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Mike Auger, Ever-Green Energy
Mike Auger, Ever-Green Energy

In-House Counsel 2022: Mike Auger

Mike Auger got interested in the legal profession while bartending during college at a country club in his home state of South Dakota. Food company general counsel and country club member Sheila Hagen recognized Auger’s talent and suggested his skills could be applied to law — not just cocktails.

He believed her.

After law school at Rutgers University and a few resume-building jobs, Auger became counsel for U.S. Energy Services in Plymouth. The firm negotiated contracts between large clients and fuel suppliers. “It was a good introduction to the energy space,” he says. “They [the company] gave me a lot of opportunities to pursue education, both legal and nonlegal, to develop energy expertise.”

When the opportunity came in 2015 to work in renewable energy at Ever-Green Energy, he embraced it. “The company aligned with where I thought things in the industry were going, and I liked the way Ever-Green approaches things and that it’s a mission-driven organization,” he says.

As vice president and chief legal, risk and governance officer, Auger gets involved in nearly every aspect of the business, from creating contracts to working through often dense financing arrangements. Ever-Green operates North America’s largest hot water district energy system, District Energy in St. Paul, and several other systems around the country, including Duluth.

The company also has projects to build geothermal heating at Oberlin College in Ohio, and in San Francisco, where bay water will be used for a district system covering millions of square feet in the emerging Mission Bay neighborhood. In addition, Auger said Ever-Green developed a template that includes first-of-its-kind financing through the California Pollution Control Agency that is attracting interest from three or four other California locations.

Auger loves the variety his job offers. “Every day is different,” he says. “At Ever-Green, I get to work with some of the most incredibly talented people I’ve ever met, and they inspire me.”

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