Our Team

Our team brings over 250 years of collective industry experience, with more than 1GW of renewable projects developed across the United States.

We have built a company with a wealth of experience and knowledge by bringing together successful energy developers from all over the world with accomplished financial and legal experts. We believe that Onyx is the hardest working team in the industry with one clear goal: to bring safe, sustainable energy to our clients.

Leadership

Ja Kao

President & CEO

Ja Kao, President, has over 15 years of finance and legal experience, as an investment banker and tax lawyer, structuring and placing complex financial instruments and structuring and executing M&A transactions across sectors, including financial services, media, telecom, energy (both traditional and renewable), consumer products and industrials. Prior to joining Onyx, Ja worked at The Blackstone Group, where she was a Managing Director on the Structured Solutions team of Blackstone Advisory Partners. While at Blackstone, she led the renewable energy investment banking practice, covering wind, solar and other technology companies. Ja structured multiple tax equity financing transactions for solar and wind projects. Prior to The Blackstone Group, Ja was a tax associate at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, LLP in New York and worked on complex M&A, capital markets, cross-border finance and private client matters. Ja received a JD, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA with a major in Economics from Brandeis University. Ja serves as Chairman of the Board of Assessment Review for the town of Pound Ridge, NY and serves on the Board of Directors and Treasurer for the not-for-profit group, Internationals Network for Public Schools.

Buck Fletcher

Chief Financial Officer

Buck Fletcher, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for the management of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and project finance activities. Prior to joining Onyx, Buck worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Blackstone Advisory Partners, where he focused on transactions in the renewable energy and communications sectors. Previously, Buck worked at Portfolio Advisors where he was a member of the secondary private equity investment team. Buck began his career as an analyst in the Global Power & Utilities Investment Banking Group at Banc of America Securities.

Buck received a B.A. in History from Washington and Lee University and an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Daniel Swayze, P.E.

Chief Operating Officer

Daniel Swayze, P.E., Chief Operating Officer, has over twenty four years of engineering experience representing private developers, public agencies and contractors. Since 2009, Dan has been involved in the development, design and construction administration of numerous renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. As a Professional Engineer, Dan has over 22 years of consulting and engineering experience in the planning, design, construction, and project management of a wide variety of capital improvement and infrastructure projects.

For the past two years, Dan was the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Onyx responsible for the delivery of project designs. Prior to joining Onyx, Dan was the Energy & Utilities Practice Leader as well as a Regional Manager for a multistate engineering consulting firm where he was responsible for the development and execution of all energy and utility related projects for the company as well as operational responsibility for a specific region. Dan has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Accounting

Matthew Chen

Senior Vice President, Controller

Matthew Chen, Senior Vice President and Controller, has been with Onyx since April 2015 and manages all of the financial reporting as well as the accounting and tax functions. Prior to joining Onyx, Matthew was a senior manager at Ernst and Young LLP and had ten years of accounting and auditing experience performing audits of public and private companies from various industries, with a focus on the power and utilities industry.

He is a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey and holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Rutgers University. Also, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Society of CPAs.

David Watts

Assistant Controller

David Watts, Assistant Controller, has nine years of technical accounting experience. Prior to joining Onyx, David was a manager at Ernst and Young LLP performing audits of public and private companies from various industries, including oil & gas and retail & consumer products.

David is a Certified Public Accountant in New York and holds a M.S. degree in Accounting from the University of New Hampshire. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Matthew Banta

Vice President, Accounting Administration

Matthew Banta, Vice President, Accounting Administration, supervises the accounts payables, accounts receivables, budgeting and reporting functions for all projects. Matthew has over ten years of accounting experience in the construction industry implementing national reporting tools, large volume transactional procedures and managing effective information systems.

