David Kelly, P.Eng
Founder & CEO
With a burning passion and interest in solar power, David Kelly marked his entry into the solar industry in 2001 when he installed a 600 watt solar photovoltaic (PV) system on his own home. The solar PV system on his roof was the third grid tied solar PV system in Alberta. David then progressed to designing and installing many solar thermal and photovoltaic systems all over Canada. He saw a future in solar PV systems and was convinced it would be a growth industry that would not only be environmentally beneficial but also cost competitive with grid power. He turned that solar dream into a reality when he formed SkyFire Energy Inc with Tim Schulhauser and David Vonesch. David Kelly has been a leader in the solar industry for more than a decade. He has served four terms on the board of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and is currently the Chair of CanSIA. He is also on the board of Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA). David regularly speaks at solar events across Canada. He received his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo in 1989.
Tim Schulhauser, P.Eng, MBA
Tim was born in Regina and raised in Saskatoon where his family still has roots today. Over the past decade, Tim Schulhauser has designed, installed and commissioned hundreds of solar PV systems across Canada. Tim led the construction of the groundbreaking 1.05 MW SunMine solar farm in Kimberley, BC, Western Canada’s first utility scale solar farm. Tim currently serves on the board of Light Up The World (LUTW), a Canadian non-profit organization focused on implementing projects that provide sustainable energy solutions and lighting to remote communities in the developing world. Back in 2013, Tim travelled to Peru with LUTW to train seven local technicians and worked with them to install a solar PV system for an educational centre in the Peruvian Amazon community of Nueva York. Tim received his Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Saskatchewan in 2000 and became a Certified Photovoltaic Technician (Seneca College/CanSIA) in 2007. Tim also completed an MBA at the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business in 2012.
David Vonesch, P.Eng
David Vonesch has worked on hundreds of solar projects across Canada. David recently led the design and construction of a 2 MW solar farm East of Calgary which is Alberta’s first utility scale solar PV system and the largest system in Western Canada. David serves as the board chair of SPARK, Alberta’s first member-owned retail power co-operative focused on renewable energy development. David is a Professional Engineer (University of Alberta) and a CanSIA/Seneca College Certified Photovoltaic Technician. As a volunteer with the non-profit Light up the World, David spent three weeks training local technicians and assisting in the installation of six solar electric systems in remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon.
Benn Kilburn has been involved in the solar PV industry since 2004. Benn started working with ETI Solar (a solar distribution company) in 2005. In 2008, Benn started his own solar PV design and installation company, DayStar Renewable Energy Inc. before joining SkyFire Energy in 2013. Benn served as an active member on the board of Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA) from 2005 to 2013. Benn is a Journeyman electrician and CSA Certified Construction Electrician for Solar PV Systems.
Trevor DeHaan is a Photovoltaic Technician (Grant MacEwan University) with solar industry specific training. Trevor’s expertise lies in photovoltaic (solar PV) design, solar PV sales and project management. From 2007 – 2011, Trevor worked as a Technical Sales Manager with Conergy Canada. In August 2011, Trevor made a transition to self-employment as SunHugger Solar Design & Consulting Inc. and installed small residential grid tied PV systems in Edmonton. A year later, he joined Landmark Solar as a Photovoltaic Technician. Trevor is an active member of the St. Albert Chambers of Commerce and Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA). He has also served on the board of Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA). Trevor continues to be an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
Previously an Oil and Gas Project Engineer, Curtis Buxton decided to shift his focus towards renewable energy and joined the SkyFire team as a Project Manager in October 2015. Curtis has received solar PV training through the Canadian Solar Institute and holds a Chemical Engineering Technology diploma from SAIT. With a passion for leaving the world better than he found it, Curtis is also trained as a Black Belt in Continuous Improvement. Curtis has been a member owner of SPARK co-operative since June 2015. When he isn’t helping people create their solar PV dreams, he can be found enjoying his self created xeriscaped yard, experimenting with different gardening methods, on his motorcycle in the mountains, or tango dancing on the dance floor.
Daniel Yen joined the SkyFire Energy team as a project manager in June of 2016. Prior to joining the SkyFire team, Daniel completed a mechanical engineering degree at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Daniel has extensive experience in a number of fields including commercial construction, first aid, and customer service. As an outdoor enthusiast, Daniel is very excited to be apart of a company that promotes green energy and a cleaner future.
Greg has a long-standing passion for renewable energy dating back to 2001, following a career working in oil & gas exploration. In 2007, Greg earned his Masters of Environmental Design (Planning) degree from the University of Calgary where he completed a thesis (“Energy As If People Mattered”). Greg went on to work in socio-economic and environmental consulting in Calgary prior to entering local government as a Planner. Having worked with and for local governments including cities, counties and regional districts in both Alberta and British Columbia, Greg has an in-depth understanding of their policies and regulatory processes. As of 2016, Greg brings this planning background to SkyFire. Greg is also currently pursuing the Solar Business & Technical Sales Certificate through Colorado-based Solar Energy International. Greg is a past volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, including a build in Vietnam with Habitat’s “Global Village” initiative.
