NGPI names solar energy champion Beneby as chief executive

Up-and-coming Chicago-based renewable energy developer New Generation Power International has named Doyle N. Beneby Jr as its chief executive, a position he now holds at CPS Energy in San Antonio, where he made it a solar leader among US municipal utilities.

The move is effective 1 October.

“Doyle brings deep energy industry experience and knowledge that will take NGPI to the next level,” says Chairman Chirinjeev Kathuria, who founded the company in 2009. “He is well-respected within the energy industry, especially for his dedication to spreading the benefits of renewable energy to serve electricity consumers– and that is our mission here.”

After taking over August 2010, Beneby worked to diversify the energy mix at the nation’s largest municipal utility, which had been dependent on coal for power production. He announced that CPS Energy would invest in cleaner sources including solar power.

In July 2012, it signed a contract to buy 400MW of solar capacity from facilities that would be built in the region in and around San Antonio. The deal with OCI Solar, by far the largest in Texas, was tied to an aggressive economic development program in the area that has resulted in about 800 new jobs including new plants that assemble modules and manufacture tracker systems.

Infusion of solar power will help enable the utility to shutter a 871MW coal-fired plant by 2018, about 15 years earlier than it had planned.

Recently, CPS Energy announced it would likely be among utilities that will be able to meet carbon emission reduction targets set under the federal Clean Power Plan unveiled last month by the US Environmental Protection Agency..

NGPI is a growing international clean-tech leader investing often in partnership with local developers in a wide spectrum of natural resources-related projects, including solar, wind, geothermal heat, biomass and hydro. The firm has a project pipeline in Africa and Asia.

“Chirinjeev Kathuria and NGPI demonstrate the power and potential of renewable energy in all of its forms, and the contribution it is making in the areas of the world that need it most,” says  Beneby. “I have seen the difference that clean-energy sources make, and I am eager to help the company continue to grow around the world.”

Prior to leading CPS Energy, Beneby served most recently as president of Exelon Power. He has also held senior executive positions at Florida Power & Light, Consumers Energy, PECO Energy and ComEd.