41 items found for ""
- Employee Q&A: Meet Carolyn
What interested you in working at Clean Energy NH? I am committed to a regenerative future, and, in a previous position, I was inspired by our program, Community Solar for Community Action, which intended to further build out our community solar grid for those experiencing energy poverty. Recently I expanded the research, specifically block chain application to community solar, as I thought it might be a component of my Master of Arts (MA) dissertation. Within days I found Clean Energy NH advertising this position! What were you up to prior to working at the organization? I’ve been working in the area of collaborative planning for community and economic development, and previously I served as the Director of Planning, Development, and Public Relations for a Community Action Agency in Vermont. I also gained certification to implement their federally-mandated performance management practice, ROMA. One of the highlights of the role was the opportunity to attract, and served on the development team for, Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE). It was a great opportunity to co-develop what was scaled up to become a multi-million dollar project. VEE intended change at a systems level. It had measurable benefits on local farms, locally-domiciled restaurants, and local people impacted by COVID; and it was administered by local hubs who had design control for the implementation in their region. Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? I am a student of regenerative economics and, within that work, it is evident that the future of humanity hinges on a deeper interaction with and promotion of renewable, clean energy. I hope that my background in community & economic development planning and fund development will support CENH’s mission to lead the clean energy transition needed for all beings to thrive. I’m also curious about the intersection of land use and renewable energy technologies; for ex., what multiple benefits for the ecosystem can be incorporated in land developed for renewables which would also create co benefits such as, to increase habitat for pollinators or reinstate continuous wildlife corridors. Describe your position in more detail. Who will you be working with and what will you be doing? I will be working on developing funding streams for the organization’s work. This will be at the direction of our Executive Director and under the supervision of Beth, the Deputy Director, with whom I will build out systems/processes to improve grants management, in particular, to meet our goal of increased organizational capacity. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? I am excited for the innovation and partnership-building across sectors, as we cultivate collaborations which generate funding for programming and capacity building; and I am especially glad that the work will promote positive transformation in our communities, state, and region. I love work that improves, and more importantly, regenerates, life on earth. What advice would you give to your younger self? No mud. No lotus. ~TNH Stay the course; work hard; seek to understand the nature of suffering; allow for change; cultivate peace; and celebrate JOY. What do you like to do when you aren’t working? When I'm not working, I like to garden, hike, dance, play keyboard music (likely old and french), cook, and read. A typical weekend for me is… Hiking, cooking, garden tending, giving the hubs and my kiddo some time and love. What’s on your bucket list? Completing a graduate degree in Regenerative Economics- August 2024! Traveling to the Orkney Islands in Scotland; replacing my dwarf fruit trees with a more sustainable, native over story (for the birds, in particular, and a little more perennial food on our property); take a long hiking/walking trip in Spain… If you could choose anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be? Kate Winslet, love her acting (like, A Little Chaos, a perennial fave). Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I adore ridge line walking, from the Crawford Path (my #1), as well as Pemetic, and, more local to me, the Windmill-Pinnacle (VT) and Robinhood to Sunset Rock (Keene). Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Both! Coffee- lite on cream and maple, and- …half decaf! Tea- from my garden in summer, likely lemon balm or tulsi/holy basil. Favorite NH Restaurant: T.H.E.- The Thompson House Eatery in Jackson; Vida Cantina in Portsmouth though…yum! Favorite Musician/Band/Music genre: Funky organ! Club D’Elf, Thievery Corporation, Sundog Organ Trio, to name a few! Favorite Recreational Activity: Hiking in the mountains, with an ocean nearby; and building garden eco-systems for all creatures <3 Favorite Holiday: Christmas Eve, so quiet, and we have a tradition of spending it with our friend-family. I enjoy preparing a special dinner, often with ingredients saved just for an evening of love and giving (like homemade black raspberry ice cream and vegan peach sorbet!)
