Conference + Trade Show
2023 NYSEIA New York Solar Summit
Albany Capital Center, November 8–9, 2023
The 2023 NYSEIA New York Solar Summit brings together solar energy professionals, industry leaders, and decision-makers to discuss the market trends and policy developments that matter most to New York’s distributed solar and energy storage industries. The speaker list is updated as participants are confirmed.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Doreen M. Harris is president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation that advances innovative energy solutions to improve New York State’s economy and environment.
Ms. Harris has held public and private sector leadership roles advancing clean energy projects and engineering companies for more than 20 years. During her 10 years of public service, she has held executive, technical, and policy positions at NYSERDA, most recently as the Vice President of Large-Scale Renewables. While at NYSERDA, she has overseen the State’s nation-leading advancement of renewable resources under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and Clean Energy Standard. Ms. Harris also spearheaded the strategic development of New York’s offshore wind resource, including the execution of the State’s offshore wind master plan. She was also instrumental in advancing and implementing the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which will modernize the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects across New York.
Before embarking on a career in public service, Ms. Harris spent more than a decade in the energy sector, serving in management and engineering roles. She began her career at Alcoa Advanced Technologies and Optimization Technologies in engineering roles associated with consulting and project management. Prior to joining NYSERDA, she served as Project Director for Global Water Technologies, Inc., where she led a multi-year initiative to develop and commercialize energy savings and water treatment technologies.
She currently serves on the boards of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, Alliance to Save Energy, Clean Energy States Alliance, National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, NY CREATES, NY BEST, and is a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Leadership Council. Ms. Harris earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester
and a Master of Business Administration from the University at Albany.
Chairman of Committee on Environmental Conservation
Pete Harckham was elected to the New York State Senate in November 2018, and re-elected in 2020 and 2022—the culmination so far of a distinguished career in public service. Currently, he is chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
Through his two full terms in office, Harckham has become one of the most productive members of the New York State Senate. He worked to make the 2% Property Tax Cap permanent; delivered record aid to education; and addressed the opioid crisis by doubling minimum treatment times and reducing barriers to life saving treatment.
Well-regarded as a champion of the environment, Harckham helped pass the toughest climate protection legislation in the nation, and also introduced legislation, later enacted, requiring all new passenger car and truck sales to be zero emission by 2035 and allowing municipalities to build solar canopies and jumpstart community renewable energy projects. Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul placed Harckham’s landmark wetlands legislation protecting Class C streams statewide, which will safeguard fragile drinking water resources, into her proposed 2023 State Budget.
Additionally, Harckham has been a leading voice to hold the utilities accountable in the wake of failed responses to natural disasters and has been there for residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, he has held 13 food drives to fight hunger, assisted thousands of residents with unemployment claims and delivered PPE to first responders and municipalities throughout the 40th Senate District.
US Department of Energy
Jigar Shah was most recently co-founder and President at Generate Capital, where he focused on helping entrepreneurs accelerate decarbonization solutions through the use of low-cost infrastructure-as-a service financing. Prior to Generate Capital, Shah founded SunEdison, a company that pioneered “pay as you save” solar financing. After SunEdison, Shah served as the founding CEO of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Originally from Illinois, Shah holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois-UC and an MBA from the University of Maryland College Park.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
In 2014 David Sandbank joined NYSERDA to run Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative and has overseen the largest year-over-year growth of solar in New York State. David’s experience as a solar developer brought real market experience and industry perspective a true market driven private / public partnership. Since David has joined NYSERDA he focused on programmatic efficiency, lowering costs for solar developers and making solar available for all New Yorkers. As a result, New York has risen in the ranks nationally with 2018 being the strongest year yet jumping from twelve to sixth in the nation for completed capacity, while building the largest pipeline in its history at a time when national solar trends were dipping. The results have drawn more industry to focus in the state ranking New York 4th in the nation with nearly 12,000 solar jobs. In addition to building solar capacity David has assured that the solar projects are built to code and operate safely by conceptualizing and launching the NYSERDA Quality Solar Installer designation which is now being adopted across the authority for different technologies.
David has also played an integral role in working the Department of Public Service to transition to a value stack tariff providing more accurate price signals encouraging DER’s to be designed/located where it helps alleviate future infrastructure grid investment. Prior to joining NYSERDA, Sandbank worked as a solar developer, helping a start-up grow to more than one hundred employees and oversaw company operations, marketing, engineering and installation teams. In November 2013, Sandbank was elected vice-president of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association to actively work with government agencies, policy makers and utility companies to help advance the solar industry in New York.
Long Island Power Authority
Thomas Falcone is the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Power Authority, the third-largest publicly-owned electric utility in the United States. Mr. Falcone joined LIPA in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer and became CEO in 2015.
Mr. Falcone is the board chair of the Large Public Power Council and a board member of the American Public Power Association, Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, and Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University.
Mr. Falcone serves on New York's Climate Action Council, the 22-member board that adopts the plans to achieve the State's greenhouse gas reduction targets, including a zero-carbon power sector by 2040 and an 85 percent reduction in state-wide emissions by 2050. Mr. Falcone also participates in the Energeia Partnership, a think-tank organization focused on challenges facing Long Island.
