Recruitment for new CEO begins with board search committee
Sunnyvale, Calif. – Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) CEO, Girish Balachandran, will retire on March 31, 2024. Balachandran began his position at the Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) in February 2018, and during this time has led the agency from its startup phase into its operational maturity. Under Balachandran’s leadership, the agency’s accomplishments include $3.2 billion committed to long-term renewable energy contracts, building strong financial reserves that have earned two investment-grade credit ratings, directing $20 million for customer and community relief during the pandemic, and growing staff from about a dozen employees to nearly 50.
Among the notable achievements throughout Balachandran’s tenure, the agency has made significant progress toward its emissions reduction goals. As of 2021, SVCE achieved 29% in energy-related annual greenhouse gas emissions reductions compared to 2015. The board of directors has adopted aggressive emission reduction goals of 40% below 2015 levels by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
“Girish has built an incredible team during his time leading Silicon Valley Clean Energy. Not only have we been able to maintain our commitment to providing 100% clean energy on an annual basis, but we have also been able to maintain a rate discount that has collectively saved customers more than $100 million on their bills since we launched,” said George Tyson, SVCE Board Chair and Town of Los Altos Hills Councilmember. “Girish’s accomplishments are numerous, but one that stands out is he was instrumental in forming California Community Power, a new joint powers agency comprised of nine CCAs, that has the potential of being one of the largest buyers of clean power in the state. Girish’s vision will have a lasting impact in this industry.”
While serving as CEO, the SVCE Board approved 20 long-term power purchase agreements for nearly 800 megawatts of renewable solar, wind, and geothermal energy. With its focus on grid reliability in the clean energy transition, these contracts consist of 1,845 megawatt-hours (MWh) of battery energy storage, including nearly 240 MWh from two long-duration energy storage projects procured jointly with California Community Power. When all these projects are online, SVCE expects that in 2030 they will provide more than 70% renewable energy to customers, surpassing the state’s 60% renewable goals.
Under Balachandran’s guidance, the board has allocated nearly $90 million toward customer offers and services, which include grants to increase community resilience in the face of a changing climate, increasing access to EV charging for renters in multifamily properties, and rebates for efficient, electric appliances. The full portfolio of programs includes 25 different initiatives that focus on building and transportation electrification, efficiency, education, and grid innovation.
“The next leader of this organization will have the opportunity to enhance our trajectory of bending down the carbon curve,” says Balachandran. “It has been an absolute pleasure to witness the growth of this agency and to see the measurable impact we have had on our community and customers. I am confident that Silicon Valley Clean Energy will continue offering innovative solutions to advance us toward our state’s carbon reduction goals. It has been a true honor to be part of such a committed and visionary organization, where everyone, from our board to our staff is dedicated to our mission and service to the community.”
The search for a new CEO is focused on finding a leader who is passionate about advancing decarbonization and will share the vision that the SVCE board and communities have collectively built since the agency’s founding. Balachandran is staying in his current role until a successor is found and on-boarded, offering stability for the agency, and continuing its progress. A search committee of the board of directors has begun its recruitment for a new leader, and the job description has been posted on the SVCE website at svcleanenergy.org/jobs.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and clean sources to more than 275,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.
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