OwnEnergy, Inc., the leading Community Wind development company, announced the appointment of Ron Rebenitsch to the company’s Board of Directors. Rebenitsch joins the board as a proven energy executive with a wealth of expertise in development, operations and public policy.
Rebenitsch has a long history of achievement in renewable energy, most recently serving as an executive for Basin Electric, one of the largest electric generation and transmission cooperatives in the U.S. with a service territory covering 9 states. He was responsible for managing, siting, developing and constructing 287 MWs of wind energy in North and South Dakota, in addition to coordinating the purchase of hundreds of MWs from other wind projects.
He developed, implemented and managed Basin Electric’s renewable energy credit (REC) marketing program which ranked in the U.S. Top 10 Utility Green Power Programs for several years. Rebenitsch also oversaw development of 44 MWs of waste heat recovery projects and was the project manager for the Department of Energy’s ‘Wind-to-Hydrogen’ R&D project.
In accepting his appointment, Rebenitsch said, “I am excited about joining the board of OwnEnergy because affordable energy is a key to sustaining this country’s economy. When wind generation is available, it displaces generation from other sources and reduces overall consumption of fossil fuels. What makes OwnEnergy unique is its local ownership model. I have personally worked with communities on developing wind farms and this is the type of structure a community as a whole can truly benefit from. I look forward to being a part of such pioneering efforts.”
In addition to his experience working directly with renewables, Rebenitsch has been very active in public and utility policy. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Utility Wind Integration Group, a national technical research organization for the integration of wind energy into power markets. He is the former Chair of the Cooperative Research Network’s Renewable Energy Member Advisory Group.
Rebenitsch was also a committee member on the Western Governors Association wind task force subcommittee and a member of the NERC wind task force. He participated in the early development of the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System and the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System, and has authored several articles on wind energy.
“For many years, Ron has led the charge as public power joined the renewable energy movement,” said Jacob Susman, Founder and CEO of OwnEnergy. “OwnEnergy is growing rapidly, especially now that three projects we developed are in construction. Ron’s expertise will significantly augment our growth while enabling us to broaden and deepen our relationships with electric cooperative and municipal utilities nationwide.”
Since retiring from his 35 year career with Basin Electric, Rebenitsch has been working as an Executive Director with the South Dakota Wind Energy Association, in addition to providing independent consulting. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University and holds an MBA from the University of North Dakota.