Matthew has experience working in all facets of the construction industry, working for a developer, subcontractor and large international construction managers. In his most recent accomplishments, Matthew supervised a $300 million national client contract throughout the U.S. implementing executive level reporting tools while managing the day-to-day transactions with a national team. He has directed three different ERP system conversions that utilized new technologies in order to enhance reporting and day-to-day activities.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Binghamton University and a Masters of Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Jenna Casserly

Director of Accounting

Jenna Casserly, Director of Accounting has broad experience in finance and accounting including financial and management reporting, budget and forecasting, and month end close and analysis. Prior to joining Onyx, Jenna worked in the media industry at Initiative Media and most recently Viggle Inc. where she held various financial positions. She graduated from Monmouth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

Asset Management

Enrique Salcedo

Senior Vice President, Asset Management & Contracting

Enrique Salcedo, Senior Vice President, Asset Management & Contracting, has over ten years of renewable energy experience in the United States and abroad. Enrique’s entire career has been focused in the renewable energy business, specifically Wind, Solar and Battery Storage.

Prior to joining Onyx, Enrique was a Project Manager of Gamesa Energy Services, one of the largest Wind Turbine Manufacturers worldwide. Previously, he was the Technical Office Manager for Global Energy Services, which is a global leader in construction and services for Wind and Solar.

Enrique has managed the construction and services for multiple C&I and utility scale Wind and Solar Energy projects and has built a portfolio of hundreds of MWs in Europe, the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Jamaica. Enrique obtained his Architectural Engineering Degree at the University of Valencia in Spain, and his Renewable Energy Thesis at the Oldenburg School of Engineering in Germany.

Katie Crider

Director of Asset Management

Katie Crider, Director of Asset Management, has held a variety of positions in the Solar Industry since 2007. She has experience managing commercial and small utility solar projects from inception through facility operation.

Prior to joining Onyx, Katie was Senior Operations Manager at Tecta Solar. During that time, she created and implemented procedures and managed the transition of projects from sales to construction to operation. Prior to that, she was a Solar Development Manager and her responsibilities included project management and coordination, project development, and due diligence.

Katie holds a B.A. from the University of Richmond.

Greg Fuller

Director, Operations & Maintenance

Greg Fuller, Director, Operations & Maintenance, has been in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and during that time has developed a skill set ranging from solar energy asset management to wind energy project development. He currently leads Operations & Maintenance (O&M) management for Onyx and is responsible for the operational performance of its growing fleet of solar photovoltaic systems. Prior to his current role, Greg provided asset management services for TerraForm Power and SunEdison, where he managed a portfolio of over 150 commercial and utility scale solar facilities. During this period, Greg also performed O&M management for several large utility scale solar facilities. Prior to his solar asset management experience, Greg was a project developer for a world leader in wind energy, Iberdrola Renewables (currently Avangrid Renewables), where he spearheaded over 1,000 MW of large wind energy development projects. Greg holds a BS in Environmental Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

Engineering, Procurement & Construction

Gregg Cousoulas

Senior Vice President, EPC

Gregg Cousoulas, Senior Vice President, EPC, has over fifteen years of experience in the renewable energy and construction industries, having managed the implementation of more than 250 MW of solar installations across military housing, commercial rooftops, ground-mounts and landfill properties. Since joining Onyx in June of 2015, he has managed all resources within the EPC team, assisted in the development of strategies with the Operations and Maintenance group, and interfaced with Business Development on new project opportunities.

Prior to joining the Onyx team, Gregg was a Project Manager at Orion Energy Systems, an industry leader in the deployment of PV systems and energy efficiency products. In this capacity, he controlled daily field operations for the implementation of PV systems and solar-monitoring projects for commercial, industrial and utility-scale customers. Additionally, Gregg directed Operations and Maintenance initiatives nationwide including technical functions for data acquisition systems, PV system troubleshooting and the establishment of strategic partnerships with third party monitoring organizations.

Gregg holds a BS in Business Management from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

Shawn Pilney

Quality Assurance Field Inspector

Shawn Pilney, Quality Assurance Field Inspector, has over 13 years of construction management experience within the renewable energy and construction industries. Shawn’s diverse construction experience has been instrumental in the successful implementation of over 400 MW of solar installations domestic and internationally.

