Fayetteville solar startup Picasolar has named former Arkansas lieutenant governor Bill Halter to its board of directors.
"Picasolar is a great example of Arkansas entrepreneurs competing in global markets; I look forward to helping the company transition from technical progress to business growth," Halter said in a news release.
Halter served as the state's 14th lieutenant governor from 2007 to 2011 and is a former adviser and official in the administration of former president Bill Clinton. From 1999 to 2011, he served as deputy commissioner and COO of the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Halter has served on the boards of 10 national technology companies and Stanford University, his alma mater. In 2010, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Blanche Lincoln.
"Picasolar is poised to have a significant impact on the solar industry and Bill will play an important role in reaching our potential," said board chair Terry Tremwel in the release.
A University of Arkansas startup, Picasolar developed a solar photovoltaic technology to enhance the efficiency of solar cells by up to 15 percent. The technology was invented by Picasolar CTO Seth Shumate.
Picasolar CEO Douglas Hutchings believes the addition of Halter to the board will help move the company's technology closer to commercialization.
"Bill is a tremendous addition to the board and complements the other members perfectly," said Picasolar CEO Douglas Hutchings. "Picasolar’s technology represents a big step towards making solar one of the most cost effective energy sources. In recent months, we have hit several key milestones and Bill’s background will be extremely beneficial as the company continues to grow and add jobs."
Last year, Picasolar and its sister company Silicon Solar Solutions, an Innovate Arkansas client firm, were named recipients of the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Award. Currently, Picasolar is working with researchers at Georgia Tech and equipment manufacturer Meyer Burger to bring its patent-pending technology to market, which Hutchings expects to take place in the next two years.