Interview: Erin Lynch, President of Beecher Carlson’s Global Energy Practice

We are inspired by people who are passionate about technology that solves pressing global challenges. Scaling and commercializing those solutions requires serious knowledge, courage, perseverance, and support systems like those who work in the insurance industry. In this interview series, our chief actuary, Sherry Huang, talks with friends of NER whose work makes a difference, and whose journeys will inspire you, too.

 

A Conversation with Erin Lynch, president of Beecher Carlson's Global Energy Practice

By Sherry Huang, Chief Actuary
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity

 

Beecher Carlson is a large account risk management insurance broker. Erin Lynch is the president of their Global Energy Practice, leading a team of experienced brokers and risk management specialists. I first met Erin at a client visit and was impressed by her professionalism and down-to-earth demeanor. I wanted to learn more about what it takes to be a successful insurance broker and practice leader, and her view on how diversity and inclusion helps Beecher build a successful team.

Erin Lynch [Photo credit: Beecher Carlson]

Erin, let’s start with how you got to where you are today. Tell us more about your journey to become an insurance broker and leader in the energy insurance space.

I started my career as a sports journalist, having studied journalism at the University of Oregon. I pursued sports journalism because it combines my passion for sports and writing. A few years after my career as a broadcast journalist, I started looking for a new opportunity that didn’t involve getting up at 3:00 in the morning. A friend of mine introduced me to a senior leader at the local Willis Towers Watson office. I interviewed and was given the opportunity to become a producer. That senior leader was my earliest mentor in the insurance industry – he encouraged me to specialize and to look beyond the regional market. After a year and a half, that Willis office closed and I joined Beecher Carlson. At Beecher, I aligned myself with the west coast energy practice, became more technical, and created a niche expertise for myself. The senior leadership at Beecher Carlson has been incredibly supportive, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop and lead our energy practice and work with a team of brilliant colleagues.

For an audience unfamiliar with the broker’s role in the insurance industry, can you describe what you do? What's the best and worst part of your job? 

Brokers handle both traditional insurance policy transactions as well as provide risk-advisory services. Over the years, the risk-advisory consultative service portion has become a significant part of our business. We partner with clients to identify, quantify, mitigate, and transfer risk. Some of our work involves diligence and helping renewable projects get built.

The best part of my job is working with a bright, dedicated team and having a supportive executive team. We have a common motivation to serve clients in this changing environment. The double-edged sword of my job is that I am on an airplane all the time.

Beecher Carlson’s energy practice has grown over the years and has a diverse team in terms of capability, backgrounds, and gender. How have you seen the role of women change in the industry during your tenure? Are there any unique advantages or challenges to being a woman insurance broker in the energy space? 

In my tenure in the industry, I have observed the tide shifting towards a more diverse set of candidates entering and excelling in the industry. I remember when I first moved from journalism to insurance, I was surprised to find how few women were on the senior team. I am especially grateful for Beecher’s CEO and executive team for creating an incredibly inclusive environment. I think men and women bring different strengths and perspectives and having a diverse team challenges us to be more successful. In addition to our experience in the energy market space, I like to think our diverse team is also attractive to our buyers.

As a woman leader, I can easily relate to and appreciate the challenges of being a young mom and a professional, having experienced that journey myself. It’s a priority for me to build long-term partnerships with my teammates and create a flexible, supportive environment.

But we still have a lot of work to do. I am part of the Young Presidents’ Organization and in our regional chapter only 10% of the participants are women. I am involved in various forums to brainstorm ideas on how to support more women leaders.

On a more personal note, are you still passionate about sports? What is your favorite weekend activity?

I am passionate about the outdoors; with my free time I love to go hiking, running, golfing or camping with my family. Every year, a group of girlfriends and I hike a new section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Thank you, Erin!


