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2023 Cleantech Panelist Speaker

Rachael Estes

Director of State Affairs

Apex Clean Energy


Rachael Estes has worked on clean energy policy for over 15 years. She currently serves as the Director of State Affairs focused on the Carolinas and greater PJM region for Apex Clean Energy, a renewable energy company focused on utility-scale wind and solar with over 50GW of renewable energy under development across the country. In her role at Apex, Rachael engages with government leaders, coalition partners, and manages a team of lobbyists in various states throughout the region, to advocate for stronger renewable energy policies. She currently serves as the Chair of the Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (CCBEA), and serves on the Board of the the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC). In 2018, Rachael was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the North Carolina Energy Policy Council.

Prior to her time at Apex, Rachael served as the Climate and Energy Policy Manager at the North Carolina Conservation Network (NCCN) where she represented over 100 environmental groups across the state to advocate for stronger environmental protections and renewable energy policies in NC. During that time she represented the environmental community through HB589 negotiations.

Prior to her time at NCCN, Rachael served as the Energy and Commerce Committee Legislative Aide for US Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14), who now serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Climate Change. During her time on the Hill, Rachael served as the lead staffer for the Gulf Coast Caucus, which worked towards a bipartisan response to the 2010 BP Oil Spill and ultimately passed the RESTORE Act in 2012.

Rachael has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a BA in Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.