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Brandon Presley joins Edelen Renewables, looks to advance community scale solar projects on farmland

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

Brandon Presley, Democratic nominee for Mississippi Governor, addresses a group of business leaders at the 2023 Hobnob, sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council, in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • The former Northern District Public Service Commissioner and unsuccessful gubernational candidate will open a new office for the firm in Mississippi.

Brandon Presley has a new job.

The former four-term Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for the Northern District and unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 2023 announced on Thursday that he would joining Kentucky-based Edelen Renewables as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

Presley lost the 2023 gubernatorial election in Mississippi incumbent Republican Governor Tate Reeves by a vote of 51% to 48%.

Edelen Renewables says it will open an office in Mississippi, from which Presley will manage operations.

“Getting this country to energy independence, while creating good jobs for good people in hard luck communities has been my focus as a Public Service Commissioner in Mississippi. The opportunity to build upon my service as President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and take that mission across America is too good to pass up,” said Presley in a statement on his new position. “I believe in the mission and people of Edelen Renewables and am excited to join them in their important work.”

Edelen Renewables was founded by Adam Edelen, who also founded Edelen Ventures. A quick search on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s campaign finance site does not show any prior contributions by Edelen to Presley.

Adam Edelen

Edelen, a Democrat like Presley, is the former Auditor of Public Accounts in Kentucky, serving one term in office. He lost his re-election bid in 2015 to Republican Mike Harmon. Before that, Edelen was the Chief of Staff to former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, also a Democrat.

Edelen ran for Governor in 2019, but finished third in the Democratic Primary that year.

Edelen’s firm has worked to structure innovative partnerships between coal interests in Appalachia and global renewable energy giants through their “Social Impact Solar” approach in the communities where they develop, maximizing local workforce and economic benefits. The firm is currently advancing several utility and community solar scale projects in 12 states.

In Mississippi Edelen Ventures touts their work with Lobaki, a Jackson, Mississippi-based tech company. Lobaki is a developer of Virtual Reality experiences for the educational, industrial and military sectors. The firm says Lobaki engaged Edelen Ventures to assist in developing and executing a strategic plan to enable the company to scale quickly to meet the unprecedented demand for VR applications. The Edelen Ventures’ founder joined Lobaki’s board as vice-chairman in late 2019.

As for Presley’s new role with Edelen, the firm says the former PSC Commissioner will provide immediate leadership to Edelen Renewables’ “Farmers Powering Community” initiative that seeks to advance community scale solar projects of 25 to 50 acres to provide green energy to the two-thirds of Americans, including many low and moderate income families, who don’t have access to rooftop solar. The initiative’s goal is to create 500MW of community solar capacity in five years.

Presley will also help execute the firm’s ambitious plans for 2024 and beyond, Edelen said in a statement.

“He’s simply the right guy, with the right skills and experience to have a massive impact as we advance our mission.  His future is bright.  I’m thrilled he’ll continue his public service with us,” Edelen concluded.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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