Women in Insurance Leadership 2019

From Digital Insurance
Sharon Goldman

 

Women in Insurance Leadership 2019 — Sherry Huang, New Energy Risk

For Sherry Huang, the path to becoming an actuary started at an on-campus interview after studying statistics as an undergraduate in Berkeley. These days, as Chief Actuary at New Energy Risk (NER), which helps insure technical risk for breakthrough technologies related to renewable energy projects, she continues to use and evaluate data creatively, by analyzing and pricing transactions of technical performance risk.

WIL headshots/sherry-huang.jpg

“The central theme of all my experiences has been developing data-driven strategies and building a modeling framework to capture patterns and all elements of risk,” she says. Huang built the techno-economic modeling platform the NER team relies on from scratch, coding it in Python herself, integrating it with cloud-based databases, and creating a leading-edge user interface that is flexible in its inputs and allows team members to quickly analyze client risk profiles. She credits an analytics team leader at a client site with helping her understand how to build an effective and passionate team.

The work at NER, an MGA affiliated with AXA XL, is exciting and rewarding, she explains, because the company uses insurance and reinsurance to help address pressing global challenges related to clean technology, in areas such as waste, energy and new battery chemistries. Many clients have technologies that turn waste into products (or “trash to cash”), while others work on innovative, lower-carbon energy storage products.

“Through our underwriting rigor and consistent risk evaluation framework, I help turn risk into opportunities and enable growth for both for our customers and for our insurance partners,” she says. “Together, we are building a more sustainable future.”

Day-to-day, Huang spends her time evaluating clients’ pilot plant performance data together with NER’s science/engineering team, understanding related project economics, market factors and regulations. “Ultimately, I make sure our risk model for each transaction is consistent, comprehensive and transparent, so our insurer and reinsurer partners can rely on the results to deploy their capital,” she explains.

This kind of innovation in the insurance space is bound to continue, she predicts, either based on new technologies or new creative policy coverages that address an existing protection gap.

“I see continuous support on the regulatory and private investment front which will allow more energy technology companies to grow,” she says. “I see the insurance industry continuing to focus on sustainability and closing the protection gap, making a real difference in the global economy in a meaningful way.”

Opportunities abound
Huang believes there’s a commitment to leveling the playing field for women and minorities in both the technology and insurance industries.

“More women leaders are willing to speak out and step up about issues such as pay inequality and the glass ceiling,” she says. “I see a trend of empowerment for women as well as minorities, by male and female leaders alike.”

There is a real recognition of a disproportionate percent of C-suite women leaders and women entrepreneurs and venture-capital investors participating in the start-up world, she adds, pointing to California’s move to require all publicly held corporations headquartered in California to have at least one women director on their board by the end of 2019, causing a shift in the gender balance in the corporate board rooms.

“I believe over time, everyone will recognize that diversity is a key to innovation and profitability, and hopefully we will have a statistically significant data set to prove it,” she says. “I also hope that I can inspire and empower others as my mentors have inspired me.

These lessons stay with me.”

 

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Your Project Finance Should Be a Fat Bear

Your Project Finance Should Be a Fat Bear: Loan Life Coverage Ratio and Why It Matters

By Matt Lucas, PhD; NER's Managing Director, Business Development

 

I’m a huge fan of the US Park Service’s Fat Bear Week, which features some huge bears. The bears have been fattening up all summer and fall for their long winter hibernation. This is the opposite of fat shaming—fatter is better. But truth be told, if they get too fat it’s harder for them to do, well, bear things.

You may not have jumped to the same analog as me, but hear me out: Debt is to project finance as fat is to bears. When you’re building a new facility, as many of New Energy Risk’s clients are, you’ll want some debt. Quite a lot in fact. But too much debt makes the project unwieldy. An over-leveraged project won’t be nearly as healthy looking to your cap table as the fattest of the fat bears.

