Management Team


Kelly Beninga

President

Mr. Beninga joined SkyFuel in October, 2010 to lead SkyFuel’s commercial expansion in the concentrating solar power industry.  Prior to joining SkyFuel, he was responsible for developing and directing WorleyParsons’ Global Renewable Energy Group, which provides engineering services for renewable power projects in concentrating solar thermal, biomass, geothermal, and wind technologies.  

Mr. Beninga’s experience in concentrating solar power, which ranges from thermodynamic analysis and engineering of patented products to business development and management of multimillion dollar projects, is deeply rooted in the industry’s history and began with work on the Department of Energy’s Solar One power tower in the Mojave Desert while working for Martin Marietta in the 1980’s.  Mr. Beninga’s career blossomed at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500 Company, from 1985 to 2003.  In SAIC’s Alternative Energy Division, which he ultimately managed, Kelly’s many achievements included parabolic trough solar concentrator design; development and demonstration of a 25 kW dish/Stirling system; expansion of market channels; and leveraging strategic business alliances with major partners and customers.

Mr. Beninga also served as Vice President of Solar Technology from 2003 to 2006 at Daystar Technologies, an advanced thin-film photovoltaic company.  There he provided product design, manufacturing scale-up, and marketing services through the company’s successful initial public offering (IPO).  

Mr. Beninga holds an M.A. in Psychology from Naropa University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.


David White

Chief Engineering Officer

David has 25 years of experience in product commercialization, manufacturing, and solar concentrator design.  Prior to joining SkyFuel, Mr. White designed parabolic troughs for high volume production, followed by system design and project management of commercial industrial process heat systems.  As principal researcher, he led a team of engineers and subcontractors on multiple concentrating solar R&D efforts in partnership with National Labs and private companies.  He established least cost and innovative engineering designs for several concentrating solar technologies including parabolic trough, parabolic dish, heliostats, and concentrating optics for the international space station.  All concentrator designs culminated in fielded hardware.

In the environmental remediation and energy efficiency arenas, David was responsible for the successful commercialization of ultraviolet oxidation of waste water, moving the technology from the lab to the market place, including establishment of manufacturing facilities, staff, and outside sales networks.  He designed, marketed, and manufactured efficient industrial lighting, working directly with performance contract energy service companies in the conservation market.

He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.


Eric Frazier

VP – Business Development

Mr. Frazier has 15 years of Business Development experience with a focus on managing complex, technical products for use in commercial and industrial applications. He currently manages all commercial activities at SkyFuel in the effort to connect their award-winning parabolic trough technology to projects around the world. Prior to joining SkyFuel in 2010, Mr. Frazier researched renewable energy technology commercialization for the University of Colorado while earning his graduate degrees. Before that, he led sales, marketing and project management teams for organizations in the enterprise software, acoustics and civil engineering industries.

Eric has an MBA from the Leeds School of Business and a Masters Certificate in Renewable Energy from the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, both at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Additionally, Eric holds a Bachelor of Science from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

 


Greg Marty

VP – Finance & Administration

Mr. Marty has over 20 years of finance and administration experience focusing on strategic planning, operational efficiency and reducing costs without compromising the high quality of the product and work environment at SkyFuel. He currently manages all finance, administration, human resources and IT activities at SkyFuel. Prior to joining SkyFuel in 2011, Mr. Marty provided financial leadership and operational management of Distribution, Administration, Human Resources, and IT systems for a 50+ million annual sales retail ski, snowboard, and patio company with locations across the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 


Nate Schuknecht

Director of R&D

Mr. Schuknecht joined SkyFuel in 2011 and directs the research and development of the SkyTrough parabolic trough concentrator. His career has focused on robotic optical systems and concentrating solar technologies. He has been engaged in the development and manufacturing of both linear Fresnel and parabolic trough solar concentrators, with designs that leverage component cost with a specific emphasis on design for energy storage and high temperature molten salt. He managed the research and development effort on SkyFuel’s molten salt demonstration loop and DSP concentrator, with successful operation and freeze recovery demonstrated. In addition to his extensive experience in research and development, he functions in manufacturing system design, solar field site optimization, thermal energy storage, solar field commissioning, performance testing, and installation. Prior to joining SkyFuel, Mr. Schuknecht designed high-speed laser optical systems and efficiency upgrade systems for commercial buildings.

Mr. Schuknecht’s direct experience with molten salt includes the development, testing, and deployment of molten salt fluid handling equipment, storage and melting tanks, preheat techniques, pumps, and draining procedures for SkyFuel’s DSP demonstration loop. He has performed fundamental research into binary and ternary salt corrosion mechanisms, flexible joints, flow properties, and melting protocols. The success of the DSP demonstration loop provided SkyFuel with the first molten salt parabolic trough loop in the United States.

In addition to Mr. Schuknecht’s employment at SkyFuel, he is an active member of ASME PTC 52: Performance Test Code for Concentrating Solar Power, and a member of the ASME Emerging Technology Task Force on Thermal Energy Storage. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Gonzaga University.