Governor Jerry Brown reappointed David Olsen to the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors in January 2016, to a term that expires December 31, 2018. The California Senate confirmed Mr. Olsen’s reappointment on August 31, 2016. Mr. Olsen, of Ventura, was first appointed in April, 2012.
Mr. Olsen served as Managing Director of Western Grid Group (2003-2013), an organization of former western state energy officials advocating grid modernization,transition to a clean energy economy and creation of an Energy Imbalance Market in the western U.S. He organized and led California’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (2007-2010), and served as coordinator of the Tehachapi Collaborative Study Group (2005-2007, and of the Imperial Valley Study Group (2004-2005). In 2000-01, he led creation of the California Climate Action Registry, the first state registry of greenhouse gases and foundation for The Climate Registry that now includes 31 states.
As a business leader, he helped pioneer the clean energy industry in the U.S. and led development of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power projects in more than 20 countries, as President of Clipper Windpower Development Company (2001-2003), Founder and President of Peak Power Corporation (1988-1995), Vice President of Magma Power (1993-1995), and President/CEO of Northern Power Systems (1984-1988). AsPresident/CEO of Patagonia Inc. (1996-1999), he led the company to track and reduce its carbon emissions and to become the first US corporation to get its electricity from wind and solar power.
Mr. Olsen was a founding member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy in the U.S. (1991), its sister council in Europe (1995), and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Institute of the Americas. He served as president of the CEO Coalition to Advance Sustainable Technologies, 1998-2001, helping lay the groundwork for creation of the GridWise Alliance. He served on the board of directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies from 1991 to 2012, and as its Chair 1994-1996. He has been a director or member of the American Wind Energy Association, Independent Energy Producers, Geothermal Energy Association, National Hydropower Association, Nevada Geothermal Council, Northwest Electric Light & Power Association and the World Geothermal Congress. In the 1980s, he served on the California Utility Research Council and the California Commission on Industrial Innovation.
Mr. Olsen is an honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (1968) and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts (1974).