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The key to deployment of solar projects serving electric cooperatives and municipal utilities is overcoming barriers commonly encountered at early project stages. Choosing an experienced development and EPC partner is critical to addressing issues such as lack of financing, site selection, land topography as well as solar program design. Institutions such as NC Clean Energy Technology Center, which has been involved in the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, offers free support for coops and munis to help them design and implement community solar programs. Once potential sites are identified, considerations must be made in view of technology selection, construction quality and vegetation planning & management. What does “going solar” mean for the land, community and local farmers? What does it mean to the electric provider? Our experts will have answers to these questions.
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Join us for a robust discussion around what it takes to go solar - from project development to environmental considerations, you’ll hear from:
- Smart pathway options for planning, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance, and financing for any size PV project / Blair Schooff, Chief Business Development Officer, Strata Solar
- Using a holistic approach and community focus to initiating sustainable landscape strategies that work for solar technology on social, economic, and environmental levels / Katie Parker, Vegetation Construction Manager, Strata Solar
- Outreach and technical assistance to electric cooperatives and municipal utilities to develop community solar programs - SunShot Initiative / Achyut Shrestha, Program Manager, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center
- Property owner benefits of having an electricity “cash crop” with land staying in the family / Bill Floyd, Holstein Solar Facility- Landowner
Blair Schooff | Chief Business Development Officer | Strata Solar
Blair Schooff has been with Strata Solar since 2011. His current focus is creating opportunities for electric cooperative customers to utilize solar energy to meet their environmental objectives and member expectations. In 2014, Blair took over the development department at Strata and was involved with developing relationships with major utilities across the country. Prior to leading development efforts, Blair served as a project developer and head of Strata marketing and sales.
Katie Parker | MLA, Associate ASLA | Vegetation Construction Manager | Strata Solar
Katie Parker is a horticulturist with a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. She works to advise and initiate sustainable landscape strategies for solar farm installation and maintenance. She interprets hydrology patterns, topography, soils, and native plant communities to simulate patterns observed in natural ecosystems. Through this analysis, she bases site specific recommendations of erosion mediation, soil amendments, plant types and maintenance procedures.
Achyut Shrestha | Program Manager | NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Achyut Shrestha is Program Manager at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. He is the lead for the Department of Energy funded Community Solar for the Southeast project. Achyut joined the Center as an analyst for the Database for State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) project, and since been involved with a number of Center's energy initiatives. Achyut holds an undergraduate degree in Physics from Hampshire College, and a Master's degree in Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School.