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Rick Needham

Director, Energy & Sustainability
Google

Rick leads teams at Google that invest in transformative large-scale renewable energy projects, explore ways to help accelerate energy access in emerging markets, and catalyze actions to address climate change. Rick spearheaded Google's renewables project investing, which now stands at over $2.5 billion committed to 22 projects with a total capacity of over 3.7 GW. These projects include several wind farms, centralized and distributed solar PV systems, a large solar thermal plant, and an offshore transmission line. On internal efforts, Rick's team has worked with several other groups at Google to make products that are more sustainable, incorporate efficiency and renewable energy into offices, and engage with employees on green benefit programs. Rick currently sits on the board of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), a project company developing an offshore transmission backbone off the Mid Atlantic coast to enable 7,000MW of offshore wind. He is also a member of the Energy Systems Integration Technical Review Panel for NREL. Prior to joining Google in 2008, Rick was a business development executive and Project Manager at DEKA Research & Development Corp. While at DEKA he led the business development efforts around clean energy and managed several technology development projects in clean energy, medical products, and robotics including the development of an advanced upper prosthetic arm that was used in trials with the Veterans Administration, featured on 60 Minutes, and is now FDA approved. Prior to DEKA, Rick worked at Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm, and served for eight years as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Rick holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the US Naval Academy, an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT where he attended as a Draper Fellow, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Rick lives with his wife and daughter in the Bay Area and enjoys skiing, Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, kayaking, and camping.

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