About Us

Sterling Energy Partners

Larry Straight
Tom Burns
Micheal O’Leary
Dave Morgan

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Larry Straight
Larry Straight is the President and founder of Sterling Energy, a management services firm dedicated to the application of world-class management practices to the energy industry. Since 1989, Larry has directed the steady growth of the company in support of a large number of owners and developers of power generating assets.

Larry possesses an unusual blend of business acumen, management skills and technical expertise. His experience covers the full range of engineering, construction, startup, operations and maintenance of a large number of power plants employing practically every fuel and technology in use in the industry. Larry’s management career includes responsibility for operation of a 2,200 MW coal-fired facility, successful management of an extensive business line within a large engineering-construction organization, and for directing successful grass roots development of more than 20 different organizations responsible for managing power generating assets.

Larry regularly applies his diverse experience and skills in a wide range of consulting activities in support of our clients. These activities encompass every step along the timeline of generating assets, beginning with the earliest stage of project development, design and construction, mobilization of the operating entity, through ongoing asset management.

Many clients have found his experience and insight especially valuable for strategic planning, when considering acquisition of existing generating assets and afterward, when the transition of ownership takes place.

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Tom Burns
Tom Burns is a seasoned Project Director with over 30 years of experience in startup, operations and maintenance programs. He has extensive experience in organizing and managing startup and O&M mobilization programs on numerous projects, and successfully building world-class teams which consistently meet high standards of performance.   He currently serves as Program Director for Sterling’s long-term equipment layup and storage programs.

Prior to joining Sterling Energy, Tom was the Manager of Startup, and later the Operations and Maintenance Department, for Ebasco Services Inc. (now Washington International) in the western U.S. His responsibilities included building Ebasco’s regional capabilities for responding to project commitments. This included developing the standards and generation of startup plans, testing records, training programs, turnover packages and operating procedures, as well as for having focal point responsibility for overall management of regional startup teams.

Since joining Sterling Energy in 1992, he has served as our Project Director for the on-site O&M mobilization programs for six projects in the U.S., Canada, Malaysia, and Jamaica.

In addition to mobilization program management oversight, he has spearheaded the implementation of Sterling Energy’s System Sponsor program and qualifications program on projects in California, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Alaska, Canada, Scotland and Malaysia.

Tom holds a BE degree in Marine Engineering (1971) from the State University of New York Maritime College.

Tom manages Sterling’s Power Plant Equipment Preservation and Layup Services and our Commissioning Management and Startup Services.

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Michael O’Leary
Michael O’Leary brings thirty years of power industry experience to clients, providing management services in support of project development, construction management, operations and maintenance activities. He has served over 15 years as facility manager in power plants and other industrial installations. During the past 12 years he has performed management consulting services to variety of industrial and power industry ventures throughout the world, including the performance of project feasibility work in the US, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As Project manager he has overseen the refurbishing and upgrading of several large power facilities including conversion of fossil fired boilers to biomass as well as the relocation of a large gas fired facility. He has performed O&M evaluations and implemented performance optimization plans on two barge mounted oil fired power facilities. He has also supervised the start-up, commissioning and performance testing of several large merchant power plants.

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Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan is a Sterling Energy partner with broad experience in the management, operations, and development of power generation assets.  He provides valuable O&M and asset management advice – commercial, technical, and operational – to a wide range of Sterling Energy clients.

Dave has held energy industry positions ranging from service engineer and then regional manager for a large engine manufacturer to production manager and then vice president and general manager of an investor-owned electric utility.  He led product development efforts for a venture capital-funded energy technology company in the U.S. and served on two of the company’s boards of directors in the U.K.

As Kauai Electric’s Vice President and General Manager, Dave had both operational and P&L responsibilities for an island utility serving 30,000 customers.  Dave’s power plant management experience includes five years as Kauai Electric’s Production Manager. He gained additional plant management experience during his eight years at Wärtsilä, which included significant O&M assignments in Latin America.

Dave earned his Marine Engineering degree at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  He has an MBA from Colorado State University and is a registered professional engineer.

Dave leads Sterling’s Management and Technical Consulting, Acquisition and Transition Support, and O&M Mobilization businesses.

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