Prior to joining LIPA, Mr. Falcone was an investment banker and advisor to publicly-owned utilities and state and local governments. In that role, Mr. Falcone raised more than $25 billion for infrastructure investments across the country. Mr. Falcone received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
New York State Department of Public Service
Jessica Waldorf is currently serving as the Chief of Staff & Director of Policy Implementation at the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) where she is responsible for the development and implementation of regulatory policies in the areas of clean energy, utility regulation, and innovation. Prior to joining DPS, she served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy in the Office of the Governor of New York State where she oversaw operations for the energy agencies and authorities in the State of New York, including administrative, budget, legislative, program, and policy priorities. She worked across this interagency portfolio to develop and implement policy and legislative initiatives to advance the Governor’s ambitious energy and environmental goals, with a focus on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Noah Ginsburg joined NYSEIA as Executive Director in early 2023. In this role, he is charged with advancing the solar industry in New York through policy/advocacy, public education, member capacity-building, and strategic initiatives.
Prior to NYSEIA, Noah spent seven years as a program director at Solar One, a nonprofit organization that expands access to the benefits of clean energy to all New Yorkers through education, solar technical assistance, and workforce development. While at Solar One, Noah built a robust program and strong team that developed more than 800 solar projects, primarily on affordable housing. From 2021-2022, he also served on the board of NYSEIA and chaired the NYC Policy Committee. From 2009-2011 Noah was a Solar Ombudsman at the City University of New York, working to identify and address barriers to solar in New York City. In 2011 Noah moved to California to work as data analyst and technologist with diverse solar companies including Sungevity, Sunrun and OnGrid. While in California Noah volunteered as a Team Leader on more than 40 solar installations with GRID Alternatives, a non-profit solar installer that serves low-income homeowners, and earned his NABCEP PV installation certification in 2014. Noah holds a bachelor's degree in Renewable Energy from the CUNY Baccalaureate program/Hunter College. He is passionate about accelerating local solar adoption while expanding equitable access to the benefits of clean energy.
Jonathan Cohen, Policy Director, NYSEIA. Jonathan joined the leadership of the Long Island Solar & Storage Alliance in January 2020. He has worked in the solar industry since 2014 and currently serves as Policy Director for NYSEIA. Previously he was Government Liaison for SUNation Solar Systems, a solar provider on Long Island.
Jonathan brings 25 years of public policy advocacy experience, and has served his community as a civic leader for his entire adult life, including as an Executive Board member of the Manorville Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his career in the solar industry, Jonathan worked in the medical field for 17 years, including as District EMS Supervisor at Mastic Beach Ambulance. He resides in Manorville, NY with his wife Carolyn, daughter Emma, and son Zachary.
Zohar Gorgel is the CEO & Co-Founder of Rhino Eco, a solar financing engine based in New York, with a mission to make solar energy more accessible to everyone. Rhino Eco leverages AI technology to help solar contractors and sales representatives deliver tailor-made financing solutions at the point of sale. With over 15 years of experience as a tech leader, Mr. Gorgel brings a wealth of expertise and innovation to the sustainable energy sector. Prior to establishing Rhino, Mr. Gorgel served as the COO of Argyle Consulting Group, a tech-focused global consulting firm, and he is also a former decorated intelligence officer.
Ben joined PosiGen in early 2019, after seven years at the Connecticut Green Bank and its spin-out national specialty financing company, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, which Ben helped launch. At PosiGen, Ben has helped drive key geographic expansion and platform growth initiatives, led all capital markets activities, and built a world-class team focused on executing on PosiGen's mission of #SolarForAll. He is now honored to lead the company as it continues to deliver on that promise. Previously, at the Green Bank, Ben designed and developed innovative clean energy financing solutions, including building the country’s leading Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program, structuring first-in-the-nation strategies to secure solar investment for non-investment grade properties, and arranging investment partnerships with not only traditional financial institutions but also emerging players such as foundations and crowdsourcing platforms. Ben holds degrees from Yale’s School of Management and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, as well as Yale College.
Kevin Schulte co-founded GreenSpark Solar in 2002 and was named CEO in 2008. By 2015 he led the company to 11th fastest growing business in Rochester and reached the top spot on the Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2017. Kevin currently serves on the board of the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a member-owned purchasing cooperative of over 60 independent, values driven solar energy companies in all 50 states, Washington DC, Canada and Puerto Rico.
He has been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for his contributions to the growth of the distributed solar & wind industry, including being named the inaugural recipient of the Community Wind Innovator Award in 2011. Kevin's leadership in policy & industry standards has taken him to Washington DC & Albany regularly since 2002, advocating on behalf of small and mid-sized solar and wind businesses.
While Kevin’s leadership can be calculated in the over 125 MWs of renewable energy installed, he would point to GreenSpark being named Rochester’s Top Workplace in 2018 & a top workplace in 2021 as his highest professional accomplishment. Kevin is a graduate of JMU’s School of Integrated Science and Technology.