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Jake Gehrung
Name: Jake Gehrung Title: Resilience Manager Employer: Resilient Buildings Group (RBG) City/Town of Residence: Amherst, NH Education: Environmental Science BS from the University of New Hampshire Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? Green building and energy efficiency work has been a seamless avenue for me to explore my passion for interdisciplinary solutions in sustainability. What interested you in working at your current employer? Resilient Buildings Group (RBG) is a small company with an open-minded, accepting, and supportive culture. They are well-positioned to offer a variety of services in the field of energy efficiency, which has allowed me to continuously grow and learn new skills as I take on more responsibilities. Describe the work you do in more detail. My work is quite multifaceted, but mostly involves building commissioning, energy auditing, energy modeling, and LEED projects. At home and at the office, I could be reviewing drawings, analyzing data, or writing reports. In the field, I could be reviewing a whole building for energy efficiency measures, testing HVAC systems, or meeting with clients to discuss their building. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? I am most enlivened by the interdisciplinary nature of my work, both in subject matter and setting. I love that I am constantly doing different things in different places. I also love that I am constantly learning. I love to learn, especially when I can use what I've learned to help others. It is very rewarding to help clients work through their challenges by applying my skills and knowledge in new situations. What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? The development and rising popularity of organizations like YPiE and sustainability programs in higher education (e.g. at UNH) make me feel like clean energy is becoming a higher priority in this state, especially for our younger generations. I believe as our generation continues to flood the workforce and becomes a stronger voice in politics, clean energy efforts will become a more fundamental component of how NH operates. What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state? Historically, it seems that the political climate in NH has be the main obstacle for clean energy, as it has for other progressive efforts. I'm hoping that, with time, the undeniable benefits of clean energy solutions will be impossible to vote down or dismiss. What interested you most about being part of YPiE? (Young Professionals in Energy) Clean energy is still a growing field with a somewhat limited community of young professionals. I am gravitated to YPiE for the opportunity to engage with this growing community and get involved with a larger movement, beyond the scope of my individual work. What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? For finding a job, I would highly recommend Ed Carley's Clean Energy Job Board. To someone entering this field (new to industry or fresh out of college), I would encourage young people to network, find a mentor, and be flexible with finding a job. The field is small, but growing rapidly, so the seasoned professionals tend to be open to connecting and making recommendations. I found it incredibly easy to get to know people and actually found my job purely by networking. The culture in clean energy also tends to be very supportive and excepting, not competitive and closed minded. Having a good attitude and being patient will go a long way. What do you like to do when you aren't working? On my free time, I love to play chess, play spikeball, cook, lift weights, and spend time connecting with my community in any capacity possible. A typical weekend for me is... Traveling or staying home with my friend group for either some sort of event or just a relaxing, connective experience. What's on your bucket list? Everything. I like to try everything once. But most importantly, I want to live in Hawaii at some point. I also want to become a part of an intentional living community, and go to Burning Man at least once. Tell us one thing most people don't know about you. I have had 4 heart attacks (I had pericarditis when I was 18). Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Yerba mate with mushroom powder, especially lion's mane. Fave NH Restaurant? Oak House in Newmarket, NH. Fave Musician/Band/Music genre? Tame Impala. Fav Recreational activity? Chess.
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Ted Lague
Name: Ted Lague Title: Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Employer: Merchants Fleet City/Town of Residence: Exeter, NH Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? There are big problems to solve, and that excites me. One of which being 29% of greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the United States come from the transportation sector, and roughly one in five vehicles on the road today belongs to a fleet. This presents a tremendous opportunity for our company to benefit the planet and society through the electrification of fleets, among other solutions in the transportation space. What interested you in working at your current employer? To combine my adulthood passions of strategy, innovation, and sustainability with my childhood passion of transportation. Above all else though, it's having the opportunity to do good at both the local and national level, while simultaneously growing our company’s profitability. Describe the work you do in more detail. I oversee Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at Merchants Fleet. In addition to building the company’s ESG strategy and culture, our team works on initiatives that help the company do well as a business, by doing immense good for planet, people and communities. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? Taking action! More specifically, innovating new solutions with my peers that benefit our company, planet, employees and communities. What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? I have faith seeing local organizations & institutions like Clean Energy NH (CENH), the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR), inspire folks to help transition our little state to clean energy, and a future we can all be proud of. There are a lot of scary things in the news these days, but there are also incredible opportunities here in New Hampshire. Where there is opportunity, there is hope. What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state? Communication, leadership and vision that motivates a broader audience to take action. The first step though is listening; easy to say, but often difficult to practice. I think we would all benefit from leaning in and listening a bit more. Active listening fuels effective communication, leadership and visions that inspire enduring ACTION. What interested you most about being part of YPiE? I believe the sum of YPiE has the potential to be much greater than all the individual pieces. Together, we can do big things. What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? Have fun, stay curious, fail fast, and always be kind. What do you like to do when you aren't working? I love playing with my son, skiing of any sort, biking, boating, and building. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Coffee with cream. Stirred not shaken. Fave NH Restaurant? Los Olas Taqueria in Exeter. Fave Musician/Band/Music genre? If it’s live and in the great outdoors, I’m happy. I’ve also been on an R.E.M. kick, after adopting a box of old cassette tapes from my in-law’s waste basket. If you haven’t dipped your toes into the world of cassette tapes…I’ll spare you, you’re not missing much. Fav Recreational activity? Alpine touring, hands down.
