Community Energy appoints Joel Thomas as President

RADNOR, Pa .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Community Energy Chief Executive Officer Brent Beerley announced today that Joel Thomas has been promoted to President effective September 15. Thomas previously served as Executive Vice President of Development. He joined the company in 2011, led the early development of the community solar market and eventually ran some of Community Energy’s largest businesses.

Joel has led the development and financial completion of more than 500 MW solar projects and 150 MWh battery storage systems. During his tenure at Community Energy, Joel co-founded the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) and served as a director on the CCSA board for four years. Joel is also Professor of Practice at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he has been teaching renewable energy project development and finance in Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program since 2012. Prior to Community Energy, Joel was the co-founder and executive director of Nourish International, which supports the vision of young leaders committed to creating community impact. Joel holds a BS in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Brent Beerley will continue as CEO and lead Community Energy on innovation, vision and growth strategies. Thomas will maintain his current position as EVP of Development on an interim basis until the position is filled.

Community Energy’s niche, founded in 1999, is to anticipate, develop, and develop competitive solar and storage projects in the United States. By 2025, the company aims to have built 5% of all solar systems in the US.

“Joel has been instrumental in the success of Community Energy in his 10 years with us and will continue to lead our passionate team tremendously,” said CEO Brent Beerley. “His unique skills on the human and commercial side of our business, combined with his deep caring for our team and our mission, make him the perfect person to lead us in our urgent battle against climate change.”

“Community Energy is experiencing significant growth and I owe my thanks to Brent Beerley and our board of directors for the opportunity to lead this industry-leading team as we achieve ambitious clean energy goals,” said Thomas. “The future of a 24/7 carbon-free power grid is an inspiring and challenging mission – a mission that I am proud of with this world-class team.”

About community energy

A pioneer in renewable energy for 22 years, Community Energy is developing and funding 2.7 GW of renewable energy projects in the United States, including 2 GW of solar, and is delivering the first large-scale solar and wind projects in 12 states. Community Energy is a developer-only with a team of 60 anticipating, developing and developing competitive solar and storage projects across the country. Community Energy has a large and diverse pipeline of projects in support of its mission to accelerate the transition to a 24/7 carbon-free grid. Community Energy has offices near Philadelphia, PA and in Boulder, CO. Please visit for more information.

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