Prior to joining the Onyx team, Shawn was a Construction Quality Manager at SunEdison. In this capacity he developed a quality assurance and control plan, implementing this plan throughout SunEdison’s divisions. His role in this development included training for all levels of SunEdison’s and their contractor’s management team.

Jeffrey Tundo

Project Manager

Jeffrey Tundo, Accounting Analyst, has over five years of experience in the construction industry, specifically focused on commercial roofing. Prior to joining Onyx, Jeff performed financial analysis and research at Four World Capital, a hedge fund focused on event-driven investment opportunities with a spotlight on tax, legal and regulatory catalysts.

Jeffrey received a B.A. in Economics from Stony Brook University.

Gaurav Raval

Project Engineer

Gaurav Raval, Project Engineer, has over four years of experience in renewable energy engineering, research and development, and construction. He has led design and project engineering execution as Project Engineer for over 60MW of installed operational PV facilities across the U.S. ranging in size from 100kW to 6MW C&I projects. He is looking after design and due diligence for utility scale projects over 200MW.Prior to Onyx, Gaurav worked as Research and Development Engineer for Swiss Center for Electronics and Micro Technology (CSEM)-UAE Innovation Center LLC, United Arab Emirates (UAE). His work was focused on applied Solar Energy systems (PV and Thermal) and emphasis on mini-grid electrical network analysis. Gaurav is OSHA Certified in Construction.

Gaurav received a Bachelor’s of Technology (B.Tech) in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Rajasthan Technical University, India and achieved his M.S in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Energy Systems from University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

Debra Dodgson

Project Coordinator

Debra Dodgson, Project Coordinator, has over fifteen years of experience. Debra is a seasoned solar project coordinator/construction administrator and is skilled in project management principles and practices. Her role often crossed over to Junior Project Manager effortlessly driving home tasks. She has a consistent track record of success in the solar/construction industries.

Debra is proficient in providing support for all phases of operations and the lifecycle of a project. She is trained in LEAN project management practices.

Prior to joining Onyx, Debra was a Business Development Coordinator at Johnson Controls and Entech Solar coordinating interdepartmental sales support. She increased company sales growth through development and maximizing strategic relationships.

Procurement

Robert Hamill

Senior Vice President, Procurement

Robert Hamill, Senior Vice President, Procurement, has over twenty years of supply chain management experience within the energy, manufacturing, and publishing industries. Over the past 8 years, he managed the supply chain and procurement of equipment and materials for over 600MW of utility, commercial, and residential solar systems across the US with Onyx, Gehrlicher Solar, and Real Goods Solar.

Over his career, he has worked for notable companies such as the A&E Television Network, Reader’s Digest, Constellation Energy, and Entergy Nuclear.

Robert received a MS in Operations from Polytechnic Institute of New York University, and a BS in Marketing and Management from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Business and Project Development

David Brian

David Brian, Vice President, Business and Project Development, has over 24 years of experience in the construction Industry and project development sector focused on renewable energy development, overseeing pre-construction, engineering and project execution. With over 2.5GW of renewable energy installed, David is a senior member of the Business and Project Development team focusing on large scale utility, C&I, and microgrids across the U.S.

Prior to joining Onyx, David served as Director of Renewable Energy for Helix Electric and led the renewable energy division providing E.P.C. services. Prior to Helix, David was Vice President of Power Generation at MMR Group.

David holds contractor’s licenses in California and Nevada and is a graduate of UNLV with a bachelor’s in business management and a master’s in electrical engineering.

Priyanka Kandula

Priyanka Kandula, Vice President, Strategy, has over six years of experience in renewable energy development and financing. Prior to joining Onyx, Priyanka was a senior manager with Urban Green Energy’s Solar Direct Enterprise Division in New York. She had previously co-founded and run SunVolt Energy, a solar energy focused project advisory business based in India. While at SunVolt, she also oversaw the construction of a grid connected Solar plant for SunVolt’s balance sheet. Before transitioning to Solar Energy, Priyanka had worked as an investment banker in London and in India.