- Employee Q&A: Meet Loreley
What interested you in working at Clean Energy NH? I’m drawn to Clean Energy NH’s power to bring people together in advocating for renewables. This non-profit doesn’t just talk about action, it takes it. I wanted to be a part of a coalition that had a vision for the Granite State’s sustainable future and worked to achieve it, from collaborating with legislators in writing policy to guiding ground-zero communities in implementation. I’m ready to get to work! What were you up to prior to working at the organization? I graduated from high school at age 16. I’ve been on a two-year gap year since then to realign with my peer group before attending Wellesley College this fall. In the interim I’ve advocated for environmental policy as the former Policy Director of the student-led non-profit, Seacoast Students 4 Sustainability, Inc. I’ve also had the privilege of interning with several New Hampshire organizations. Why did you decide to intern for the clean energy industry? After several years in youth activism, I wanted to stop asking others to change the world and start doing it myself. Clean Energy NH allows for a unique intersection of an area I’m familiar with - policy - with another of which I’m less so - energy. I wanted to be at the forefront of this growing industry to protect our communal environment, as well as push myself outside my comfort zone and learn something new. Describe your position in more detail. Who will you be working with and what will you be doing? I think the better question might be, what won’t I be working on? My role centers on convening stakeholders to expand the organization’s coalition. I will be connecting committees across the building, electric, and solar industries in identifying problems and solutions. I’ll further be tracking and engaging in several regulatory dockets as well as supplementing other staff members’ projects. In particular, I’ll be working with Sam Evans-Brown and Chris Skoglund to achieve these aims. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? I’m most excited to learn. Whether it’s keeping up with all the acronyms (RFP, anyone?) or listening in at the State House, I have the opportunity to meet with Granite Staters from all walks of life in pursuing our shared goal of sustainability. I’m eager to color in my mental map of energy policy. I’m also happy to know that yes, by the end of this internship, I will be able to understand my utility bill when I buy a home. What advice would you give to someone that is looking to step into an internship at a clean energy company? Send emails! More emails than you’d think, because eventually, some of them will have to respond. I’d also recommend finding several points of contact within the industry to turn to for advice, particularly those who can serve in a mentorship role. What do you like to do when you aren’t working? Ideally, I’m curled up outside in a hammock reading a really obscure book of poems or a horrifically trashy romance novel. A typical weekend for me is… I’m either catching up with friends at Exeter’s D Squared or fangirling over Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement. What’s on your bucket list? I have a master list of every ice cream shop within a 25mi radius of my home. I want to visit each one. This summer, I will be on the hunt for the perfect flavor. If you could choose anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be? It wouldn’t be Alexis Bledel’s first time playing a teenage girl named Loreley (Lorelai)... Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I am trilingual. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Neither! I dislike most caffeinated, carbonated, and flavored drinks. Water (or hot chocolate) is my go-to beverage of choice. Favorite NH Restaurant: At this point, I probably bankroll The Works’ entire bottom line. You can’t go wrong with a sausage, egg, and cheese on an onion bagel. Favorite Musician/Band/Music genre: The life-altering artist award goes to Taylor Swift, but the song, “Love & Affection,” by Joan Armatrading has been one of my favorites more recently. Favorite Recreational Activity: I love rock-climbing and skiing. Favorite Holiday: I’m an October baby, so it is hands down Halloween.
