Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC) announced today that Katharine Kollins has been selected as its new president. Kollins, the first female to lead the organization, has a proven track record of wind industry experience, organizational leadership and renewable energy advocacy. Kollins holds an MBA as well as a Master of Environmental Management with a concentration in Energy from Duke University. She succeeds Brian O’Hara, who has served as SEWC’s president since 2012, and will assume her new role October 1, 2015. SEWC is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector entities focused on growing the wind power industry in the Southeastern U.S.
“After a nationwide search, Katharine was selected based on her extensive relevant experience, demonstrated leadership skills and deep sense of commitment to the clean energy industry,” said Henry Campen, partner with the law firm of Parker Poe and chairman of the SEWC Board of Directors. “Her vision for the future and passion for wind energy education make her the perfect candidate for the position. Katharine is poised to be a leader across the industry.”
Kollins will lead strategy, policy and public advocacy efforts in the Southeast. She has extensive experience in project development, project management and finance. Her expertise includes working with a team at First Wind to secure $400M in financing for a 200-megawatt farm, formulating federal grant funding strategy for Vestas R&D and serving as a development manager for The Wind Alliance. She served in renewable energy capacities as an analyst at the Nicholas Institute and authored a National Renewable Energy Laboratory paper on third party financing of solar energy systems.
“I am excited to be leading SEWC during this pivotal period for wind in the Southeast, and look forward to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of wind power,” says Kollins. “The July groundbreaking in North Carolina of the 1st commercial scale wind farm in the Southeast provides a great impetus for the continued efforts of SEWC to bring wind energy to the Southeast. New wind turbine technology has opened up the Southeast to land-based wind energy development that was formerly thought not to be feasible.”
SEWC as a group is comprised of representatives from industry (manufacturers, utilities, suppliers, developers, consultants, service providers, government bodies (economic developers, commerce departments, energy offices,) academic and research institutions and other similar non-profit advocacy groups.