Interview with KCE’s New CEO Brian Hayes


Q: Welcome to Key Capture Energy Brian! Tell us a bit about your background and yourself.

I am glad to be here! For the past 18 years I have been here in Houston at EDP Renewables, where many KCE employees and renewable energy professionals have spent time throughout their careers. I started as the third employee on the asset operations team, which I then led for the last 12 years, growing the team to 500 employees and managing a portfolio of over 70 projects and 9,000 MW. Prior to EDP Renewables, I spent six years as a management consultant at a top-tier firm, focusing on the energy industry. I graduated from Texas A&M with an industrial engineering degree and have an MBA from Duke University. 

I am a Texas native and have been passionate about energy and the renewables’ space my entire career.  Throughout my career and life, I have seen various management and leadership styles and the importance of strong and effective leadership. I believe that everyone shows up each day with the intention to do their best work for the company, their coworkers and for themselves. I will be focused on setting the company’s vision and providing the structure and support so that KCE and our employees can fulfill that intention andwe can all be successful together.

Q: Why did you decide to take the job of CEO at KCE?

I have followed Key Capture’s development closely since its founding by Jeff Bishop and Dan Fitzgerald. Jeff was a colleague of mine at EDPR and I have always watched with encouragement as the KCE team has grown. I’ve long been impressed with KCE’s success, and its growth from two people to nearly 100 today in roughly eight years. Having spent nearly two decades in the renewable energy space I have seen the explosive growth of the battery storage industry from being a nascent and exciting technology to what we are today, a maturing industry ready to take the next step to meet the country’s electricity needs. 

The combination of the chance to lead a pioneer like KCE and be at the forefront of an industry building the grid of tomorrow to enable decarbonization was something I could not pass up. 

Q: What is your vision for KCE in the next year? And beyond?

Now that I know how the coffee machine works, I am looking forward to what 2024 and the future holds for KCE. For this next year our focus will be on execution. KCE has over 600 MW of projects in operations or construction in two states and over 9,000 MW of projects in development across the country. The team has grown substantially and added incredibly talented individuals across our departments in the past few years. It’s an exciting time at KCE. 

Beyond 2024 we will be focused on developing and building commercially ready projects and operating our projects at the highest levels of reliability to bring the benefits of battery storage to the grid. We will strive to be the industry reference point for how battery storage projects are developed, built and operated. We’re incredibly excited about where the company is headed along with the entire industry. The next few years are an inflection point for the industry as gigawatts of projects come online and states across the country understand and embrace the benefits that batteries provide.  

Q: What are you most excited about now that you have been here for a few weeks?

I am most excited about the team – I am super lucky!  Jeff, Dan and the Leadership Team have built a great company over the last eight years. In my first six weeks, I have had a chance to talk with many folks across all departments.  It is clear that everyone on the team has a deep passion and commitment to the industry, KCE and their team members and that KCE has a unique culture. With this passion, commitment and culture as a baseline, I am confident KCE is posed to continue our momentum. I am really looking forward to taking advantage of the pieces already in place at KCE and continuing to make KCE an industry leader. 

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work?

I love to be outdoors and active whenever possible. Things like mountain biking, skiing, trail running and hiking. I definitely consider myself a mountain over beach type of person. When I have free time, I do like to read non-fiction.

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