The power to succeed with hydro
With a key focus on safety and environmental stewardship, we develop and implement innovative solutions to provide our customers and end-consumers with clean and affordable energy. The safety of our employees and communities is our highest priority.
At Cube Hydro, we believe hydropower is a key sustainable resource that plays a critical and growing role in meeting customers’ increasing demand for clean and baseload energy. We aim to more than double the size of our company over the next five years through investments that provide compelling returns and protect future generations from a changing climate. We see numerous opportunities throughout North American to acquire small to mid-size hydro plants ripe for integration and enhancement within our platform.
Our Core Values
We are committed to a strong safety and compliance culture and ensuring the well-being of our employees, vendors, and visitors
We always act with integrity and honor our commitments
We are active members of the communities in which we operate and strive to have a positive impact
We are stewards of our assets and committed to protecting the environment and maintaining the future of hydroelectricity
We encourage an entrepreneurial spirit to find opportunities and solve problems through innovative approaches that drive our business forward
Our people are our most important asset, and we succeed by fostering an inclusive and diverse team where all perspectives are encouraged
Putting our energy and expertise to work
Our leadership team is comprised of experts in all aspects of the hydropower industry, including manufacturing, financing, power purchase agreements, energy technology, markets, operations and regulations. We have extensive experience working with regulatory agencies and have established close relationships in many sectors of the energy industry. Together we focus on improving hydropower efficiency and adding capacity for existing hydropower dams, and building hydroelectric capabilities to non-powered dams.
Cube Hydro was formed in 2014 when Enduring Hydro entered into a partnership with I Squared Capital Infrastructure Fund to pursue the development and acquisition of hydroelectric power plants in North America. Enduring Hydro was originally founded in 2011 by Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, former Under Secretary of Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy. During her tenure at DOE, Dr. Johnson identified the underappreciated potential of hydropower and left DOE to start Enduring Hydro. In 2012 and 2013, the Enduring Hydro team successfully completed the permitting and construction of the 6 MW Mahoning Creek hydroelectric plant on an existing U.S. Army Corps dam located in Kittanning, PA. This was the first hydroelectric power plant built in Pennsylvania in over 25 years. Since its inception in 2014, when Cube Hydro acquired a 49% ownership interest in Mahoning Creek, a new build, the Company has grown rapidly.
In September 2017, Dr. Johnson left Cube Hydro to become the Chancellor of The State University of New York State. John Collins was subsequently appointed Chief Executive Officer. On October 8, 2019, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced the finalization of the acquisition of Cube Hydro Partners and Helix Partners (collectively, Cube Hydro) from I Squared Capital. Cube Hydro and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy are being combined to form OPG’s U.S. hydro platform, operating together under the name Eagle Creek.
Cube Hydro and its OPG Eagle Creek US affiliates own and operate a total of 85 hydroelectric plants in the United States, representing 619 megawatts of capacity. In addition, the companies own minority interests equivalent to approximately 10 megawatts in thirteen other hydroelectric plants and two solar facilities in New England.
Discover our depth of experience
Eli SmithPresident & CEO
Eli Smith has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since October of 2019. He began his career with Eagle Creek in 2012, serving as Executive Vice President to lead the corporate finance activities for the company. He led numerous equity and debt financings at Eagle Creek, including the equity investment by a Power Corporation of Canada led consortium and the 2018 sale to Ontario Power Generation.
Prior to joining ECRE, he served as SVP of Business Development for Safari Energy, a commercial-scale solar development company focused on large solar development and energy efficiency projects for leading REITs, national retailers, and private equity real estate firms. Safari Energy is now owned by PPL Corporation.
Prior to joining Safari Energy, Eli served as VP of Commercial Operations for Nuclear Innovation North America, a billion dollar joint venture between NRG Energy and Toshiba Corp formed to develop Advanced Boiling Water Reactors in the U.S.
Previously, he was a Vice President of the Power and Utility group at Citi Investment Banking. During his time with Citi, Eli advised on nearly $20 billion of transactions across Mergers and Acquisitions, Equity, and Debt markets.
Eli received his BS and MS degrees from Stanford University.
John R. CollinsSenior Advisor
John has 30-years’ experience in the energy industry holding various senior leadership positions. Prior to joining Cube Hydro and its predecessor, Enduring Hydro in 2011, John spent over 22 years with Constellation Energy Group, Inc. and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company where he retired as Senior Vice President of Integration. As SVP, he oversaw the sale, closing and integration of a 49.99% ownership interest in Constellation Nuclear Energy to EDF, and the sale of Constellation Energy’s 50% ownership in Unistar Nuclear Energy to EDF. From May 2007 to October 2008, John served as the Constellation’s Chief Financial Officer where he led all financial activities of the company. Previously he served as the Constellation’s Chief Risk Officer and was a founding member of the company’s merchant energy business, Constellation Commodities Group, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer from 1997 through 2001.
John has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Delaware. He is an inductee in the University of Delaware’s Wall of Fame. John currently serves on the University of Delaware’s President’s Advisory Board, the Board of Advisors of the University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business, and the Executive Advisory Board of Special Olympics of Maryland. He previously served as a board member and Chairman of the Board of Managers of Constellation Energy Partners (now Sanchez Energy Partners), and was a founding member, and Chairman of the Board of the Committee of Chief Risk Officers.
Ginger E. LewSenior Advisor
Ginger has held senior leadership and management positions in the public and private sectors and has extensive experience in legal, regulatory and public policy matters. Prior to joining Cube Hydro and its predecessor company, Enduring Hydro, in May 2012, Ginger served as Senior Counselor to President Obama’s White House National Economic Council. Ginger gained her regulatory experience as the General Counsel for the US. Department of Commerce, for which she was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Earlier in her career, she was the Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy, Regions IX and X (the western United States). Ginger also was the Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration for which she was unanimously confirmed. She had oversight responsibility for a $42 billion loan portfolio.
