Entrepreneur Spotlight
Chad Farrell in a suit
Photo: Courtesy of Encore Renewable Energy
Chad Farrell ’92, founder and CEO of Encore Renewable Energy, is hoping to turn the tide on climate change.

Encore Renewable Energy

by Lori Ferguson

Everywhere Chad Farrell ’92 looks around his Burlington, Vt., hometown, he sees troubling signs of climate change: ski seasons are becoming progressively shorter, maple sap runs are increasingly unpredictable, and tick-borne diseases are creeping farther north. The shifts only increase his determination to confront climate change. “I want to be able to look at my kids and tell them honestly that Dad is engaged in meaningful work that will help secure their future,” he says.

As founder and CEO of Encore Renewable Energy, Farrell is knee-deep in the fight. A leader in the field of community-scale clean energy generation projects, including solar project development, brownfield redevelopment and energy storage, Encore is committed to demonstrating that renewable energy is practical, competitive and economically feasible.

“One of the things I love about Bucknell is that I’ve always felt engaged by fellow alumni.”
Farrell, an engineering major and co-captain of the varsity swimming team during his senior year, is leading the charge with the help of Delta Upsilon fraternity brother Blake Sturcke ’93, who became Encore’s chief financial officer in 2015 and president in 2019.

They have assembled a diverse team of professionals who are committed to turning the tide on climate change. “Blake and I believe it’s incredibly important to create a work environment that’s welcoming to every voice and every background. If people feel supported and engaged, they perform.”

The two are such strong proponents of workplace diversity that they recently pledged $100,000 to Bucknell to support social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. “We’re incredibly honored to be able to make this commitment to Bucknell to help shed light on the importance of this work,” Farrell says. The company also has partnered with Bucknell to install a 1.6 peak megawatt solar array on about 7 acres of University-owned land near the 12th fairway of Bucknell Golf Club.

“One of the things I love about Bucknell is that I’ve always felt engaged by fellow alumni, and I want to continue that tradition,” he adds. “During my time at the University, I was surrounded by amazing, high-performing humans and motivated by the culture of productivity and achievement I experienced. It was four of the best years of my life.”