Who We Are

Our Purpose

The Upepo Team is a highly experienced group of energy project developers committed to bringing utility scale wind, solar and battery storage projects to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Climate change and the resulting recurring drought conditions have made hydro-electric generation less reliable and less productive. Targeting growing nations with unmet electrical demand, Upepo is focused on providing sustainable, clean energy technologies to meet current and future economic development needs in African countries.

Our Team

Photo of Tom Carnahan, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Upepo Energy.

Tom Carnahan

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Tom Carnahan is an attorney, businessman and community leader with extensive experience in government and private sector innovation. In 2005, Mr. Carnahan founded Wind Capital Group, a leading developer, owner and operator of wind farms in the United States. Under his leadership, Wind Capital Group developed over 1 GW of projects, and set in motion over $1 billion of investment. He is a former board member and Chairman of the American Wind Energy Association.

Photo of Dean Baumgardner, Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer of Upepo Energy

Dean Baumgardner

Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer

Dean Baumgardner has more than 30 years of experience in renewable energy and utility operations. As founding partner in Wind Capital Group, he directed project development, technical services and construction on 1 GW of wind energy projects. Dean also served as business development manager at WindConnect/RMT,  a wind energy EPC contractor, and spent 20 years in various senior management positions at Midwest U.S. utility Alliant Energy. Dean was also the lead developer on the 200MW Cotton Plains and Old Settlers Wind Farm in Texas.

Photo of Steve Wolfgram, General Manager of Upepo Energy.

Steve Wolfgram

General Manager, Africa

Steve has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry and has worked on the development of wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and natural gas fired power projects. He has worked in Africa for nearly three decades on infrastructure development including power, water and education projects.  He is responsible for leading the development of wind, solar and battery storage projects in Tanzania and Zambia, and he heads up new site prospecting efforts in East and Southern Africa.

Portrait of Teddie Mwale, Upepo Senior Advisor.

Teddie Mwale

Upepo Senior Advisor

Teddie is an energy economist based in Lusaka with experience across the energy sector with a special interest in renewable energy.  After a career at ZESCO where he rose to the rank of Director, Teddie moved into the consulting business and now advises clients on multiple renewable energy technologies. He is a consulting economist for major international agencies and private companies and has worked across Africa on energy development projects and acquisitions.

Portrait of Mwelwa Chibesakunda, Upepo Energy Zambia Board Member and Zambian Legal Counsel.

Mwelwa Chibesakunda

Upepo Energy Zambia Board Member and Zambian Legal Counsel

Mwelwa is Senior Partner, Chibesakunda & Company, Lusaka, Zambia and brings 23 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions, banking and commercial law transactions in Zambia.  He is also active in the development of solar energy.  Mwelwa holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of Zambia and a Master of Law (LLM) in International Commercial Law from the University of Bristol, UK. Mwelwa is an Advocate of the Supreme and High Courts for Zambia.

Photo of Prudence Katongo Ames

Prudence Katongo Ames

Upepo Communications Advisor and Board Member

Prudence Katongo-Ames is a communications professional who has worked across Zambia and coordinated national campaigns relating to HIV and Malaria prevention, maternal and child health, anti-corruption and good governance. She has managed communications campaigns on behalf of the Government of Zambia, Zambian civil society organizations and international NGO’s and consulting firms. In her free time, Prudence enjoys tending her farm in Lusaka West.

Photo of Lisa Carnahan, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Upepo Energy.

Lisa Carnahan

Vice President of Strategic Planning

Lisa Carnahan is a businesswoman, investor and philanthropist and serves as Upepo Energy’s Vice President of Strategic Planning.  In her role, she focuses on community development, site identification and the application of the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance practices.

Ms. Carnahan helped establish Wind Capital Group as a leading developer of wind projects in the United States and was the initial team lead responsible for community, landowner and siting issues on the 150MW Lost Creek Wind Project.

Photo of Maliva Mahiga, Project Manager for Upepo Energy.

Maliva Mahiga

Project Manager, East Africa

Maliva is an experienced renewables project developer based in Dar es Salaam. Previously, he worked at InfraCo Management Services where he was involved in the early stage development of infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, Maliva worked for ETG FZC, a privately funded project development company, with offices in Tanzania, where he evaluated early stage opportunities in the Mining, Energy and Agriculture in Western and Eastern sub-Saharan Africa.

Portrait of Jonathan Njau

Jonathan A. Njau

Tanzania Legal Advisor

Jonathan is an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, entrepreneur and politician with extensive experience in corporate law and finance which spans more than 25 years.  He worked as an Assistant Registrar of Companies, Chief Legal Counsel of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and later Chief Executive Officer of the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Jonathan is a board member of several public and private companies.  He is the managing partner of a law firm in Dar es Salaam with wide experience in corporate matters.  He has advised a number of local and international corporate bodies on diverse legal matters.

Interested in partnering with Upepo Energy?