Spotlight Shines on Haas-Led Solar Company


BrightSource Energy, led by CEO John Woolard, MBA 97, and CFO Jack Jenkins-Stark, MBA 81, is being recognized as a powerhouse both locally and globally.

First, the company was named a winner of the Tech Pioneer Award by the World Economic Forum, the nonprofit group that organizes the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Then the San Francisco Business Times named Jenkins-Stark Bay Area CFO of the Year among venture-backed companies and gave BrightSource a Green Energy Award for excellence as a renewable energy company focused on the development of utility-scale solar projects.

The World Economic Forum recognized Oakland-based BrightSource for its efforts to make solar energy cost competitive with fossil fuels. BrightSource was the only solar company among the 34 winners of the Tech Pioneer award. To qualify, companies must be involved in the development of lifechanging technology innovation that has the potential for longer-term impact on business and society.

BrightSource develops large-scale solar thermal energy plants. The company recently signed an agreement with PG&E that may be the world’s largest solar energy deal – to build seven solar power plants generating enough electricity for 530,000 homes.

As a Tech Pioneer winner, Woolard had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most influential environmental thinkers at the World Economic Forum's Davos event earlier this year. He is invited to attend the Davos meetings next year as well.

In the meantime, he returned to his alma mater in May to inspire the graduating class of Berkeley MBA students at commencement with his solar vision.