DER provider CPower Energy names Smith as New CEO to succeed Horton

July 25, 2023
CPower is a DER monetization provider with 6.3 GW of distributed energy capacity at more than 19,000 customer sites across the U.S. It provides VPP, demand response, distributed generation, and other decentralized services

Virtual power plant and energy management firm CPower Energy has a new CEO to lead the company as it expands its goals for distributed energy resource market reach.

Former ForeFront Power CEO Michael D. Smith is succeeding current president and CEO John Horton. The latter is retiring and will act as an advisor to CPower.

CPower is a DER monetization provider with 6.3 GW of distributed energy capacity at more than 19,000 customer sites across the U.S. It provides VPP, demand response, distributed generation, and other decentralized services. 

"It has been an honor to lead CPower for the past nine years, alongside our exceptional team,” Horton said in a statement. “Together, we have built CPower and helped lead the energy transition while setting the industry benchmark for customer experience. I am confident that Mike will use his vast industry knowledge and strategic approach to build upon our achievements and drive the company to continued success.”

Smith arrives with a 25-year track record in the energy sector, including his tenure at ForeFront Power where he lead the company’s North American solar and energy storage business. He also worked for Exelon Corp. and Constellation.

CPower is owned by LS Power, an investment and development group focused on power and energy infrastructure. The company is working toward an expected and exponential growth in the distributed energy resource sector over the coming years.

“Thanks to John's leadership and the strength of the entire team, the company has a strong foundation and is well-positioned to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly evolving distributed energy space,” incoming CEO Smith said. “ I am excited to work with the team to continue to expand CPower's solutions to drive even greater impact for our customers."

CPower is involved in a wide array of projects along the DER and C&I electrification fronts. Last year, the company was chosen to help convert the Montgomery County Public School District in Maryland’s electric buses into grid services and vehicle-to-grid technologies.

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For several years, CPower has worked on connecting fleet electrification programs to demand response and other grid programs. Customers and partners include the New York City Department of Education, Amply, Forman, and DTE Energy, among others.

Smith has served on the Board of Directors for Proterra, an EV technology manufacturer, since July 2014. Prior to this, he held board positions for companies including Astrum Solar, Powerhouse Dynamics Inc., SolarBridge Technologies, and Stem, Inc.