Solar Energy Technologies Office Group Photo 2019

Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus, Director

Becca Jones-Albertus

Dr. Becca Jones-Albertus is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). SETO has an annual budget of $280 million to support early-stage research and development projects to advance photovoltaic and concentrating solar-thermal power technology, improve solar’s ability to support the reliability and resilience of the electric grid, and provide technical information to support decision-makers. Dr. Jones-Albertus also works with DOE leadership on key cross-cutting issues such as grid modernization, systems integration, and workforce training.

Dr. Jones-Albertus has spent her career advancing solar technology, from fundamental research and development to manufacturing. Her research roles have spanned academia, industry, and the national labs. She has been at SETO since 2013, serving first as the photovoltaics program manager and then as SETO’s deputy director. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Dr. Jones-Albertus worked at Solar Junction, where she led efforts to develop solar cells that twice achieved world-record efficiencies, and then transitioned the technology to manufacturing.

Dr. Jones-Albertus graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S. in electrical engineering and holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she co-founded an organization dedicated to improving environmental sustainability on campus. She has more than 10 patents and 40 technical publications.

Garrett Nilsen, Deputy Director

Head and shoulders shot of Garrett Nilsen

Garrett Nilsen is the deputy 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.

Dr. Paul Basore, Chief Scientist

Paul Basore SETO Portrait

Dr. Paul Basore is the chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). In this role, he provides guidance for strategic planning, program evaluation, techno-economic analysis, and scientific methodology. His four decades in solar power technology span industrial, academic, and government positions on three continents, including positions within DOE's National Laboratory solar programs at Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a previous role in SETO. Since assuming his current position in January 2021, he has been stationed in San Diego, California.

After receiving a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in energy storage technology to support solar power, Paul focused his attention on crystalline-silicon photovoltaics (PV). He led the development of PC1D, a program for personal computers to simulate the internal operation of silicon solar cells, which became the most widely-cited PV cell simulation program for more than 25 years. He then developed a method for extracting the internal electrical and optical properties of solar cells from their response to monochromatic light of varying wavelength. He subsequently led the scale-up of a thin-film crystalline-silicon PV technology from laboratory to commercial production and led the advanced research and development labs in two tier-one silicon module manufacturing companies. Nine U.S.-issued patents list him as the inventor. Paul has published papers in forward-looking techno-economic analysis and the future evolution of PV manufacturing. He chaired the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in 1997 and received the outstanding paper award for silicon PV in 2003.

Michele Boyd, Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support Program Manager

Michele Boyd Headshot Photo

Michele Boyd is the program manager of the soft costs/balance of systems team in the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The team supports the development of analysis, tools, and data resources to reduce the non-hardware (soft costs) of solar energy and accelerates learning through technical assistance programs and national partnerships. Michele joined SETO in April 2016 as a technology manager on both the soft costs and the technology to market teams. Previously, Michele was the government relations manager at Abengoa Solar, where she developed and implemented strategies to advance effective financing, siting, and transmission policies for solar. Prior to her work on solar, Michele focused on environmental and policy issues related to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and nuclear waste at Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

Michele has two Bachelors of Science degrees in biology and environmental science from Purdue University and a Master’s of Science in environmental policy from the University of Michigan.

Andrea Crooms, Operations Supervisor

A head and shoulders shot of Andrea Crooms.

Andrea Crooms joined the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in March 2021 as the operations supervisor to lead the financial, human resources, communications, information technology, contracting, policies, and legal compliance aspects of the office. They also serve as a member of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) manufacturing tiger team leadership and the President’s American-Made task force, and are an emergency (ESF-12) responder supporting the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in times of national emergency. Their previous EERE roles include leading two presidential transitions as EERE chief of staff and serving as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary, principal deputy assistant secretary, and deputy assistant secretaries for operations and transportation. In addition, they were a supervisor in both the Advanced Manufacturing and Weatherization Offices.

Andrea has served DOE for over 10 years in a variety of roles, bringing legal, environmental, economic, and equity expertise to numerous projects and programs. Their work focuses on innovation in the structures, systems, and policies DOE utilizes to develop technology and policy solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. Andrea has also worked in Washington, D.C., Lexington, KY, and Rabat, Morocco, for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including commendations from the secretary of energy, secretary of the Navy, and U.S. attorney general.

Andrea has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky, an M.S. in energy management from the New York Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Delaware.

Victor Kane, Acting Manufacturing and Competitiveness Program Manager

Victor Kane Headshot

Victor Kane is the acting program manager for the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Manufacturing and Competitiveness team, having spent the previous three years helping establish the American-Made Challenges Solar Prize and the American-Made Network. Victor’s work has focused on helping solar innovators make their products and processes more attractive to private investors, as well as gain the resources and develop the skills needed to succeed through commercialization. Victor and the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team assist businesses of all sizes with their U.S.-manufactured technologies and innovation in order to help drive down costs and increase the deployment of solar energy on the nation’s grid.

Victor joined the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in 2010 and led the expansion of the SETO Incubator program over 11 rounds of funding. Under his leadership, the incubator model was implemented across all solar technologies from research to deployment, resulting in awardees who have consistently leveraged their proofs of concept into private investment and eventual commercialization. Previously, Victor served as EERE’s Director of National Lab Impact, managing the Lab-corps, Small Business Voucher, and Lab-Bridge programs. Lab Impact emphasizes the importance of commercializing lab work by bringing together leaders from government, academia, national laboratories, and the private sector to increase understanding and communication for an effective lab-industry relationship.

Prior to joining EERE, Victor worked at General Electric and solar cell startup Suniva. He earned a Bachelor and a Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering and Master of Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Avi Shultz, Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power Program Manager

Dr. Avi Shultz is the program manager for concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), which supports research, development, and demonstration of solar-thermal components and systems that can enable wide-spread deployment of low-cost CSP with thermal energy storage. Dr. Shultz has been with SETO since 2013, where he started as a science and technology policy fellow, supporting the CSP program on a wide variety of topics.

Prior to joining SETO, Dr. Shultz was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam, after getting his Bachelors and Doctoral degrees in Chemistry, from Columbia University and Northwestern University, respectively.

Dr. Lenny Tinker, Photovoltaics Program Manager

Lenny Tinker portrait

Dr. Lenny Tinker is the program manager for the photovoltaics team. He has been at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) since September 2011 and started as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow on the Photovoltaics team working on Incubator Round 6. He now manages early-stage applied research and development programs at national labs, universities, and companies to develop advanced photovoltaic systems. Dr. Tinker is also the SETO representative on the IEA PVPS Executive Committee.

Prior to his position in the Energy Department, Dr. Tinker was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany, where he designed inorganic complexes to be used in organic light emitting diodes and to promote triplet-triplet upconversion processes. Dr. Tinker obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University and a B.S. from Beloit College. His Ph.D. research focused on visible light-induced water reduction using iridium (III) chromophores and colloidal catalysts to produce a portable fuel using sunlight.

Dr. Guohui Yuan, Systems Integration Program Manager

Guohui Yuan Portrait

Dr. Guohui Yuan is the program manager for the systems integration (SI) subprogram. His team supports research, development, and demonstration of technologies and solutions to enable the widespread deployment of solar energy on the nation’s electricity grid.

Dr. Yuan has been supporting SETO as a technical advisor since 2011. Previously, he held several key positions at industry-leading clean technology startups, including CURRENT Group, GridPoint, and WaveCrest Labs. Early in his career, he worked at COMSAT Labs as a systems scientist. He is a recognized thought leader and has many technical publications. He holds nine patents.

Dr. Yuan holds a B.S. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, both in physics.