Our Leadership

In partnership with our parent company, National Grid, we are leading the transition to a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. Our deep expertise, results-oriented culture and financial strength, paired with our farmer-friendly foundation and commitment to building a safe, responsible and community-focused business, sets us apart as an industry leader. 

National Grid Renewables is transforming the energy landscape and repowering America with sustainable and economically beneficial renewable energy. We have successfully developed thousands of megawatts of wind, solar, and energy storage projects throughout the United States.

We develop, construct, and operate renewable energy projects. We attract and retain expertise in the following areas:

Energy landscape infographic

Our leadership team represents the industry’s top talent and is firmly committed to driving sustainability and economic growth in the communities that host our projects. 

Meet Our Executive Team

Blake Nixon

Blake Nixon

PresidentView bio

Andy Cukurs

Andy Cukurs

Chief Operating OfficerView bio

Jeff-Ringblom-

Jeff Ringblom

Head of Development – US Onshore RenewablesView bio

Sanjay_Bhasin

Sanjay Bhasin

Vice President, OriginationView bio

Betsy-Engelking-

Betsy Engelking

Vice President, Policy and RTO StrategyView bio

Nathan_Franzen_

Nathan Franzen

Vice President, DevelopmentView bio

Roger-Johanson_

Roger Johanson

Vice President, Project FinanceView bio

John_Larkey_

John Larkey

Vice President, Power MarketingView bio

Joe_Melesha_

Joe Melsha

Vice President, OperationsView bio

Randy-Porter-

Randall Porter, P.E.

Vice President, TransmissionView bio

David_Reamer

David Reamer

Head of New Business StrategyView bio

Gemma Smith

Gemma Smith

Vice President, Safety, Health, Environment, Social and Governance (SHESG)View bio

Drew Terwilliger

Drew Terwilliger

Vice President, CommercialView bio

Meet Our Board Members

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer and Interim President, National Grid Ventures View bio

Blake Nixon

Blake Nixon

President, National Grid Renewables
View bio

Jeff-Ringblom-

Jeff Ringblom

Head of Development – US Onshore Renewables, National Grid Renewables
View bio

Mitchell Carrol

Mitchell Carroll

General Counsel,
National Grid Ventures
View bio

Julie Taylor

Julie Taylor

Chief Financial Officer, National Grid Renewables
View bio

Guy van Nieuwenhove

Guy van Nieuwenhove

SVP – Director of Portfolio Management & Business Development, National Grid Ventures
View bio

Blake Nixon

Blake Nixon

President, National Grid Renewables

Blake Nixon is the President of National Grid Renewables. Prior to National Grid Renewables, Blake was Chief Executive Officer for Geronimo Energy and led its growth into a leading independent North American renewable energy project development company. Prior to Geronimo Energy, Blake served as a Principal at The Rahn Group, the family investment office of Geronimo Energy founder, Noel P. Rahn, where he managed the venture capital and private equity portfolio of the family office, as well as the firm’s hedge fund. In the private investment portfolio, Blake was responsible for deal flow generation, due diligence, deal negotiation, portfolio management, active assistance for portfolio companies on operational and strategic issues, and investment divestitures. Blake was also responsible for the majority of the portfolio company oversight and board relationships for the firm’s private equity investments. Prior to The Rahn Group, Blake worked as an equity analyst for money management firm Investment Advisers, Inc. (IAI).  Blake holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Washington at Seattle and completed the General Course at The London School of Economics (LSE).

 

Andy Cukurs

Chief Operating Officer

Andy has over 38 years of experience in the energy, engineering, and construction industries, with the last 22 years in the renewable energy space including wind, solar and energy storage.He has held senior management positions with venture funded start-ups, large OEM’s, ISP’s and developers in the renewable energy industry, and the management of various other international businesses focused on providing design, engineering and construction services. 

Earlier in his career, he was responsible for the design, engineering and construction of processing facilities in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, having designed and constructed facilities in Russia, China, Argentina, Mexico,  Australia and throughout the US.

Andy is passionate about coaching and mentoring managers and leaders in fast-paced growth industries, early-stage start-ups, and turn-arounds.  He also voluntarily serves on the Illinois State University Renewable Energy Board and is the Executive Director of the Latvian American Chamber of Commerce.

Andy holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from the University of Chicago – Booth Graduate School of Business.

