Silicon Valley energy pioneer found dead in Yuba County
Jan 07, 2013 (Appeal-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A man found dead Sunday afternoon from a gunshot wound outside a Beale Air Force Base residential area was a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and clean energy pioneer, a family member confirmed today.
Gary D. Conley, 52, whose most recent corporate venture, b2u Solar of San Jose and Gurgaon, India, was one of several energy-related companies he founded, was discovered by a Beale resident at about 1 p.m. Sunday. [Read previous story]
His body was found outside a parked car near the Vassar Lake Gate.
According to a Beale spokesman, no foul play was involved.
Conley's brother, who lives in Oklahoma, said he and other family members are mystified by details surrounding the body's discovery.
"It's very perplexing," said Mark Conley, 55. "The circumstances don't seem to make much sense."
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations confirmed the death this afternoon.
Gary D. Conley served in the US Air Force from 1979 to 1983, as did Mark Conley and their father before them, according to Mark Conley. But otherwise, he had no known connection to the military.
The energy entrepreneur was named Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Growth Forum.
YouTube video: Interview with Gary Conley by SPIETV
He is credited with having founded SolFocus in 2005 in order to commercialize products created through its predecessor, a research company called H2Go.
That firm, also founded by Conley, began with hydrogen-related energy projects and later switched focus to solar energy.
"He was a genius," said Mark Conley. "He did some really amazing stuff."
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