Edelen Renewables Is a Boutique Developer of Solar Projects to Drive Social Impact
With a founding mission of bringing the promise of renewable energy to the forgotten places, Edelen Renewables is the only solar development firm in America with a sole focus on socially impactful projects that provide the triple-bottom line return of meeting the climate challenge, driving economic transition in forgotten communities, and producing savings for our off-takers.
“We simply cannot defeat climate change without expanding the renewable energy winner’s circle to include our forgotten people, in our forgotten places. At Edelen Renewables our passion is leveraging new energy to build a New American Dream.” --Adam Edelen, Founder
What We Do
A people-focused vision. Creativity. Grit. These are the hallmarks of the approach we bring to the historic work we do. From bringing coal companies together with green energy advocates to develop reclaimed mine sites and create employment for displaced coalminers to assisting a homeless shelter become the first in America to “go-solar” without public subsidy, we create win/wins for every stakeholder.
We’ve partnered with several of the largest national developers of utility-scale projects and currently have a pipeline of ten projects in four states, representing more than 1GW and more than $1B in capital investment.
From land acquisition and facilitating public engagement to shepherding projects through regulatory processes to securing corporate off-take agreements (VPPA), Edelen Renewables’ “boots-on-ground” approach produces results.
Most Iconic Renewable Energy Project in America
Our “coal-to-solar” project, deep in the heart of central Appalachia has been described as the “most iconic renewable energy project in America.” The project represents a capital investment of more than $100m and will employ hundreds of out-of-work miners.
The innovative nature of this one-of-a-kind partnership between a coal company and a renewable energy firm to drive economic transition was featured in the award-winning documentary “The Human Element” and has captured the attention of the national and global media, from CNET, SkyTV, Fast Company to The Wall Street Journal and CNN.
Beyond our projects in the coal communities of Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia, we’re working hard to drive true social impact in rural communities, facing hardship in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
In short, we’re making a big difference in places that need it.
Who We Are
Adam Edelen is a dynamic leader with a demonstrated record of accomplishment in both the private and public sectors.
He is the founder of Edelen Ventures, a Kentucky-based development firm driving a number of projects, primarily in the solar energy and technology arenas. In addition to founding a number of ventures in the renewable energy space, he is Vice Chairman of Lobaki Inc, a leading designer of Virtual Reality applications in education and training.
Edelen garnered significant attention for structuring an innovative partnership of a leading coal company with a global renewable energy giant. The partnership proposes the largest solar installation in Appalachia, built by out-of-work coal miners on a mountaintop removal site. The proposed project has been featured globally, from CNN and SkyTV to Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal.
As a chief of staff to a former Kentucky governor and later as the state’s elected state auditor, Edelen has earned a reputation as a modernizer and reformer in government. His efforts have resulted in prison terms for corrupt politicians and school administrators, uncovered fraud and abuse in Kentucky’s nearly $3billion system of “Ghost Government” taxing districts, and the testing of more than 3,000 previously unaccounted for rape kits.
The press has described him as “a man on a mission” and “a refreshing example”, his leadership “dazzlingly bipartisan” and “excellent and courageous.”
It’s a record that has won state and national recognition. He has been named the Outstanding Young Kentuckian and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Junior Chamber Commerce. The latter is among the most prestigious youth service awards and previous honorees include presidents Kennedy, Ford, Nixon, and Clinton. More recently he has been honored by the Aspen Institute, the German Marshall Fund, and the Kentucky Rural Health Association. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.
Nathan Cryder has a broad range of executive and leadership experience in the business, government, non-profit, and education sectors.
In the renewable energy sector, Nathan was a partner in Goldenrod Renewables along with Edelen Renewables founding partner, Adam Edelen, and Arcadia Energy founder and CEO, Kiran Bhatraju. He also serves as the treasurer of the Kentucky Solar Energy Industry Association.
In business, he is a founder or co-founder of several companies including Breakout, the world’s largest escape room company, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky with over 1,000 employees and 45 locations throughout the U.S. and one in South Africa. Nathan is also the co-founder and former CEO of Sig Luscher Brewery, a Frankfort, Kentucky-based brewery with the tenth oldest legacy of any operational brewery in the U.S. (founded in 1866 and reopened in 2018).
In the non-profit sector, he was the acting Director of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation-U.S., founded by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, who has dedicated his life to ensuring children’s rights in India and globally since 1981. Nathan continues to serve on a pro-bono basis as an advisor to Mr. Satyarthi and his son, Bhuwan Ribhu, the founder and director of India Child Protection Fund.
In government, Nathan was Senior Advisor and Policy Director to Edelen Ventures founder, Adam Edelen, when he was the Kentucky State Auditor, and in education, he has taught high school and college courses in economics, history, sociology, psychology, history, web design, graphic design, and video editing.
He has traveled to Cuba on fourteen occasions and is the Co-Chair of EngagCuba’s Kentucky Chapter. Nathan holds dual masters in diplomacy and sociology from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in sociology from Miami (OH) University. He has a daughter and a son, and enjoys his free time traveling, reading, and writing.
"Adam Edelen and his team are among the most innovative solar developers around. No one works harder than they do to bring new energy opportunities to small town America."
- Kiran Bhataraju, Founder & CEO, Arcadia Power
In the Media
The Human Element