How a career in finance can enable opportunity in renewable energy

From solar and wind power to battery storage and electric vehicles, Dan Cary is passionate about helping solve one of the greatest challenges of this generation.

Dan Cary began his career at a strategy consulting firm in London where he enjoyed the problem-solving element of his job but soon learned he wanted more direct exposure to deals, bigger challenges and, most importantly, his work needed to be solving for a larger purpose. He found what he was looking for when he joined Macquarie and discovered how his passion and work could deliver a social and environmental impact on the world around him.

Now, as a Senior Vice President in the Green Investment Group, Dan and his team are dedicated to accelerating the transition to a green economy through renewable energy project development and investing.

Forging his own path

Joining Macquarie as a junior analyst, he was immersed from day one when he was given a blank Excel sheet and asked to "build a wind farm." He saw this as an opportunity to stretch himself and develop his skills.

“Starting in this industry was one of the most intense, yet worthwhile experiences," Dan says. “It was daunting at the start, but I was working with intelligent, supportive people who helped me climb the learning curve rapidly."

This experience solidified Dan's desire to build his career in green energy investing at Macquarie. As he worked his way from an analyst in London to a senior vice president in New York, he continued to pursue complex opportunities and helped build a global team that delivers on what he believes to be the most important objective of his generation.

“Macquarie is a place where I feel supported to do work I believe in, where I am encouraged to be entrepreneurial and creative in my role and take ownership of my actions."

Seeing the impact of his work

After a few years in London, Dan put his hand up to help build Macquarie's Green Investment Group in the US. He soon found himself solving for the most important growing issue area in his sector: stress on the grid. Dan and his team, along with Advanced Microgrid Solutions, CIT Bank and Tesla, partnered together to create a battery storage infrastructure asset portfolio to alleviate grid congestion and lower customer electricity bills at large-load commercial, industrial and government buildings in the Los Angeles Basin. The portfolio will be used for utility grid services including flexible and reserve capacity, solar integration and voltage management in addition to retail energy services such as demand management, back up generation and enhanced power quality. This solution is intended to make clean energy available at the time that it's most needed by flattening "the duck curve" in California, which measures the gap at midday between peak demand and solar energy production. The innovative project has since opened further opportunities for more green principal investment within Macquarie, including the founding of a team in San Francisco dedicated to the development of new energy technologies across energy storage, mobility/electrification, and decentralized power.

“We've continued to build on our market-leading position to drive forward the future of energy infrastructure, build and run large development platforms, and deliver noteworthy projects in complex and novel asset classes which make energy more sustainable," says Dan.

Since 2010, Macquarie and the Green Investment Group, which was acquired in 2017, has helped finance more than 22 GW of generation capacity in onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, thermal, hydro, waste-to-energy, storage and energy management projects, investing or arranging over $A8 billion in FY19 in projects around the world. Green Investment Group's operations in North America are complemented by the global growth of the business which is pursuing a 20 GW pipeline of renewable energy development projects across wind and solar.

Whether it's providing energy management services to some of California's largest property owners or developing Europe's largest single-site onshore windfarm in Sweden, Dan can see the tangibility of his work and is supported by a team of people working towards the same goal.

“The culture is what makes Macquarie different and has facilitated us leading in the sectors in which we operate. You're not confined to a strict hierarchy. You're encouraged to think outside the standard guidelines. I know I can make a difference and be part of the journey toward a greener economy."

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