The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) hosted the second National Community Solar Partnership Annual Summit on January 25th, 2022. Watch a recording of the webinar.

This year’s summit theme, ‘To 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar’s Pathway to Success,’ reflects National Community Solar Partnership’s new target goal to power the equivalent of 5 million households with community solar by 2025, realizing $1 billion in energy bill savings for subscribers. Through stakeholder feedback and market analysis, the Partnership has developed a roadmap to address persistent barriers affecting equitable access to community solar across the country. 

At the summit, NCSP and DOE leadership discussed the plan to reach this new goal – what achieving it will mean for the community solar industry, and why, with the support of our growing community, we are confident we can reach it.


Time Session Title Speaker(s)
11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Welcome Address: A Day of Community Solar Garrett Nilsen, Acting Director, Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy
Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Geeking Out: NCSP Target and Pathway to Success  Moderator: Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor on Energy Justice and Workforce for the Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, Head of the National Community Solar Partnership
Roundtable Guests: 
Jenny Heeter, Senior Energy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dave Feldman, Senior Financial Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Ammar Qusaibaty, Technical Manager for the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, Boston Government Services
11:50 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Break  
11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Keynote Address: To 5 Million and Beyond Jennifer M. Granholm, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. State Leader Fireside Chat: Opening and Expanding State Markets

Moderator: Ali Zaidi, Deputy National Climate Advisor, White House Climate Policy Office
Roundtable Guests:
Governor Jay Inslee, State of Washington
Governor JB Pritzker, State of Illinois

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m Lunch Break  
1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Show Me the Money: Developing the Credit Ready Solar Initiative Moderator: Michelle Moore, CEO, Groundswell
Roundtable Guests:
Eric Hangen, Senior Research Fellow, University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy;
Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity;
Victor Rojas, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Capital Advisors
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. What Do We Need? Capacity Building! How Do We Get It? Technical Assistance! Moderator: Ajulo E. Othow, Esq., Founder & CEO, EnerWealth Solutions and General Counsel, Carolina Solar Services;
Roundtable Guests:
Sandy Fazeli, Senior Managing Director, National Association of State Energy Officials;
Kerry O'Neill, CEO, Inclusive Prosperity Capital; 
Travis Neal, Head Accountant, Orcas Power and Light Cooperative;
Lauren Westmoreland, Vice President, Energy & Sustainability, Stewards for Affordable Housing
3:00p.m. – 3:05 p.m. Break  
3:05p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Amplifying Market Influencers: Who is Our Audience and What is the Message? Moderator: Katherine Hamilton, Chair, 38 North Solutions
Roundtable Guests:
Zaid Ashai, Chairman and CEO, Nexamp;
Kiran Bhatraju, Founder and CEO, Arcadia;
Julia Hamm, President and CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance; 
Kristal Hansley, Founder and CEO, WeSolar
3:55 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Next Steps: 5 Million and Beyond and You Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor on Energy Justice and Workforce for the Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, Head of the National Community Solar Partnership 


Speaker Bios

Garrett Nilsen portrait

Welcome Address: A Day of Community Solar

Garrett Nilsen, Acting Director, Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy

Garrett Nilsen is the Acting Director for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, which advances research and development in solar energy technologies. Garrett has managed over a hundred research and development projects covering all technology spaces in the office. Multiple technologies from projects he managed are now actively used in the solar energy industry. In addition, Garrett has been involved in the development of prize programming, technical assistance efforts, and data analysis. Garrett specializes in the transition of research and knowledge to stakeholders across the solar energy industry.

Garrett joined the office in 2012, and has had led both the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team and the Balance of Systems Soft Costs team. He has worked with businesses of all sizes focusing on the development of innovative products and manufacturing technologies to help drive down costs and increase the deployment of solar energy. He has helped innovators in the solar energy space de-risk their research, products and processes to make them attractive to private investment along with helping them access the resources and develop the skills needed to make an impact on solar energy.

He has also worked on the other side of government contracting—from 2007-2009, he worked as an optical engineer for Technologies Solutions and Invention, a small business in Connecticut that was an awardee on government contracts to develop optics-based devices for various government customers.

Garrett has a B.S. in physics from Union College in New York and an M.S. in solar energy engineering from Hogskolan Dalarna (Dalarna University) in Sweden.

Kelly Speakes-Backman
Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

BIO: Kelly Speakes-Backman is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy. In her role, Speakes-Backman leads and directs the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, focused on creating and sustaining American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.  She oversees the planning and execution of the organization’s $2.8B portfolio of research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation.

Speakes-Backman most recently served as the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association, the national trade organization for the energy storage industry. She has spent more than 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors. In 2019, Speakes-Backman was honored by The Cleanie Awards as Woman of the Year.

