Mary Powell, a Sunrun director, will take the helm Aug. 31, the home-solar-and-battery company said in a statement Thursday. Powell was chief executive officer and president of Vermont-based Green Mountain from 2008 to 2019. She joined Sunrun’s board in 2018.
Powell, who pushed to shake Green Mountain Power from the mold of a traditional electric company by embracing microgrids and renewables, joins Sunrun as the company expands further beyond its core rooftop panel business to offer batteries and other services to become new-age utility of sorts.
The leadership shift comes amid a surge in homeowner interest in solar and batteries, thanks in part to falling costs and a rise in climate calamities that have battered electricity systems across the U.S. The country’s residential-solar sector achieved record installations in 2020 despite an historically weak stretch early in the pandemic — and projections earlier this year from Wood Mackenzie Ltd. anticipated new highs in each of the next three years.
Green Mountain announced in 2019 that it was aiming to have a 100% carbon-free energy supply by 2025 — and 100% renewable energy by 2030. In an interview that year, Powell said: “Our vision — our dream — is that there ends up being a battery in every home and business.”
Jurich is one of the longest tenured solar executives and helped Sunrun overtake Tesla Inc. as the largest U.S. residential-solar company. As executive co-chair, Jurich will focus on home-electrification innovation and strategic development.
Sunrun was part of a wave of clean-tech startups that came before solar reached the mainstream. Many of the startups in the late aughts focused on making futuristic solar technologies. Sunrun followed a different route: using finance to deploy proven technology atop rooftops.
Sunrun co-founder Edward Fenster will continue as executive co-chair and maintain his existing responsibilities, the company said in the statement.