in policymaking at the state and federal levels. Much of that work currently occurs through participation in trade associations, including the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Council and the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (NCCEBA).
Some of the highest priorities for the team are utility-integrated resource planning, implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, opening burgeoning markets to competition and expanding within existing ones, streamlining utility interconnection procedures, combatting punitive trade barriers and generally advancing state and federal tax policy as it relates to renewable energy generation.
“I’m really excited to have these three talented and passionate new colleagues joining our team,” said Levitas. “At this critical time in our industry’s growth, we’re well positioned to have a major impact on the key policy decisions that will determine the country’s energy future.”
The Pine Gate legislative team includes:
Steve has led Pine Gate’s policy, regulatory and government affairs efforts since joining the company in 2019, including its engagement in energy market reform and the expansion of offtake opportunities for independently owned solar generation resources. He previously served as senior vice president of regulatory affairs and strategy for Cypress Creek Renewables and as vice president for business affairs and general counsel for FLS Energy. Prior to joining the solar industry Steve spent more than 20 years in private law practice, concentrating on renewable energy project development and environmental regulatory matters. From 1993 through 1996, Steve served as Deputy Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources. Prior to his service in state government, Steve was director and senior attorney of the North Carolina office of the Environmental Defense Fund, which he opened in 1988. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard Law School.
Blan will lead Pine Gate’s work before state regulatory commissions. He comes to his new role following 20 years as senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Energy, directing clean energy matters in South Carolina and leading a national regulatory litigation initiative. He was a principal NGO drafter of South Carolina’s landmark 2014 pro-solar legislation and negotiated settlements implementing that law with regulators and utilities. Blan has litigated numerous contested utility commission matters and has practiced before federal and state courts at all trial and appellate levels. Before SELC, he practiced with a leading environmental law firm in Washington, DC. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia School of Law. He currently resides in Asheville, NC.
Brett will focus on Pine Gate’s activities in the wholesale electricity markets as well as matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He previously spent several years in private practice representing regional transmission organizations and investor-owned utilities before FERC and the federal courts. Before his time in private practice, Brett served as an Attorney-Advisor in FERC’s office of general counsel. He was also the director of federal regulatory affairs for the Edison Electric Institute. Brett is a graduate of the Vermont Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Law Review, and of Appalachian State University. He is a resident of Washington, D.C.
Maggie will manage Pine Gate’s legislative relationships at the state and federal levels. Her previous government affairs roles include working for the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and, most recently, SEIA. Maggie has helped forge bipartisan coalitions on numerous clean energy policy matters across the Southeast, including successful work on two statewide constitutional amendments in Florida and associated implementing legislation and landmark clean energy legislation in South Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and lives in Raleigh.
Pine Gate Renewables is a fully-integrated utility-scale solar development company headquartered in Asheville, NC. As a leader in the industry, Pine Gate focuses on forging partnerships to expand its renewable energy footprint nationwide. Its mission is to provide renewable power for local communities across the country through project development, financing, construction and environmental preservation. Named #6 on Inc. 500’s list of “Fastest Growing Energy Companies” in 2018, Pine Gate Renewables is blazing a trail to “Get Solar Done.” For more information, visit PineGateRenewables.com.