Geeking Out: NCSP Target and Pathway to Success

Nicole Steele SETO Headshot
Moderator: Nicole Steele, Senior Advisor on Energy Justice and Workforce for the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, Head of the National Community Solar Partnership

Nicole Steele is a nationally recognized leader and expert in clean energy with a focus on frontline communities and workforce development. She has 20 years of experience working with government officials, policymakers, advocates, and entrepreneurs to develop and implement inclusive clean energy policies and programs. She is currently the Senior Advisor on Energy Justice and Workforce for the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy and the head of the National Community Solar Partnership. She was the founding executive director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, policy director at the Alliance to Save Energy, and ran the EECBG program for Loudoun County Virginia. She started her career in affordable housing, community planning, and politics. She is an AmeriCorps alumni and passionate supporter of community service.

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David Feldman, Senior Financial Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

David Feldman has 15 years of experience in the energy and financial industries. Currently he is a Senior Financial Analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), helping the organization carry out a wide range of analytical activities related to financial, policy and market developments in the solar industry. David has published and presented widely on topics related to renewable energy project finance, PV system and component modeling, PV supply chain analysis, innovative financial models, and solar market development. 

Before working for NREL, David was the Assistant Director of Finance for Soltage, a developer and owner/operator of solar power projects. David graduated with an MBA from the Yale School of Management, with a focus in finance, and Amherst College with a BA in philosophy.

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Jenny Heeter, Senior Energy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Jenny Heeter is a senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. She has spent more than 12 years at NREL, currently focusing on equitable solar deployment and community solar deployment and cost, while serving on a detail assignment with the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity to support implementation of President Biden’s Justice40 Executive Order. Before coming to NREL she was an analyst with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Council focusing on energy efficiency and green power programs. She holds an M.P.A. in environmental policy from Indiana University-Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a B.A. in environmental studies and political science from Macalester College.

Ammar Qusaibaty, Technical Manager for the U.S. DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office, Boston Government Services 

Ammar supports the soft cost team and manages the Catalyst Energy Prize, Orange Button Data, and projects with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to joining SETO, he worked as an investment officer for a boutique $100 million venture capital investment firm and served on a number of boards for startups. Ammar co-established the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC focused on information and security, growing the staff from three people to 15, later serving as a board member between 2004 and 2009. Throughout his career, Ammar has been recognized for his work and dedication, including the EERE's Energy Rock Star in 2015 for his work on the Catalyst Energy Prize. Ammar holds a Ph.D. from University of Paris I, where he earned the highest distinction for his doctoral thesis, an M.S. from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from Georgetown University.

State Leader Fireside Chat: Opening and Expanding State Markets

photo of Ali Zaidi
Moderator: Ali Zaidi, Deputy National Climate Advisor, White House Climate Policy Office

Ali Zaidi currently serves as Deputy National Climate Advisor and Deputy Assistant to the President.  In this role, he helps lead the White House Climate Policy Office, which is responsible for coordinating the policy-making process on domestic climate-policy issues; coordinating domestic climate-policy advice to the President; ensuring that domestic climate-policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President’s stated goals and that those goals are being effectively pursued; and monitoring implementation of the President’s domestic climate-policy agenda.  

Zaidi joined the Biden-Harris Administration after serving as the state of New York’s Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment and Chairman of Climate Policy and Finance, where he lead the state's efforts on climate change — driving investment into infrastructure and innovation, empowering workers and communities, and boosting economic and environmental resilience.  Zaidi also taught graduate courses on technology policy and studied the fiscal and financial impacts of climate change as an adjunct professor at Stanford University.  During that time, Zaidi also co-founded Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, a Stanford-coordinated initiative that equips sustainability-focused startups with pro bono legal services.

A longtime advisor to President Biden on climate matters, Zaidi brings the cross-sector and multi-disciplinary experience needed to deliver a whole-of-government response to the climate crisis.  During the Obama-Biden Administration, Zaidi served as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science for the Office of Management and Budget and as Deputy Director of Energy Policy for the Domestic Policy Council — helping to design and implement a wide range of domestic and international policies.  Zaidi has advised non-profits, including as a Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and counseled the private sector, as an attorney who helped launch a sustainable investment practice.
Zaidi immigrated from Pakistan and grew up outside Erie, Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. from Harvard University and J.D. from Georgetown University, where he was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.

