Who We Are

Powering a Sustainable Future

Imagine a future where renewable energy is not only feasible but also cost-competitive. With Aries Clean Energy, that future is now. We have paved the way in a wide range of sustainable technology for both residential and commercial applications. From solar to gasification, our proven solutions are at work in homes, businesses, and municipalities in the United States.

A comprehensive approach to transforming the world of clean energy

Over the past decade, sustainability has moved from the fringe into the mainstream for organizations of all types. New research and enhanced technology have led to solutions that reduce the operational environmental impact while simultaneously delivering real financial value.

At the forefront of the sustainability movement is a three-pronged approach that considers the environmental impact, as well as the financial implications, of waste, energy, and emissions. Lowering waste output reduces current costs, while embracing renewables to lower energy usage and mitigate emissions lowers both current costs and exposure to future risks.

Aries Clean Energy provides a multi-patented technology that can handle your waste in a turnkey gasification solution. This approach provides proven environmental benefits, while simplifying your overall waste handling process.

Our solutions also turn your waste into a fuel gas that can be used to produce electricity for a variety of thermal processes. In addition, the overall emissions from your waste are reduced, thereby supporting your organization’s emissions reduction goals.

If you are looking to take a giant leap forward in your sustainability program, Aries Clean Energy is here to help.


History

A Vision of Growth

Aries Clean Energy started in 2010 as PHG Energy, funded by the owners of a multi-state Caterpillar dealership to further develop a patented gasification technology already in full commercialization and proven as a viable method of cleanly converting wood waste to synthetic fuel gas for industrial use.


By 2013, the company has achieved several additional milestones using downdraft gasification, including:

  • Power Generation: Developing a system in conjunction with General Electric to power GE’s Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generation equipment for the first time ever with biomass-produced fuel gas
  • Municipal Plant: Designing and installing its first municipal gasification facility to cleanly convert wood and biological waste to electricity
  • Cleaner Syngas: Successfully cleaning syngas in an R&D project, powering a 1 MW Caterpillar generator and selling that power back to the grid through TVA
  • Feedstock Research: Testing and collecting gasification performance data on a wide array of biomass-based materials including municipal solid waste, scrap tires, and purpose grown crops

   

 

 

 

Larger System Deployment

In 2014, we constructed and field tested the world’s largest downdraft gasifier, giving the company’s offering economies of scale to better assure positive financial returns for customers. With five times the processing throughput and fuel output capacity of earlier equipment, the new unit was a major breakthrough for both technology and market penetration.

The initial deployment of that system is now operating in the City of Lebanon, Tennessee, and converts a blend of commercial wood waste, scrap tires, and biosolids into electric power. Click here to view a case study and ongoing results of that project.

Market Integration

The purchase of two additional companies in 2015 has enabled for both horizontal and vertical market integration. The acquisition of assets and patents from MaxWest, a fluidized bed gasification company, opened new waste disposal markets; and bringing the expertise of ARiES Energy into the group added a new solar clean energy component for both commercial and utility-scale sales.

Continuing Research and Development

Aries Clean Energy continues to pursue innovative, market-changing clean tech research, and is now testing patented microwave-based approaches that more thoroughly remove tars from syngas.


Team

Management Team
Board of Directors

Management Team

Gregory L. Bafalis

Chief Executive Officer

Greg Bafalis has more than 30 years of leadership in the clean technology and energy fields. His experience ranges from Fortune 500 Companies to starting his own private equity-backed renewable energy company in Houston, Texas, to running a Silicon Valley clean tech startup in the algae space.

With project development, construction, financing, and operations experience in 17 countries during his career, Mr. Bafalis has successfully closed over $2 billion in project financings and raised over $250 million in venture capital and private equity funding for a wide array of startup companies.

Mark N. Witt

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Witt joined the Aries Clean Energy team as CFO with 35 years of energy project and structured finance experience with major international companies as well as entrepreneurial start-ups.

He has successfully closed numerous financings for both public and private companies including four initial public offerings. He brings complimentary experience in power development and renewables as well as oil and gas exploration and production, transportation/storage and trading.

Mr. Witt began his career as a CPA after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jeffrey S. Snyder

Senior Vice President Business Development

Jeff Snyder brings more than 20 years’ experience in water and wastewater management in his role to lead Aries Clean Energy’s sales. His diverse skill set ranges from environmental compliance, regional sales and development efforts, contract negotiations to system repair and maintenance. His work with trade associations and rep groups across the United States enhances Aries Clean Energy’s offering in the municipal renewable energy and sustainable waste disposal market.

