Rebecca Cantwell, CO SEIA Executive Director, about settling with Xcel and moving solar forward

Rebecca Cantwell is the Executive Director of COSEIA, one of the best State level trade associations. Rebecca has been the director for 5 years and brought COSEIA through a multitude of regulatory issues. With a small budget of about $250,000, COSEIA brings results in a true David versus Goliath fight.

COSEIA is an independent entity. It may be listed as an affiliated partner, COSEIA does not report to or receive funding from SEIA. This is a separation that has been made clear to SolarWakeup by many State SEIA groups.

Most recently, COSEIA was in the room where it happens. Negotiating with Xcel Energy in Colorado has been a nearly yearlong effort. Through many full days of sitting in Xcel conference rooms, COSEIA was an intervenor in all three solar related dockets. The group came to a settlement which had some positive effects which Rebecca covers in great specificity in our conversation.

What struck me is that even though COSEIA was an intervenor, SEIA also deployed resources by intervening in two of the dockets. That means COSEIA and SEIA were duplicating efforts, representing their own memberships. I would see it more effective to send capital to the State and align the interests of both SEIA entities.

In the coming weeks, we will be speaking with more State level directors on how the State level chapters are driving their markets forward.

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Tony Clifford from Standard Solar: Being acquired by Gaz Metro and working on SEIA

Tony Clifford has been with Standard Solar for over a decade, spending much of his time as the CEO until stepping aside late in 2016. This wasn’t his first time in solar, having worked for Solarex and BP Solar in the Carter/Reagan years. What are the parallels between the Carter/Reagan transition to those between Obama/Trump when it comes to solar?

Standard Solar was recently acquired by Gaz Metro, a diversified energy company based in Montreal, which also owns Green Mountain Power. Tony and I discuss how the process played out and how Standard Solar was able to stand out amongst the many solar companies that went to market last year.

Our discussion also goes into Tony’s work in policy. Since stepping down as CEO, he has been devoting much of his time on policy and business development. As an longtime elected member of the SEIA board, Tony was part of the search committee for the CEO job at SEIA that went to Abby Hopper.

The next steps for Standard Solar look bright. With access to capital, including tax equity, Standard will be looking to acquire development projects throughout the Country.

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Sam Arons from Google talks about going 100% renewable energy and how corporate PPAs work for them

In this episode of EnergyWakeup, we speak with Sam Arons from Google. Sam is the Lead, Tech and Infrastructure at Google. In short, he is responsible with bringing renewable energy to Google operations and behind the ability for Google to say that they power their operations with 100% renewable energy.

In December of 2016, Google shocked the energy world by announcing that they bought 2.6GW worth of renewable energy, almost all of it wind and matched their total operation’s energy usage with renewables.

Sam and I get into the details of where they are now and where they want to be. We dig into out this works using their FERC regulated subsidiary, Google Energy LLC as the offtaker of the energy in the RTOs across the globe. With the growth of corporate PPAs, we discuss how this market can expand using financial products available in the wholesale markets.

Google is also getting into policy and pushing investor owned utilities that have monopolies on providing renewable energy to corporate clients. One case was the green rider program that allowed Google to get over 60MW of solar from Duke Energy in North Carolina.

Sam sends a message to utility CEOs on what Google is looking for. I also ask him why Google is so far ahead of the other tech companies and what it will take to get more corporates into the market. Don’t miss this episode of EnergyWakeup.

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EnergyWakeup – Danny Kennedy From CALCEF On Cleantech Startup Investing and Innovating Utilities

This episode is sponsored by Conductive Capital, a distributed generation platform with tax efficient capital.

In this episode we speak to Danny Kennedy, managing director of CALCEF (calcef.org) and President of CalCharge. Danny has gone from activist to entrepreneur and now investor, fighting for a clean energy future for many decades.

CALCEF is the fund that is deploying early stage dollars into clean energy startups in a time when working with early stage companies could not be more important. We talk about the most pressing issues in the space and what kind of companies they are looking to fund.

In a partnership, Danny is working with global utilities in a program called Free Electrons (freeelectrons.co) that are looking to fund capital for companies innovating in the electric utility space. The leaders in this fund understand the problems facing their business model and want to work with the next generation of companies to remain competitive.

Don’t miss this episode filled with knowledge about startups, innovation and the market. Danny knows the market and shares his insights with you.

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