What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?
This is an exciting time to work in the solar industry. The cost of solar technology has been plummeting in recent years and creating opportunities for a critical shift towards clean energy. I also enjoy working on solar energy issues because there are so many upsides and so few downsides. The benefits of solar, including climate protection, energy independence, cost-savings, and domestic job creation, appeal to diverse groups of people spanning the political spectrum.
What impact do you feel the SolSmart program and you as an Advisor will have on the communities with which you will work?
The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County are dedicated to environmental sustainability and working toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and utilizing clean energy. The community members have a strong interest in solar energy and are ready to embrace it. However, these municipalities need more expertise, support, and resources to mitigate the barriers in their control and to unleash the solar potential in their communities. The no-cost technical assistance provided by the SolSmart Advisor will enable these communities to make some needed improvements, including coordinating and aligning with regional stakeholders, streamlining the permitting and inspection processes, and adopting best practices in planning and zoning. Achieving the SolSmart designation will send a message to the homeowners and local businesses that now is the time to take advantage of all the benefits of solar energy.
What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about working on?
I am excited about the opportunities to expand community engagement and energize homeowners and businesses about solar energy. I look forward to educating community partners and stakeholders about the multitude of benefits of solar energy and to providing ways to make solar energy more accessible to them. I am proud to be helping my hometown become the first in the state to achieve the SolSmart designation and join an elite group of leading communities across the nation.