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Olivia Christino
Name: Olivia Christino Title: Project Assistant Employer: Chapman Construction/Design City/Town of Residence: Manchester, NH Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? Sustainability has always been an interest of mine, but more in the areas of economic development. When I was presented with the opportunity to work in the renewable/clean energy industry, I saw it as a chance to expand my experience and knowledge in an area of sustainability that I hadn't given much thought to yet. What interested you in working at your current employer? The general direction I was headed towards coming out of college was the direction of project management and sustainability. Chapman sparked my interest because they offered experience in both of these areas, although it was not the exact type of sustainability I had in mind. I never saw myself in the construction industry, but I've really enjoyed learning about sustainability through a construction 'lens.' Describe the work you do in more detail. A typical day for me depends on which stage my projects are in. For instance, there are different tasks for the beginning, middle, and end stages of each project. My work generally consists of assisting a project manager as we move a project along each stage. This includes building relationships with subcontractors, developing budgets, organizing schedules, and executing logistics. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? I love being able to see how my efforts make a direct impact on a job. It’s encouraging to see the value in my work and to see how it leads to the company’s success as a whole. What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? It is reassuring to see New Hampshire take a step in the right direction in regards to clean energy and sustainability. I am excited to see where these efforts are headed and the impact they are going to make! What interested you most about being part of YPiE? I am always looking to expand my experience and opportunities in the clean energy field. YPiE seems like a perfect place to network with like-minded individuals, collaborate ideas, and to keep sustainability moving forward. What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? Never underestimate the amount of ways that you can improve the renewable/clean energy industry – the different ways you can make an impact are endless! What do you like to do when you aren't working? When I am not working, I like to be outdoors whether it’s to go for a run, walk, hike, ski, kayak, or play volleyball. I also enjoy cooking and baking. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? I like both coffee & tea, but if I had to choose just one, I would definitely go with coffee. I like a strong dark roast with a little bit of almond milk. Fave Musician/Band/Music genre Favorite band would have to be NeedtoBreathe.
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Zachary Haithcock
Name: Zachary Haithcock Title: Co-Founder Employer: 603 Solar City/Town of Residence: Newmarket, NH Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? I learned a lot about renewable energy from my father. He started a NH based Energy Efficiency company back in 2008 that performed energy efficiency tests, residential energy efficiency upgrades as well as installed solar and geothermal systems. I have always been a pretty avid outdoorsmen and have immense respect for wildlife and the planet. What I learned from my father and my love for nature made the solar industry a very attractive career path for me. What interested you in working at your current employer? I Co-Founded 603 Solar in 2018 with my two business partners, Sean Carlson and Scot Johnson. What interested us was starting a solar company whose main goal was to be as educational and transparent as possible. We want to show people exactly how solar works for their particular situation in the most accurate and honest way. Describe the work you do in more detail. I oversee the entire operations side of the business. My goal is to get projects from signed up to commissioned in the most efficient and effective way possible, while giving system owners the best experience possible and minimizing issues. My day-to-day includes managing our install schedule, making sure jobs are getting through the approval process in a timely manner, addressing any concerns with project designs / scheduling and figuring out a solution, etc. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? At first it was helping individual home owners with their transition to renewable energy and seeing how excited some were. Now that I oversee all of the projects we install, it feels like I'm a part of something much bigger. I love being part of the renewable energy movement we are witnessing! What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? In 2022 we saw the most interest in solar I have ever witnessed in my 8 years in the industry. With the transition to relying more on electricity (i.e. mini splits, EV's, electric hot water heaters, etc.), New Hampshire homeowners' electric bills are higher than ever. That, paired with the fact that NH now has the 5th highest utility rates in the continental United States, makes solar very feasible. I also think the public opinion of solar is starting to turn more positive than in past years. What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state? The NEM docket (DE 22-060) could have a potentially devastating impact on the renewable energy industry in the Granite State. We are happy to be a partner of Clean Energy NH, who has been an amazing resource for information on this docket and making sure we are doing everything we can! What interested you most about being part of YPiE? I have been involved with YPiE for over 8 years and want to represent my age group! I actually work with a lot of people my age in this industry and its exciting to be a part of! What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? Find a good, established, local company to work with. There are a lot of people / companies coming into this industry right now (especially in NH) and you have to be careful who you learn from / work with. What do you like to do when you aren't working? My primary hobbies are playing music and disc golf! I play with 3 high school friends in my band, The Hot Chocheys. We play about 10-15 gigs a year and have a lot of fun with it. Disc golf is probably the best sport in the world, and if you haven't tried it, you should. I will warn you though - it's addicting. I also tie dye discs (@Discy_Dyes on instagram), which is super fun! Other than that I'm a big fan of pretty much anything outdoors. My fiance, McKenna, and I are working on the 48 4,000-footers! A typical weekend for me is… If I am not going to see live music, or playing a gig myself you will likely find me at a disc golf course, on a mountain, at the lake, or hanging out at home! What’s on your bucket list? A lot of traveling... We want to go to Hawaii, Europe and a cross country US trip to name a few. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I am terribly afraid of heights! You won't find me installing panels on a roof, which I find ironic. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Coffee for sure! Winter time is a Cortado or Cappuccino, spring / summer is cold brew with a shot of espresso. Favorite NH Restaurant: Ember in Dover! We used to live in Dover and had so many good experiences there. Some of the best pizza I've ever had. Favorite Musician/Band/Music genre: This is a tough one for me as it always changes. Right now it's Goose (indie jamband) and Billy Strings (jam grass). Favorite Recreational Activity: You already know! Disc Golf!!!
