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Local solar energy firm Sopogy brings in new leader

Honolulu-base solar-thermal technology company Sopogy Inc. said today it has brought in an executive from a mainland solar energy firm to take over day-to-day operations from founder and CEO Darren Kimura.

David  Fernandez will leave his post as vice president of North American operations at SunEdison to become president and chief operating officer of Sopogy, according to a news release from the company. Fernandez was put in charge of Sopogy to “strengthen its execution capabilities,” according to the news release.

Kimura, who founded Sopogy in 2002, will become chief global strategist and chief marketing officer.

Sopogy’s patented system is a variation on an older technology that uses mirrored troughs to concentrate the sun’s rays to heat fluid-filled tubes. The heated fluid can be use to drive turbines for electricity generation or to create heat for industrial uses. Sopogy took the technology, scaled down the troughs to one-third of the size, and made other improvements that resulted in the systems being more mobile and less costly.

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