Alight signs new heads of storage and site development
Alight announce two new flagship hires: a new head of site development, Salomé San Miguel, and a head of storage deployment, Youssef Benmakhlouf. As to further Alight’s work in leading the corporate transition to solar, attracting and hiring the very best people in their fields is key. To continue the upward trajectory and growth, Alight have made two major new hires, each of which will strengthen the existing pan-European all-star team.
Salomé San Miguel joins Alight from Falck Renewables, where she was Country Manager for their consultancy business in the Nordics, and responsible for construction and later asset management of their wind farms in Sweden and Norway (170 MW). Salomé has over 20 years of experience in leading roles and managing projects in the energy and clean tech industry and a MSc in Mining, Energy and Materials Engineering.
On joining Alight, Salomé San Miguel, said:
– After 15 years engaged in biogas and wind development, construction and operation, I’m extremely excited to be joining Alight, helping to accelerate the deployment of renewable assets in Sweden and throughout Europe. Globally, we’re at a point where sustainability has never been more of a focal point and my new position allows me to make genuine, positive contributions to the sustainable development of new solar sites across European markets, which is essential to limit climate change in the coming decade.
What will you be doing in your new role?
– I will coordinate the work of identifying suitable land for large-scale solar plants and create more Ready-to-build projects in Sweden and selected European markets. This means we have signed a land lease option agreement with a landowner, a binding grid connection agreement issued by the grid owner and all required permits and concessions have been obtained. Organize planning community consultations and meet with local authorities to get scheme buy-in and manage external consultants in specific areas such as Environmental Impact Assessment.
Why did you choose to join Alight?
– I have a genuine interest in contributing to sustainable development and in creating strong and positive work relationships. I also really enjoy challenging tasks that require a strategic mindset, which I have the privilege to tackle every day in this job. I’m a strong supporter of openness, acknowledgment and participation as prerequisites for creating a good organization, and it’s also a reason why I chose to join Alight.
Youssef Benmakhlouf joins Alight as Head of Storage Deployment, after close to four years working with Azelio (a Swedish cleantech provider of long duration storage solutions), where he worked with business development and sales. Hailing from Morocco, Youssef has a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Centrale Marseille in France. With both a strong technical background and hands-on commercial experience with stationary energy storage, Youssef will develop and deploy storage for Alight’s solar assets. If you want to say hello to him you can choose either French, English, Swedish or Arabic – as he speaks all fluently (!)
On his new role, Youssef Benmakhlouf, said:
– Storage will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in enacting the energy transition needed to ensure a sustainable power system for future generations. I am excited to join Alight and contribute to this critical endeavor, building a strong solar/storage project portfolio and sustainably drive the deployment of renewables on a large, pan-European scale. It is not often that one has the opportunity to build their career combining their passion and expertise. I am extremely happy to do so with Alight.
What will be your mission in your new role?
– To identify, assess, negotiate, and set up co-located energy storage projects. Many of our customers are interested in developing storage, and I will support the team in those discussions. I will be the spider in the web between partners and storage service off-takers, as well as manage site selection and secure permits needed.
Why did you decide to join Alight?
– Currently building one of Sweden’s largest solar parks, it is hard not to notice or recognize Alight’s leadership in the solar market, offering competitive PPAs to a variety of customers in the C&I sector. Besides the excitement of joining a leader acting towards a sustainable future, I highly value Alight’s customer centric approach when enacting and delivering projects. In that sense, I am really looking forward to helping expand the company’s value proposition by adding storage to Alight’s PV installations and enabling a higher penetration of renewables in the power mix. I whole-heartedly believe the company has every possibility to reach the goal of 1GW. The endeavor will be both challenging and rewarding, and I am excited that I get the opportunity to combine my passion and expertise in a company with a young and dynamic work environment.
Welcoming the latest additions to the team, founder and CEO Harald Överholm, said:
“Solar is now the world’s fastest growing energy source, and to satisfy the soaring demand for solar power we need world-class knowledge in land development and co-located energy storage. That’s why I’m very excited about expanding our pan-European team with two experts in these respective areas that bring onboard the experience and innovation we need to scale up across Europe, meet customer demand and future-proof our solar sites”.