Accomplished Team of Seasoned Industry Professionals
TurningPoint Energy’s team has demonstrated renewable energy industry experience in the full cycle of large-scale solar project development, including executive management, origination, land development, project finance, design, procurement, construction and operations and maintenance.
Jared Schoch, President
Mr. Schoch is the founder and president of TurningPoint Energy, and leads a team of veteran solar development executives focused on developing large scale solar and related clean tech power plants, advising utility, clean tech and corporate clients and investing in unique clean tech project opportunities. Over his career, he has managed more than 2GW ($3.5billion) of solar and energy efficiency projects working with utilities, school districts, cities, counties, hospitals, federal agencies and industrial clients throughout the U.S. Prior to starting TurningPoint Energy, he worked for SOLON Corporation as its vice president and general manager of the U.S. power plants business where he helped expand and restructure the U.S. business leaving it positioned for success and profitability forward. Prior to that, Mr. Schoch spent nearly five years starting and organically growing SunEdison’s utility-scale solar development business throughout the United States. Mr. Schoch also worked as a leader in business development at Johnson Controls in energy efficiency services, and prior to that as a marketing consultant launching various products and services in the high tech space during the 1990s. He holds a master of business administration degree from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and a bachelor of arts from Loyola University New Orleans.
James Marshall, Executive Vice President of Project Operations
As executive vice president of project operations, James Marshall is responsible for the full development, engineering, procurement and construction aspects of solar and related clean tech generation projects. Prior to joining TurningPoint Energy, Mr. Marshall founded and led an independent consulting business specializing in the engineering, procurement and construction of solar power plants where he worked with solar energy project investors, manufacturers, and utility companies.
Mr. Marshall also spent nine years at SunEdison where he designed over 1GW of successful solar projects in the U.S., Canada, Spain and Italy as the lead engineer, director of the utility-scale engineering team, and then global director of engineering and global standards. Prior to that, he spent several years at both REC Solar and PG&E. Mr. Marshall holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and holds CA General B Contractors license.
Bruce Tang, Senior Vice President of Finance
Bruce Tang serves as senior vice president of finance for TurningPoint Energy. For the past five years, he has consulted to and provided advisory services to a wide range of renewable energy companies, including developers, manufacturers and investors, across multiple jurisdictions and technologies. In addition to his consulting practice, he has spent 10 years working as a structured finance executive with Kala Energy, Lightbeam Electric Company and Recurrent Energy. Mr. Tang also worked for 15 years at the global investment bank, Babcock & Brown, where he specialized in sale-leaseback and partnership finance solutions for transportation and energy assets. He graduated with honors from Harvard University earning a B.A. in European History.
Franny Yuhas, Managing Director of Development
As managing director of development for TurningPoint Energy, Ms. Yuhas performs all aspects of solar project origination including site identification, energy off-take agreement negotiation and other due diligence activities to ensure project implementation success. She works closely with engineering, project finance, real estate for land acquisition, operations and the legal team to ensure project feasibility and that project economics align. Immediately prior to her role at TurningPoint Energy, Ms. Yuhas worked at WaterSmart Software to exercise her passion to learn more about water demand efficiency supported by data analytics, customer engagement and behavioral science. Prior to that, she worked at SunEdison for 10 years where she originated over 100 MW of commercial, municipal and utility scale solar projects in the U.S. Prior to that, she worked in the public transportation industry. Ms. Yuhas holds Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Salisbury State University (part of the University System of Maryland).
Jordan Belknap, Director of Development
As director of development, Mr. Belknap is responsible for project management and permitting of major projects. Prior to joining TurningPoint Energy, Mr. Belknap founded HelioAmp Energy LLC, which specialized in solar energy project development, permitting, and construction management. Mr. Belknap in an industry veteran with a wide breadth of experience and proven track record of successful project execution. He has designed and constructed over 100 ground and roof mounted solar projects for clients that include government entities, businesses, low income housing, schools, non-profits, and houses of worship. He is a co-developer and an equity owner of 19 operating solar farms in the northeast for which he managed EPC and O&M activities. Mr. Belknap holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and Economics from Bowdoin College and is a Massachusetts Licensed Construction Supervisor.