We know that raising money is hard. Raising equity is especially challenging: equity is in the most junior position to receive cash flows, and equity fundraising is a more linear, incremental process than raising debt. In contrast, raising debt via a public bond offering can raise vastly more capital with similar effort.  And maybe most importantly, debt has a lower cost of capital! It’s no wonder that project developers try to minimize the equity they have to raise in order to accelerate their execution timeline and improve financial returns for their existing equity investors. However, this approach can lead to projects that have too much debt instead. So how do you know what’s the right amount of debt? (You want a fat bear, not a fat bear that can’t climb!) The answer is in your loan life coverage ratio.

 

What’s a Loan Life Coverage Ratio (LLCR)?

An LLCR is a metric that relates available cash to debt service to the cost of the debt service. A higher number is more favorable and means your project can get fatter on debt without drawbacks, reducing the amount of equity otherwise required. A handy equation:

LLCR = [ (net present value of cash available for debt services over the life of the debt) + reserves] divided by (present value of debt)

  • Cash available for debt service (CFADS) is your revenue minus operating expenses (including taxes but not including depreciation).
  • The denominator of the LLCR is the present value of your debt.
  • The interest rate of your debt is the discount rate used for calculating the net present value in the numerator.

A project with a LLCR equal to 1.0 is break-even: all its free cash pays its debt service. A ratio higher than 1.0 means there’s more than enough free cash flow to meet debt service.

You might have heard about a related metric, the debt service coverage ratio (DSCR). The DSCR is similar to the LLCR but is calculated on a quarterly or annual basis, so it’s a snapshot in time. In contrast, the LLCR is an average over the lifetime of the debt. For projects with lumpy free cash flows due to seasonality or infrequent-but-expensive maintenance costs, the LLCR is a more generous metric because it smooths out the cash flows.

 

Why the LLCR Matters

Debt lenders will use the LLCR to gauge the riskiness of your project. Of course, merely breaking even is not a compelling financial result, so the LLCR needs to significantly exceed 1.0.  Below are some typical minimum LLCRs used by lenders for different projects in various industries:

Example of Debt Lending Situation Typical Minimum LLCR
Infrastructure backed by investment-grade rated government entity 1.25
Power plant whose offtake buyer is creditworthy 1.4
Oil & gas industry 1.4
Metal & mining industry 1.4
Infrastructure with merchant risk 1.75
Power plant selling on merchant market 2.0
New Energy Risk’s experience of projects that get funded and reach financial close 1.7

The table makes it clear that projects with merchant risk—those that lack contracts to sell their production to a creditworthy entity—require significantly higher LLCRs.

At New Energy Risk, our experience is that deals with LLCRs of at least 1.7 are those that get investment. That higher ratio gives the debt lender confidence that even if the project technologically under-performs, or the value of the production decreases, the project will still be able to pay its debt service and make it through the long winter (whether hibernating or not).

 

What Can I Do If My Project’s LLCR Is Too Low?

Uh oh, your bear of a project got too fat on debt! What can you do to restore your photogenic and investment-worthy proportions?

  1. Consider New Energy Risk: We can help! New Energy Risk’s insurance products can enable debt funding where it was not previously possible or reduce the cost of debt. In both cases, NER’s help with coverage reduces your cost of debt and increases your LLCR.
  2. Reduce your cost of debt by financing in a major currency: Debt is typically cheaper when it’s denominated in major currencies, so if your project is capitalized in a minor currency, you could try denominating your project’s feedstock and production in a major currency instead.
  3. Reduce your cost of debt with government assistance: In the US, the federal government will provide loan guarantees for certain types of innovative capital projects. At New Energy Risk, we have worked with projects pursuing such guarantees from the US Department of Energy and US Department of Agriculture.
  4. Adjust your cap table to increase the relative percentage of equity: If the total project cost remains fixed, then reducing the portion of the cost capitalized as debt will reduce your debt service and increase your LLCR.
  5. Reduce project capital costs: If you can simplify your project to reduce its capital cost without reducing revenue, that will raise your LLCR. For example, you might find that a captive, on-site system for over-the-fence procurement can shift costs from capital to operating expenses and save money on a levelized basis.
  6. Reduce operating expenses: If you can reduce operating expenses while holding revenues constant, that will increase free cash flow and increase your LLCR. Maybe the project can be situated in a lower-cost location. Maybe automation can reduce on-site labor costs. You might also try to contract your feedstock costs for a fixed or capped price to reduce the risk of escalating operating expenses.
  7. Contract your revenues: Lenders will discount your revenue if they feel it’s uncertain. Selling your production to an investment-grade entity for a fixed price or on a take-or-pay basis will help assure you get more fully credited for all your revenues.

