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Nashville Post | July 16, 2018

Evan Bates has been named vice president of business development at Silicon Ranch, the solar energy company launched eight years ago by former Gov. Phil Bredesen and two of his then-commissioners.

In addition, the company has announced seven other hires.

The additions come as Silicon Ranch continues to grow since its 2000 launching. Billed as one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country, the company saw in January global energy conglomerate Royal Dutch Shell paid about $200 million for a minority stake — nearly 44 percent — in it.

Bates (pictured) has more than 20 years of experience in engineering, finance and operations, and he has founded and led three companies in the renewables industry.

“Evan is equally passionate about educating the next generation and recently devoted two years to teaching STEM education classes to high school students,” the company stated in a release.

Bates has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and international affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Joining Bates are the following:

* Todd Aquino is the new vice president of energy delivery. His primary responsibility is to oversee interconnection, substation and generator tie-line design/build work and provide technical support to O&M for related services.

* Chris Ann Lunghino has been tapped as the director of policy and communications. Lunghino brings extensive communications and policy expertise, developed through her prior positions as an attorney, communications consultant and renewable energy policy advocate.

* Saad Shamsi has been hired as director of EPC projects. Shamsi oversees Silicon Ranch’s project execution activities for the company’s growing pipeline. This includes oversight of site due diligence, permitting, procurement and construction of the projects. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and an MBA degree from the University of Texas.

* Cara Kovach will serve as marketing communication manager.  She is responsible for the management of internal and external marketing communications, identification and analysis of new project opportunities, and development of project proposals. Kovach has an MBA degree from Vanderbilt University and an undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Arizona.

* Caroline Phillips has been tapped as staff accountant. Phillips is responsible for maintaining and reconciling trade payables and receivables subledgers and posting cash payments/receipts. Additionally, she assists with the month-end financial close process. She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and a Masters of Accountancy degree from Belmont University.

* Austin Crowe has been named senior accountant. Crow is responsible for financial statement preparation, fixed asset accounting, assisting in the month-end close process and compliance with tax, debt and equity requirements.  He earned a Masters of Accountancy degree from the University of Tennessee.

* Mitchell Ice is Silicon Ranch’s new project finance structuring manager. Ice manages and supports multiple aspects of Silicon Ranch’s project finance and corporate development activities. In his last role at Shell, Mitchell was responsible for mergers and acquisitions across the Americas for Shell’s E&P, midstream, integrated gas and new energies businesses, during which he led and supported the completion of several transactions with aggregate total transaction value in excess of $15 billion.

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