photo of JB Pritzker
Governor JB Pritzker, State of Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in as the 43rd Governor of Illinois on January 14th, 2019. Since taking office, the governor won bipartisan passage for Rebuild Illinois, the largest investment in state history to upgrade roads, bridges, rail, broadband, and universities. In 2021, Governor Pritzker proposed and signed a comprehensive clean energy bill, making Illinois a national leader on climate action and the first state in the Midwest to pass a law phasing out fossil fuels. Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded 1871, the non-profit small business incubator in Chicago. As governor, he continues to expand support for new business incubators and cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of small businesses while incentivizing job creation and innovation.

photo of Jay Inslee
Governor Jay Inslee, State of Washington

Governor Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived and worked in urban and rural communities on both sides of the state. He began serving as Governor in 2013, and under his leadership, Washington is consistently the only state that ranks as the best place to work and the best place to do business. Inslee’s Evergreen Action Plan established the clean energy policy framework that contributed to the development of the Build Back Better Act. As governor, Jay's top priority is growing Washington's innovative industries such as clean energy, information technology and life sciences.


Show Me the Money: Developing the Credit Ready Solar Initiative

photo of Michelle Moore
Moderator: Michelle Moore, CEO, Groundswell 

Michelle Moore is a social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia. Often described as a "relentless agent for change,” she’s building an equitable clean energy future as CEO of Groundswell by connecting clean energy and resilience with affordability and quality of life. Her vision for Groundswell was inspired by observing the contrast between the sun’s abundance compared to the exclusivity of solar power and asking how we can do better by “loving our neighbors as ourselves” using solar energy. As a result, since joining Groundswell in 2015, Michelle has created new, equitable solar models that share power, savings, and opportunity - putting clean energy to work restoring communities and putting families with low and moderate incomes first. Her team currently serves more than 5,000 households in five states with clean energy savings exceeding $2 million per year.

Michelle understands that our time is ripe with transformational potential, but only if we examine not only how, but why, we got here. She believes if we fail to question and transform the values at the center of our energy systems, we will create a clean energy dystopia that’s powered by renewable resources, but otherwise replicates the same health and wealth disparities as the past.

photo of Eric Hangen
Eric Hangen, Senior Research Fellow, University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy

Eric Hangen is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy, where he studies opportunity finance in the U.S. Publications include a study of US community investing for the Global Impact Investing Network and two analyses of the Community Development Financial Institutions field for the CDFI Fund. Eric also is the Principal of I Squared Community Development Consulting. I Squared is a national, boutique consulting practice focused on social impact finance in the United States. Clients have included the Urban Institute, LISC, NeighborWorks America, the Center for Housing Policy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and over 100 Community Development Corporations and Community Development Financial Institutions across the United States. 

Eric is passionate about the intersection of community development finance and climate equity issues.  At UNH, he is a co-principal investigator of a DOE-funded project to engage Community Development Finance Institutions in providing affordable solar finance to low-income communities. In its first year, the program has trained 164 individuals from 77 mission-driven lending organizations in solar finance. Eric organized a roundtable event co-hosted with the New York Federal Reserve Bank on “Scaling Equitable Solar Finance,” and authored a whitepaper of the same title.  He has also authored a forthcoming publication, “Clean energy project development for low-income communities: strengthening the ecosystem for delivering solar energy and deep efficiency retrofits.”

Eric has worked in community development for over 25 years. He served as a management consultant with NeighborWorks America, as the senior urban planner for the city of Caguas, Puerto Rico, as a planner for the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration and as a project manager for the NYC Department of Business Services.  Eric has a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Brown University. He is bilingual, Spanish/English.

photo of Bracken Hendricks
Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity

Bracken Hendricks is a Founder and Managing Partner of Urban Ingenuity, where he manages efforts to finance and develop solar energy and microgrid projects with a special focus on affordable housing and underserved communities through Urban Ingenuity’s Working Power platform.   He also oversees one of the nation’s leading commercial PACE financing programs.  Bracken is also the co-founder and senior policy advisor of Evergreen Action, and a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute. He was a principal co-author of the climate policy agenda for Governor Jay Inslee’s 2020 Presidential Campaign running as a climate candidate, and together with Governor Inslee, Bracken is co-author of the book, “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy”. He also served as a long-time advisor to former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative on infrastructure, jobs, and climate resilience. Before launching Urban Ingenuity, he was a senior fellow at Center for American Progress, where he shaped clean energy portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and advised in establishing the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. Early in his career, he founded the Apollo Alliance, a pioneering labor and environmental partnership for good jobs and clean energy. Bracken holds a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and resides in Washington DC.

photo of Victor Rojas
Victor Rojas, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Capital Advisors

Victor A. Rojas is Senior Vice President with Sustainable Capital Advisors (SCA), a minority-owned finance and strategic advisory firm focused on developing innovative and inclusive capital solutions that accelerate the deployment of sustainable infrastructure projects and initiatives.  Vic manages SCA’s Advisory business, advising governments, governmental agencies, and investors on sustainable infrastructure projects and leveraging his extensive experience and network across public and private markets to further SCA’s business development efforts. 