Vilasini P Pillay
Marketing & Communications
Equipped with over 6 years of experience in corporate marketing and communications, Vilasini P Pillay utilizes her skills to uniquely position and market SkyFire Energy in Western Canada. She manages SkyFire’s branding, advertising, sponsorships, website, graphic design, events and more. In addition to her role at SkyFire, Vilasini is also the new CEO at SPARK as well as the Marketing Director for Alberta Co-operative Energy, a new full service retail energy co-operative. She assisted in developing Alberta’s first local Green Offset Program, which allows individuals and businesses to directly purchase locally generated Green Energy Offsets from small solar or wind generators. Prior to joining SkyFire & SPARK, Vilasini completed a two-year management trainee program at CIMB Investment Bank, a leading investment bank in Southeast Asia, where she gained experience in corporate finance, retail banking, brand management and marketing. Vilasini P Pillay received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from University of Calgary in 2010.
Krista Crawford joined SkyFire Energy in accounting in May of 2014. Krista has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alberta (2010) and has also obtained her CPA designation. Krista is thrilled to be contributing to an industry that provides clean, sustainable energy and is excited about the great potential solar energy brings to Western Canada.
PV Systems Designer
Tung Nguyen joined SkyFire Energy as a PV Systems Designer in 2014. Tung has an Electrical Engineering degree from HCMC University of Technology as well as 10 years of experience in electricity distribution and transmission networks, solar PV system design and industrial project management. Prior to joining SkyFire, Tung managed the design team at Cenergy Power USA and worked on many utility scale and commercial solar PV projects in the US.
Katie Prall joined SkyFire Energy as an Administrative Assistant in September of 2015. Over the years, Katie has built her career in a variety of roles and industries. Prior to joining SkyFire Energy, Katie was an administrative professional at a real estate company. As an advocate for the environment, Katie is delighted to be involved with a company that contributes towards renewable energy growth in the province.
For the past decade, Bill has had a passion for renewable energy. In 2016, he finally switched directions in his career with a move into solar. Bill has been helping his Saskatchewan residential, agricultural and commercial clients go solar ever since. He dusted off his old texts and bought some new ones. Nothing like some calculations to get an engineer’s pulse up. Solar power is no longer the stuff of labs and pilot projects. It makes technical, economic and environmental sense. Bill will tell you this with passion, honesty and clarity. He received a BASc degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Waterloo in 1986 and an MBA from University of Oxford in 2003.
PV Systems Sales & Design
Born and raised in Regina, Will obtained his Industrial Systems Engineering degree from the U of R. Since 2008, Will has been involved in the development of solar and wind power projects within Western Canada, totaling close to 1 GW of capacity. Implementing proven renewable technology in an economically sound manner is a passion for Will. After 5 years of working as a consultant in the power industry, he is excited to now be focusing his efforts advancing solar economically for the people in his hometown region of Saskatchewan with SkyFire.
Journeyman Electrician & Project Manager
Parker, a Red Seal Journeyman Electrician, has received solar training with Solar Living Institute (2012 – 2013) and acquired 80 hours of NABCEP certified PV training. Parker was a site supervisor on Western Canada’s largest solar PV system – the 2MW Green Acres solar project. Prior to joining SkyFire in 2014, Parker spent 2 years working as an electrician and project manager with Hakai Energy Solutions where he worked on dozens of grid tied and off grid solar PV systems. During his time with Hakai, he managed the construction of a large 108kW off grid solar PV system for Tula Foundation at their Calvert island scientific research facility. Parker has also completed the “Photovoltaics for Electricians” 3-day course through SESA.
Master Electrician & Site Supervisor
Travis is a Certified Master Electrician registered in Alberta. He has a broad mix of commercial, industrial and residential electrical experience and brings extensive code knowledge to the SkyFire team. Travis has also completed the “Photovoltaics for Electricians” 3-day course through SESA.
Since joining the Skyfire Energy team in late 2014, Luke worked for over a year installing a number of Solar PV systems before recently moving into the Technical Sales department. Luke graduated from the Alternative Energy Technology program at NAIT in 2014. Through this course, he gained a balanced understanding of the economic, social, and environmental factors that are required to drive Alberta’s sustainable economic growth in environmentally responsible ways. The program covered a variety of energy systems (Solar PV, Wind, Solar Thermal and Geothermal) and their integration. Luke is proud to be working in an industry that makes a positive impact on the environment, and is excited to see how renewable energy advances in the future.