Coalition for Community Solar Access
Kate Daniel is the Northeast Regional Director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), a national trade association representing more than 100 community solar companies, businesses, and nonprofits working to expand customer choice and access to solar for all American households and businesses through community solar. In that role, she is responsible for leading campaigns to strengthen and sustain community solar markets in New England and New York. Kate previously served as Director of Policy for Catalyze, an innovative energy services partner and independent power producer (IPP) accelerating the transition to the renewable energy economy by creating new profit opportunities for commercial and industrial real estate owners. Prior to Catalyze, she was a Consultant with Sustainable Energy Advantage where she conducted policy and market analyses of the renewable energy sector in the Northeast, and supported public sector clients in clean energy program design and implementation. She was also previously part of the team that runs the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) out of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.
David co-founded EmPower in 2003 to make solar the dominant energy source in New York and beyond, and is dedicated to accelerating activities to achieve this goal. As CEO, David is responsible for leading and managing the company along with the management committee. David’s day to day includes commercial business development, battery system sales, community solar projects and managing the SunPower Master Dealer partnership.
As an advocate, David conducts outreach to build support for clean energy amongst political, community, business and religious leaders, and the public at large. David has testified before the United States Congress Science Committee about the DOE Solar Decathlon and solar energy, and has been involved with numerous TV, print, internet, radio and documentary interviews.
David is a current board member of Vision Long Island. He has a Master of Science in Energy Management from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received the Faculty Award for outstanding achievement, and co-led the 2005 Solar Decathlon solar-hydrogen zero energy home project.
He has a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont, where he received the Freeman Saltus Award in Economics. David was a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Installer. David started his career as an Institutional Equity Advisor at Merrill Lynch where he sold Japanese equities to large U.S.-based investors.
Valessa Souter-Kline is SEIA's Northeast Regional Director, working on regulatory and legislative matters, principally in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
Before joining SEIA, Valessa spent a decade facilitating communication between regulators and industry representatives on both energy and environmental issues. Starting in 2015, Valessa ran solarize campaigns across New York’s Southern Tier followed by two years spent working on solar policy at the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) prior to shifting into development. Valessa spent three years as a utility-scale wind, solar and battery energy storage developer working primarily in New York, with projects in Virginia and Pennsylvania as well.
Valessa holds a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's in Psychology from Guilford College. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, young son, and opinionated rescue hound.
New York State Department of Labor
Shaun McCready is the Director of Public Work for the New York State Department of Labor. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Shaun earned his J.D. from St. John’s School of Law and joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in 2007. There he worked in the East End, Major Crime, and Vehicular Crimes Bureaus, handling cases from petit larcenies to fatal DWI/hit and runs, before spearheading a reconstituted Labor Crimes Unit within the Financial Investigations and Money Laundering Bureau.
Within the Labor Crimes Unit, Shaun prosecuted wage theft, labor trafficking, prevailing wage violations and related workers compensation and unemployment insurance frauds. He also joined the Wage Theft Task Force, comprised of district attorney’s offices from Long Island and New York City, the Attorney General’s Office, DOL, NYSIF, and NYC Department of Investigation. During his nearly fifteen-year career as a prosecutor Shaun tried over three dozen cases to verdict.
In October of 2021, Shaun joined the Department of Labor. There he runs the Bureau of Public Work, comprised of eleven district offices and approximately eighty investigators and support staff. The Bureau is tasked with enforcing Articles 8 & 9 of the Labor Law and investigating prevailing wage violations throughout the state. He also serves as Secretary to the Public Subsidy Board, which oversees the application of prevailing wage laws to certain private construction projects receiving public funding.
In August of 2023, Shaun was elected as the new Vice President to the Interstate labor Standards Association, a collective of state labor departments from across the country, and is also a new board member of the Industrial and Labor Relations Alumni Association.
He currently lives on the north shore of Long Island with his wife and three children.
Department of Public Service
Schuyler Matteson currently serves as Clean Energy Planning Lead at the New York State Department of Public Service, where he is tasked with leading grid planning efforts under the Coordinated Grid Planning Process and Electric Vehicle Proactive Planning Process. Prior to his role at DPS, Schuyler led New York’s Energy Storage Program and completed numerous statewide planning studies focusing on long-term decarbonization. Schuyler holds a PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems from RIT, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Neuroscience from King’s College London, and a BA with Honors in Mathematics and Philosophy and a BS in Applied Physics from Carson-Newman College.
RWE Clean Energy
Ed is passionate about driving transformative policy change in our industry -- especially aorund the critical issues of Interconnection and Land Use. Serving as RWE Clean Energy's VP of Policy Development and Distributed Government Relations, Ed has been active in Interconnection proceedings across the nation over the last number of years, advocating for common-sense reforms that will enable a high-DER, high-decarbonization future. After a 15 year career in the Energy Services sector, primarily with Constellation Energy, Ed joined Clean Energy Collective in 2019, moving over to ConEd CEB when the Clean Energy Businesses purchased CEC's operating assets along with its Development team. With the combination of the CEB and RWE into RWE Clean Energy, Ed now leads a team that is responsible for Distributed energy policy with a Community Solar focus and RWE's Policy Development. A committed urbanist (in addition to a climate activist), Ed lives in Hamilton Heights in Harlem with his partner Abby and their terrorist mini-dachshund, Otto.