- Electric Vehicles - a key to the electrifying 2020's
In the early days of a technology revolution new players and products emerge quickly, think PCs in the 1980’s or cell phone apps in the 2000’s and it can be challenging to figure out what’s what. For electric vehicles, watch the 2020’s. By the roaring 1920’s when automobiles replaced horses, the internal combustion engine defeated battery power, so cars have been burning fossil fuels ever since. In this century, cell phones and laptops have created a strong foundation for the battery industry to expand into automobiles and power storage. Most folks don’t realize that EVs are better tech, like cell phones are better than landlines. Unlike cars that just deteriorate as they age, EV software updates improve the features and benefits with over the air software updates. My new EV has had the efficiency improved, added a snow mode, along with several other features since last December. EVs are quieter, quicker, smoother, safer and cost much less to own. Most batteries retired from EVs still have about 70% of their capacity remaining, according to San Diego-based startup Smartville, noting that this makes them an ideal candidate for second-life use. By repurposing EV batteries as grid-scale energy storage to store renewable energy they continue to provide value before they are finally recycled and the materials are reused. EVs are not only an exciting part of a technology revolution, they are a key to the much-needed energy revolution. We’re looking for alternatives as we slowly realize that burning fossil fuels is clogging our atmosphere w/ greenhouse gasses, messing with our weather and costing more & more money and lives. Global EV sales have accelerated from 55,000 in 2011 to 16 million in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. Tesla accounted for a big part of this but now old and new auto manufacturers are racing to introduce electric models and build new factories. Tesla has had a big lead in part by taking an ‘Apple ecosystem strategy’ and building a robust charging network. Tesla owners can travel anywhere on US interstates and be confident of charging quickly along their way. The essential EV charging infrastructure got a boost from the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. EVs are cheaper to own even if they cost more initially. A study of electric police cars found communities saved over $5,000 per car, per year with Tesla’s vs their conventional Fords or Dodges. The Chevy Bolt EV starts under $30,000 and after Federal incentives costs about $20,000. The Bolt EV features 259 miles of combined range and 120 MPGe (MPG equivalent). I’ve enjoyed my Bolt since 2018 and spent less than $200 on maintenance and it is quick, quiet, smooth, and has good handling, even in the snow. Relying mostly on a 240-volt, Level 2, charger in my garage, the only thing I miss about going to gas stations is cleaning the windshield. The Monadnock Sustainability Hub’s EV team and the Co-op are gathering local dealers and EV owners to share their EVs on April 22nd in Keene. To see a variety of EVs (including at least one pickup truck), talk to owners and possibly get a test drive don’t miss the next local Drive Electric event at the Keene Earth Day Celebration at the Co-op on April 22 from 12-4 PM. There will be short, informal talks on the Co-op’s planned public charging station, E police cars, home charging, taking long trips in an EV at the tent between the Co-op and the Whitney Brothers parking lot. For fleet managers, another opportunity to see a bigger variety of EVs (busses & trucks) is the Green Your Fleet Expo at the Speedway in Loudon, NH on June 9th. What are you waiting for? Get your key the electrifying 20’s, and may the torque be with you. John Kondos has been harvesting solar energy for decades and since 2006 has been working on solutions to the climate crisis with Home-Efficiency Resources, the Monadnock Sustainability Hub, Citizens Climate Lobby and Clean Energy NH.
