Kurt Adams, a former head of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, is leaving his job as chief development officer at wind developer SunEdison to become chief executive of Summit Utilities, Summit has announced.

The move comes as the CEO and board chairman of Colorado-based Summit, Michael Earnest, is retiring.

Earnest co-founded Colorado Natural Gas Inc., which became part of Summit Utilities Inc. in 1997.

Summit Utilities is the parent company of Summit Natural Gas of Maine, which has been expanding in the state.

Adams, who is currently a member of the Summit board, also will assume responsibility for the day-to-day leadership of Summit Natural Gas of Maine. Mike Tanchuk, who served as executive vice president of Summit Utilities and President of Summit Natural Gas of Maine, recently departed the company.

Adams who chaired the PUC from 2005 to 2008, was previously chief development officer at First Wind, which was acquired last year by a SunEdison subsidiary. First Wind/SunEdison are the largest wind developers in Maine.

“Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of working with Mike and the Summit Utilities team as a member of the board, and I am excited to be joining the company at this important time,” Adams said in a statement. “I believe the company can be a strong platform for sustainable energy growth. Our priority will continue to be providing customers with safe, reliable, and affordable energy.”

SunEdison has been in the news recently because of its poor stock performance. It announced on Monday that it’s consolidating some operations to focus on high-growth markets.

Adams said a desire to be closer to his home in Maine, not SunEdison’s performance, was the deciding factor in his decision to leave the wind company.

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