Jeff-Ringblom-

Jeff Ringblom

Head of Development – US Onshore Renewables, National Grid Renewables

Jeff Ringblom is Head of Development – US Onshore Renewables for National Grid Renewables, which includes the renewables development company formerly known as Geronimo Energy. Jeff brings over a decade of experience in corporate finance and accounting. He has spent the majority of his career in renewable energy, where he has been instrumental in structuring the sales and negotiations of renewable energy projects throughout the Midwest. Jeff’s extensive experience in corporate finance includes M&A transactions, procurement negotiations, corporate restructurings and general business strategy. Jeff joined Geronimo Energy as Controller in 2010. Prior to joining Geronimo Energy, Jeff was at Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Assurance and Advisory services as well as St. Jude Medical, Inc. Jeff holds a degree in Accounting from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He is also a certified public accountant.

Sanjay Bhasin

Vice President, Origination

Sanjay Bhasin is the Vice President of Origination for National Grid Renewables. Sanjay has over 20 years of renewable energy experience, including expertise in origination, contract negotiation, underwriting, strategic planning, acquisitions, finance, and tax equity investments. Over the years, he has established an extensive network of customers across the US – IOUs, C&Is, Munis, and Coops.

Prior to National Grid Renewables, Sanjay served as the Senior Vice President of Originations at Savion, LLC. There, he focused on a 10+ GW solar + storage portfolio across 26 states. Prior Savion, he worked for Tradewind Energy (TWE) for six years as the Head of Business Development. Under his leadership, TWE blossomed from 2 GW to over 5 GW of operating renewable projects. Earlier in his career, Sanjay played a key role in launching and growing Edison Mission Energy’s (EME) wind energy business as their Managing Director of Business Development. Over the course of 10 years, EME was successful in developing, owning, and operating 2.2 GW of wind energy products. Sanjay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from Elphinstone College, and an MBA in Finance from Northeastern University.

Betsy-Engelking-

Betsy Engelking

Vice President, Policy and RTO Strategy

Betsy Engelking joined National Grid Renewables as Vice President in January 2012 and currently leads the Company’s policy efforts. Betsy developed the regulatory strategy for the Aurora Project and provided expert testimony in the PUC process. She also collaborated with a number of legislators and advocates to achieve passage of the 2013 Minnesota Solar Energy legislation. Previously, Betsy was Director of Resource Planning for Xcel Energy, where she developed and implemented long-range power supply plans, including compliance with Xcel’s wide-ranging renewable energy requirements. She has also held positions with Great River Energy and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

With more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, Betsy’s expertise in energy policy, renewable energy, resource planning, utility rates and regulation, and energy markets are invaluable to National Grid Renewables. Since the beginning of her career, Betsy has worked both regionally and nationally to promote the advancement of wind energy and other renewables through participation with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC), the Great Plains Institute’s Power the Plains collaborative, and through an active role in state and national policy development. Betsy holds a MBA in Finance and Economics from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Nathan

Nathan Franzen

Vice President, Development

Nathan Franzen is the Vice President of Development for National Grid Renewables. Nathan leads the company’s multi-gigawatt U.S. development portfolio of utility scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects. Nathan has more than 20 years of energy experience and has overseen the development of over 15GW of renewable energy projects, including over 2GW of operating assets. Over the past two decades, Nathan has led the execution of over $1B in vendor supply agreements and project purchase and sale agreements. At National Grid Renewables, Nathan currently leads a team of project development professionals, including real estate, permitting, and resource assessment. Throughout his career, he has also led teams specializing in engineering, procurement, and construction disciplines.

Nathan has a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
He lives with his wife Melisa and their two sons in Edina, MN.

Roger-Johanson_

Roger Johanson

Vice President, Project Finance

Roger Johanson is responsible for raising tax equity and debt capital for National Grid Renewables’ projects. He has 30+ years of domestic and international project/structured experience. Prior to National Grid Renewables, as Senior Director, Structured Finance for GCL New Energy, he raised capital for GCL’s projects in the U. S., Latin America and Europe. Before that, he was CFO of Cimarron Solar, a Mexican developer, and immediately prior, was VP, Finance – Latin America for Ecoplexus Inc., responsible for developing the company’s Latin American solar markets strategy, emphasizing the Mexican, Brazilian, Argentine and Chilean solar markets. Prior to Ecoplexus, he was an MD at Renewable Energy Trust Capital, where he closed $230MM in renewable financings in 8 months. Before that, Roger was Director, Structured Finance, at GCL Solar Energy, responsible for project financing for Utility-Scale, Distributed Generation and Residential solar PV projects. Prior to GCL, Roger was a VP in Banc of America Merrill Lynch’s Portfolio Trading & Acquisitions Group where he closed tax-equity based portfolio acquisitions totaling over $1B. Previously Roger held positions at CIT Group, GE Commercial & Industrial Finance and GATX Capital Corporation. Roger holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from UCLA and an MBA, Finance & Statistics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 
John_Larkey_

John Larkey

Vice President, Power Marketing

John Larkey currently serves as Vice President, Power Marketing for National Grid Renewables. John joined the National Grid Renewables executive team in 2016 and previously served as the company’s Vice President, Origination. To support the growth of National Grid Renewables, in April 2021, John was asked to take on the role of Vice President, Power Marketing to lead the operating company’s growth as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) and establish the company’s commercial team and related trading and market activities, functions, and processes.