- Employee Q&A: Meet Katrin
What interested you in working at Clean Energy NH? I am 100% on board with the mission. Then I met the team and how could I want to work anywhere else? What were you up to prior to working at the organization? I was (and am currently) on the Select Board in Lee, NH, the Energy Committee, and Community Power Committee. I have worked on many projects from helping build our new Middle School to trying to help build a new Library and Town Municipal Building. I have raised two incredible kids. Spent between 20-40 hours a week volunteering with so many wonderful organizations and boards. I worked in Retail Sales for over a decade. Before that I got my BS in Wildlife Management from the University of NH. Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? I am passionate about many things, but none of them matter if we don’t have a safe and healthy planet to live on. Clean energy is the only way we accomplish that goal. Describe your position in more detail. Who will you be working with and what will you be doing? I will be working with municipalities, school districts, and energy champions to help with energy related projects. Anything from weatherizing buildings, to installing solar arrays, to helping assist with Community Power. I will help find funding sources and answer questions. Hopefully I will help encourage members of the communities I work with to step into leadership positions and help with policy changes that bring about even more potential clean energy and energy saving possibilities. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? Meeting members of the communities we serve. Every town is filled with so much potential to create the change we want to see. I am looking forward to helping them with the projects they want to work on and learning from them as well. What advice would you give to your younger self? Nobody is perfect and we are all just doing our best. Be kind to yourself. Take that job you were offered that seemed so far from your highly focused goals, because it’s all going to change anyway, and that chance will never come again. What do you like to do when you aren’t working? I love birds! I love to watch birds, plant gardens for birds, and to paint them (on paper, I don’t put paint on birds, they wouldn’t like that). I love to do projects around the house. I enjoy hiking, cross country skiing, and dancing. Currently I have repainted 2/3rds of my home. I can’t wait to finish! A typical weekend for me is… No such thing. My weekends are like snowflakes, not one the same. What’s on your bucket list? My husband and I want to sail around the world. We would love to help bring renewable energy to communities and help repair hurricane damaged boats. We both love fixing things! If you could choose anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be? Everyone says I am Leslie Knope, so Amy Poehler. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. That I always win at monopoly. ALWAYS. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Tea. I prefer Assam. I am a total tea snob. I like half and half and sugar. No day is okay without my morning tea. Want me to talk for a long time, ask me about tea. Favorite NH Restaurant: I love any place that cooks for me and does the dishes! Favorite Musician/Band/Music genre: I haven’t had control of the music in my home or car in 18 years. I’ll let you know when I find out! Favorite Recreational Activity: Bird Watching Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving. Friends and Family. Warm cozy house. I don’t have to cook again for 4 days!
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Mercedes Olster
Name: Mercedes Olster Title: Operations and Strategy Specialist Employer: Enel North America City/Town of Residence: Amherst, NH Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? My MBA program really got me interested in the industry. What interested you in working at your current employer? Enel has a great sustainability mission woven into everything they do. It really grabbed my attention when I was applying. I learned about Enel X through a case study in grad school but when I found Enel Green Power, I decided that was more in line with what I wanted to do for a career. Describe the work you do in more detail. My role is similar to that of a Chief of Staff. I support the Head of Engineering and Construction for US, Canada, and Mexico. I am responsible for tackling projects that he doesn't have the time to follow but would like completed. I am also responsible to help prepare any communications he may need to deliver and keep a pulse on the day-to-day activities of the organization. I work closely with Enel's leadership team to accomplish these requests and also bring their concerns forward. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? I am most excited to learn why the business makes the decisions it does and to get to see what an executive does on the day-to-day. What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? There is a lot of attention on the energy transition in NH and policies are starting to change to favor clean energy. It's an exciting time to watch the change happening. What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state? I think that there is difficulty in policy that we might be able to get around (like the 2MW cap on solar installs.) Additionally, lack of workforce is going to be a big challenge. We are close to Massachusetts who pays significantly higher wages which is something we will always have to compete with. What interested you most about being part of YPiE? I am always looking for ways to get involved and dive further into the energy community. To me, networking is one of the most important tools that a professional has. Getting to know more people and understand different parts of the industry will only make me better at my job. What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? Find a company that you align with and will be happy to work at, and don't give up if you aren't hired right away. Keep applying. Network and build relationships with as many professionals in the industry as you can like Young Professionals in Energy (YPiE), Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Women's Energy Network (WEN) etc. and always be open to learning. A typical weekend for me is… Hanging out with my friends, family, and of course my pets. What’s on your bucket list? Travel to Europe. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I'm a huge introvert.