NY Green Bank
Gregory Randolph oversees Investment Administration and Portfolio Management at NY Green Bank.
Prior to NY Green Bank, Mr. Randolph spent 16 years focusing on project finance, capital markets, energy mergers and acquisitions, and opportunities in the energy and power industries at Greenhill & Company. Mr. Randolph was also the Managing Director in the energy and power group of Goldman Sachs where he ran the Project Finance and Midstream Energy Groups. Prior to his 12 years at Goldman Sachs, he worked in the project finance group at Salomon Brothers. Mr. Randolph started his career as an analyst at J.P. Morgan.
Mr. Randolph graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 1981 with a degree in economics and received an MBA from the Wharton School in 1987.
Casey Kirkpatrick is the NY Director of Reliability and Research & Development with National Grid. He received a BS in English from the United States Naval Academy, an MS in Power Systems Management from the Worcester Polytechnical Institute, a Graduate Certificate in the Business of Energy from Clarkson, and is currently pursuing his MBA with Clarkson. He began his career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. He joined National Grid in 2005, where he has worked in both Massachusetts and New York. Previous roles at National Grid include Operations Engineering, Distribution Design, Distribution Planning and Asset Management, and NY DG Ombudsperson. He began his most current position as Reliability/R&D Director in April of 2021, where he is responsible for Distributed Generation Process and Standards, Non-Wires Alternatives, New Technologies Research and Development, Reliability Analytics, and Vegetation Management.
Dr. William Acker is a well-known and highly-regarded scientist, business leader and entrepreneur in the field of energy. He currently serves as the first Executive Director of NY-BEST, the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium. Under his leadership, NY-BEST has grown its membership to more than 180 companies, created the BEST Test and Commercialization Center and new battery prototyping capabilities, and has performed pioneering work in advancing markets, policy, technology and product development. Dr. Acker is an active and influential voice for energy storage industry in New York State’s groundbreaking Reforming the Energy Vision initiative and he is leading the industry’s participation in the State’s Energy Storage Roadmap initiative.
Dr. Acker’s more than 25-year career in energy includes management and leadership roles with Optiwind, MTI and MTI MicroFuel Cells, Plug Power and Texaco. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Future Energy Systems at RPI, the RIT Battery Prototyping Center, and the Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator. He received a Ph.D, in Applied Physics and Engineering from Yale University and a B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic University.
University at Albany
Richard Perez is a senior research associate at the University at Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, where he directs applied research and teaches in the fields of solar radiation, solar energy applications and daylighting. He holds a Master and a Doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences (University of Paris and SUNY-Albany), and an Undergraduate degree in Electrotechnics (University of Nice, France).
Two of Perez’s noted contributions to the field of solar energy are:
- Identifying the potential of photovoltaic (PV) power generation to meet the electrical power demand of large cities in nontraditional solar regions such as the northeastern U.S.
- The development of solar radiation models that have been incorporated in standard solar energy and daylighting calculation practice around the world.
He has received several international awards including a Certificate for Outstanding Research from the US Department of Energy, American Solar’ Charles Greeley Abbot Award; the First International Building and Daylight Award from the Velux Foundation, and International Solar Society’s Farrington Daniels Award, for outstanding contributions in science, technology and engineering of solar energy applications which lead to enhancing our world and the conditions of human kind.
Aviv Shalgi is a serial entrepreneur, and is the CEO of an energy tech startup, Solar Simplified. His military background, engineering career, and consulting experience have allowed Aviv to become a well-rounded business leader. As an innovator, Aviv has always been focused on positive disruption in industries where there are opportunities to solve fundamental problems. This is what drew him to Solar Simplified, where he strives to make affordable renewable energy accessible to everyone, while providing consumers with guaranteed savings and making the process simple and transparent for consumers, solar developers and regulators.
Annika Colston founded AC Power to bring unique vision to solar PV project development and management on landfill and brownfield sites. Annika has been developing alternative energy projects for nearly two decades and has experience across all aspects of project development. She has worked with all stakeholders needed to make alternative energy projects successful. These stakeholders include governments, local municipalities, Fortune 500 companies, landowners, utilities, and more. The breadth of her experience makes her capable of solving conflicts and bringing teams together to ensure success.
Annika has a unique ability to bring projects to operation on time and within budget. Ms. Colston has been a senior manager of four start-up companies that sourced private and public capital to drive investment in environmentally and socially beneficial projects. Annika has a long track record of successfully taking projects through the entire development process including origination, contract negotiations, due diligence, financing and investor approvals, permitting, structuring off-take agreements, equipment procurement, construction contracting, and operations.