Prior to joining the National Grid Renewables executive team, John most recently served as Vice President of Power Marketing for Recurrent Energy, where he led Recurrent’s origination and structuring team’s growth with new customers, markets and products. Before Recurrent, John had an extensive commercial leadership career with Cargill across a multitude of global industries including energy, commodity and financial markets, food manufacturing and industrial processing. As Cargill’s Director of Power Markets, he was part of a high-performing team that worked on transactions with customers across all North America energy markets.

As a seasoned energy industry executive, John has worked with investors, asset owners, and project developers across the energy industry – including gas, power, renewables, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, and crude oil derivatives. He has originated, structured, negotiated, and completed transactions with private equity companies, hedge funds, multi-national companies, utilities, co-ops and municipalities, government entities, project developers, and strategic asset owners, primarily in North America and Europe. John received a MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, MI and a BSME from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering in Minneapolis, MN.

Joe_Melesha_

Joe Melsha

Vice President, Operations

As Vice President of Operations, Joe has oversight of building and maintaining the project operations group and functions within the National Grid Renewables portfolio of onshore wind, solar and energy storage projects. Joe also plays a key role in developing projects as they near the construction phase. Joe’s experience includes: Regional Director of Operations for Avangrid (formerly Iberdrola) Renewables, Construction Project Manager for PPM Energy focusing on renewable projects, several positions with Black and Veatch including Design Engineer, Construction Manager, and West Coast Operations Manager. Joe is a registered professional engineer and has extensive design, construction, and management of renewable projects. Joe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from North Dakota State University.

Randy-Porter-

Randall Porter, P.E.

Vice President, Transmission

As Vice President of Transmission, Randy oversees transmission and interconnection for the National Grid Renewables portfolio of onshore wind, solar and energy storage projects. Experience: Executive Consultant for Power System Engineering, multiple positions at Avant Energy, Dahlen, Berg and Company, Inc., Xcel Energy and Northern States Power. Randy is a registered professional engineer in Minnesota, and has extensive experience in electric power delivery system planning, power supply resource evaluation and planning, resource portfolio development, and integrated resource planning. He also has experience managing and performing generation interconnection studies involving combined cycle, simple cycle, coal, wind and biomass fueled Electric Generating Stations.  Education: Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

David_Reamer

David Reamer

Head of New Business Strategy, National Grid Renewables

David G. Reamer is the Head of New Business Strategy for National Grid Renewables, which includes the renewables development company formerly known as Geronimo Energy. Prior to National Grid Renewables, David served as President for Geronimo Energy. David had been involved with Geronimo Energy since its inception as both an investor and active Board Member and took an active executive role with the company in 2015. David provides a unique combination of executive management experience and entrepreneurial and investor success. For the past 25 years, he has been involved with multiple renewable energy and technology companies as a founder, CEO, board member, advisor and investor. This experience has built the foundation of David’s customer-first approach to business. After receiving his B.S. Degree from the University of Minnesota (U of M), he started his professional career as a territory manager with Johnson and Johnson. David then moved into the high tech industry by joining Applied Epi, a solar, LED and wireless semiconductor equipment company. At Applied Epi, David ultimately grew to serve as CEO and was instrumental in selling the company to Veeco Instruments (NASD: VECO). At Veeco, he led their worldwide Business Development and Strategic Marketing departments, and today, Veeco is recognized as one of the world’s leading advanced Solar PV and LED equipment companies. Also while at Applied Epi, David co-founded Spectracom, a fiber optic laser company, which was sold to ADC Telecommunications. David remains an Advisor to the U of M’s Venture Center and Office of Technology Commercialization.

Gemma Smith

Gemma Smith

Vice President, Safety, Health, Environment, Social and Governance (SHESG)

Gemma Smith is the Vice President Safety, Health, Environment, Social and Governance (SHESG) at National Grid Renewables. Gemma develops, manages and continually improves the EHS and Training programs to support the company’s target of zero injuries to the team and its contractors and leads the company’s strategy and reporting for environmental, social and governance (ESG). Prior to joining National Grid Renewables, Gemma lead the EHS and Training department at Pattern Energy Group, where she created and managed the EHS & Training Program. Gemma currently serves as the Chair of the American Clean Power EHS Standards Committee which is working on developing ANSI standards on EHS practices in the clean energy industry. Gemma holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University.

