Press Release

8minute Solar Energy Appoints Chief Technology Officer to Power the Company’s Next Phase of Cutting-Edge Clean Energy Solutions

Jun 15, 2022

This press release was originally published under 8minute. 8minute changed its name to Avantus in 2022.

New CTO Kip Larson brings over a decade of experience at the nexus of technology and physical infrastructure at Amazon, AWS, and Convoy

LOS ANGELES & SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—June 14, 2022 8minute Solar Energy (8minute), a nationwide leader in solar and energy storage, today announced the appointment of its first Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Kip Larson. In his new role, Larson will further 8minute’s existing technological expertise – applying cutting-edge approaches to 8minute’s already best-in-class suite of smart power plants and associated products and services. The CTO appointment expands 8minute’s capabilities in developing, generating, and delivering clean energy by expanding the traditional focus on hardware to include software engineering, machine learning, and more.

Larson brings over a decade of experience leading technology teams and ushering in transformational change at renowned companies such as Amazon, Amazon Web Services, and Convoy, the world’s leading digital freight network. Larson and his teams developed technology to optimize Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers to deliver products to customers in record time, and he is poised to do the same for solar and energy storage – helping 8minute reliably deliver low-cost, clean energy, any time of day or night, to more Americans than ever before.

“Clean energy is becoming more and more a technology business – the work we do designing cutting-edge power plants is more akin to smart phones than drilling for oil wells,” said 8minute Founder and CEO Dr. Tom Buttgenbach. “As we envisioned where we needed to go to power the clean energy solutions of tomorrow, we looked to the places where technology and software have revolutionized industries – and that is where we found Kip. We are thrilled to have him join our leadership team and help us transform our nation’s electric grid.”

Technology has transformed the way clean energy products and services are designed and delivered, and 8minute has been at the helm of that transformation. As CTO, Larson’s expertise and leadership will be vital as 8minute’s technical teams develop reliable and scalable clean energy solutions that will help power the lives of millions of Americans and deliver on renewable energy goals while driving cost of electricity down.

With over ten years of experience leading technology-driven optimization, Larson is an ideal fit for the adventure ahead for 8minute. In his time at Amazon he and his team built the technology needed to direct a global network of millions of warehouse employees, steer billions of dollars of warehouse investment, and allow the company to react with lightning speed to the changing needs of customers. At Amazon Web Services, he led efforts to bring these powerful, machine-learning and optimization capabilities to customers as diverse as Volkswagen, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and the Carrier Corporation. Larson also brings experience in the startup world, having built out the world’s first and most sophisticated digital freight network at Convoy, a platform that helps truckers and shippers reduce CO2 emissions from trucking by more than a third. He sees even bigger opportunities to deploy the same efficiency-maximizing technologies in the clean energy space.

“Modern software technology has incredible promise to transform how physical equipment, from trucks to power plants, serve customers and businesses. The clean energy transition represents the greatest opportunity our economy has ever seen to leverage this technology to improve human well-being. I am thrilled to bring my experience to 8minute, and to join a team that is leading the push to solve one of the world’s greatest problems – climate change – by building towards a clean energy economy,” said Larson.

8minute began 2022 by announcing $400 million in financing from EIG to support its pipeline execution and expansion, and is set to deploy a range of its proprietary smart power plant designs across its development portfolio to deliver low-cost, reliable clean electricity and green hydrogen to meet the diverse needs of the power market. By integrating clean energy generation and storage into one highly efficient, intelligent system, 8minute’s smart power plants can dynamically manage load in real time, providing critical grid stabilization, like frequency regulation and ancillary services, and respond instantaneously to power outages.

With one of the largest pipelines, 8minute has more than 18 GW of solar and 24 GWh of energy storage projects under development, enough to provide clean, reliable power for 20 million Americans – day and night. Its portfolio features historic milestones including: the U.S.’s largest solar cluster, the first operating solar plant to beat fossil fuel prices and a project to deliver solar with storage at record-low prices.