Founder and President
Annika Colston founded AC Power to bring unique vision to solar PV project development and management on landfill and brownfield sites. Annika has been developing alternative energy projects for nearly two decades and has experience across all aspects of project development. She has worked with all stakeholders needed to make alternative energy projects successful. These stakeholders range from governments to local municipalities, Fortune 500 companies, landowners, utilities and more. The breadth of her experience makes her capable of solving conflicts and bringing teams together to ensure success. Annika has a unique ability to bring projects to operation on time and within budget. Ms. Colston has been a senior manager of four start-up companies that sourced private and public capital to drive investment in environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Annika is capable of taking projects through the entire development process including origination, contract negotiations, due diligence, financing and investor approvals, permitting, structuring off-take agreements, equipment procurement, construction contracting, and operations.
Prior to AC Power, Annika was Vice President at PV Navigator where she originated and developed over 50 MW of solar projects on landfills and brownfields. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Colston was President of C2i Methane where she developed and sold a portfolio of landfill gas to energy projects. Mrs. Colston's work experience includes entities that were market leaders such as E+Co, which invested seed capital in sustainable development projects in Africa using innovative investment structures; EcoSecurities, a first of its kind company marketing Kyoto Protocol projects globally; and Blue Source, the largest carbon credit portfolio in the US. During her career, Ms. Colston has worked on solar, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, coal mine methane, hydropower, and energy efficiency projects. A pioneer in carbon credit markets, both compliance and voluntary markets, Annika was responsible for sourcing, developing and marketing the first ever climate change project under the Kyoto Protocol to receive carbon credits. She has been innovating ever since.
Ms. Colston holds a Masters of City Planning from Massachusetts of Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Environmental Studies from Boston University.
Head of Origination
Robert Simkins serves as Head of Origination at AC Power. In this capacity, Bob is responsible for identifying potential sites and assessing their viability for successful solar project development. Given his extensive experience working with landfills in the region he is well qualified to assess the environmental impact to potential landfill or brownfield sites. Furthermore, with over 40 years of experience in the industry, Bob has worked with the agencies and stakeholders active in both the alternative energy as well as waste management industries. Mr. Simkins assists with due diligence review of each site; coordination of legal, environmental and engineering consultants; securing local and state approvals; and acting as liaison with site owner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and local municipal officials.
Prior to joining AC Power, Bob provided consulting services to PVNavigator, LLC working directly with Annika Colston to identify candidate sites in New Jersey; over 20 MW of which were contracted for project development. The vast majority of Bob’s career was spent as the Director of Solid Waste for Burlington County, New Jersey. While his responsibilities varied over this time, activities relevant to AC Power include preparing scope of services and RFP for design of capping of Landfill and developing the Closure and Post Closure Plans for Landfills Nos. 1, 2 and 3. He provided administration and oversight of the post closure O&M activities for Landfill 1, which included management of landfill gas, leachate, storm water and vegetative cover. Lastly, he was responsible for administration and oversight of the contract with NJDEP / Site Remediation Program for the Post Closure O&M activities of the adjacent FLR Landfill. With over 40 years of experience, Mr. Simkins’ areas of expertise include:
- Utility-Scale Solar PV Facilities on Closed Landfills
- Sanitary Landfill Design, Construction, Operations and Maintenance
- Sanitary Landfill Closure and Post Closure Care - O&M
- Landfill Biogas Management, Enhancement and Utilization
- Landfill Leachate Management
- Organic Waste Management and Recycling
- Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Production and Utilization/li>
Tracey Mihelic has 25-years of experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating agreements. She has been working specifically with start-ups developing alternative energy projects for the past ten years. A graduate of Notre Dame Law, her career includes working for the largest law firm and the largest privately-owned company in the world. Tracey has been responsible for ensuring that millions of dollars in purchase and sales agreements, construction contracts, service, supply and consulting agreements do not expose companies and/or investors to unnecessary legal risk.
Early in her career, when brownfields legislation arose, Tracey represented owners and developers in the adoption of such regulations and then in the closure and subsequent development of such sites. She managed legal environmental affairs at the largest privately-owned chemical company involving over fifty plants worldwide. She is comfortable navigating her way through waste sites and plants as well negotiating transactions in a Board room. Tracey participated in the adoption of the first cap-and-trade compliance market involving air pollutants. She negotiated the first trade sf such pollutants, as well as renewable energy and carbon reduction credits, and drafted the first template for such trades. While at Baker & McKenzie, she adminstered the first Emissions Trading and Climate Change Practice in the world, which remains a leading practice today. Tracey’s combination of her environmental and regulatory knowledge with project development experience, enables her to provide all aspects of legal counsel from origination, contract negotiations, due diligence, financing, permitting, structuring off-take agreements, equipment procurement, construction contracting, and on-going operations compliance.