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 ( 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 ( 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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EnergyWakeup – Episode 5 – EnergyWakeup With Senator Wiener Of CA And Assemblyman Brooks Of NV

This episode is sponsored by NEI Energy Services, an EPC contractor delivering solar projects done right the first time across the East Coast.

In this episode of EnergyWakeup, Bryan and I dig into the type of leadership that needs to happen on the left. Pushing the goal posts on energy policy agenda can be done. We look at two examples and speak with the sponsors of California SB 71, Senator Wiener (CA-11), and Nevada AB 206, Assemblyman Chris Brooks.

Senator Wiener joined the California Senate after being a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He is the sponsor of SB 71 which would put solar on the roof of every new home and commercial building in California. This is similar to an initiative that he passed in San Francisco. Senator Wiener gives us some insight about politics in California in a Trump World and the possibility of passing the 100% RPS that the California Senate is pushing for and how the oil lobby is trying hard to stop it.

The legislative agenda for Senator Wiener can be found here.

Making news in Nevada is Assemblyman Chris Brooks. Brooks comes from a career in energy and has worked in the solar industry for over 15 years. We talk about the current NEM proceedings and how it may impact his bill, AB 206. AB 206 is an RPS increase to 80% by 2040 with a 50% hurdle by 2030. Assemblyman Brooks also made some news in the interview letting us know that several solar bills will be put forth this session regarding the rooftop solar policies and net metering. With a democratic Assembly and Senate, he does see the need to work with the Governor’s office to solve this and thinks it will be possible with a moderate Governor Sandoval.

In the biggest news, he does make a prediction about the rooftop solar industry in Nevada during the show that everyone will want to hear. Follow the legislation and other solar bills in Nevada’s bill tracker.

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