Priyanka received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, where she graduated with First Class Honors and an M.B.A from the Indian School of Business, where she was selected to complete the elective terms of her degree at the Wharton School in Philadelphia.

James Alderson Smith

James Alderson Smith, Business and Project Development, has been involved with the more nuanced areas of Onyx’s developments including projects behind US military infrastructure. He has developed over 30MW of distributed solar to date with Onyx, including the largest solar project in the state of Kansas. Additionally, James has been leading Onyx’s energy storage development efforts, focusing on new market opportunities in California and Arizona.

Prior to joining Onyx, James worked at CRG Financial, a destressed debt investor, and was responsible for internal data analytics and marketing activities, with a focus on writing analytics software.

James received his MEng and BEng from The University of Oxford School of Engineering.

Tung N’Vietson

Tung N’Vietson, Business Development and Utility Interconnection, joined Onyx Renewable Partners in March 2016. Tung works extensively with various teams across Onyx (including Engineering and Construction) as a key liaison supporting timely execution of business and project development operations, in addition to working with Utilities and offtakers to accomplish solar PV project site energization. His experience covers both West and East Coast solar portfolios – including entities as schools, governments and landfills – while navigating regulations and relationships with major Utilities as National Grid, PG&E, Southern California Edison, etc., in these regions.

Prior to joining Onyx, Tung worked as an Account and Research Manager at GLG Research for 4 years in both NYC and Austin covering large-scale consulting engagements primarily for hedge funds and private equity investors. He covered all industry sectors at GLG with a primary focus on Healthcare, Biomedical and Life Sciences verticals.

Tung received his Bachelor of Arts with a Dual Concentration in Economics and Biology from Brown University in Spring 2012.

Julie Hurley

Project Coordinator

Julie Hurley, Office Manager and Project Coordinator at the Sausalito, CA office, has over ten years of management and sales experience. While working at Onyx, she has become a vital part of the C&I group on the West Coast, supporting projects at all stages of development and construction. She works with vendors to coordinate the deliveries of materials, scheduling, formal submissions to the county, client, or customer, as well as creating an action plan to streamline the interconnection communication process for the entire West Coast portfolio. Along with C&I project coordination, she is also an asset to the Utility Scale Development team. She handles document management and editing, internal updates, and administrative duties.

Legal

Hilary Kao

General Counsel

Hilary Kao, General Counsel, Onyx Renewable Partners L.P. (“Onyx”). Hilary has over 20 years of project finance and corporate transactional experience. Hilary has served as lead transactional counsel to Onyx since 2015, initially in an outside capacity and since late 2017 as general counsel. Hilary has led and managed all legal structuring, drafting and negotiating on all of Onyx’s tax equity and debt financings, totaling approximately $450 million in committed capital and committed debt financings. Hilary is actively involved in all of Onyx’s major merger and acquisition activities. Hilary oversees all aspects of Onyx’s legal matters, from project inception, development, structuring, engineering and construction, debt and equity financing, through to customer relations and ongoing matters for operating assets. Hilary manages a four person legal department and supervises all outside legal counsel engaged by Onyx.

Prior to joining Onyx, Hilary was an associate at the international law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP for over ten years, practicing in their project finance department in the DC and New York offices. At Milbank, he represented financial institutions, developers and equity investors in a variety of transactions, including financings, acquisitions and dispositions, and in-court and out of court restructurings. Hilary’s practice areas spanned a variety of industries including renewable energy and biofuels (wind, solar, geothermal, ethanol and other biofuels), infrastructure (toll roads, telecommunications networks, natural gas and oil pipelines, oil and gas concessions and off-shore platforms), and energy (coal mines, diesel, oil and combined cycle IPPs). He was the lead project finance associate for transactions involving over US $10 billion of financings and over 5GW of renewable and conventional generation, including multiple Deal of the Year project finance transactions.