 

So fatten your bear of a project with debt, but not too much; keep the LLCR in mind! Have questions about your own LLCR or project finance? Reach out to us at contact@newenergyrisk.com. We’re here and happy to help. (Although we don’t accept salmon for payment, sorry.)

 

 


Interview: Jay Schabel, President of Brightmark Energy Plastics Division

We are inspired by people who are passionate about technology that solves pressing global challenges. Scaling and commercializing those solutions requires serious knowledge, courage, support, and perseverance. In this interview series, our chief actuary, Sherry Huang, talks with friends of NER who demonstrate these qualities professionally and personally, and whose journeys will inspire you, too.

 

A Conversation with Jay Schabel, president of Brightmark Energy Plastics Division, formerly CEO of RES Polyflow

NER worked closely with RES Polyflow to ensure the cost-effective capitalization of its plastics waste-to-value facility in Ashland, IN, USA. Brightmark Energy acquired a majority stake in RES Polyflow in November 2018. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

 

By Sherry Huang, Chief Actuary

Jay is a calm, wise, and thoughtful business leader and technology entrepreneur. Before we first met, I joined a conference call for which I hadn’t yet received background information. Although he was leading the discussion and I had not initially been invited, unprompted, Jay sent me the files that I needed to get up to speed. It was a small act of kindness, which made an everlasting impression, and I knew then that RES Polyflow was in good hands.

Jay Schabel
Jay Schabel [Photo credit: Brightmark Energy]

Jay, let’s start with how you got to where you are today. You have vast engineering and construction management experience. Tell us about how you started your own businesses and how that took you to Brightmark Energy today?

I always knew I would start my own business. My father owned a successful trucking company, and I wanted the same experience of creating something. I launched my first start-up on January 1, 2000: a technology company that makes metal injection molding machines. That company is still operating and profitable today! I sold it when I bought another company in the automobile industry with some friends. In the next eight years, I bought and sold various companies, building up to an organization with $300M in revenue before selling my interest to my partners in 2008. This process of buying, building, and selling businesses provided great training for my work with RES Polyflow. I started on the plastic conversion technology in 2008. It was originally known as Polyflow until we added ‘Renewable Energy Solutions.’ Since our acquisition, we are Brightmark Energy Plastics Division, and we are still thinking of a name for the core technology.

Brightmark Energy Plastics Division is providing an important technology solution that turns post-use plastic into valuable products, and this reduces the amount of waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill or the ocean. Looking forward five to 10 years, what is your vision for this technology?

We want to divert 8M tons of plastic waste from landfill and waterways by 2025 and are already working on initiatives to support this goal. (Editor’s note: The Ocean Conservancy estimates that 275M tons of plastic waste is produced every year, of which 8M tons enter the oceans annually.)

What are some trends you are seeing in your industry? How do you see your industry changing and evolving?

The goal of our industry is to figure out how we can help divert as much plastic waste as possible from landfill and waterways. Recyclers are struggling to figure out what to do since China and southeast Asian countries stopped accepting used plastic from foreign countries. We want to use our disruptive technology to help manage this change and solve this plastic waste pollution problem.

Others have been working on this issue for a while, too. For example, Dow Chemical along with its partners have tested two “Hefty Energy Bag” programs in Omaha, Nebraska and Citrus Heights, California. They collected previously non-recycled plastics and converted them into valuable products, demonstrating that recovery of non-recycled plastics is a viable municipal process.

