The Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team supports the development of analysis, tools, and data resources that reduce the cost of solar technologies alone and on the grid. This includes an emphasis on programs that reduce the soft costs of solar like the costs associated with permitting, siting, interconnecting, or financing a system, which often are the result of information gaps that slow decision-making and increase costs.
Michele Boyd, Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support Program Manager
Michele Boyd is the program manager of the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support 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.
Company: Boston Government Services
Juan Botero is a Strategic Analyst in the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supporting the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support (SAIS) team. Juan’s work contributes to the team’s mission of reducing solar soft costs by supporting research at the intersection of natural resource conservation and solar energy deployment. He contributes to projects focused on solar siting issues, interactions between solar energy facilities and wildlife, land use concerns, among other topics. In his previous role, Juan worked with the American Wind Wildlife Institute where he managed a research fund focused on creating solutions to deploy more wind energy across the country while minimizing its impacts on wildlife and the environment.
Juan is a fellow at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute where he engages regularly with leaders from across the clean energy field on emerging topics in the space and professional development. Juan holds an M.S. from William & Mary University where he studied the impacts of mercury on songbirds and a B.S. from Virginia Tech with a major in wildlife science.
Zachary Eldredge is a Technology Manager for the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team, joining SETO in June 2019. His projects are focused on finding innovative ways to manage land-use of solar energy, including innovative siting solutions such as combining solar energy and agricultural production. In collaboration with National Laboratories and SETO’s sister offices in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Zach works to improve models that are important in understanding the growth and operation of solar energy and to conduct and assist in analysis relating to decarbonization of the electric grid and wider energy system.
Prior to joining SETO, he was a Ph.D. student and researcher at the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute. There, he studied quantum information, quantum computing, and atomic physics. His thesis concerned how quantum entanglement could be generated, distributed, and then used to perform novel tasks in sensing, computing, and communication. Prior to his Ph.D., Zach attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Mathematics.
As a graduate student, he also worked with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to encourage the growth of the nascent U.S. quantum computing industry by writing newsletters and assisting in the creation of an industry consortium. In addition, Zach worked at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank specializing in producing policy advice around emerging technology, where he wrote a white paper on synthetic biology and space exploration. During his Ph.D., he was awarded a fellowship by the ARCS Foundation of Metropolitan Washington.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Rebecca Glaser is an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). She joined SETO in August 2021 and works on both the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support and Systems Integration teams. Her interests include integrating storage with solar, energy materials recycling, and equitable energy transitions.
Prior to joining SETO, Rebecca received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2021. Her work focused on reducing weight and cost in next generation lithium batteries. She explored the effects of electrolyte composition and concentration on lithium-sulfur battery performance. While at Georgia Tech, Rebecca had the opportunity to study energy and security policy, start a Materials Research Society university chapter, and mentor undergraduate students. Rebecca further pursued her interest in energy policy by studying Just Transitions in coal communities at Resources for the Future in the summer of 2020.
Rebecca earned her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University in 2016. As an undergraduate researcher, she studied improving catalysis in sold oxide fuel cells via metal exsolution from the anode structure.
Andrew Graves joined the Solar Energy Technologies Office in 2018 as a technology manager on the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team. He has been with the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) since September 2009. For the first 7 years, Andrew worked as a contractor with BCS, Incorporated, supporting clients in the Bioenergy Technologies Office, and ultimately supervising a team that provided communications, office operations, budget planning, and strategic planning support to senior office leadership. In 2016, Andrew joined the federal government as a policy advisor with the EERE International Program, where he managed a variety of technical assistance and policy analysis projects designed to support U.S. clean energy technology exports to the Middle East, North Africa, and Mexico. In 2018, Andrew was selected to participate in the Presidential Management Council Inter-Agency Rotation Program, through which he worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development on policy initiatives to promote energy efficiency in public housing. Andrew has an M.S. in global affairs, with a concentration in energy and the environment, from New York University, and a B.A. in government from Hamilton College in upstate New York.
Company: ManTech international
Nick Kasza is a Solar Energy Technical Advisor for the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team, joining the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in June 2022. Nick’s work supports research and capacity-building projects to accelerate solar deployment. His portfolio includes work on solar siting, agrivoltaics, interconnection, and automated permitting solutions.
In his previous role, Nick worked for the National League of Cities where he provided local governments with resources and solutions to become more sustainable and resilient. His primary responsibility was to provide technical assistance to help local governments improve their solar energy processes and capabilities through the SolSmart program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He also helped cities implement local resilience strategies through the Leadership in Community Resilience program. Nick holds an M.S. in energy policy and climate from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in international studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Tomiwa Olufolabi is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). He joined SETO in October 2021 and works on both the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support and Workforce and Equitable Access teams. His interests include solar workforce and youth development, equitable access to solar energy, building integrated photovoltaics, and building codes and standards.
Prior to joining SETO, Tomiwa received his B.S. in Building Sciences - Sustainable Building Systems with a minor in Marketing from Appalachian State University in May 2018. While at Appalachian State, Tomiwa exercised his leadership skills through student organizations like the Renewable Energy Initiative and Student Government Association. After graduating, he spent 3 years working in construction management as a Superintendent where he received his LEED Green Associate accreditation and OSHA 30 Certification. Just before joining SETO, Tomiwa further pursued his interest in renewable energy and leadership through the Clean Energy Leadership Institute as a 2021 Fellow.
Company: Allegheny Science and Technology
Ammar supports the soft cost team and manages the Catalyst Energy Prize, Orange Button Data, and projects with NREL and LBNL. 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.
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Rylie Yaeger is an ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). She joined SETO in November 2022 on the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team. Rylie’s work contributes to a range of projects including innovative siting, such as agrivoltaics and land use concerns.
Prior to joining SETO, Rylie completed a dual degree master’s program and received an MSc International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a LLM International Affairs from Peking University in 2021. After graduation, Rylie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member working with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in Butte-Silver Bow, Montana. In her prior role, she contributed to the development of a county climate adaptation and green energy plan in a joint effort from NCAT and the local city-county. Rylie explored her interest of environmental policy and renewable energy siting concerns while gaining invaluable practical experience engaging with the local community. She also holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.