The Empower Team
Deep Experience Where it Matters Most
The Empower Energies team leads the industry with decades of energy and renewables experience and Fortune 500 professionalism to every client and project, supported by a full-service development and operations team.
Our in-house team of professionals encompasses every aspect of renewable energy. Sales, legal, finance, project development, engineering, procurement, construction management, and asset management are all performed by seasoned Empower staffers. This grants Empower greater control and quality over our projects from start to finish.
Meet Our Leadership Team
Michael BelkoPRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Read Bio
As CEO, Michael sets the vision and oversees the mission of Empower Energies. Previously COO for Empower, Michael has built and led a world class EPC organization that has constructed over 100MW of complex commercial energy systems and positioned Empower as a top tier provider of renewable energy solutions nationwide. Building upon this success, Michael continues to focus the team on expanding the company’s services to serve the increasing needs of Empower’s clients across the US.
Michael has held several senior positions, including President of RCS Energy Services, where he built a $35 million solar power EPC company, and as Senior Director of Operations at SunEdison, where he oversaw North American EPC and overall performance.
Chris LeeChief Financial Officer Read Bio
Chris serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Empower Energies, where he oversees all financial functions, including capital raise, corporate finance, investor relations, project finance, accounting, and FP&A. With over three decades of extensive experience in various finance roles, Chris has contributed to the success of numerous renewable energy projects, infrastructure investments, and financing endeavors, totaling over $70 billion throughout his career.
Chris joined Empower Energies to build the project finance team. Previously, Chris held the position of Finance Director at Ameresco, a prominent clean energy integrator. In this role, he collaborated closely with technical teams and clients on energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Credit at Key Bank, leading teams in the commercial vendor and public infrastructure sectors. Additionally, Chris acted as a Portfolio Manager at Capital One, where he played a pivotal role in launching and managing a new business unit.
Chris’s expertise lies in renewable energy infrastructure project finance across various sectors, including commercial and industrial (C&I), governmental, and nonprofit organizations. His strategic vision and deep understanding of finance make him a valuable asset in building and leading Empower Energies’ project finance team to new heights of success.
Dennis HainesSVP, General Counsel & Board Secretary Read Bio
Dennis Haines has worked with a diverse mix of companies in energy and related industrial sectors, ranging from early-stage, entrepreneurial startups specializing in renewables to leading, publicly traded power-generation firms with worldwide operations. He has supported business and project development, equipment procurement, manufacturing and sales, facility build-out and operations as well as corporate governance, finance, treasury and human resources over his 30+ year career as hands-on general counsel, private practitioner and strategic advisor.
Vanessa DeutschmannSVP, People & Corporate Operations Read Bio
As SVP of People and Corporate Operations, Vanessa is responsible for the HR, workplace and corporate administrative functions of Empower. Vanessa brings 15+ years of renewable industry experience through leadership roles in multiple fast-growth companies including SolarCity and Tesla. In her role there as Regional Operations Manager, she led the team through doubled volume growth, expansion of new locations and significant improvements in operational throughput. She subsequently led Tesla’s East Coast energy HR team, spanning 32 locations over 13 states with over 4,000 employees at the high point of growth.
Vanessa has built, led and mentored teams that have produced multiple next-generation leaders. With deep industry experience, Vanessa focuses on aligning people, practices and business priorities to produce an inclusive work environment where employees are energized and able to create superior results. As a people-centric leader, she builds relationships with team members across the organization to foster a mission-driven culture grounded in Empower’s core values of respect, teamwork, ingenuity, integrity and passion.
Ludovic OuobaSVP, Procurement & Strategic Partnerships Read Bio
As the SVP of Procurement and Strategic Partnerships, Ludovic is responsible for the implementation of the corporate procurement strategy and the development of strategic partnerships.
Ludovic brings 12 years of financial planning and accounting experience and over 11 years of procurement and operation management comprised of technical expertise in budgeting, strategic sourcing, and project controls. He established and led the supply chain group at Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä Company, where he provided solutions to improve the efficiency and economics of the procurement program while managing the strategic sourcing and suppliers development for energy storage projects totaling approximately 180 MWh DC. In his role at SunEdison as the Procurement & Planning Manager for North America C&I and Utility-Scale projects, he managed a sourcing category for a portfolio of approximately 300MW DC of projects.
His experience in solar energy, energy storage and hybrid projects gives him a leadership edge in the clean energy sector to push Empower Energies to the next level.
Jose ReisVP, Sales Operations Read Bio
Serving as VP of Sales Operations, Jose oversees the Sales Operations team supporting the Business Development team at Empower Energies. He has been in the renewable industry since 2011 with industry leading organizations, serving in a project management role, most recently as the Director of Project Management at Empower Energies. During his renewable career, Jose has managed more than 200 MW DC of projects throughout the United States.
Jose brings over 35 years of experience in the architecture, construction, site development and solar energy fields. Prior to the renewable energy industry, he owned and managed an architectural consulting firm, with projects ranging from the US to the Caribbean and Russia. Jose also holds architectural licenses in multiple states.
Michael WilliamsVP, Sales Read Bio
As VP of Sales, Mike is responsible for leading our sales and development team. Mike has over 22 years’ experience in senior sales and development executive positions both internationally, and in the US.
Mike has secured and developed over $550MM in energy projects, with a strong emphasis on distributed energy solutions. He has broad experience in MUSH and C&I markets, and expertise in a variety of contracting mechanisms (EPC/ESPC/PPA/EaaS). Prior to joining Empower Energies, Mike held senior development and leadership roles at E.ON UK, AECOM, NORESCO, Centrica Business Solutions, and GreenStruxure. At GreenStruxure he led development of “behind-the-meter” microgrid solutions, containing multiple subsystems (Solar/BESS/CHP/Genset), and delivered them through an outcome-based Energy as-a-Service agreement.
Michael PlummerVP, Field Operations Read Bio
Michael has been in the construction industry sense 1995 when he was working summers and weekends for a Scaffolding company around his school schedule. After graduation from Highschool in 1997 He went to work for Union Pacific Railroad and traveled all over the Western United States as a track laborer for 5 years. After the Railroad Michael joined the labors Union Local 185 Sacramento CA. to work closer to home.
In 2005 Michael and his father went into business together in the flooring industry, receiving his contractor’s license and started his own flooring contracting business until 2007. He then began work as a solar installer after attending a job fair that year. Michael was hired by SunEdison as an installer installing commercial solar for 8 years on projects all over the United States. Through hard work and dedication, Michael moved up through the ranks to the position of construction manager until the company declared bankruptcy. Michael continued in the Solar installation field for various companies until he started work with Empower Energies as a Regional Construction Manager in 2018 eventually moving into the director position in 2021 and now to VP of Field Operations in 2023.