Core Development Team
Peak Clean Energy is a mid-scale renewable energy developer focused on creating new sources of clean renewable energy at the local level. We partner with landowners, electric cooperatives, regional and investor owned utilities, municipalities, commercial and industrial electricity consumers, and the community at large to build economic and environmentally responsible projects. Our team’s successes includes the 80 MW South Peak Wind project (which broke ground in May of 2019), the fully developed 15 MW Anderson wind project, which achieved commercial operation in 2014, located in Chaves County, New Mexico and the 40 MW Spion Kop wind project located in Judith Basin County, Montana, which achieved on-budget and on-time commercial operation in the 4th quarter of 2012 and was sold to NorthWestern Energy on November 15, 2012.
Our development team is comprised of seasoned professionals with expertise in complementary areas:
Energy finance – With our background in project finance, we know the necessary prerequisites to develop and finance multi-million dollar projects. Our creative approach has been rewarded with mandates to lead multiple energy deals including wind project financings that won “Renewables Deal of the Year” in 2002 and 2004.
Rural electric distribution systems – Our team focuses on sites with existing transmission capacity and close proximity to available interconnection points. We work with the local utility from the earliest stages of development to ensure a positive ongoing working relationship.
Site resource analysis – Our meteorologists have advanced expertise in complex terrain and integrated GIS mapping. We identify and develop sites that are often overlooked.
Land affairs – Our developers on the ground focus on landowners and the surrounding community and on localized site development, permitting, and environmental matters.
Chris McCall, Co-Founder & President
Prior to founding Peak, Chris was the founder and president of Compass Wind, LLC. Compass successfully developed a number of
greenfield sites (including financing and construction) which were ultimately sold to various parties.
Prior to Compass, Chris was a Senior Vice President at Fortis Bank where he focused on energy financings. While at Fortis Bank, and previously at MeesPierson and Citibank, Chris worked on numerous wind and conventional power projects, including combined cycle and simple cycle gas fired facilities, circulating fluidized bed boilers (coal fired) and pumped storage facilities (hydro), along with a number of electric distribution and transmission projects.
Chris was awarded, as the lead banker for Fortis on projects in 2002 and 2004, North American Renewables Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine for the Desert Sky Wind Farm and Three Wind Holdings transactions.
Chris has a bachelor’s degree in economics from James Madison University and Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia University.
Ilan Caplan, Co-Founder & Vice President
Ilan’s experience covers over 19 years in the conventional and renewable energy sectors where he has had roles in development, operations and finance. His particular area of focus includes analytics, meteorological resource management, development, trading and structuring. Previously, Ilan was a Vice President at Compass Wind, LLC, where he focused on finance, analytical and operational aspects of the development company.
Prior to joining Peak, Ilan served as a Finance Director at a major development company selling over $260+M (160 MW) of solar and (280 MW) of wind projects. He also served as Director of Finance at Clipper Windpower and worked at GE Wind and Enron Wind, resulting in a total of 1+ GW of installed project capacity.
llan has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Masters in Professional Accounting, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Andrew Seessel, Investor Relations
Drew has been investing in private equity and alternative investments for over 15 years. During that time he has managed investments for the Seessel family and been an active and lead investor in several start-up companies. Drew has been investing in the alternative energy sector since 2011, making both direct and indirect investments in renewables projects and project development.
Drew has specific experience developing, financing, building, and operating wind power projects, having successfully developed and sold a small project in northern Iowa. With Peak, Drew is responsible for investor relations as well as working on business strategy and corporate matters.
Drew has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University and a Master’s of Applied Science in Economics from Montana State University. In addition, he has served on the boards of several non-profits in his hometown of Bozeman, Montana.
Kyle Paulson, Counsel and Development Director
Kyle has been involved in the renewable energy sector for over 14 years. He provides counsel and also leads project land acquisition, government affairs, public relations, permitting, and environmental assessment efforts. Before joining Peak, Kyle spent two years with SunShare providing counsel regarding solar project development, finance, and corporate matters as well as leading the company’s launch into new markets. He has also developed hundreds of MWs of operating wind projects over several years with Compass Wind, and Clipper Windpower.
Kyle’s prior experience includes advancing recycling policies and practices with the Container Recycling Institute in Washington, DC and implementing sustainable forestry initiatives with the Peace Corps in Ghana.
Kyle holds a BA in Political Science from St. Olaf College and a JD from Vermont Law School, a nationally top-ranked environmental law program.
Lorin Crandall, GIS and Development Associate
Before spearheading mapping and site evaluation efforts at Peak, Lorin built his cartographic expertise working on water quality issues at a small non-profit in Missouri. Before he found his way to environmental work, he was a draftsman and designer at a leading landscape architecture firm in St.Louis. As the GIS specialist at Peak, Lorin's focus has been on building locational knowledge that is critical to site evaluation, in addition, he helps manage various tasks specific to environmental permitting, data collection and project management.
Lorin has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning & Design from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Colorado-Denver.
Michael Behnke, Co-Founder & Principal Engineer at Cinch, Inc.
Mike brings over 33 years of senior electrical engineering experience via program management, electric power system analysis, and design in the renewables space. Mike initially entered the energy industry via Pacific Gas & Electric and serviced as a key member of the Kenetech Windpower team, which laid the groundwork for much of the processes and development efforts seen today in the wind sector. Mike serviced in a number of key electrical engineering capacities having been a co-founder of BEW Engineering, which was acquired and became a key resource for DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability. Through his varied roles designing systems and performing integration studies and failure analyses, Mike has also spent over 15 years working in solar and storage having served on the Board of Directors for both SEPA and ESA.
Mike holds a BA in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and a MS in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University.
Rich Simon, Founder of Simon Wind, Inc.
Rich is a consulting meteorologist with 40 years professional experience that incorporates a wide background, with emphasis in wind energy, air pollution, climatology, managing field programs, basic and applied research, and expert testimony for litigation.
In the field of wind energy, Mr. Simon has personally sited more than 20,000 megawatts of operating wind turbines around the world, and more than 20% of all installed wind capacity in the United States. His depth of meteorology expertise in atmospheric condition assessment leads to insights beyond standard wind flow models.
Rich has a bachelor’s degree from University of California at Berkeley in Geography and a Masters in Science from San Jose State University in Meteorology.