The Cleanie Awards™ is the first comprehensive awards program exclusive to the cleantech industry. It generates much needed visibility for innovators and disruptors in the industry who are creating life [and planet] changing solutions.

The Cleanie Awards

Elyssa Rae, Program Director | The Cleanie Awards

What are The Cleanie Awards?

The Cleanie Awards program is the first comprehensive awards program exclusive to the cleantech industry. The Cleanie Awards highlights the movers and shakers in the industry focused on paving the way in clean technology, renewable energy as well as solar, wind and water power. We hope to generate much needed visibility for innovators and disruptors in the industry who are creating life (and planet) changing solutions.


Why is it important to highlight the cleantech space?

Traditional sources of energy have had the stage for a long time and the public is well aware of the fossil fuel driven energy sources. As a newer entrant to the conversation, cleantech offers a different perspective on how our energy portfolio can be designed to reduce the impact of climate change while offering true market impacting innovation to a field that has long been dominated by other players. Cleantech represents a balance of technology and energy - a true and unique intersection. Cleantech entrepreneurs, investors, workforce participants and advocates are truly mission-driven and share a passion for creating thoughtful change. Through the development of an awards program dedicated to cleantech, we hope to prove the significant bottom line impact cleantech has on the global economy while celebrating the organizations and individuals moving the market.


Tell us about the winners.

One thing that struck us about the winners was diversity across nearly every facet - from industry vertical to race, gender, company size and even the role of the individual winners. 

For example, our Woman of the Year is Danielle Merfeld, CTO of GE Renewable Energy, a Fortune 50 company. She is in a very technical, leadership role. Our Rising Star under 30 is James Thomas, a transmission planner with a deep engineering background and a bright future ahead of him at RES (Renewable Energy Systems). Our Non-Profit of the Year recipient is the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, working hard to reduce the impacts of hydropower generation, while our Integrated Media Campaign winner NEXTracker focuses on solar tracking,

Our program design is intended to be comprehensive and other aspects speak to the diversity of the field itself.

You can learn all about the winners here. A summary is also included below.


Summary of Winners


● Enterprise Company of the YearSolarEdge TechnologiesSolarEdge’s financial strength and stability, combined with its cutting-edge smart energy technology and global reach set it apart as the market leader.

● Midsize Company of the YearGreensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company. Greensmith Energy continues to stay nimble and make grid-scale energy storage a fundamental part of a cleaner, more intelligent and distributed energy infrastructure.

● Non-Profit of the YearLow Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI)LIHI has built a strong reputation for energy source certifications in the U.S. with more than 125 active in 2017, greatly reducing the impacts of hydropower generation.

● Startup of the YearCleanCapitalCleanCapital made substantial investments in clean energy projects across the U.S. in 2017, while closing $3.7 million U.S. in series A funding and launching a successful podcast.

● Investment Organization of the YearCohnReznick CapitalCohnReznick Capital has maintained its strong reputation in investment banking services to the sustainability sector, executing 104 project and corporate transactions for renewable energy assets valued at $16.2 billion in aggregate.

● Best Integrated Media CampaignNEXTracker: TrueCapture™ Smart Control Software Product Launch. NEXTracker’s TrueCapture campaign leveraged a multifaceted media approach, garnering millions of social media, website and trade publication impressions and views.

● Best Public Affairs Campaign: Carbon Capture Coalition with RENEWPR: Carbon Capture Technologies Legislation Campaign. The team strategized a savvy three-pronged communications campaign to successfully influence legislation in support of carbon capture technologies.



● Entrepreneur of the YearKatherine Hamilton, 38 North SolutionsKatherine has parlayed her industry expertise into a powerful public policy consultancy, successful podcast and global board and chair positions with the World Economic Forum and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.

● Woman of the YearDanielle Merfeld, GE Renewable EnergyIn addition to being named the first female GE Tier 1 business CTO in the history of the company, Danielle has supported more than 70,000 women internally as co-leader of the GE Women’s Network and across the industry through active engagements while simultaneously launching groundbreaking products moving the industry forward.

● Rising Star Under 30James Jamal Thomas III, RES (Renewable Energy Systems)Since completing his PhD at the age of 26, James helped his company successfully complete 500 MW of wind and solar projects more efficiently and effectively.


Who selected the winners?

The winners were selected by an exceptional panel of judges and leaders representing a cross section of the cleantech and renewable energy sectors from industry advocates to multinational corporations and the financial sector. This includes Allie Burns,Village Capital; Thiam Giam, Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC; Marissa Gillett, Energy Storage Association (ESA); Kristen Graf, WRISE; Gil Jenkins, ACORE; Shalini Ramanathan, RES; Chris Vlahoplus, ScottMadden; and Tom Weirich, Rubicon Infrastructure Advisors.


How can people submit next year?

Submissions will open in spring 2019, and we encourage people to sign up to our mailing list to be notified early.


What’s next for the program?

Next year we are looking to expand our influence by partnering with media organizations and/or associations to expand the program. We also realize how important it is to expand our program into adjacent areas such as sustainability and elsewhere to create a more holistic program.



The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

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