Founder and PresidentAnnika 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 OriginationRobert 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
Project Development ManagerBy developing and managing relationships with key partnerships, Andrea is able to deliver in business development and origination activities to identify, qualify, and secure solar project opportunities across diverse markets. Andrea performs due diligence of solar projects including site visits and analysis, navigating complex permitting and zoning approval processes, managing the interconnection process, securing electricity off-take, and overseeing design of the solar project. Additionally, she actively researches the status of regulatory regimes to provide insight on the implications of changing policy to project assumptions. Prior to AC Power, Andrea worked with a diverse team of program directors, project managers, and subcontractors to develop a 62 MW portfolio of 19 solar projects in Massachusetts. She represented the program to address concerns of abutting property owners, municipalities, and the public. To provide education on the program and the solar industry, she regularly developed outreach material and events. Andrea also assisted in the Project’s environmental compliance performing regular erosion control inspections in accordance with each site’s SWPPP, monitoring permit approvals and compliance, and reporting to regulatory agencies. She was responsible for the technical and financial documentation to agencies including ISO New England, Massachusetts DOER, and the US Department of Energy. Andrea DeBernardis holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems with a concentration of Solar Energy from the Pennsylvania State University.
Project Development ManagerIn this position Tavo works to move existing projects from initial stages to completion by ensuring that all required approvals are secured, and deadlines are met. He also is active in expanding AC Power’s reach into new markets, conducting policy research and searching for sites that are good candidates for solar projects. Prior to joining AC Power, Tavo worked as an environmental and energy analyst for Robinson & Cole, LLP. In this role he was involved in all aspects of the firm’s environmental practice, including work with contaminated sites, project development, and industry research. His responsibilities in support of these practice areas included conducting due diligence research, reviewing site cleanup documents, managing permitting for project development, and regulatory and legislative tracking. In addition to his time at Robinson & Cole, Tavo has also completed internships working with small renewable energy companies in both Boston and New York City, where he created financial models, tracked renewable energy incentives, managed project databases, and created slide decks to present to potential and existing clients. Tavo holds a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University where he was a double major in Environmental Studies and Earth & Environmental Science.