High energy Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Finalist
Clean Tech

Hans Peter “H.P.” Michelet has successfully started and developed a variety of businesses, from financial services to clean technology, even cod farming. But perhaps his most ambitious endeavor to date is serving as chairman of Energy Recovery Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of energy recovery devices used in seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants — a process aimed at helping relieve global water scarcity.

Michelet was an early investor in Energy Recovery — an investment that began when the company was still a small venture with just two employees. Today, thanks in large part to the efforts and vision of Michelet, Energy Recovery is synonymous with energy-efficient desalination. Getting from start-up to global leader proved challenging, however, and along the way, Michelet overcame several technological, managerial and financial obstacles.

Michelet spurred two major managerial changes, believing that the company needed the right team for the right time, even if it meant replacing the founder of the company. He also managed the company’s move from Virginia to California, a move made to put the company’s operations closer to the new management team. These initiatives sparked rapid growth and helped catapult Energy Recovery toward an industry leadership position.

Financially, the company was burning through cash as it poured money into the development of the PX Pressure Exchanger energy recovery device. Michelet led a small group of investors and was able to secure their commitment to the process.

The result of Michelet’s leadership and perseverance is a company that is the market leader in seawater reverse osmosis energy recovery devices, at a time when global water demand continues to grow. Michelet’s leadership has allowed Energy Recovery to forever change the economics of desalination, helping to make it a long-term, sustainable and affordable solution to solve global water scarcity.

How to reach: Energy Recovery Inc., (510) 483-7370 or www.energyrecovery.com