Ginger is the recipient of the American Bar Association Margaret Brent Award and the University of California Campanile Award. Ginger has her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her J.D. from University of California Berkeley School of Law.
Mark GrossVice President, Operations
Mark Gross began his career as a Mechanical Engineer with the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in 1988. While at ALCOA, Mark advanced his knowledge of industrial system and process controls and later moved into project engineering and project management. During this time, he held various roles at the Badin North Carolina Aluminum Smelter and the division level. In 2002, Mark took over the management of ALCOA’s 215 MW Yadkin hydroelectric project in central North Carolina. In 2011, Mark became the Vice President of ALCOA’s domestic hydro operations, which included the Yadkin Project, the 360 MW Tapoco hydro project (later sold to Brookfield Renewables) and the combined control center in Tennessee. In February 2017, ALCOA completed the sale of the Yadkin Project to Cube Hydro Partners. Mark joined Cube Hydro as the Vice President of Operations, where he is focused on applying his knowledge of operations excellence across the portfolio.
Mark earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Eli Hopson Vice President, Legal, Regulatory & Policy
Prior to joining Cube Hydro, Eli was an associate in the Finance and Environmental departments at Latham & Watkins, LLP. Eli focused his practice at Latham on energy and environmental regulation of the energy industry. Eli provided counsel on a variety of matters relating to the energy industry, including transactions relating to hydropower, wind, solar, biofuels and biomass, and natural gas projects, and several cleantech portfolio IPOs. Before joining Latham, Eli held positions in energy policy at the Georgetown Climate Center, the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) where he led an energy efficiency financing pilot, the Union of Concerned Scientists as the Washington Representative for clean vehicles, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science Energy Subcommittee, and as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Eli has a Masters of Engineering and Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering from M.I.T., and a J.D. from Georgetown Law.
Aina JumabaevaVice President, Finance & Accounting
Aina Jumabaeva’s experience in finance and business spans over 20 years, focusing on transformational deals and finance operations with both public and private companies. Prior to joining Cube Hydro Partners in early 2017, Aina served as Corporate Controller at TerraForm Global, Inc., an SEC registrant and a globally diversified owner of 900 MW clean power generation assets in high-growth emerging markets. Prior to TerraForm Global, Aina served as Senior Director – Asset Management at SunEdison, Inc. and TerraForm Power, Inc., responsible for international utility scale operating assets. In her capacity as Latin America’s executive asset manager, Aina was also instrumental to the integration of over 600 MW in M&A portfolios: Renova wind and hydro assets in Brazil, Latin American Power (LAP) hydro assets in Peru, and Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy (GME) wind and solar assets in Central America.
Aina’s involvement with the SunEdison and TerraForm group of companies was preceded by SunEdison’s 2014 acquisition of interest in Silver Ridge Power, Inc., a global 500 MW solar joint venture between The AES Corporation and Riverstone private equity group. Between 2006 and 2014, Aina held various positions of increasing responsibility at AES US and European business units. Aina was Silver Ridge’s Corporate Controller immediately prior to SunEdison’s 2014 acquisition of interest in Silver Ridge.
Aina holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Economics and Finance from State University of New York at Binghamton. Aina completed her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with the American University in Central Asia.
Andrew LongeneckerVice President, Business Development & Asset Optimization
Andrew Longenecker has experience in energy development and project finance for energy infrastructure. Before joining Cube Hydro, Andrew was a Principal and Co-Founder of PSL Energy, an investment group focused on renewable energy assets. He also previously worked for Khosla Ventures, an early stage cleantech venture capital firm, and as a Management Consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Energy Practice, where he focused on energy infrastructure and technology. Andrew attained a joint MBA / MS degree at Stanford Graduate School of Business, with a focus on Energy Resources, as well as BS from Duke University.
Neal Simmons Vice President, R&D & Optimization
Prior to joining Cube Hydro, Neal spent over 10 years as a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University. He played a key role in the formation of Duke’s Energy Engineering program. Neal remains committed to the importance of energy education and continues to teach courses on renewable energy technologies, modern power systems, hydroelectric generation, and engineering innovation at Duke. Neal brings to Cube Hydro expertise in mechanical systems, automation, control, and operation of hydroelectric facilities. He has overseen the rehabilitation, automation and management of several damaged and underperforming hydroelectric projects.
Neal has started two successful engineering companies and has been granted over 20 US patents, which are licensed worldwide. He has over 75 peer reviewed publications and conference proceedings. Neal graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and from Duke University with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.
José ZayasVice President, Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
José Zayas has over 20 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining Cube Hydro, he served as Director of the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). In this role José led efforts to improve performance, lower costs, and accelerate deployment of wind and water power technologies. Notably, José led the development of the USDOE Hydropower Vision report, an industry-wide vision for hydropower, and launched USDOE’s HydroNEXT strategy to drive new investments in hydropower and pumped storage.
Prior to joining USDOE in 2011, José spent fifteen years at Sandia National Laboratories, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center focused on addressing national security issues. While at Sandia, José served in several leadership positions, including serving as the Senior Manager for the Renewable Energy division. José holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California at Davis.
Join our team
Cube Hydro is a company that invests in, develops, and modernizes hydroelectric facilities, and provides consulting services on project management, regulation, and development of hydroelectric power and other clean energy resources. We are currently looking for a new team member.