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 Headshot Photo

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.

Zachary Eldredge

Zachary Eldredge Portrait

Zachary Eldredge is a Technology Manager for the Strategic Analysis team, joining SETO in June 2019. His projects are focused on how the solar industry can continue its growth by promoting the spread of information and forward-looking visions for renewable energy economies. He also works with the Systems Integration team on control systems and power electronics for smart electric grids.

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 Ph.D. 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.

Andrew Graves

Andrew Graves Headshot

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.

Ammar Qusaibaty

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.

Sarah Schneider

Company: ManTech International

Sarah is a Financial Program Analyst supporting the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team. She manages the budget and performs various project management duties for the awards within the soft costs portfolio. Prior to joining SETO in July 2015, Sarah was a Financial Analyst at the State Department. She received her B.S. in finance from Miami University.

Ruchi Singh

Ruchi Singh SETO Portrait

Company: ManTech International

Ruchi Singh is a technology manager supporting the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support (SAIS) team in the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). She joined SETO in September 2020 where her portfolio comprises projects that focus on power system reliability, resiliency, and interconnection-related challenges. Her interests lie in technical and policy challenges related to hybrid power system integration, market design, digitization of the power grid, and cybersecurity challenges facing the power grid. Ruchi is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves as a reviewer for several IEEE journals.

Ruchi has 14 years of technical and managerial experience working in the energy and power grid sector. Before joining SETO, she was a manager of transmission and interconnection at First Solar, responsible for leading interconnection strategy for solar and storage projects to ensure low-cost interconnection for customers. Ruchi is familiar with interconnection tariffs and regulatory issues for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Eastern Interconnection. Prior to that she worked at American Transmission Company as a senior transmission system planning engineer for their interconnection and special studies group, and led multiple project teams to study the thermal and stability impacts of natural gas, wind, solar, and solar+ storage generations on the bulk power system. Ruchi also worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a technical deputy involved in the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration projects designing test cases, data collection, and analysis methods for the participating utilities, and contributed to the testing and developing of the GridLab-D software sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity. She started her career at Black & Veatch where she developed expertise in electrical and physical substation design, protection schemes, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) settings.

Ruchi is currently pursuing her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and has a M.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan Tech and B.S. in electrical engineering from VTU, India.

DANNY SODANO

Danny Sodano SETO Portrait

ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Danny Sodano joined the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in September 2020 as a first-year ORISE Fellow. Within SETO, he works with the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support and Manufacturing and Competitiveness teams. His interests include community solar, energy storage modeling incorporation into solar systems analysis, the Open Energy Data Initiative, and development of a photovoltaic circular economy.

Danny graduated from North Carolina State University in July 2020 with an M.S. in environmental engineering. While pursuing this degree, he performed techno-economic analyses on various energy storage technologies in Duke Energy’s territories in North and South Carolina, a study mandated by NC House Bill 589. He also helped develop the NC Clean Energy Plan released by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality in October 2019. His thesis title is “A Sensitivity Analysis of Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic and Energy Storage Capacity Values.” He also received his B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2018.