Heliogen, Inc. («Heliogen» or the «Company»), a leading provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar power, today announced that David Crane and Paddy Padmanathan have been nominated to join Heliogen’s Board of Directors upon closing of the Company’s business combination with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ATHN).
«We are pleased to nominate David and Paddy to join Heliogen’s post-combination Board,» said Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heliogen. «Both David and Paddy bring exceptional experience in the renewable energy sector, and extensive knowledge and expertise in scaling innovative technologies to transform the way we produce and consume energy. Their additions complement our Board’s skills and experiences, and we are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our strategy and scale our technology to decarbonize the energy and industrial sectors.»
Mr. Crane has been the CEO at Climate Real Impact Solutions, a family of climate/sustainability-focused special purpose acquisition corporations, since August 2020. Previously, Mr. Crane was CEO of NRG from 2003 to 2015, leading the company from chapter 11 to the Fortune 200. Mr. Crane pioneered the yieldco asset class with the IPO of NRG Yield in July 2013. Mr. Crane also led NRG to the forefront of next-generation clean energy development through large scale initiatives in utility scale renewables (now Clearway), residential solar, post-combustion carbon capture (Petra Nova) and DC fast charging (EVGO). Prior to NRG, Mr. Crane was first COO and then CEO of International Power Plc, a UK-domiciled FTSE-100 company from 2000 to 2003.
During Mr. Crane’s tenure, NRG won numerous industry, community, and environmental awards, including multiple «transaction of the year» awards. Mr. Crane was named Energy Industry «CEO of the Year» by EnergyBiz in 2010, top CEO in the electric utility sector by Institutional Investor in 2011 and «Entrepreneur of the Year» by Ernst & Young in 2010. Mr. Crane was also awarded the Corporate Environmental Leadership award by GlobalGreen in 2014 and the Equinox Solar Champion Award and The C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership, both in 2015.
Mr. Crane also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Saudi Electricity Company, the national electricity company of Saudi Arabia, Tata Steel and JERA, a power generation joint venture between Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric. He also serves on the not-for-profit Boards of Elemental Excelerator, The Climate Group NA, as well as being a B Team Leader, where he chairs the B Team’s Net Zero Initiative. Through his public advocacy and his writings, including his seminal 2014 Letter to Shareholders, Mr. Crane has set forth the case for the leading role to be played by the private sector and transformational capitalism more generally in combating climate change, which he calls the «moral imperative of our time.» Mr. Crane graduated with a A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Mr. Padmanathan is a seasoned engineering and energy expert with over 40 years of experience. He is the President and CEO of ACWA Power (TADAWUL:2082), having spearheaded its expansion from a startup in 2006 to a leading private developer, owner and operator of power generation and desalinated water and green hydrogen production plants. Today, ACWA Power employs 3,500 people and is present in 13 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The company has a portfolio of 65 power and/or desalinated water projects representing 42 GW of power generation and 6.4 million m3/day of desalinated water production capacity to address the needs of state utilities and industries. ACWA Power has developed some of the world’s largest solar power plants, of both CSP and PV technology and continues to be at the forefront in reducing the cost of renewable energy on a global scale and in promoting localization of technology and industrialization of the emerging economies in which it invests.
Prior to joining ACWA Power, Mr. Padmanathan was Vice President and Corporate Officer at Black and Veatch, where he was responsible for developing privately financed power, water and wastewater projects in over a dozen countries. Before that, Mr. Padmanathan was the Chief Executive of Black & Veatch Africa Limited and an Executive Director of Burrow Binnie International Ltd. Mr. Padmanathan began his career as an Engineer at John Burrow and Partners Overseas.
Mr. Padmanathan holds a degree in Engineering from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and in addition to his executive responsibilities at ACWA Power, also serves on the board of directors of several companies involved in power and water development across the globe, including BESIX, XLink Ltd and Desolenator BV.
Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in heavy industry and powering a sustainable future. The company’s AI-enabled, modular concentrated solar technology aims to cost-effectively deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, or green hydrogen fuel at scale – for the first time in history. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross in 1996. For more information about Heliogen, please visit heliogen.com.
On July 6, 2021, Heliogen entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ATHN). Upon the closing of the business combination, Heliogen will become publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol «HLGN». Additional information about the transaction can be viewed here: www.heliogen.com/investor-center/.