Peggy Paas, Director of Real Estate
Ms. Paas oversees TurningPoint Energy’s pipeline of real estate acquisitions and is responsible for negotiating a range of deal structures nationwide. She identifies, proposes and implements creative or alternative new market site selection approaches that reduce exposure to permitting and development risks. She develops and manages relationships with internal and external key stakeholders to influence and collaborate on ongoing transactions and project development. She also manages all legal entity portfolios to successfully identify, execute, and monitor necessary governance and compliance activities. Ms. Paas has 20 years of real estate experience – 5 years within the renewable energy industry. She facilitated and assisted in loan and tax equity closings of more than 50MW in solar projects as well as real estate site control closings of more than 120 MW in solar projects. Prior to her joining the renewable energy industry she was involved in major real estate purchase and debt closings of up to $500MM. In addition, she has years of legal research experience nationwide including water and mineral rights researches. Ms. Paas has lived in the United States since 2001 and is fluent in Dutch, German and English. She has been a licensed Transactional Paralegal for nearly 20 years, a licensed Nevada Notary Public for nearly 14 years and the President of a Homeowner’s Association.
Luis Sanchez, Engineering Manager
As Engineering Manager, Luis Sanchez is responsible for managing development engineering in various markets across the nation. Luis comes with vast experience in both the utility and DG markets, with knowledge of the entire process of a project from land selection and interconnection permitting and execution. Prior to joining TurningPoint Energy, Sanchez spent nearly four years as an Engineering Manager at EnterSolar, a corporate solar developer. He managed the engineering and execution of large ground-mount projects for corporate customers, as well as helped create the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) arm of the company focusing on the execution of projects for community solar developers. Prior to EnterSolar, Sanchez was an Engineering Manager at SunEdison’s Utility Scale Division for nearly nine years, focusing on the development and execution of large scale projects across the country; and an Operations Manager at GameChange Solar, an NYC-based racking company, managing the construction services. He holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, as well as PMP certified.
Adam Beal, Executive Vice President of Development
As executive vice president of development, Mr. Beal oversees all real estate, land development and permitting activities for the company. Prior to joining TurningPoint Energy, Mr. Beal founded Lighthouse Advisers, a Colorado-based real estate development consultancy specializing in the renewable energy industry. In addition to its consultancy work, Lighthouse Advisers co-developed and maintained an equity stake in 19 operational solar facilities in the Northeast U.S. Before forming Lighthouse Advisers, Mr. Beal was employed by SunEdison, overseeing land development and site acquisition processes for 80+ distributed generation solar project sites throughout the U.S. and its island territories, and handling land acquisition functions for dozens of utility-scale solar projects in the desert Southwest. He has lent his expertise to over 1,500 MW of now-operational or under-development photovoltaic solar projects. Mr. Beal has also worked as a commercial real estate broker – licensed by the Colorado Real Estate Commission for over a decade – and has additional experience in retail and mixed-use development. He is an active real estate investor, and holds a Bachlor of Science from Western Michigan University.
Elaine Schoch, Vice President of Marketing Communications
Ms. Schoch is vice president of marketing communications, and brings two decades of expertise in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business public relations, social media and marketing communications. She was previously the director of social media at 104 West. She has developed and implemented integrated public relations campaigns at leading public relations firms including Schenkein, Ogilvy Public Relations and Golin/Harris International for consumer and high-tech clients including Western Union, Home Depot, Qwest Communications, Texas Instruments and Amazon. Her programs have been recognized by the industry with multiple awards from the Public Relations Society of America.
Ms. Schoch is also an award-winning travel writer and the founder and editor at Carpe Travel, an online wine travel resource. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Marketing from The University of North Texas in Denton.
Salar Naini, Vice President of Business Development
Mr. Naini is responsible for origination and development of solar and related clean tech generation opportunities and supporting the development of project financing resources at TurningPoint Energy. Over his career, he has held various roles in business development and finance and has successfully developed 112MW ($381 million) in solar projects. Prior to joining TurningPoint Energy, Mr. Naini was the principal at SolCom Energy, LLC where he originated and developed California-specific customer-financed solar projects. Mr. Naini has also worked at NRG Energy where he was responsible for the origination and development of opportunities for the firm’s public and private sector customers. Before joining NRG, he worked for SOLON Corporation as a business and financial analyst, playing key roles in the analysis, development and execution of a 24MW project portfolio. Mr. Naini is a Provost Scholar from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business and holds a Masters in Finance from Creighton University’s Heider School of Business.