Prior to AC Power, Annika was Vice President at PV Navigator where she originated and developed over 50 MW of solar projects on landfills and brownfields. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Colston was President of C2i Methane where she developed and sold a portfolio of landfill gas to energy projects. Ms. Colston's work experience includes entities that were market leaders such as E+Co, which invested seed capital in sustainable development projects in Africa using innovative investment structures; EcoSecurities, a first of its kind company marketing Kyoto Protocol projects globally; and Blue Source, the largest carbon credit portfolio in the US.
Jackie joined DSD in 2021 as a Project Manager and has spent time working on all aspects of the Development process. She was promoted to Director in 2022 and oversees the East Coast team. In her role, she oversees a team of Development Project Managers and guides numerous commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects through the development phase, from contract to construction. The development phase includes site due diligence, interconnection, engineering, incentive, and permitting.
Prior to joining DSD, Jackie worked as an Environmental Planner and Project Manager at several consulting firms, supporting a variety of projects in the energy industry, including renewable and conventional energy, ranging from distribution to utility scale in size. She also worked as a Permitting Manager for a utility, overseeing the development and installation of several transmission lines and substations. Jackie has experience managing technical teams; drafting and editing technical reports; preparation of comprehensive permit application writing; agency coordination; and witness preparation. In addition to full scale permitting efforts, Jackie has conducted Phase I ESAs and due diligence assessments in support of financial transactions.
Jackie earned a BA in Engineering Management from Lafayette College. She works remotely out of Rochester, New York with her husband, three (young) children, and goldendoodle.
Kiran Bhatraju is a climate tech entrepreneur from Eastern Kentucky coal country. Kiran is the founder and CEO of Arcadia, a global utility data platform.
Arcadia's software unlocks consumption and tariff data cross thousands of utilities in 52 countries to power the next generation of climate solutions, giving anyone the tools to electrify and decarbonize. Arcadia works with innovators across every single sector of electrification, and is the largest manager of community solar assets with ~2GW under management across 14 states. Founded in 2014, Arcadia has raised over $400M in venture capital and has 500+ employees worldwide.
Previously, Kiran founded American Efficient, a virtual power plant software platform that was acquired by Modern Energy. Kiran began his career on Capitol Hill working on Energy and National Security issues. Kiran is a published author, sits on the Board of Solar Holler (Appalachia's largest rooftop solar company), and serves on the World Wildlife Fund National Council. Kiran holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a proud Kentucky Colonel.
Dennis Phayre is a C&I corporate solar developer with PowerFlex, LLC., a subsidiary EDF Renewables North America (EDFR). Prior to joining the PowerFlex team, Dennis was a founding member of EnterSolar, a leading corporate onsite solar developer headquartered in NYC. EDFR completed its acquisition of EnterSolar in January 2021. Dennis has over 15 years of experience in the New York C&I market.
Dennis’s work also includes policy development, often in cooperation with NYSEIA, SEIA, and NY-BEST. Through his policy efforts Dennis, seeks to better understand and shape the complex markets into which he sells. He has served as a “Collaborator” on the PSC’s original VDER proceedings and continues to serve as a member of its Interconnection Policy Working Group (IPWG) today.
While his work focuses largely on onsite solar projects from 1 MW AC to 5 MW AC, including rooftop, ground, carports, storage, and EVSE, Dennis has also developed many MWs of RNM/CDG projects across New York State.
New Leaf Energy
Prior to becoming CEO of New Leaf Energy, Dan Berwick served as President of the Development business at Borrego. Dan joined Borrego in 2010, and held roles as the company’s Director of Policy and Business Development, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, and General Manager of Energy Storage. In these roles, he managed policy and government affairs for the company, led several of Borrego’s major expansion efforts, including launching its energy storage business, and then led its independent Development business.
Dan earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management and his Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
NY State Solar
Reid Garton is the President & CEO of NY State Solar, and a proud member of NYSEIA's board of directors, where he currently serves as the organization's VP of Residential Solar. NY State Solar is a solar developer that specializes in the sale, design, and installation of customized residential and commercial photovoltaic systems. NY State Solar has over 225 employees across eight locations in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey.
Through his work with NYSEIA, Reid's extensive experience within the solar industry works to advance further adoption of green technology on both local and regional scales. Reid's knowledge of the renewable energy sector regularly helps educate those outside the industry on the long-term financial and environmental benefits of choosing eco-friendly energy options for New York State.
Before joining NY State Solar, Reid served as the founder of a series of successful telecom and internet service companies. Reid is actively involved in several real estate businesses.
Sara Jayanthi (she/her) is a Senior Project Manager at NYSERDA on the NY-Sun team, where is she has recently been tapped to oversee the Solar Energy Equity Framework, a portfolio of programming that increases access to solar for low-to-moderate income (LMI) households and disadvantaged communities, helps New Yorkers save money on their electric bills, and reduces operating costs for affordable housing, nonprofits, and public facilities serving disadvantaged communities. She just spearheaded the relaunch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder, one of the largest incentive programs in the country for community solar projects that serve LMI subscribers, affordable housing, and disadvantaged communities. Sara also passionate about making the clean energy industry more diverse and inclusive, as she spent much of her career as one of the few people of color in a room. She helped write NYSERDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan and serves on the organization’s DEI Council and Climate Equity Leadership Council.
