BURLINGTON, MA – November 16, 2023 – FirstLight, a leading clean power producer, developer, and energy storage company, today announced the imminent departure of its President and CEO, Alicia Barton, who has been with the company for the past three years, and the appointment of her successor, current Chief Operating Officer, Justin Trudell, effective December 1, 2023.
Ms. Barton departs FirstLight after three successful years with the company, charting a strategic vision, with Mr. Trudell as her counterpart leading operations and driving implementation. Ms. Barton will remain in the clean energy industry, taking on a new role after the New Year, continuing her proven track record of accelerating decarbonization at scale.
“It is with great pride and total confidence that I pass the torch to my esteemed colleague Justin Trudell to lead FirstLight as they continue to advance the vision and growth strategy we’ve brought forth as a team,” said Alicia Barton, departing President and CEO of FirstLight. “This transition is both exciting and bittersweet as I move on from this incredible team and reflect on the tremendous strides we’ve made towards our mission. I am gratified knowing that FirstLight will be led by Justin, whose rich experience, passion, and drive is sure to inspire continued momentum for the company.”
Long a leader at FirstLight, Mr. Trudell was appointed the company’s Chief Operating Officer in 2021 after establishing himself as a proven leader in his prior role as Vice President of Operations. Ms. Barton’s tenure brought forth a new strategic vision for FirstLight and represented a transformational period during which Mr. Trudell helped lead the implementation of growth efforts across the company’s evolving portfolio. During that period, FirstLight integrated Ontario hydroelectric provider, H2O Power, adding nearly 200 MW of operating assets to its portfolio. In addition, the company brought on 45 new employees, began building out a 2 GW development pipeline of clean energy and energy storage projects, and reached an agreement to acquire leading Canadian clean energy producer and developer, Hydroméga, which is expected to close in 2023 subject to regulatory and other approvals. On top of this, Mr. Trudell oversaw the day-to-day operations of the 1.6 GW portfolio of pumped storage, conventional hydro, battery, and solar facilities, working with a team of over 100 clean energy professionals to safely operate, optimize, and maintain the fleet.
“After nearly six years at FirstLight – learning the ins and outs of our projects, getting to know our incredible people, and for the past three years, working alongside a force like Alicia Barton – I couldn’t be more proud or prepared to take on this next chapter,” said Justin Trudell, Incoming President and CEO of FirstLight Power. “I am motivated knowing the colossal potential of our operating assets, our development portfolio, and our best-in-class team to deliver on the extraordinary opportunity ahead that is the energy transition.”
“In her three-plus years at FirstLight, Alicia rallied the entire company to a vision of operational excellence in all our facilities while finding growth paths to accelerate our progress to a decarbonized electric grid. We are grateful for her drive, creativity, integrity, team development and the outcomes we achieved under her leadership,” said Phil Giudice, Board Chair of FirstLight. “We are also thrilled to appoint Justin Trudell to the role of President and CEO and look forward to the many strides FirstLight will make in further accelerating the energy transition under his leadership.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Justin as FirstLight’s new Chief Executive Officer. He is a dynamic business leader whose exceptional track record and first-hand knowledge of FirstLight make him ideally positioned to lead the company through this next chapter,” said Patrick Samson, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Real Assets Investments at PSP Investments. “We thank Alicia for her leadership, energy and important contribution to FirstLight’s success and we wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.”
Prior to joining FirstLight, Mr. Trudell served five years in the United States Navy, completing two combat deployments, and working in his first carbon-free energy role, leading a team of around fifteen sailors responsible for safely operating the nuclear reactors on an aircraft carrier at sea and abroad. He then spent nine years in various progressive roles with Brookfield Renewable Power, covering operations and project development.
Mr. Trudell actively serves on the Board of Directors of the National Hydropower Association and is an Independent Director at GEOKON, Inc. He received his BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of New Hampshire with a focus on Finance and Global Business. When not leading the effort to decarbonize the electric grid, Mr. Trudell can be found hiking and skiing the mountains of New England with the goal of completing the 48 different 4,000-foot mountain hikes with his wife and son.