After Milbank, Hilary served as a full-time tenure track assistant professor of law at Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Pettit School of Law (“ONU”) for four years before returning to the practice of law full time. While at ONU, Hilary taught required and elective courses on corporations and business associations, securities regulation, and energy policy.

Hilary received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his BA with a double major in Politics and History from Brandeis University.

John Spilman

Senior Vice President, Project Counsel

John Spilman, Senior Vice President – Project Counsel, specializes in electric power infrastructure development, construction sale, acquisition and finance transactions for the renewable energy industry. His twenty five+ years of legal practice includes development and finance work on renewable energy projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other foreign countries, including over 2,500 MW of capacity installed, for clients in the wind, solar and bulk energy transmission and storage industries.

Prior to joining Onyx, Mr. Spilman held other positions including General Counsel to Scatec Solar North America, Inc. (utility-scale solar PV projects) and Gridflex Energy, LLC (pumped storage hydroelectric projects).

In 2013, Euromoney’s Legal Media Group named Mr. Spilman to its inaugural “CleanTech 100” consisting of the top 100 clean technology and renewable energy attorneys practicing in the industry and recommended consistently by their colleagues as reputable and effective attorneys who are constantly involved with the industry.

In 2011, the Daily Journal, a leading publisher of legal news periodicals, recognized Mr. Spilman among the “Top 25 Clean Tech Lawyers” in California.

Mr. Spilman received his early training at large law firms working in San Francisco, New York and Tokyo. He holds a JD degree from the University of Michigan Law School (1985), and an undergraduate business degree from Berkeley-Haas at the University of California (1981, Phi Beta Kappa). Mr. Spilman is admitted to the California Bar.

Strategy and Finance

Matthew Ransweiler

Senior Vice President, Finance

Matthew Ransweiler, Senior Vice President, Finance, has over ten years of experience, including more than 7 within the power generation industry. Prior to joining Onyx, Matthew was a Director in Invenergy LLC’s Structured Finance Group, leading the construction and term financings of utility scale wind, solar and gas-fired power generation assets.

During his 5 years at Invenergy, Matthew successfully raised approximately $3B in debt and equity capital, supporting the successful construction of more than 500 MW of utility scale renewable assets and a 1.5 GW of gas-fired project, which was named Power Finance & Risk 2016 North American Conventional Power Deal of the Year. Matthew has a Bachelors in Business Administration with a Finance Concentration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and is a CFA charterholder.

Alexander Worthy

Vice President of Strategy

Alexander Worthy, Vice President of Strategy, has four years of experience working in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Onyx, Alexander was an Associate at NY Green Bank where he participated in the origination, structuring, and execution of over $100mm of debt investments in solar, energy efficiency, cogeneration, and transportation infrastructure projects.

Alexander received a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with Highest Distinction.

Leo Chan

Analyst, Strategy and Finance

Leo Chan, Analyst, Strategy and Finance, is focused on the evaluation and execution of the firm’s M&A and financing transactions. Prior to Onyx, Leo was an intern at Third Square Investments, a long/short hedge fund, and was also a graduate consultant for GE Energy Financial Services. Leo holds a M.P.A. in Energy Policy and Finance from Columbia University.

Administration

Beth Cobb

Director of Human Resources

Beth Cobb, Director of Human Resources, has been with Onyx since its inception in 2014. Beth has over seven years of experience in Executive Administration and Human Resources. She started as an EA and Office Manager/Human Resources for a boutique securities law firm in Midtown Manhattan.

Tia Neate

NYC Office Manager

Tia Neate, Office Manager, has over 10 years experience in office administration. Tia facilitates all aspects of daily office operations for Onyx and is located in the NYC Headquarters. Tia manages conferences, meetings and event planning for Onyx. Tia has managed offices ranging from small nonprofit organizations to large financial investment firms.