Former GMP president Mary Powell named CEO of largest U.S. residential solar company

  • Aug 08, 2021
  • VT Digger

Former Green Mountain Power President Mary Powell is now the chief executive officer of Sunrun Inc, the largest residential-solar company in the U.S.

Powell stepped down from Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest utility provider, in 2019 after working there for 20 years. In that time, the company posted an increase of more than 300% increase in customers, largely through its 2012 merger with Central Vermont Public Service, which made Green Mountain Power the state’s largest electricity company. The utility now provides energy to more than 75% of Vermont, the company reported in 2019.

In 2015, Green Mountain Power was certified B Corp, or benefit corporation, the world’s first utility to meet the high social and environmental standards. In 2019, the utility announced its plans to become “carbon-free” by 2025 and a 100% renewable energy company by 2030.

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Powell stood out as one of few female CEOs of U.S. investor-owned utilities in an industry where women accounted for only 22% of workers as of 2018.

“I felt like an outlier,” she said in a 2019 interview with VTDigger. “And so in some ways I always kind of leaned into that and looked at it as just kind of like, I’m going to be my authentic self, I’m going to bring what I think is best for this organization. And if it doesn’t fly and they don’t like it, fine, I’ll find something else worth doing.”

Powell joined Sunrun’s board in 2018. She will take over as CEO Aug. 31, according to a statement issued Thursday by Sunrun.

The company, headquartered in San Francisco, provides residential solar panels and home batteries.

“I am looking forward to using my experience leading energy companies to accelerate home electrification, drive innovation for customers and generate long-term sustainable value for all of our employees, customers and financial partners,” Powell said in the statement.

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