Sara has been in the clean energy industry for many years, working in various capacities on solar, wind, workforce development, consumer education and innovation. Her previous work includes working for NYU Tandon School of Engineering on commercializing emerging energy technology; growing the cleantech innovation sector for the NECEC Institute; and running clean energy outreach programs for Solar One. Sara started her career at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, administering programs for renewable energy and green construction projects. Sara teaches at NYU's Center of Global Affairs in topics on clean energy and cleantech. She holds a BA in environmental studies from Connecticut College, where she was a Goodwin-Niering Fellow, and a MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business.
Zaid Ashai 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, Emergenc Bioenergy, Everpower, and Kalpan in India. He 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, he was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has a BA in International Relations and Economics, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. He has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as a guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Zaid is currently on the board of Vote Solar.
The New York State Laborers' Organizing Fund
Harrison currently works at the Research Director for the NYS Laborers’ Organizing Fund which represents 44,000 union laborers across New York State. He has been with the Laborers for over 12 years and recently has been excited to work on creating good green union jobs in the renewables industry. Before joining the Laborers, he worked as a community organizer in Buffalo and Albany, NY. In his spare time, he enjoys playing pickup basketball and hockey. Harrison currently lives in Albany, NY with his wife and three children.
Harris Beach PLLC
Michelle Piasecki is a Partner with Harris Beach. She focuses her practice on energy and environmental law, with a particular emphasis on renewable generation and emerging technologies. Michelle represents renewable developers in all aspects of project development and siting, including navigating the regulatory process under Article 10 of the New York Public Service Law and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Michelle also counsels clients through the interconnection process with local distribution utilities and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).
In the environmental arena, Michelle represents corporate and individual clients on a wide range of matters involving permitting, regulatory compliance, civil and administrative enforcement, and dispute resolution. Her environmental permitting and regulatory compliance experience spans issues involving air emissions, wastewater and stormwater discharges, wetlands, zoning and land use matters, and the Mined Land Reclamation Law.
American Farmland Trust
Ethan Winter joined American Farmland Trust in June 2021 and serves as AFT’s National Smart Solar Director. In this role, Ethan is building AFT's national and regional platforms to advance cross-sector engagement and develop best practices for project siting, agrivoltaics and regenerative land management on solar projects. Ethan is also developing programs to support technical assistance for on-farm solar and training for farmers transitioning into agrivoltaics. Previously, Ethan was a developer and senior community engagement manager for Cypress Creek Renewables. Prior to working in solar, Ethan led the Land Trust Alliance New York Program for 13 years, building a statewide network of land conservation organizations and helping to develop a national land and climate program. Ethan has served on the City of Saratoga Springs Climate Smart Task Force and on the board of the Adirondack Council. He earned a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of the Environment and lives with his wife and three children in Saratoga Springs.
Lindsay serves as the Regulatory Director of the Northeast for Vote Solar, a non-profit working to promote solar energy adoption through policy advocacy, market development, and education. In this role, Lindsay focuses on advancing Vote Solar's mission by driving solar-friendly and equitable clean energy policies across Northeastern states.
Before joining Vote Solar, she gained regulatory expertise from her previous position as an Economist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. There, she conducted in-depth analyses and developed recommendations on key distributed energy resources issues including interconnection processes, net metering reforms, and statewide energy efficiency programs.
Prior to working at the MA DPU, she worked with a solar PV design and distribution firm assisting in solar and storage system design and procurement. Lindsay also gained solar experience from working with a small-scale residential solar provider in Rhode Island.
Dr. Kavita Ravi is the Vice President of Grid Integration at Blue Wave Solar, where she is responsible for interconnection in Blue Wave’s solar and storage projects across multiple states. Previously, she led programs to demonstrate viable business models for energy storage at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). In 2016, she co-led the State of Charge report that explored the market opportunities and barriers for energy storage in Massachusetts. At MassCEC, she also established a program to support universities and companies leverage clean energy funding opportunities. Prior to MassCEC, Kavita worked on microgrids and energy access issues with the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. From 2011 through 2013, she served as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy where she led market transforming programs to promote energy efficiency. Kavita has a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked for several years in the private sector commercializing the technology of her doctoral research.
Sunrise Power Solutions
Stephen is the Director of Business Development for Sunrise Power Solutions. Sunrise is a clean energy contractor focusing on the commercial, municipal and K-12 educational markets. He began his career in the financial services industry working for several NYSE member firms including his own as a member on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange serving institutional and professional traders. In 2009 he founded Bethpage Solar designing and installing hundreds of solar systems for residential, commercial, municipal, and not-for-profit customers both though Bethpage and as a channel partner with several other LISSA member companies. Concurrently he became certified as a NY State School District Business Leader (SDBL). These unique skills have enabled him to lead his team at Sunrise to be one of the largest installers of solar on school districts throughout NY State. He has been an associate and member of LISSA since 2008 and currently serves as a member of the executive committee strongly advocating for solar on behalf of all the Long Island members for the last several years. In addition, he works as an Adjunct Business Instructor at SUNY Suffolk. He holds a BS in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University and an MS in Educational Leadership from LI University.