- YPiE Spotlight: Meet Matthew Doubleday
Name: Matthew Doubleday Title: Director of Interconnection Employer: ReWild Renewables City/Town of Residence: Portsmouth, NH Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? I decided to work in the renewable energy field as I am driven by the threats of climate change and the environmental damage done by burning fossil fuels to power our lives. I have a strong desire to contribute to the growth of renewable energy to replace fossil fuel generation and found that working with this team was the best way to contribute to the growth of solar in the Northeast. What interested you in working at your current employer? I've worked with part of this current team for over 8 years and initially I was interested by the type of projects the company was working on, the entrepreneurial nature of the organization, and the sense of camaraderie that existed within the team. While the type of projects has changed over time, all of this otherwise still provides the same level of interest and excitement to me today. Describe the work you do in more detail. My main responsibility is to bring our projects through the utility interconnection process as quickly and cost-effectively as possible so they can reach commercial operation on schedule. We have projects in many stages of the interconnection process and what the project needs each day or week depends on its current stage and where it may be going next. Some projects are in the pre-application phase and we attempt to understand the likelihood of a viable interconnection based on the existing generation in the area, the substation capacity, and local peak and minimum loads. Other projects are further along and may have had 'System Impact Studies' completed, so the utility has reviewed our project, told us the work they need to do to accommodate our project, including the equipment that needs to be upgraded or installed, and have given us a price for that work. At this point the information provided by the utility factors into a decision for the project on proceeding forward to construction, reducing the project size to eliminate some upgrades, or cancelling the project altogether if the results are unfavorable enough. We hope the latter happens infrequently but it unfortunately does happen. And finally, other projects are in the construction phase so we have made a decision to move forward, paid the utility, are working with them on their design including their pole locations on the project site, working on easements and rights of way, and are discussing their schedule for any significant upgrades like a line rebuild or a substation transformer upgrade. This final stage is key to getting the projects online on schedule. If we know a project has significant upgrades we will do our best to pay the utility early so they can order long lead time items and put us in line in their construction queue. What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? The System Impact Study phase is quite interesting to me. Receiving the results of studies and making adjustments so a project could proceed without burdensome upgrade costs is key to a project's success. We always want to build a larger project but if a project can reduce its size by 10% and save 40% on interconnection it is a worthwhile trade-off. I also work on policy and, along with other companies and trade groups, advocate for making improvements to the interconnection process. I find that work incredibly interesting and necessary. What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire? We have a lot to learn from the other states around us, which I think is good. To use what I know, every other state in New England has had more solar energy installed than New Hampshire and all of them have had successful programs that create clear regulations and policies for projects to be successful. I think we can learn a lot from our neighboring states and create a successful clean energy program in New Hampshire that provides fair incentives for producing renewable energy and provides certainty around development so long term investments can be made and the policies can be relied upon. What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state? Interconnection. Not a shocking answer given my role. We need the process to move much more quickly, from the application stage to the study to construction and commissioning. We also certainly need more transmission everywhere so that we can move clean power over long distances from areas where it can be generated to areas where it needs to be used. And finally, the way that projects pay for interconnection needs to change. When a substation transformer is replaced or several miles are rebuilt, the project that triggered those upgrades is not the only beneficiary but it is required to pay for all of that work. Other projects coming after it will benefit, the ratepayers will benefit through better reliability and fewer outages, the utility will benefit in the same manner, and the state will benefit in reaching its renewable energy goals on time. In many cases those upgrades are needed before the project came along, the project just happened to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Resolving many of these challenges with interconnection will create a path for more renewable energy to be installed in a cost effective manner. What interested you most about being part of YPiE? We're all learning so being able to share ideas, news, successes and failures with like-minded young individuals working in this space is really valuable for me. What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college? Build out your network and find new ways to learn about the industry. I studied accounting so I never knew anything about solar let alone interconnection. But I found that using podcasts on industry topics (the Energy Gang), news stories from sources like Utility Dive, and informational materials from industry trade groups (in solar - SEIA, CCSA, NECEC, CENH) was incredibly helpful to learning more about the industry and has allowed me to have success in my role. A typical weekend for me is… Moving outside in any capacity. Ideally into the mountains. What’s on your bucket list? Some sort of bike-packing adventure. Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I'm a huge introvert. Fun Facts: I like coffee (black) but I do love green and herbal tea as well My favorite restaurant is Ceres Bakery in Portsmouth My favorite musician is Gregory Alan Isakov is my favorite artist. I also enjoy 90s hip hop, Celtic/folk, and sea shanties My favorite activity is rail running anywhere, but particularly in the White Mountains
- Resolutions to Save Money and Make the World Safer