Prior to joining SCA Vic served as Senior Manager for Clean Energy Finance with the Environmental Defense Fund; Deputy Commissioner with the City of Chicago Department of Environment; Senior Vice President with Sindicatum Carbon Capital/Managing Director of Sindicatum Carbon Technologies; Principal with Medley Capital; Managing Director for Cleantech Investment Banking at First Analysis Securities; Managing Partner of San Joaquin Venture Partners, and; Assistant Vice President with First Chicago Capital Markets Public Finance. Mr. Rojas also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison at the United States Department of the Treasury and Legislative Counsel for a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Mr. Rojas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University.

What Do We Need? Capacity Building! How Do We Get It? Technical Assistance!

photo of Ajulo Othow
Moderator: Ajulo E. Othow, Esq., Founder & CEO, EnerWealth Solutions and General Counsel, Carolina Solar Services

Ajulo Elisabeth Othow grew up amidst southern traditions in her home state of North Carolina. Her parents, both teachers, imbued her with a love and caring for others as she prepared herself educationally to succeed in her chosen career. At a young age and as she grew into maturity, she traveled with her parents to continents outside of North America, where she became conscious of national and international conditions of humanity. Ms. Othow is now an attorney practicing in Granville County. Ms. Othow is also a solar project developer, one of the only women of color solar developers in the nation; her projects are designed to aid in minority land retention and rural economic development. For more than fourteen years prior to becoming an attorney, she worked with people in small towns across all thirteen southeastern United States, places where people’s one hope is for a future where their children can return home and live a good life. Ms. Othow holds a Master’s Degree in International Development from The George Washington University, further graduate work in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Northeastern University School of Law. Ms. Othow lives in Oxford, NC with her young son and mother.

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Sandy Fazeli, Senior Managing Director, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

Sandy Fazeli leads NASEO policy and program priorities coordination on workforce development; equity, access, and inclusion; and state and local cooperation and coordination on energy, climate, and resilience planning. She oversees NASEO’s efforts under the Inclusive Shared Solar Initiative, a DOE-supported project to encourage State Energy Offices to expand access to community solar projects in underserved communities. She oversees NASEO’s private sector Affiliates program, which connects state energy policy makers, companies, and non-profits, and helps lead the content development of NASEO’s major conferences and events. Prior to NASEO, Ms. Fazeli worked on energy efficiency and state policy issues at the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Colorado Energy Office, and the Alliance to Save Energy. She received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a Master of Development Practice from the University of Denver.

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Kerry O’Neill, CEO, Inclusive Prosperity Capital 

Kerry E. O’Neill is the Chief Executive Officer of Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Inc., a not-for-profit investment fund that was spun out of the Connecticut Green Bank in 2018 to scale up impact for underserved communities and underinvested markets across the country. Inclusive Prosperity Capital operates at the intersection of community development, clean energy finance, and climate impact using a collection of products and strategies that use an ecosystem approach to matching capital supply with project demand through mission-aligned partners on the ground. Prior to joining IPC, Ms. O’Neill led the residential energy financing programs and low-income initiatives at the Connecticut Green Bank, a state entity that works with private-sector investors to create low-cost, long-term sustainable financing for clean energy to maximize the use of public funds. Her work at IPC and the Connecticut Green Bank has given her keen insight into the institutional challenges – and opportunities – associated with clean energy investing for underserved communities. Prior to joining the Green Bank, Ms. O’Neill held executive management roles in strategy, operations, and marketing in diverse sectors including financial services, energy efficiency, e-commerce, and direct marketing. She earned a B.S. in computer science and engineering from MIT and an M.S. from NYU Tisch School of the Art’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. 

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Travis Neal, Head Accountant, Orcas Power and Light Cooperative (OPALCO)

Travis is an experienced financial professional and licensed CPA with expertise in financial management and planning, revenue recognition, debt and equity transactions, internal controls and consolidation. Prior to joining the OPALCO team, Travis worked in public accounting where he served as an advisor to public and private companies, providing audit and review services for electric utilities & co-ops, health care organizations, foundations, and financial institutions. As head accountant at OPALCO, he currently works in roles of financial accounting & reporting, project coordinator, program development and grants management.

photo of Lauren Westmoreland
Lauren Westmoreland, Vice President, Energy and Sustainability, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

Lauren Westmoreland leads SAHF’s environmental initiatives, including the Bringing Sustainability Home (BSH), a cross-cutting energy and health initiative and efforts to support SAHF members in identifying scalable solutions for a low-carbon future that benefits low-income resident and communities and mitigates the impact of climate change. Prior to joining SAHF, Ms. Westmoreland led the Enterprise Green Communities state and local policy initiative and developed and led the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Built Environment portfolio. Ms. Westmoreland is a Registered Architect in North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master's degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University.

