Speaking of Knox Williams, our illustrious Program Chairman introduced the “dynamic” guest speaker, Robert F. Hemphill, Founder and CEO Sunshine Soldiers, an educational non-profit. Mr. Hemphill was one of three executives that formed a start-up global power company, AES, in 1981 that grew to a Fortune 150 Corporation. AES owned and operated 32,000 Megawatts of power plants in 18 countries around the globe and makes up 12% of California’s total energy. Bob started the AES utility storage business, growing it to be the largest such utility effort in the world.
President– Jim Czarnowski; President Elect- Greg Morones; Fundraising Chair- Mychal and Dave Jones; Public Relations Chair- Joshua Bernheim; Foundation Chair– Lee Russell; Community Service Chair- Rob Taylor; New Generation Chair – Michelle McGowan; Secretary- Julie Bemis; Treasurer–Keith Brentlinger; In 2008, Hemphill founded AES Solar Power. AES had 51 photovoltaic solar plants in seven countries with $2.5 billion in assets. Bob outlined the direction that power resources were taking and what the future holds in the industry. He indicated that Coal, Fossil Fuels, and Nuclear Power were on the down-swing, as a result of pollution, waste storage, and climbing costs. Yet hydro-electric, solar, wind turbine, battery storage and geo-thermal continue to be the promising future for meeting world needs for clean and low cost electrical demand for both vehicles, homes, and industrial facilities. Both solar panels and batteries have increased in efficiency and decreased in cost dramatically over the last decade. Mr. Hemphill discussed at length the history and the pros & cons of Community Choice Aggregation. This allows the citizens of various communities to determine how they may play a roll in selecting the type & source of energy supplies that would be in their best interest both economically and cleaner, yet supplying the demands for a continuous supply of electrical energy. Robert Hemphill has published two humorous books regarding his energy, international, and business experiences: Dust Tea, Dingoes, and Dragons; and Stories from the Middle Seat. He is a columnist at the Huffington Post, and advises several small renewable energy companies.
Bob Hemphill graduated Magna Cum Laude from Yale University. He earned his MA from UCLA and an MBA from George Washington University. He served his nation as an airborne infantry officer in Vietnam and in the Special Forces. Thank you for your Service Robert and our gratitude for enlightening all of us on the direction that renewable energy is taking in order to improve the lives of our future generations!