September 8, 2008

Ausra Announces High-Profile Senior Management Additions

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ausra, Inc., the provider of large-scale solar thermal energy systems for industrial processes and utility electricity generation, has announced three high-profile new additions to its senior management. Benjamin Montoya joins Ausra as a new board member, Debra A. Olson as general counsel, and Jeffrey J. Melby as senior vice president for research and product development. Their experience and abilities expand an already strong management team with decades of experience in the global technology, wind power, and electric utility business.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Benjamin Montoya joins Ausra's board of directors. Admiral Montoya, who was awarded a bronze star for his service in the Navy during Vietnam among other honors, comes to Ausra with more than ten years in leadership roles in the North American electric power industry, most recently as chairman, president and CEO of the Public Service Company of New Mexico.

"During my years working in the power industry and serving in the U.S. Navy, I've seen firsthand the costs of our continued reliance on imported energy, often supplied by unstable countries. Rapid expansion of utility-scale solar thermal power is one of the best options we have to reduce our dependence on imported energy and achieve national energy security. I believe Ausra's technology will be a leader in achieving these goals," said Montoya.

Debra Olson joins Ausra as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Ms. Olson brings to Ausra extensive strategic and legal expertise as well as energy industry and power generation technology experience. Prior to joining Ausra, Ms. Olson was vice president & general counsel for Vestas American Wind Technology, Inc., part of the world's largest wind energy company. Ms. Olson previously held the position of senior vice president & assistant general counsel at Calpine Corporation, a leading U.S. independent power producer and one of the world's largest generators of renewable geothermal energy.

"I was attracted to Ausra because of the tremendous growth potential of the company and the solar thermal power industry and the important role the industry will play in providing U.S. and worldwide energy solutions over the next decade. My extensive experience in the energy industry, particularly the renewable energy industry, will help Ausra continue to develop and expand its business," said Olson.

Jeff Melby joins Ausra as senior vice president of research and product development. He brings a valuable combination of engineering and business experience gained through fifteen years at 3M -- a $24 billion global innovator that produces more than 75,000 consumer and business products. He joins Ausra to continue and expand the company's innovation and cost reduction in delivering solar thermal energy systems worldwide to its customers.

"I am excited to join Ausra as it continues to build on its success in the solar thermal energy industry. The company is committed to focusing on the needs of its customers by developing cutting-edge technology and that is very much in line with my experience," said Melby.

About Ausra, Inc.

Ausra delivers energy from the sun. The company provides solar energy and energy systems for industrial processes and utility-scale electricity generation. The company is a leader in solar thermal energy design, development and manufacturing, and is committed to serving the global energy needs of its customers in a dependable, market-competitive and environmentally responsible manner. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Ausra is a privately held company funded by Khosla Ventures and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. To learn more about Ausra and solar thermal power in general, visit

Ausra, Inc.

CONTACT: Mark Sokolove, +1-703-302-8382, or cell, +1-703-599-7656,[email protected], for Ausra, Inc.; or Katherine Potter of Ausra, Inc.,+1-650-543-6733, or cell, +1-408-398-6611, [email protected]

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