Kelly is the former Chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy, and brings more than four decades of experience in the electricity generation and public utility industry to his role at BrightSource.
"Dick has been a leading voice within the utility industry during his tenure at Xcel, determinedly pushing for the adoption of clean, cost-effective and reliable electricity. The depth and breadth of his leadership experience combined with his keen understanding of the world’s energy markets make him an ideal leader for our board," said John Woolard, president and CEO of BrightSource Energy. "We’re very pleased to have Dick join us as Chairman of our Board of Directors as we continue to expand our company domestically and internationally."
Kelly began his career with Public Service Company of Colorado, filling a variety of finance-related positions. In 1995, the company merged with Southwestern Public Service Company to form New Century Energies (NCE), where Kelly served as Chief Financial Officer. In 2000, New Century Energies (NCE) and Northern States Power Company merged to form Xcel Energy. Kelly served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Xcel Energy from 2005 until September 2011. During his tenure at Xcel Energy, Kelly held a number of senior positions, including President, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board and Chief Financial Officer.
"BrightSource’s world-class leadership team and solar thermal technology uniquely position the company to help utility and industrial customers worldwide meet the growing demand for cost-effective and reliable clean energy," said BrightSource Energy Chairman Dick Kelly. "I’m extremely excited to be joining the company as it continues to set the bar for utility-scale solar generation in the U.S. and globally."
Kelly currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Regis University, Chairman of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Minnesota. He also serves as a board member of the Capital City Partnership, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and Canadian Pacific Railway. In the past, Kelly has served as a member of the Minnesota Business Partnership, the National Petroleum Council, Colorado Concern and Colorado Forum and the National Advisory Council of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Kelly holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Regis University. Additionally, he attended the University of Colorado’s Executive Education Conference and The University of Michigan’s Public Utility Executive Program.
Kelly’s board chair appointment follows the departure of former BrightSource Energy chairman John Bryson, who was appointed U.S. Secretary of Commerce by President Barack Obama.
BrightSource Energy, Inc. is a leader in the design and development of concentrating solar thermal power technology used to produce high-value electricity and steam for power, petroleum and process markets.