Michelle Carpenter, Managing Director of Development
Michelle Carpenter has more than 12 years of project development, financing and technical expertise within the renewable energy industry in the Northeast. She has been involved in the origination, development and due diligence on more than 150 MW of solar projects. Prior to her work at TurningPoint Energy, Mrs. Carpenter was C.O.O. at a Rhode Island renewable energy company where she helped grow the business from a single operational project to one of the largest developers in the state. She also ran the Northeast distributed generation division for NextEra Energy Resources, helping to spearhead the companies entrance into the DG space. Her expertise ranges from site identification, qualification and permitting to contract negotiation and regulatory analysis. Prior to her experience in the renewable energy industry, Mrs. Carpenter spent five years in the estimating department of a multi-million-dollar electrical contracting firm. She has a B.S. in Environmental & Natural Resource Economics with a minor in Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island.
Sonja Word, Director of Real Estate, Title
Ms. Word is the Director of Real Estate, Title for TurningPoint Energy where she directs title insurance services across the company’s multi-state portfolio and maintains executive-level relationships with select title insurers, agents and underwriters throughout the US. She identifies risks posed by encumbrances of all types, including mineral ownership, easements and surface rights. and additionally represents the firm’s interest in structuring, negotiating and drafting a variety of site control documents. Ms. Word works closely with counsel, project developers, and surveyors to ensure that TurningPoint Energy’s projects meet all investor expectations and document requirements.
Ms. Word has more than 25 years of title and title insurance experience, previously owned a title company, has been involved in multi-state, large-scale utility upgrade and replacement projects, major pipeline development, and title examination for permitting, acquisition, solar, water, oil/gas and surface ownership. She has many years of experience preparing title opinions on behalf of attorneys, and her title examination experience includes more than 13 U.S. states and knowledge of title insurance requirements for each. Ms. Word studied Business Administration at Tarleton State University in Texas and is a licensed Right-of-Way Agent in Texas, a member of the American Association of Professional Landman, the International Right of Way Association, and is a licensed Texas Real Estate Agent.
The team members listed below work with TurningPoint Energy in its development, advisory and investment initiatives and projects.
Blair Loftis, Advisor, Renewable Project Design and Technical Development
Mr. Loftis is the National Program Manager for Renewable Energy at Terracon, Inc. Terracon specializes in environmental, geotechnical, materials testing, and facilities services with nearly 4,000 engineers and scientists located in over 150 offices throughout the U.S. Blair has responsibilities for strategic direction, account management, technical efficacy, and operational efficiency for Terracon’s renewable energy services. Prior to joining Terracon, Blair served as eight years as the Vice President and Global Director of Renewable Energy at Kleinfelder. In his career supporting renewable energy project development, design and construction he has overseen in excess of 5 GW of wind energy projects and over 4 GW of solar energy projects. Loftis has also been involved in other forms of renewable energy projects including: hydrokinetics, biomass, anaerobic digestion, and geothermal energy. Mr. Loftis also serves as a testifying expert witness in renewable energy litigation matters and was the lead expert on a $125m litigation dispute involving 97 solar projects in the NJ SREC market. In addition to his tenure in renewable energy Blair spent a decade in construction management and seven years with PacifiCorp, one of the largest intra-jurisdictional investor-owned electric utilities in the United States. At PacifiCorp Loftis started in construction operations and through various levels of meritorious advancement served as Special Projects Program Manager, Operational Risk Manager, and Director of Corporate Strategy where he was part of the inorganic growth team evaluating M&A opportunities targeting other IOUs. His diverse career has presented him with a unique balance of construction know how and utility business acumen. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Toxicology from the University of California at Davis.
Christopher Bergen, Advisor, Land Acquisition, Development and Entitlement
Mr. Bergen is Principal of Altis Energy Services LLC and brings 13 years of wind and solar development experience, including a five-year tenure at Iberdrola Renewables. He has demonstrated success in siting project concepts, building and supervising project teams, managing complex permitting process, and negotiating commercial agreements. Mr. Bergen developed over 221MW of commercially operational wind and solar projects now in operation, and managed over 5GW of development pipeline across North America. He holds a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Emory University, and a MBA from the University of Colorado Denver Business School.