Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Power Lunch with Rob Howard

Date and Time
Friday, April 5, 2024 - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Generator (Gross 100C)
Bryan Koen
Power Lunch with Rob Howard


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Rob Howard (T ’99) currently serves as CEO of ClearGen, a “one-stop shop for clean energy capital needs” in the Blackstone Credit portfolio. He’ll discuss lessons learned from over 20 years of experience investing in, financing and managing energy assets, with Q&A to follow. Lunch will be provided.


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Rob Howard B.A.’99 is chief executive officer of ClearGen LLC, a Charlotte-based portfolio company of Blackstone Credit. ClearGen finances and owns energy transition assets that serve commercial and industrial customers. Whether solar, batteries, complete microgrids or energy efficiency solutions, ClearGen delivers reliable and complete funding to developers of asset classes that have historically been underserved by the capital markets. In doing so, commercial and industrial energy users gain access to cleaner, more reliable and lower cost energy solutions, fully financed as a service.

Howard was hired as ClearGen’s CEO in May of 2021, when the company consisted of an idea, some leads, and a soft commitment from Blackstone. Since that time, ClearGen has emerged as a leader in financing distributed energy solutions, with a balance sheet of over half a billion dollars and diverse energy projects operating throughout the United States. This has been accomplished with an extraordinarily lean business model, dependent on organic talent growth, selective outsourcing and rapid evolution.

Howard brings over 20 years of experience investing in, financing and managing energy assets. In the span of his career, he has overseen the investment of over $1 billion of equity investments in power generation and other energy assets. His career history traces an unusual path from private equity deal making to operating platform management, which he leverages to translate between these two critical communities.

Prior to ClearGen, Howard was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Cogentrix Energy, the asset manager of The Carlyle Group’s power generation fleet. Cogentrix is a longstanding plant operator that supports Carlyle in the development, acquisition, improvement and monetization of power investments.

From 2014 to 2016, Howard was a principal at Carlyle, where he led investments in multiple renewable and thermal power facilities. Before Carlyle, Howard was a vice president with ArcLight Capital Partners, where he supported investments in power and midstream assets in the United States and Europe. Howard joined ArcLight after having worked in the power and natural resources investment banking groups at Lehman Brothers.

He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and MBA from Yale University.