Michael Peter Skelly

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Michael Skelly
Skelly New IMG 1032.JPG
Personal details
Born (1961-10-19) October 19, 1961 (age 55)
Spouse(s) Anne Whitlock
Residence Houston, Texas
Alma mater University of Notre Dame,
Harvard Business School
Occupation President and Founder,
Clean Line Energy Partners
Religion Roman Catholic

Michael Peter Skelly (born October 19, 1961) is a Houston renewable energy businessman and former Democratic candidate for Texas’s 7th congressional district (map) in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the chief development officer for Horizon Wind Energy, the third largest wind company in the United States.[1] Skelly is currently the president of Clean Line Energy Partners, an independent developer of high voltage direct current, long-haul transmission lines.[2]

Family and background[edit]

At the age of two, Skelly sailed to the United States from Ireland with his family aboard the SS America. His parents settled in Roanoke, Virginia where Skelly attended public schools. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. After college, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Costa Rica.

Skelly has been married to Anne Whitlock since 1991. The couple has three children: two boys and a girl. Anne earned a degree in Business Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Anne serves on the board of the Denver Harbor Family Clinic and works at the Harris County Healthcare Alliance.

In February 2011, Skelly donated a kidney to his sister.

Business career[edit]

In 1999, Skelly joined Horizon Wind Energy, when it was a two-person operation, and helped it grow into a multi-billion dollar company over the next nine years. In 2005, investment bank Goldman Sachs bought Horizon, then a privately held company known as Zilkha Renewables.[3] Goldman Sachs sold Horizon, which had grown to the third largest wind company in the United States, for $2.2 billion[3] for a reported gain of nearly $1 billion.[4] In 2006, the Houston Business Journal quoted Skelly as saying, "Houston is the center of energy, and as renewable energy, including wind, plays a bigger role. There is an opportunity for Houston to be involved in the growth for that segment."[5]

In 2009, Skelly founded Clean Line Energy Partners, a company focused on the biggest challenge[citation needed] facing renewable energy—moving renewable energy from resource areas to distant consumer markets. Clean Line is an independent developer of high voltage, long-haul transmission lines, providing transmission solutions to generators and load-serving utilities in order to efficiently interconnect clean energy with consumers.

Prior to his time at Horizon Wind, Skelly worked at Energia Global and New World Power. Both positions focused on energy projects in Latin America. Before entering the energy industry, he served as a founding partner and manager for Rain Forest Aerial Tram in Costa Rica.[6]

2008 Congressional campaign[edit]

In November 2008, Skelly faced three-term incumbent John Culberson in the Congressional election for Texas’ 7th district. Skelly's campaign received national attention when he raised more money than any candidate, incumbent or challenger, Democrat or Republican, running for the House of Representatives that year.[7]

The 7th district has traditionally been one of the most Republican districts in the nation, as well as the most Republican district in the Houston area. However, Skelly positioned himself as the strongest Democrat to run in the district in almost 40 years.[citation needed] Despite his strong showing, Skelly was defeated by Culberson.

Other activities[edit]

Skelly serves on the Houston Parks Board and is a co-founder of the Houston Renewable Energy Network. Skelly also serves on the advisory boards of C12 Energy and Trees for Houston.


  1. ^ "GE Invests $117 Million in EDP Renewables' Oklahoma Wind Farm and Additional $111 Million in Established Wind Farm Portfolio". Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  2. ^ "Wharton Houston Speakers Forum September '09". Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  3. ^ a b Goncalves, Sergio (March 27, 2007). "EDP to buy $2.2 bln U.S. Horizon Wind Energy". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  4. ^ Harpe, Christine (September 16, 2007). "Worst Wall Street Quarter Since 2001 Tempered by Goldman's Gain". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  5. ^ Hall, Christine (September 8, 2006). "Houston gets wind of renewable energy source". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  6. ^ "NIPPC Annual Meeting 2007: Speakers". Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC). Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  7. ^ "Congressional Elections: Texas District 07 Race: 2008 Cycle". Center for Responsive Politics at OpenSecrets.org. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 

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