Mister Solar

by Ben Paulos

The explosive growth in solar power is keeping everybody busy.  I've suddenly become Mr. Sunshot, working on three interrelated solar projects that are funded by the US Department of Energy.

Now that solar is affordable, how can low-income customers benefit from it?  The poor need to save money more than anybody but face hurdles in buying, leasing, or simply getting access to it. For the Clean Energy States Alliance, PaulosAnalysis dove deep on program and policies that can bring the benefits of solar to low-income households.

The 72-page report was released on a CESA webinar on May 18.  A recording of the webinar is available online.

DOE has rolled out the Solar In Your Community Challenge, with over 150 teams around the country competing for cash prizes to implement the best solar projects for low-income, non-profit, and public-sector customers.  I've signed on as a Coach, guiding teams through the process.

Sunshot's Solar Market Pathways project is coming to an end, as 14 teams wrap up their projects exploring new markets for solar.  Energy resiliency, community solar, and colleges are just some of the emerging approaches.  I'm working with the Institute for Sustainable Communities to disseminate the learning.

And lastly, I tried something new under the sun: headhunting!

Vote Solar was planning a rapid expansion, including hiring three new regional regulatory staff. They asked me to find candidates on short notice. While I have never done recruitment before, I've certainly got a big rolodex after 25 years in the energy biz. With a strong push at a NARUC conference, online, and email, I delivered a slate of strong options. If you need help hiring, let's give it a try.