What advice do you have for technology entrepreneurs who are trying to start or scale their business?

Be honest with yourself. At RES Polyflow, we determined that we needed a significant level of scale in order to be economically viable, but that created a difficult financing task. The insurance solution from NER and AXA XL was critical in completing the debt financing. The required level of financing was a big pill to swallow, but at the end it was beneficial. Make the tough decision early and stick with it.

Lastly, I understand you used to own and operate a winery, which is almost as exciting as reducing waste and pollution for planet Earth! Outside of Brightmark Energy, what are you up to now?

Yes, my wife and I used to own three acres of grapes. We made our own wine and operated a winery, but it became too much while I traveled a lot for RES Polyflow so we sold it a while ago. Now we are building our dream home. We are having the time of our lives!

Thank you, Jay! 

 

About the Plastics Renewal Facility in Ashley, Indiana

Brightmark Energy’s plastics-to-fuel pyrolysis process sustainably recycles plastic waste directly into useful products like fuels and wax. The plastics renewal facility, now under construction, will convert 100K tons of plastic into 18M gallons of fuel and 6M gallons of wax annually. To finance this deployment, RES Polyflow and Brightmark Energy raised an aggregate $260M including $185M in Indiana green bonds, underwritten by Goldman Sachs & Co.


Flow batteries scale up to GW production

Originally published in the September 2019 edition of PV Magazine

By Benedict O’Donnell

Flow batteries scale up to GW production

new cavern of wonders is rising from the sands of Saudi Arabia. A century after transforming the global energy sector with cheap, abundant oil, the Kingdom is now building the first gigawatt-scale factory for redox flow batteries, a technology that proponents argue will slash the price of storing solar energy.

Since the basic patent protecting redox flow batteries expired just over a decade ago, dozens of tech firms have raced to develop the technology and drive down its cost. In many respects, they have succeeded. Matt Harper, president of Avalon Battery, says that prices offered by leading manufacturers have come down 80% in less than five years. Lazard, an asset manager, calculates that the levelized cost of storing electricity in some redox flow projects now overlaps with that of lithium-ion batteries, the main competition. This year, sales of vanadium-flow batteries, the most established redox flow technology on the market, have grown from double digits to just over 200 MWh of installed storage capacity.

In spite of these achievements, Alex Eller, an analyst at Navigant, points out that redox flow batteries have yet to dent the energy market. He says that most of the 7,000 MWh of grid scale storage coming online this year will be met by lithium-ion batteries, followed by pumped hydro and other established storage technologies, with flow batteries trailing behind.

“Flow battery projects have so far been relatively small scale,” said Eller. “We are only just starting to see large-scale commercial projects in the works.” While he sees many hurdles still facing the emerging redox flow industry, Eller is also convinced of the technology’s potential to reduce the cost of storing renewable energy.

Zero degradation

Undercutting the record-low prices set by lithium-ion batteries will be no small challenge. In recent years, global electronics brands including Samsung, LG and Panasonic have streamlined assembly lines capable of producing gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries each year. Prices have come down faster than expected and sluggish demand for electric vehicles has led to a glut of cells now being sold at cutthroat prices to store power on the grid.

Fierce as this competition may be, flow batteries have an ace up their sleeve. Unlike the lithium-ion batteries they compete with, their electrolytes do not degrade. According to Richard Wills at the University of Southampton, what sets the technology apart is its architecture. Rather than distribute electrolytes within each cell, a flow battery separates electrolytes into external tanks and pumps the liquid through active elements that store and deliver energy. At first glance, the device looks more like a chemical treatment plant than an AA battery.

Redox flow technology raises new challenges. To function, these batteries require pumps and aqueous electrolytes that suffer from comparatively low energy densities. They also reduce the efficiency of the energy conversion process, they are unwieldy for most forms of transport, and they increase the floor space needed to house components.