Mr. Snyder has worked with a number of waste disposal and utility companies, including Parkson Corporation, Synagro Technologies, American Water Services, AquaSource Utility and Culligan Operating Services. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Some of his career accomplishments to date include:

  •  Co-inventor of the MaxWest Fluidized Bed Gasifier;
  • Secured applicability determination from the EPA in 2013 stating that the MaxWest Gasifier is not a sewage sludge incinerator and will not be regulated as such; and
  • Managed installation and commissioning of the MaxWest Gen 2 Gasifier in Sanford, FL in 2012.

Michael R. Webb

Vice President Marketing

Mike Webb provides Aries Clean Energy a diverse background in the communications industry, experience working with a wide range of large businesses, as well as the perspective of having managed his own company.

Joining what was then PHG Energy in the first months of its formation, Mr. Webb has led the branding, public relations and overall marketing efforts for over five years. He has additionally taken on a major role in business development and community outreach.

As vice president and marketing director for First American Corporation in Nashville, Mr. Webb managed all advertising and external communication efforts for that company’s 125 banking offices. He was later regional vice president for a St. Louis advertising and public relations agency, managing its Nashville office and directing service for multiple national accounts. As account services director for a Nashville agency, he led a 15-person team in providing public relations and advertising services for clients ranging from long-term care and hospital corporations to equipment manufacturers and energy companies.

He was later president and managing partner of a 10-person advertising agency, ROI Marketing.

Mr. Webb attended Virginia Tech and subsequently spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor.

Harvey M. Abouelata

President Solar Division

Harvey Abouelata has nearly a decade of experience as a champion of renewable energy technology in the Southeast. He draws on this to guide customers’ attention to areas where costs can be decreased through installing LED lighting, insulation, power conditioning, water sequestration and finally to producing energy through solar PV and/or gasification.

During his earlier career in the solar industry, including executive roles culminating in founding his own renewable energy firm, Mr. Abouelata succeeded in bringing millions of dollars in grants and incentives to clients.

He brings a firm grasp of small-business leadership to his position through his ownership of businesses in other industries. Prior to his focus on renewable energy, Mr. Abouelata owned a creative services firm for eight years providing business and marketing plans and sales strategy. He also helped businesses launch, reorganize, and bring new technology to market.

Since graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology, he has been helping businesses launch, reorganize, and bring new technology to market.

Mr. Abouelata excels at setting up successful sales, marketing, business plans and economic development strategies for companies, as well as executing public outreach and education.

Robin M. Mowers

Controller

Robin Mowers brings more than 10 years in the field of accounting and leadership to Aries Clean Energy. She joined the staff in October of 2015 as the company’s first Controller. Her industry experience includes healthcare, government, and retail organizations. Prior to joining the accounting world, Mrs. Mowers was a District Sales Manager for a men’s clothing company. This experience provided her with extensive leadership and training skills.

While working for a local government in Scottsdale, Arizona, she successfully accounted for a $200 million baseball training facility. In addition, she accounted for numerous capital expenditure projects in excess of $100 million.

Mrs. Mowers holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Arizona State University. While completing her degree, she was a member and leader of Beta Alpha Psi, an honor and service organization for accounting professionals.

Board of Directors

DeWitt Thompson V

Chairman of the Board of Directors

DeWitt C. Thompson, V, is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Aries Clean Energy. He has been President of Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation, a Caterpillar heavy machinery and power systems distributor, since 2003.

Mr. Thompson founded PureWorks, Inc. (dba PureSafety) in 1999 and served as Chairman until the purchase of that company by Underwriters Laboratories in 2011.

In addition to his role at Aries Clean Energy, Mr. Thompson is a Director of the Nashville Predators, Southcomm Inc., and Thompson Machinery. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Michael Childers

Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors

Michael Childers, currently president of Bernhard Energy in Baton Rouge, LA, has made significant career achievements in the development of entrepreneurial growth companies, including Synergy Renewables, a BP Capital backed venture focusing on waste-to- energy projects in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Bernhard Energy is a developer, owner and operator of central utility plants for industry, higher education, and healthcare. Bernhard Energy is part of Bernhard LLC. Bernhard LLC owns and manages Bernhard Mechanical Constructors, EP Breaux Electric, TME Engineering Inc.

He also served as president and CEO of Solar Systems, a concentrated solar power technology from Australia.

