SolarWakeup Live! Video: Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid with Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon

In this episode of SolarWakeup Live! I interview Puerto Rico’s only representative in Congress, Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon about the state of the electric grid in Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Gonzalez-Colon explains what the future was supposed to be in Puerto Rico with legislation she sponsors as the Speaker of the House in PR before coming to DC.

Gonzalez-Colon outlines her vision for PREPA and how to restore credit to the energy market in Puerto Rico. She has been busy bringing members of the House and Senate to Puerto Rico to visit the devastation and keep the Americans living without power (for over 90 days now) at the front of mind.

You can help as well through the Solar Foundations by visiting

Join us on January 31st in New York and look out for future events across the Country.

SolarWakeup Live! Video: Tax Reform Bill Explained by DC Lawyers from Stoel Rives and Mintz Levin

In this episode of SolarWakeup Live! I talk about the current Tax Reform Bill with Audrey Louison from Mintz and Greg Jenner from Stoel Rives. The tax reform bill was in conference committee at the time of this recording and had several issues that impacted the solar industry. The corporate AMT, a lower corporate tax rate and the BEAT provision. I walk through each of the items with Audrey and Greg, get an explanation (because nobody understood the BEAT provision) and how it impacts solar project financing going forward.

Greg has been around tax law for many years, including as a tax counsel for the senate finance committee when the last major tax reform passed in 1986 and Audrey has completed over 500 project transaction. This bill will have major impacts to the way you present projects to your clients and investors and this episode helps guide you through that process with a bit more knowledge. This podcast was recorded in front of a live audience at SolarWakeup Live DC.

Join us on January 31st in New York and look out for future events across the Country.

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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