But Wills says that redox flow technology can also charge and discharge batteries without degrading their performance. “The reactions undergone in redox flow batteries are surface electron transfers which are less susceptible to degrade electrodes and current collectors,” said Wills, adding that the large volume of aqueous electrolyte pumped through the cell stack also helps dissipate heat, a key burden on materials and notorious fire hazard in lithium-ion batteries. Cooler operation leads to higher safety margins, longer equipment lifetime and lower maintenance costs. On paper, this makes flow batteries safer than Li-ion technology and cheaper over the duration of a storage project.

“We have run a vanadium flow battery through 24,000 hours of very aggressive cycles and still cannot measure any degradation on the battery’s performance,” said Alex Au, CTO of Nextracker. Three years ago, the U.S. tracker supplier added energy storage solutions to its catalogue Au tested more than 40 technologies in-house to select products compatible with lifelike fluctuations in demand on electricity grids. The vanadium flow batteries made by Avalon Battery made the cut. “They even boast less degradation and a better warranty than any solar module on the market today,” said Au.

Vanadium rental shop

Back at Navigant, Alex Eller says that the extended lifetime and dependability of flow batteries should in principle recommend the technology for secluded electricity generation assets, in particular solar arrays, keen on storing vast volumes of electricity for several hours until its value peaks on the wholesale market. But the limited track record of large-scale flow battery projects has so far limited their deployment.

“Flow batteries face a severe trust issue,” said Eller. He explains that the main companies buying batteries today are risk-averse project developers. These procurement teams want to make sure that the manufacturer of the battery they select still exists in ten years’ time in case they need to replace faulty purchases. As a result, they favor working with reputable lithium-ion behemoths, rather than upstart redox flow pioneers, regardless of the long-term cost projections of the project.

In a similar display of conservatism, no established lithium-ion manufacturer has so far ventured into the redox flow battery business. Eller ventures that their reluctance is caused by market uncertainty. It remains unclear which variant of redox flow technology will come out on top. “Flow batteries using vanadium electrolytes are very good, but vanadium is expensive,” he says. The cost of the raw material already inflates capital expenditure for vanadium flow projects by over 30% and investors fear that fluctuations in commodity prices could strangle supply chains.

Matt Harper at Avalon Battery claims that creative financing and vanadium leasing schemes are making vanadium flow projects more bankable. To reassure jittery buyers, manufacturers have started securing warranties from third parties. Insurers like New Energy Risk in the United States will cover falls in battery performance over the 20-year lifespan of a redox flow project, even if the battery manufacturer goes out of business. These contracts effectively guarantee returns from an energy storage project so that its developer can trust the insurer, even if they are still growing familiar with the manufacturer.

Likewise, business solutions are dampening the risk of vanadium supply chains by allowing clients and battery manufacturers to lease their electrolyte. Vanadium producers including Glencore and Bushveld Energy are prepared to rent out the metal and recycle it, shouldering part of the capital expense of the project. “The vanadium electrolyte does not degrade and can be fully recovered at the end of the battery’s life,” said Mikhail Nikoramov, CEO of Bushveld Energy.

Harper claims that these advances have brought the vanadium flow industry to the same inflection point that geared up lithium-ion manufacturers in the 1990s when consumer electronics entered mass production. So far, redox flow batteries have filled niche applications, typically where fire safety is of particular importance. But as its price verges on that of lithium-ion batteries, Harper expects redox flow technology to storm the stationary storage market. He calculates that this growth could reduce Avalon Battery’s prices below $40/MWh, turning solar into “a truly dispatchable asset, capable of displacing all other sources of electricity on the grid.” In his view, the key to cutting costs is a mature supply chain and standardization.

Saudi Qualität

This is good news for the 70,000-square meter factory taking shape in Saudi Arabia. Its opening in 2020 will deliver over 1 GWh of redox flow storage capacity to the market each year, bringing unprecedented economies of scale to an industry that has so far had to make do with tailor-made solutions as it contends with mass-produced competition.