As we start the New Year, trying to put the Pandemic and its disruptions behind us, we’re faced with Putin’s war fueling inflation. The US and others are supplying Europe’s needs which raises prices, so don’t expect much relief from high heating & electricity costs anytime soon. As an energy efficiency and solar specialist, I see real opportunities to save money and increase our resilience in the face of energy inflation and insecurity. I’ve been harvesting solar energy for decades, the up-front investment is paid back in savings every month and just keeps on providing free, local energy for years. In the face of the mounting threats from a warming planet it is one of the valuable tools to reduce the pollution from burning fossil fuels. But first, anyone who buys energy should do an assessment of how much energy you are using in your buildings and vehicles. That’s where most of the costs are under our control. You can compare the numbers to comparable buildings (using Energy Star tools) and class of vehicle to prioritize improvements. Clean Energy NH offers a handy Energy Savings Toolkit to help renters, homeowners and business owners respond to high energy prices while ‘NHSaves’ provides incentives. Consider these savings opportunities: Get an energy assessment - To understand the energy use of your building, schedule at least a Level 1, walk-through energy audit to identify obvious opportunities. A more thorough, Level 2 audit will provide a detailed analysis and a plan. Save with no & low-cost energy options - Turn off lights, adjust thermostats (especially when no one’s awake and using the space), keep tires inflated and don’t idle unless it’s essential. Take advantage of low-cost, high return options - Lighting (switch to LEDs), caulk and weatherstrip gaps and leaks. Consider window insulating treatments - simple interior inserts up to tracked insulating shades. Insulation - Start with the attic, an investment that pays back very quickly, followed by the basement. Think ABC for insulating priorities - Attic, Basement, Center (walls). When you’re ready to replace an appliance insist on Energy Star and get off dirty fuels by going electric. Heat pump water heaters, heat pumps and induction stoves save money, are eligible for incentives, and reduce indoor air pollution. Electric vehicles cost much less to own and operate. As they become more available and affordable, this is better technology that’s three times more energy efficient. Transportation is our largest source of greenhouse gasses so this is a win - win. Solar electric (or PV) is also becoming more affordable and as community solar emerges, you can access clean PV power that’s not on your property. The Inflation Reduction Act helps with these investments and includes many made in America clauses. These are exciting and rewarding solutions that you can pursue. Meaningful individual actions are valuable but we need significant collective actions to drawdown carbon pollution because time is running out. The Pentagon calls climate change a threat multiplier that increases the risks to agriculture, energy, health, security, buildings, infrastructure and countless species. Volatile, fossil fuels make our planet warmer which is increasing sea levels, storms, droughts and migrations. We have a massive market failure; we’re dumping billions of tons of very dangerous greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere for free! Let’s start by taxing what we burn not what we earn and encourage American entrepreneurs to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy. The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act puts a price on carbon and gives the cash back to households as dividends. It puts the money collected into every household budget and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This bill is an effective, efficient, equitable and achievable major step. To support it locally, go to carboncashback.org for more information. Isn’t a safer and more secure world for our children and countless species worth making and keeping resolutions to draw down greenhouse gasses and save money? ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Kondos has been harvesting solar energy for decades and for the last one has been working on solutions to the climate crisis with Clean Energy NH, the Monadnock Sustainability Hub, Home-Efficiency Resources and Monadnock Citizens Climate Lobby.
- Employee Q&A: Meet Anna Li
What interested you in working at Clean Energy NH? I was in a transitional period in my life and a former colleague of mine referred me to Clean Energy NH. Considering my interest in nature and our environment and love for health and wellness, I felt Clean Energy NH’s mission and drive aligned so well with my beliefs and passions. What were you up to prior to working at the organization? Prior to working at the organization, I worked at a local Co-Op in Burlington, Vermont as a Health and Wellness Associate. Prior to that, I worked at a local college as an Administrative Assistant for 4 years. Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry? I’ve always loved learning about nature and our environment. Living in Vermont for the past seven months has truly inspired me to want to take action and do more for our planet and community. Learning about Clean Energy NH's commitment to the state and the planet really inspired me - it felt like it was the perfect fit for me. Describe your position in more detail. Who will you be working with and what will you be doing? In my role at Clean Energy NH, I will be assisting the team with day to day operations, provide support for events, marketing, and be the first point of contact for initial inquiries for Clean Energy NH. I will be working most closely with Beth San Soucie, Deputy Director, as well as supporting all team members on an as needed basis. What advice would you give to your younger self? I have so much advice I would tell my younger self. The most important thing would be, be present and live in the moment. Don’t worry about the past because you can’t change anything now and don’t worry about the future because what is meant to be, will be. What do you like to do when you aren’t working? Spend time with family and friends, cook and bake, and spend time outside exploring new places. A typical weekend for me is… Rest, rejuvenate, and relax. I also love to try new restaurants with friends and family. What’s on your bucket list? Travel to all 50 states in US and Europe and sky dive. If you could choose anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be? Nora Lum “Awkwafina” Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you. I’m ambidextrous with most things. Fun Facts: Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it? Coffee 100%! I love a hot latte with almond milk with caramel or a shot of maple syrup. Favorite NH Restaurant: Moritomo, El Rincon Zacatecano Taqueria, and Thai Food Connection Favorite Musician/Band/Music genre: I love all types of music but I’d say my top three favorites are, Folk/Indie, Country, and Pop/R&B. Favorite Recreational Activity: Taking walks outside and meditation. Favorite Holiday: Christmas.