Hobbs & Towne Places Two Executives at LightSail Energy
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Hobbs & Towne Places Two Executives at LightSail Energy

Vice President Justin Hauser places Volker Schulte as Chief Operating Officer and Neel Sirosh as Vice President and General Manager at LightSail Energy:

New senior executives from GE and Quantum will commercialize LightSail’s breakthrough energy storage technology to meet growing global demand.

Berkeley, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) – LightSail Energy, a developer of state-of-the-art energy storage technology, announced today that former senior GE executive Volker Schulte has joined the company as chief operating officer. In addition, Neel Sirosh, former CTO at Quantum Technologies, joined LightSail as vice president and general manager of its energy storage group.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have two such distinguished executives join LightSail and help bring our transformative compressed air energy storage to the world,” said Stephen Crane, co-founder and CEO of LightSail Energy. “Both Volker and Neel bring highly relevant experience, perspective, insight and zeal for innovation, which will undoubtedly help us to capitalize on the company’s momentum, and position our new technology to succeed in the marketplace.”

Most recently, Dr. Volker Schulte spent seven years as the general manager of engineering for General Electric’s gas engine business, which comprised its Jenbacher and Waukesha product lines. While at GE, he was responsible for the industry’s largest portfolio of highly reliable, innovative and efficient gas engines, as well as for GE’s global engineering and R&D activities for reciprocating engines. Dr. Schulte, who has also held senior roles at MAN Turbo, MTU Aero Engines and Rolls Royce, brings a wealth of industrial experience to the LightSail COO position, along with a track record of highly successful new product commercialization.

“I’m joining LightSail because I am confident that it provides the best opportunity to bring truly revolutionary energy technology products to market,” said Schulte. “I look forward to transitioning LightSail Energy’s innovative regenerative compressed air energy storage (RAES) technology to the next level of product and business performance.”

Dr. Neel Sirosh is taking on the role of vice president and general manager for LightSail’s energy storage group. Prior to LightSail, he served as the CTO at Quantum Technologies, a global leader in ultra-lightweight compressed natural gas and hydrogen storage systems. Over his 23 years of experience in the alternative energy industry, he developed the world’s first and lightest government-certified carbon/polymer hydrogen and natural gas storage systems and led various renewable energy initiatives. He also served as a member of the Advisory Council for Alternative Energy at CSA International and as a member of a number of U.S., Canadian and international committees to develop standards related to alternative energy. Dr. Sirosh holds several U.S. and international patents related to energy storage and alternative energy systems and has co-authored three books on energy.

“Now that LightSail has proven out its energy storage technology at grid scale, it’s the perfect time to fuel the company’s growth by adding to its team of talented leaders,” said Vinod Khosla, founding partner of Khosla Ventures, a major investor in LightSail Energy.


LightSail Energy is developing breakthrough grid-scale energy storage technology that uses compressed air as the storage medium. Based in Berkeley, California, with funding from Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel, Bill Gates, and Total Energy Ventures, LightSail’s technology is able to convert electrical energy to compressed air, and then reverse the process to deliver electrical energy again when it’s needed, all the while keeping losses to a minimum.

LightSail’s co-founder and chief scientist, Danielle Fong, has been one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 energy innovators for three years running and was the youngest of last year’s MIT Technology Review 35. As a graduate student at Princeton University, she discovered that it is possible to solve the cost and efficiency problems that have prevented widespread adoption of energy storage with the most readily available and lowest-cost of materials – air. To learn more about LightSail Energy, visit www.lightsail.com

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