Alternative Power Enterprises Inc. has been in business for the past twenty years and we define our success by achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction possible. Meet the experienced team that makes it all possible.



Leif Juell, owner

Leif Juell is the owner of APE and a NABCEP Certified Installer. He is a long time solar guy, starting Alternative Power Enterprises in 1992 in Ridgway, CO. He is dedicated to providing home and business owners with an alternative to standard coal fed utility power.

Leif loves to help people make the switch to clean energy.

Leif speaks fluent German and Norwegian having spent a lot of his childhood in those two countries. He has a BS in Broadcast Engineering, a lifetime FCC license, and spent several years working on electronics on fishing boats in the northwest. Leif spent three years riding his bike around the world before settling in Ridgway, Colorado and starting APE.


Josh Shipley, generator technician and installation manager

Josh Shipley has become a permanent part of our team. Josh is a NABCEP certified PV Installation Professional with an extensive background in renewable energy and 20 years of mechanical and building experience. Josh is also our generator technician, servicing generators for our many off grid energy systems that we maintain. In his spare time Josh loves taking off-road Jeep trips with his family, hunting across America, and riding his Harley. Josh is an excellent leader and installation manager, taking the reins and always working well with colleagues and clients.


Mark Smail, project manager, design and sales

Mark's love of renewable energy dates back to when he and his wife lived in a small, PV powered cabin in the Cascade Mts. of Washington State.  Realizing that PV even works in the temperate rain forest of the Pacific Northwest, Mark hit the ground running with a strong passion for PV.  Mark is a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional with 11 years of experience in the solar industry.  When not working with solar, Mark and his wife will disappear for extended periods of surfing in the Pacific or climbing in the desert


Jill Markey, Human Resources and Accounting

Jill Markey grew up in Vermont and has always been interested in being green.  She fell in love with the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and has made it her home for many years.  Jill met Leif while living in Ridgway, and has helped grow APE for nearly 20 years.  Jill is always willing to work with customers to make the installation process as seamless as possible.  Together, Jill and Leif have two children, and in her spare time loves to travel and enjoy all that Colorado has to offer.



After getting a B.S. in Business Administration, Andy moved west to spend a summer in the mountains.  Eight years, six mountain towns and different jobs from cooking to construction found him searching for a meaningful career.  After taking classes from Solar Energy International, he started working with APE and hasn't looked back.  Andy is excited to be in the PV industry and is a proud holder of NABCEP Installer certification. When off the clock, Andy enjoys skiing, running and biking in the mountains.


Ahmad JP Sawalmeh, Business Development Director

Ahmad JP Sawalmeh is from Michigan and moved to Colorado in 2005 to pursue a career in the Ski Industry. After a decade in the winter sports world, he was inspired to make an impact with renewable energy to ensure that there will be many more snowy winters in our future. He went to work for a successful solar company in 2013 and didn't look back. From marketing, to sales, to finance, he's had his hands in almost every aspect in the solar business – except you won't see him on your roof installing panels. He joined APE in May of 2018 as the first ever Business Development Director to help with community outreach. Since then, he's been developing community solar in Telluride, working with the local school district plus many other businesses on how to benefit from solar and available funding programs.