 
Drew Terwilliger

Drew Terwilliger

Vice President, Commercial

Drew Terwilliger is the Vice President of Commercial for National Grid Renewables and is responsible for execution of strategic initiatives within the commercial side of National Grid Renewables. Drew joined the company in 2011 and has experience in tax equity finance, project debt finance, power sales, financial modeling, PPA negotiation, deal structuring, and management. Before joining National Grid Renewables, Drew worked as a management consultant at eCapital Advisors specializing in financial database construction and optimization. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin — Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Investments, and Banking.

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer and Interim President, National Grid Ventures

Ben joined National Grid plc in November 2021 as Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer and in February 2023 was also appointed Interim President, National Grid Ventures. National Grid Ventures is the competitive division of National Grid plc. It has a diverse portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable energy businesses across the UK, Europe and US including sub-sea electricity interconnectors, liquefied natural gas, battery storage, and gas, wind and solar power.

Previously, Ben was the Chief Executive Officer of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, one of the largest utility infrastructure businesses in Australia, active in every mainland state and throughout storage, midstream, transmission, distribution and metering. Prior to AGIG, he was the Director of Strategy & Regulation and Chief Financial Officer of UK Power Networks, one of the largest electricity distribution businesses in the UK with 8 million customers. Before moving into industry, Ben spent 15 years as an energy and utilities investment banker, working mostly in Europe and Asia. Ben holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.

Ben has more than 25 years’ experience in the energy sector and has wide international experience, with focus areas including strategy, regulation, external affairs, stakeholder engagement, M&A, innovation and sustainability. Ben has a particular interest in the energy transition and the role of hydrogen. He also has wide general management experience from his time as a CEO.

Mitchell Carroll

Mitchell Carroll

General Counsel, National Grid Ventures

Mitch is responsible for legal, risk management and compliance matters across all US-based business units of National Grid Ventures, the competitive business unit of National Grid, and National Grid Partners, the business unit responsible for corporate venture capital investment and innovation development in the energy technology sector. As General Counsel, he leads a team that provides counsel on all transaction, finance, corporate governance, compliance, project development, investment and technology matters.

Mitch is a business executive who holds a variety of positions on numerous boards and investment committees associated with National Grid. Prior to joining National Grid, he was a partner in the Energy & Project Finance Group at Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Mitch has also held senior legal positions at Calpine and Vitol. Mitch has more than 25 years of experience representing developers, investors, sponsors, financial institutions and other asset owners in all aspects of development, project finance, M&A and restructuring of energy and infrastructure projects.

Julie Taylor

Chief Finance Officer for National Grid Ventures

Julie Taylor is Chief Finance Officer for National Grid Ventures, the competitive division of National Grid. (https://www.nationalgrid.com/national-grid-ventures) Prior to joining National Grid in 2018, she had a thirty year career in the public sector, qualifying as an accountant in the NHS in the early nineties and undertaking a number of senior roles in hospitals and primary care, prior to moving to central government in 2001.  In central government she held a variety of roles, including Director roles in the Prison Service, Border Force and the Ministry of Justice, where she was change leader as well as a leader of finance and other functions.  Her last roles in government were as Director General for Transformation in the Home Office and Director General Corporate Services in the Ministry of Defense. She is passionate about the potential for organizations to grow and develop through well-managed change.

Guy van Nieuwenhove

Guy van Nieuwenhove

SVP - Director of Portfolio Management & Business Development, National Grid Ventures

Guy van Nieuwenhove is the SVP – Director of Portfolio Management & Business Development at National Grid Ventures and is part of the National Grid Ventures executive team. Guy has 20 years’ experience across the energy industry, previously working internationally at Shell Plc and Centrica Plc with expertise in strategy, operations, business development and M&A. Guy is also an Industrial Engineer, holds a Masters in Oil & Gas economics.

At NGV, Guy leads the Portfolio Management and Business Development teams to manage new investments and risks across NGV’s portfolio, spanning UK and US geographies with the purpose of enabling a clean, affordable and resilient energy transition.

Current focus includes leading the CCUS and Hydrogen development of National Grid Venture’s interests in the U.K. which is playing a fundamental role in decarbonising manufacturing and power sectors as well as generating thousands of new jobs in the largest industrial cluster in the region.  In the US, Guy is also leading a wider National Grid Plc effort to support development of the North East Hydrogen Hub working with partners across the full value chain to develop a broader hydrogen economy.

Guy’s experience is broad in the energy value chain, including developing, managing large downstream fuels businesses, and serving multi-million customers in utilities and services businesses (energy, home services, renewables, energy efficiency, insurance and Smart/IoT platforms).

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