Amplifying Market Influencers: Who is Our Audience and What is the Message?

photo of Katherine Hamilton
Moderator: Katherine Hamilton, Chair, 38 North Solutions

Katherine is Chair of 38 North Solutions. An international clean energy policy expert, Katherine was an original and longtime host of The Energy Gang podcast and is now a regular contributor to The Carbon Copy podcast. Katherine has led several councils of the World Economic Forum as a global policy and technology thought leader and is currently Chair of the Global Future Council on Clean Electrification. Katherine served as President of the GridWise Alliance, advocating for smart grid funding in the Obama Administration’s Recovery Act. Prior to that role, Katherine was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a portfolio in clean energy technologies of nearly $6 billion. She co-directed the American Bioenergy Association, working with the states of Maryland and New Jersey to develop renewable portfolio standards. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Katherine led buildings research and then managed government relations in Washington, DC. Katherine spent a decade at Virginia Power, designing grids and managing commercial customer projects. Katherine studied electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College and holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne.

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Zaid Ashai, Chairman and CEO, Nexamp

Zaid serves as Nexamp’s Chairman and CEO, providing the vision and leadership to drive the company’s continued growth and innovation. Before joining the management team, Zaid oversaw Nexamp as a General Partner at venture firm Point Judith Capital. Previously, Zaid worked at Good Energies, where he was elected a Kauffman Fellow and focused on investments in next-generation energy efficiency technologies—including Nexamp, 3TIER, Emergence Bioenergy, Everpower, and Kalpan in India. Zaid joined Good Energies from Harbourvest Partners and was previously an investment banking analyst in Credit Suisse’s Technology Group. Zaid holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, Zaid was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has an BA in International Relations and Economics, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. Zaid has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He currently serves on Vote Solar’s board.

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Kiran Bhatraju, Founder and CEO, Arcadia

Kiran Bhatraju is Founder and CEO at Arcadia, a digital infrastructure platform democratizing utility data and clean energy access through APIs. Arcadia's platform is used by hundreds of solar, storage, EV, retail energy, and smart home IoT partners. In the community solar market, Arcadia is the largest subscription manager in the country with 650MW under management across 10 states. Arcadia's community solar subscription provides residential and commercial customers 5-15% savings without long-term contracts or credit checks, fulfilling the promise of solar for everyone.

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Julia Hamm, President and CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Julia is a visionary leader at the center of the transformation underway to a carbon-free energy system. For more than 20 years she has been advising and collaborating with utilities, solution providers and government agencies on business models, grid modernization, electrification and clean energy policies, strategies and programs. Julia guides and oversees all of SEPA’s research, education, and collaboration activities for its 1,100 member companies, including 700 electric utilities. Julia has led the organization through significant expansion in recent years, including rebranding from the Solar Electric Power Association to the Smart Electric Power Alliance, and merging with both the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS) and Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). She is a member of the Grid Investment Advisory Council, a broad coalition of grid modernization stakeholders that is working with the Biden Administration to define areas where investment in the electric grid would be most beneficial to the economy and the communities in most need. Prior to joining SEPA, Julia worked for ICF International where she supported EPA’s implementation of the ENERGY STAR program. Julia - a graduate of Cornell University - walks the talk, driving an EV and living in a PV powered energy efficient home in Northern Virginia.

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Kristal Hansley, Founder and CEO, WeSolar

Kristal Hansley, the Founder & CEO of WeSolar is the first black woman CEO in the community solar industry in the United States. WeSolar’s mission is to bring affordable clean energy access to  under-resourced communities through local community solar and to assist commercial properties with energy efficiency. Before founding WeSolar, Kristal was the Director of Government and Community Relations for Neighborhood Sun, a leading community solar energy enterprise in Maryland. In this role, Kristal has helped thousands of low-to-moderate-income families save hundreds annually on their electricity bills. Before transitioning to the sustainability industry, Kristal was a Capitol Hill staffer. She is the former Community Affairs Liaison for U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and former Program Manager for the Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative at the Office of the Majority Leader Harry Reid. Kristal continues to advocate for communities of color and low- moderate income communities to be included in the clean energy economy transition as the first member of ACORE's inaugural Accelerate program to be elected to ACORE's Board of Directors.

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