Brian Kunz, Co-Founder & CEO
As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Brian is responsible for the overall leadership of Candela Renewables. He brings over 30 years of experience in the energy industry and focuses on new markets and customers, as well as project inception and development.
Previously Brian was Vice President for Project Development in North and South America at First Solar. There he was responsible for creating an industry leading 4,000 MW pipeline of contracted, utility scale, solar projects. This includes many of the largest solar projects in operation in the U.S. Brian joined First Solar in 2010 through the Company’s acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power, the largest independent U.S. solar power plant developer at the time. He was a cofounder of NextLight and served as its Vice President of Development.
Prior to joining NextLight, Brian was Vice President and Regional Executive at Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) where he led the regional business and project development activities in California for new fossil and wind facilities. Mr. Kunz has also held senior business development roles at PPM Energy and PG&E Enterprises where he was Country Manager for Australia.
Mr. Kunz holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.
Nikolas Novograd, Co-Founder & CFO
As co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Nik leads all of Candela Renewables’ financial and capital raising activities. Together with Brian, he is responsible for the overall strategic direction and profitability of the company.
With 25 years of experience financing energy projects with debt, tax equity and equity, Nik has a passion for structuring investments that are profitable, enduring and meet investors’ expectations. At Wells Fargo, he originated and structured tax equity investments in wind and solar power projects. Previously, Nik was Vice President, Project Finance at First Solar, Inc., which had acquired NextLight Renewable Power, where he was Vice President of Finance. Nik has also held project finance roles at GE Energy Financial Services, ABN AMRO Bank and Sanwa Bank (a predecessor of MUFJ).
Nik has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Connecticut and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.