Sean Casten, co-founder and former ceo of Recycled Energy Development, won the race to represent Illinois’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

The Democrat son of Trigen Energy Corp. founder Thomas Casten beat six-term incumbent Republican Rep. Pete Roskam.

With his company, Recycled Energy Development (RED), Sean Casten acquired a behind-the-fence utility business in Rochester, N.Y.’s Eastman Business Park, including a 130 MW coal-fired generator, from Kodak in 2013.

RED operated the business for three years before selling it to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners portfolio company Ironclad Energy Partners in 2016 (PFR, 5/16).

“Sean ran that business,” says a former colleague, who requested anonymity. “Having someone in Congress that understands the nuances at the intersection of policy, cogeneration technology and tax issues in the clean energy space is going to be very valuable and will bring leadership to an area that the Democrats are focused on anyway.”

Before establishing RED in 2007, Casten was president and ceo of Turbosteam Corp., a developer of cogeneration projects.

Spokespeople for Casten in Downers Grove, Ill., did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the Congressman elect’s energy policy.

MIXED BAG FOR RENEWABLES

In votes elsewhere, four proposed power sector reforms at the state level drew mixed results.

Voters in Washington rejected a carbon tax for the second time in two years, with 56% voting against the policy.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, a battle between billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Warren Buffet went the way of Buffet-owned NV Energy.

Nevadans roundly rejected Adelson’s proposal to move to a competitive retail electricity market, which could have led to the break-up of the incumbent regulated utility.

NV Energy donated $63.1 million to the campaign against the deregulation move, dwarfing the corporate donors on the other side of the issue, which included Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. ($21.9 million) and NRG Energy ($298,320, all of which was in-kind).

Nevada did, however, pass a measure which requires utilities to buy half of their generation from renewable sources by 2030.

In Arizona, Proposition 127, which would have increased the state’s renewable energy mandate from 15% by 2025 to 50% by 2030, was drubbed in the poll, 70% to 30%.

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