The Saudi plant will churn out vanadium flow batteries developed by Schmid, a German PV equipment supplier with 150 years of experience in industrial engineering. The family business branched out into redox flow batteries in 2011, commercialized its first vanadium flow battery in 2014, and set out in search of partners to scale up production.

Schmid struck a deal this year with RIWAQ, a Saudi construction firm, and Nusaned Investment, a subsidiary of Saudi petrochemicals giant Sabic, which finances technologies supporting policies set out by Saudi authorities. In 2016, the Kingdom announced its Vision 2030 plan to reduce national dependence on oil revenues, notably through massive investment in renewables. The venture brings together some of the most venerable veterans in the flow battery industry with exceptionally deep pocketed investors.

“The new Schmid deal in Saudi Arabia is very exciting,” said Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, who invented redox flow technology in the 1980s. She adds that the plant “will definitely help to provide the production scale needed to further reduce costs.”

 

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New Energy Risk Welcomes Strategic Hires to Drive Growth & Streamline Client Experience

SAN FRANCISCOSept. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New Energy Risk, an affiliate of global insurer AXA XL, announced the appointments of Dr. Matt Lucas as Managing Director, Business Development and Dvorit Mausner as Director of Execution. The strategic additions of Dr. Lucas and Ms. Mausner come at an exciting time in New Energy Risk's evolution, as the company surpassed $1.99B in aggregate transactional value supported by its technology performance insurance solutions.

Tom Dickson, CEO of New Energy Risk, remarked that "as we look toward the future, New Energy Risk seeks to expand its business and associated benefits to novel technologies across new sectors and geographies, and provide support for a greater variety and size of projects.   Matt and Dvorit joining our team is a pivotal moment for New Energy Risk as we expand into new technology sectors.

"As the renewable energy sector continues to explode, technology providers are increasingly looking to New Energy Risk to help take revolutionary technologies from development to deployment and commercial scale," Mr. Dickson added. "By bringing on Matt to lead business development and Dvorit to streamline operations, we expect to better serve an increasing number of clients with a more efficient process."

In his new role, Dr. Lucas will lead New Energy Risk's expansion into new technology sectors, geographies, and products. He brings both technical and commercial experience at large corporates and startups to New Energy Risk. He was previously a technology scout for a large corporation, then had operating experience in multiple hardtech university spinoffs, and exposure to public policy advising in the nonprofit sector. Dr. Lucas received his PhD from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering.

Ms. Mausner will support the streamlining and management of the entire client experience. She brings experience scaling six previous operations across the for-profit, academic, and non-profit sectors. She has previously directed engagement for international fundraising and behavior-change campaigns and revitalized a 6,000 sq ft science makerspace. Ms. Mausner is also co-founder and partner of Temescal Brewing in Oakland. Most recently, she designed a pre-seed carbontech startup accelerator. Ms. Mausner studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a business certification from the Wharton School, a Master's in Philanthropy and Social Justice, and a Bachelor's in the Biological Basis of Behavior.

New Energy Risk has also promoted other personnel. Sherry Huang is now Chief Actuary, and Brentan Alexander assumes the role of Chief Commercial Officer in addition to his existing role of Chief Science Officer.

Visit the www.newenergyrisk.com/team to learn more about Dr. Lucas and Ms. Mausner, and to connect with New Energy Risk via contact@newenergyrisk.com.

About New Energy Risk
New Energy Risk is a leading provider of performance risk solutions for breakthrough energy technologies and a pioneer in the development of large-scale technology performance insurance. The company was founded in 2010 to provide complex risk assessment and serve as a bridge between technology innovators and insurers. Since then, New Energy Risk has supported project finance transactions in aggregate value of over $1.99 billion for renewable energy and new technology deployments. New Energy Risk is an affiliate company of AXA XL. To learn more, visit www.newenergyrisk.com.

About AXA XL
AXA XL provides insurance and risk management products and services for mid-sized companies through to large multinationals, and reinsurance solutions to insurance companies globally. We partner with those who move the world forward. To learn more, visit www.axaxl.com

 

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