New Leaf Energy
Sam is New Leaf's Director of Policy and Business Development in New York. In that role, Sam sets New Leaf's strategic vision and provides critical guidance for its development activities for all of new Leaf's NY verticals, including DG and Utility Scale storage. Prior to joining New Leaf, Sam spent over a decade shaping Federal energy policy as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy. Sam graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a MS in Engineering and Technology Innovation Management and MIT with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and minor in Political Science.
John heads up the product manager team, focussed on EVs, new technology and global deployment of virtual power plants.
He has held a number of different roles at Moixa since joining in 2017, primarily focussed on R&D. Prior to joining Moixa, for 10 years he worked in geophysical sensing equipment R&D, focussing on data science and system engineering.
John holds a Masters in Exploration Geophysics from Leeds University and a Bachelors in Geophysics from Edinburgh University.
Snyder & Snyder
Doug Warden is a partner with the law firm of Snyder & Snyder, LLP, concentrating in renewable energy development, real estate litigation, environmental law, and land use. Doug founded and leads the firm’s Renewable Energy and Battery Energy Storage Systems (“BESS”) practice. He has played an integral legal in the real estate development, permitting, acquisition, and construction efforts for numerous utility-scale solar farms and BESS facilities throughout New York State. Doug’s expertise in dealing with municipal PILOT agreements, community benefit agreements, and enforcement defense matters has proven to be a strong complement to his Renewable Energy and BESS practice. He is also a leading regional land use, environmental, and real estate litigator, having spent more than twenty-five years successfully representing Fortune 500 public utility entities, private individuals, and municipalities in land use, municipal, real estate, and environmental litigation. Prior to joining Snyder & Snyder, LLP, Doug was employed by one of Long Island’s premier municipal law and land use law firms.
Austin Perea is a Manager, New York Policy and Market Development for the Arcadia. Prior to joining Arcadia, Austin worked at The Boston Consulting Group, where he supported the energy practice as a research associate. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in economics and political science and a minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of New Hampshire.
Amy has more than twenty years of experience representing businesses, energy and utility clients, and individuals in property tax, eminent domain, land use disputes and compliance matters.
Amy’s practice involves national property tax compliance and defense work relating to property taxation. Amy regularly assists owners of renewable energy assets nationwide with negotiating tax-assessment reductions involving standalone generating facilities or a portfolio of assets located in multiple states, resulting in substantial property tax savings. Amy has obtained millions of dollars in property tax refunds as a result of negotiations and settling property tax assessment proceedings against municipalities who excessively assess utility property in New York, California, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Utah, and Vermont. She also counsels clients with tax exemption matters, including negotiation of payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreements.
Amy also advises clients in eminent domain proceedings from preliminary hearing stages to trials involving the acquisition of real property interests, trade fixtures, and leasehold rights.
She has also counseled not-for-profit entities providing critical services to individuals with special needs and disabilities on regulatory compliance and tax exemption matters and defends these organizations in the event of alleged legal violations, both civil and criminal.
Jesse Robertson-DuBois the Director of Sustainable Solar Development with BlueWave, a Massachusetts-based B-corporation specializing in solar and energy-storage from development through operations. With a portfolio of 5 agrivoltaic projects in construction in Massachusetts and 8 New York agrivoltaic projects scheduled for construction in 2024 (among others), BlueWave is at the forefront of agrivoltaic practice in the US. Jesse’s work in agrivoltaics grew out of a background in agriculture and land conservation, including a prior position as the New England Director of American Farmland Trust. His family operates Finicky Farm, LLC, raising sheep and goats and grazing in conventional solar arrays across three Massachusetts counties from their farm in Northfield, MA.
U.S. Light Energy
Michael Fingar is the Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Light Energy, a Latham, New York Development firm focused on deploying distributed generation across the state. Michael is an Operational Strategist and Solar Development Expert who collaborates with executives, project leaders, and local communities to advance their organizational and communal renewable energy initiatives, focusing on genuine, human centered solutions. After dedicating over a decade to the field, working from the ground up in roles ranging from PV Installer to his current role as Chief Operating Officer for U.S. Light Energy, Michael knows what truly drives the successful implementation and adoption of Distributed Generation projects with experience in the process from beginning-to-end, allowing him to understand and incorporate the needs of the communities in which projects are developed. Throughout his career, Michael has been instrumental in developing nearly 200MWdc of Community Solar in New York, with over 75MW in operation and 70MW in construction. He is currently leading the charge for developing over 750MWdc of projects nationwide.
Bart Jackson leads Public Affairs for the rooftop solar and battery company, Sunrun. In this role he works with policymakers to help them recognize the critical role that rooftop solar and batteries play to fight climate change, help reduce electricity prices for disadvantaged and underserved communities, and increase resilience for individuals as well as the grid as a whole. Prior to Sunrun, Bart worked in communications roles at the US Department of Energy and The White House during the Obama Administration. Bart received an MBA from UC Berkeley, and a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College.
