About Arno Harris
I'm a passionate advocate for solutions to climate change through the intersection of business and public policy. I've spent the last 15 years working in the solar industry to help solar make the transition to mainstream energy markets.
Until recently, I was CEO of Recurrent Energy, one of North America's largest solar project developers with a 3 gigawatt (GW) pipeline and 1500MW of signed power purchase agreements. We raised over $4B to date to build those projects and almost 700MW are now operating.
I also spend my time working on behalf of the solar and renewable energy industry as a board member emeritus and former board chair of the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and as a board member of Advanced Energy Economy. SEIA is the largest solar trade association representing over 1000 member companies as the voice of strong solar industry powering America. AEE is an association of businesses and business leaders committed to making our nation's energy supply more secure, clean, and affordable.
For my work at Recurrent Energy, I was honored with the 2014 Environmental Leadership Award from the League of Conservation Voters. In 2012, I was named Best Cleantech CEO of 2012 by San Francisco Business Times. And I was honored to receive the 2011 Rising Star Award at Platts Global Energy Awards.
Before solar my background was in technology startups. I've raised (or helped to raise) over $200MM in equity financing for startups over the past decade or so. One company I helped to start, RedEnvelope.com, had an IPO in 2003. The other, Novo Media Group, was sold several years ago to Publicis, one of the world's premier marketing and media companies. I've also had my share of challenges along the way--my firsthand experience of a failed IPO registration for Novo and the collapse of a well-funded dot-com called WineShopper.com have helped to season me as an entrepreneur and a leader.
Functionally, the bulk of my experience is in marketing, business development, and sales with a good dose of general management and finance gleaned from my startup adventures. During that time I've had the opportunity to work with clients like Toyota Motor Sales USA, GlaxoWellcome, MCI, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Nikon Precision, IKEA International, HGTV (Scripps) and NBC Digital Publishing.
As an entrepreneur, I am passionate about startups and passionate about clean technology, but I have zero patience for dreamy ideas or unfocused execution. I'm a regular speaker and commentator on renewable energy issues and I'm now sharing my views via my weblog Clean Energy Future. In addition to my roles at Recurrent Energy and SEIA, I serve on the Leadership Council of Tipping Point, a grant-making organization dedicated to making poverty preventable. I am also a member of the Division on Earth & Life Sciences Committee at the National Academies. I'm a graduate of UC Berkeley, private pilot and proud father of three boys.