The wind industry always needs solid leadership so it should be pleased with the election of Mike Garland to Chair of the AWEA Board. At the recent WINDPOWER 2015 Conference, outgoing Board Chair Susan Reilly identified Garland as a leader in energy and particularly wind energy.
Garland began his career after graduating from the University of California Berkley with a degree in physics and continued with graduate studies in environmental administration. There he co-authored a book on residential energy conservation. After that, Garland worked for the State of California as Chief of Energy Assessments where he initiated a long overdue cost-benefit analysis for state procurements and created the public-private partnership program for energy supply, conservation, and cogeneration.
Then in an apparent shift in directions, he tried his hand at investment banking where he invested in a range of infrastructure projects across the U.S. for instance, he organized the first large scale, institutional wind lease in 1989 by selling Nextera its first ownership interest in wind. Garland then organized the first cross-border tax financing in the U.S. for a power project. Ordinarily, this would be enough to consider him as an innovator in the wind industry, but he continued.
More recently, he founded one of the most successful infrastructure funds in the U.S. and 2009 cofounded Pattern Energy, the company he runs today. Still setting trends, Pattern Energy filed with the FTC to become the first yieldco in the U.S.
Reilly said that over Garland’s career, he has been involved with the development and financing of over 5,000 MW of renewables, working in 40 countries, and raising over $15 billion for power projects. For these significant accomplishments, we recognize Mike Garland a Wind Industry Innovator for 2015.
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