Community Energy Appoints Joel Thomas as President

RADNOR, PA – September 17, 2021 – Community Energy Chief Executive Officer, Brent Beerley, announced today that Joel Thomas has been promoted to President, effective September 15th. Thomas previously held the role of Executive Vice President of Development. He joined the company in 2011, leading early community solar market development and eventually executing some of Community Energy’s largest deals.

Joel has led the development and financial closing of more than 500 MW of solar projects as well as 150 MWh of battery energy storage systems. During his tenure at Community Energy, Joel led the company to join as a co-founding member of the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) and served as a Director on the Board of CCSA for four years. Joel also serves as professor of the practice at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he has taught Renewable Energy Project Development and Finance in Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program since 2012. Prior to Community Energy, Joel co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Nourish International, which supports the visions of young leaders committed to creating community impact. Joel holds a BS in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Brent Beerley will continue as CEO, leading Community Energy on innovation, vision, and growth strategies. Thomas will maintain his current role of EVP of Development on an interim basis until the position is filled.

Founded in 1999, Community Energy’s niche is to anticipate, originate and develop competitively advantaged solar + storage projects in the U.S. The company has successfully reached financial closing on over 2,700 MW of solar and wind projects across the county and maintains a pipeline of approximately 10,000 MW. The company is poised to have built 5% of all utility scale solar in the U.S. by 2025.

“Joel has been a huge part of Community Energy’s success over his 10 years with us and will provide tremendous leadership to our passionate team moving forward,” said CEO Brent Beerley. “His unique abilities on the people and commercial side of our business, combined with his deep care for our team and our mission, make him the perfect person to lead us in our urgent fight against climate change.”

“Community Energy is experiencing pivotal growth, and I owe Brent Beerley and our Board an immense amount of gratitude for the opportunity to lead this industry-leading team as we deliver on ambitious clean energy goals,” said Thomas. “The future of a 24/7 carbon-free grid is an inspiring and challenging mission – a mission I am proud to be on with this world-class team.”

About Community Energy

Community Energy has been a pioneer in renewable energy generation for 22 years, developing and financing 2.7 GW of renewable energy projects across the United States, including 2 GW of solar, and delivering the first solar and wind projects at scale in 12 states.  Community Energy is a pure play developer with a 60-person team that anticipates, originates, and develops competitively advantaged solar plus storage projects throughout the country.  Community Energy has a large and diverse project pipeline in support of its mission to accelerate the transition to a 24/7 carbon-free grid. Community Energy has offices near Philadelphia, PA and in Boulder, CO.  For more information, please visit


Amy Lobel