Kyle, development manager at Lightstar supports the team’s efforts to develop community solar projects. Kyle works on all aspects of project diligence, including environmental assessment, stakeholder engagement, permitting, and interconnection. Prior to Lightstar, Kyle worked at BlueWave Solar, working on energy storage development in Massachusetts.
Kyle was born and raised in Massachusetts, and graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in environmental studies and political science. When not developing solar projects, Kyle loves cooking, furniture making, and tending to his hydroponic garden.
Andrew Hughes is the Director of Business Development for the East Coast at Scale Microgrids. As a native New Yorker, he is leading the expansion of Scale's business development efforts on the East coast and brings a wealth of experience from his past at Exelon and Eos Energy Storage. Within the Power Origination team at Exelon, he helped structure corporate renewable offtake agreements and negotiated utility scale PPAs with fortune 500 clients and renewable developers across ERCOT, PJM, and the Southeast. Then at Eos, he started and led the Commercial Sales and Business Development team where he sold over 2 GWh of Eos' zinc-bromine energy storage systems across the US, Europe, and Africa. Andrew holds a B.B.A from George Washington University with a concentration in International Business.
Liz Driscoll is the Chief Operating Officer at Carson Power, where she leads the Development Operations team, including engineering, operations, estimating, and project execution. Before joining Carson Power, Liz was the Director of Engineering and Construction at Advanced Power. She led the development engineers team managing Utility Scale greenfield development projects through to financial close, including EPC negotiations. Liz primarily worked in ERCOT-TX (Solar and solar + storage), NM, AZ, MD, VA, and OH markets, managing a 1GW+ portfolio. Before joining Advanced Power, Liz worked at Borrego Solar for 7 years in development and operations as the Director of Products and Director of Pre-Construction focused on researching and evaluating a new technology, as well as estimating and securing over 400 MWs of EPC Distributed Generation projects in MA, ME, NY, NY and OH. Liz is a Wentworth Institute of Technology graduate with a Master’s Degree in Construction Management and a Bachelor’s in Construction Management and Fine Arts. Liz is passionate about the renewables industry and excited to deploy MWs of PV and storage across the USA.
Shakira Hart - Director of Community Engagement - Solar One. Shakira works across Solar One programs to build relationships with employers in the clean energy sector with the goal of ensuring that trainees from Solar One’s workforce programs and high school career and technical education programs have access to career pathways in the growing clean energy industry. The Director builds on existing employer relationships with clean energy businesses and develops new employer partnerships and supports clean energy businesses to access state wage subsidies for on the job training.
Shakira is a recent graduate from CORO- Workforce Systems Leadership Program. CORO is an intensive professional development program that brings together workforce professionals from across NYC addressing Workforce Systemic barriers and change.
She also serves as Co-Chair of the Green Economy Network. The Green Economy Network is a collaborative that establishes effective practices and aligns current systems to create green jobs and career paths with priority on access and sustainability.
Daniel A. Spitzer is a Partner at the law firm of Hodgson Russ LLP. He is the Renewable Energy Practices Leader and a member of the Cleantech Practice, Green Building Practice, Land Use & Economic Development Practice, and Real Property Tax Assessment & Eminent Domain Practice. Dan concentrates his practice on environmental law, renewable energy, sustainable development, land use law, municipal law, real property taxation, and real estate development. His practice involves numerous renewable energy projects, including representing municipalities, developers, land owners, and financing entities. His work, from project inception through successful litigation, includes some of the largest wind farms in the eastern United States, multiple utility and small-scale solar projects, and landfill gas-to-energy, biomass, storage, transmission, and energy efficiency projects.
A primary part of Dan’s work focuses on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review and compliance with federal and state environmental statutes. His work includes environmental assessments for large-scale telecommunications projects and power generation projects. He counsels agencies and private clients on compliance with historic preservation laws, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other federal and state environmental statutes and regulations, and has drafted PILOTs, Host Community Agreements, PPAs, EPCs, MIPAs and other contracts. He is a frequent speaker and writer on sustainable development, property taxation, SEQRA, and zoning issues. Dan has a J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law and an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of London.
Nick Russo is a General Manager at Greentech Renewables, where he leads sales and operations for the company's solar and electrical equipment distribution business in CT and NY markets. Greentech Renewables is a nation-leading clean energy wholesaler, with over 100 locations in major solar markets in the US. Greentech Renewables locations offer extensive on-site inventory and logistics support in addition to financing, design, and residential and commercial services. Nick has facilitated substantial growth for Greentech Renewables in his markets over the last decade, fulfilling his passion for supporting his clients and bringing clean energy to his community. Nick holds a degree in sales management from the University of Connecticut. He's also a baseball aficionado and proud member of the Greater New Haven Baseball Umpire Association. Nick is married to his incredible wife Laura and have two beautiful daughters, Giuliana and Serafina.