Childers’ previous experience includes:

  • CEO at TXU/Luminant Development at TXU Corporation, a major Texas utility company
  • EVP at the Shaw Group, also serving as president of their Stone & Webster subsidiary
  • President of the unregulated businesses at Entergy Corporation

He is a graduate of the University of San Diego.

DeWitt Thompson IV

Board of Directors

DeWitt C. Thompson, IV, is a member of Aries Clean Energy’s Board of Directors. Following college graduation, Mr. Thompson served in the Tennessee Air National Guard as a navigator and pilot. He joined Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation, a Caterpillar Dealership, in 1973 and took over as Chief Executive Officer in 1981. He is also the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thompson Machinery.

Mr. Thompson has served on various outside boards of directors including First American National Bank, Forke Brothers Auctioneers, Forke Credit Corporation, Cooperative Association of Tractor Dealers, Vector Disease Control International and PureWorks, Inc. He is also a part owner of the Nashville Predators, an NHL franchise.

Mr. Thompson graduated from the Vanderbilt School of Engineering with a focus on Civil Engineering.

John Thompson

Board of Directors

John Thompson is a member of Aries Clean Energy’s Board of directors and Vice President of Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation, a Caterpillar dealership. He is a board member of the Nashville Predators NHL hockey club, and he owns Ashland Properties, a real estate property investment company.

Prior to working for Thompson Machinery, he served as an asset manager for Covenant Capital Group, LLC. He currently serves on the boards of United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee and the Blake McMeans Promise Tour.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Mr. Thompson and his wife, Margaret, reside in Nashville with their two children.

Gregory L. Bafalis

Board of Directors

Greg Bafalis has more than 30 years of leadership in the clean technology and energy fields and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Aries Clean Energy. His experience ranges from Fortune 500 Companies to starting his own private equity-backed renewable energy company in Houston, Texas, to running a Silicon Valley clean tech startup in the algae space.

With project development, construction, financing, and operations experience in 17 countries during his career, Mr. Bafalis has successfully closed over $2 billion in project financings and raised over $250 million in venture capital and private equity funding for a wide array of startup companies.

Jim Ezzell

Advisory Board Member

Jim Ezzell serves as a member of the advisory board. His experience includes being the Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary, and Director for Thompson Machinery Commerce Corporation for the past 29 years. Before Thompson, Mr. Ezzell spent six years in corporate banking with a major regional bank, and three years in the treasury department for a Fortune 500 company. During his 29 year tenure at Thompson Machinery, in addition to Aries Clean Energy, he has formerly held similar positions in other Thompson affiliated companies ranging from an international heavy equipment auction company which also included a captive finance company; to a newspaper publishing company; to a highly successful e-learning company.

When the company was started, Mr. Ezzell’s primary role with Aries Clean Energy was to develop financing sources not only for Aries but also for customer installations if requested. In addition to supervising the typical treasury functions, other responsibilities include tax review that may apply to installations, contract review, and risk management.

Mr. Ezzell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of the South-Sewanee and two master degrees from Georgia State University – a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and a Masters of Professional Accountancy. He currently maintains a C.P.A. – Inactive certification.

Steve Lainhart

Advisory Board Member

Steve Lainhart’s 28-year record of achievement with both Thompson Machinery and Thompson Power gives Aries Clean Energy the management and project coordination experience necessary to combine various components of industry-specific strategies and marketing for the company’s gasification systems.

As General Manager of Thompson Power for the past 15 years, he has directed sales and customer service operations in Tennessee and Mississippi through 11 field offices. Under his leadership, the company has developed a high level of specialization in tasking onsite generator capacity for health care and data emergency backup and for utility distributed generation and end-user load management.

Starting with a core generator business in healthcare markets, which demand both sophisticated control capabilities and 24-hour service response, Mr. Lainhart has leveraged Thompson’s system design and service experience into industrial processes, communications, water treatment, data management, universities and utility applications.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and has taught mechanics and thermodynamics for Vanderbilt as an adjunct professor.

Mark N. Witt

Advisory Board Member

Mark Witt joined the Aries Clean Energy team as Chief Financial Officer with 35 years of energy project and structured finance experience with major international companies as well as entrepreneurial start-ups.

He has successfully closed numerous financings for both public and private companies including four initial public offerings. He brings complimentary experience in power development and renewables as well as oil and gas exploration and production, transportation/storage and trading.

Mr. Witt began his career as a CPA after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin.


Memberships and Energy Partners