Solar Maverick Podcast
SMP 21:  An Investor’s Perspective on the US Solar Market

SMP 21: An Investor’s Perspective on the US Solar Market

March 26, 2019

Episode Summary

Benoy and John discuss the how the exciting industry of solar and renewable resources has been impacted by large utility projects becoming smaller and more distributed. John emphasizes the importance of people to any industry and how vital the trust between business partners and clients is to the success of any project, relationship or business.  

 

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

John Chaimanis

Mr. Chaimanis co-founded Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure (KSI) in 2012.  KSI is an innovative private finance company with over $150M AUM, that owns and operates distributed renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure projects.  He is a well respected leader in the industry with over 15 years of experience and innovation.  Prior to Kendall, he worked with a subsidiary of Edison International in California where he was part of a team that developed and acquired over $500M of energy projects and installed 250MW of utility scale wind assets.  Prior to working in infrastructure, Mr. Chaimanis was a founding member of an inner-city charter school.  Mr. Chaimanis holds an M.B.A. from Babson College (where he currently is an adjunct professor), a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University and has earned the Sustainable and Responsible Certification from US SIF.

 

Insight from this episode:

  • Why solar plus storage is such an important and positive trend.
  • How to add value as a partner.
  • Why trusting your clients and partners is vital to your business.
  • How to build a successful future with a partner during the first deal.
  • Why it’s vital to compare the duration of an incentive to the duration of the asset
  • The importance of working side by side with clients during the developmental process
  • The importance of perseverance in entrepreneurship
  • How personal experience can be more important to your success than education

Quotes from the show:

  • “We are seeing that more common in the industry as well, where developers are looking for help from financial providers to provide value in the development process and life cycle” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #21.
  • “As an investor you need to look at the industry you’re investing in and figure out how are you going to have an edge; what are you going to do better than any other financier in the industry?” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “What I learned is that number one has to be respect and trust” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “What I found is that it’s really great when you’re sitting in the boardroom figuring it out (contracts and agreement details) but almost every deal I’ve been a part of; within 5 days of signing that paper something comes up that you didn’t think of in that contract and that’s when you find out who people really are.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “In the long run, we want to treat people with dignity and respect, and we want the same on our side” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “Development in my opinion – it’s very difficult to be a great developer all over the nation. It is a very regional game.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “It’s very common for the local developers acquisition costs for customers to be a lot lower than the national provider because they have that relationship and they’re in that area so people know who they are” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #21.
  • “I love solar, I love being part of this industry. It is one of the most exciting and quickly evolving. People are motivated and energized and so many folks in the industry really believe in what we’re doing” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “As an industry, I think it would be good for us to have a more mature understanding of the way power prices are actually established.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21.
  • “It’s going to be a huge opportunity that’s going to go for years and years...the next 50-75 years especially when we reach grid parity in most states and you’re not dependent on incentives will be a gamechanger.”  Benoy Thanjan, Episode #21.
  • In regard to starting a business; “It was slow, very slow like any entrepreneur will tell you. There were bits in the beginning where I had to fill with consulting work and other things.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21
  • In regard to recommendations for other entrepreneurs; “My path was that I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I knew what industry I wanted to be in but I didn’t have the knowledge so I worked for a while first. And I think that’s not a bad idea for somebody that - to go out and start an advertising company cold might be a little hard but if you work in the ad space for a while and learn as much as you can, there is incredible value in that. There’s even more value in that than going to school.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21
  • In regard to recommendations for other entrepreneurs; “The second thing is perseverance. You really need to - every day - put your hardest work in, and everyday be a better you as you’re going through it.” John Chaimanis, Episode #21
  • “You need dreamers and people who are willing to push the envelope.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #21.

Stay Connected:

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

John Chaimanis:

http://kendallinvestments.com

Twitter: @Ksienergy

Linkedin: Kendall-Investments

SMP 22: US Solar Module Market Discussion and Female Entrepreneur’s Perspective with Lauren Carson

SMP 22: US Solar Module Market Discussion and Female Entrepreneur’s Perspective with Lauren Carson

April 2, 2019

Episode Summary

Lauren and Benoy share knowledge on topics from how the industry has seen new trends take effect because of the increase and decrease in tariffs, how the solar market continues to grow and create openings for niche companies, and how to approach not just becoming an entrepreneur but also being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry.

 

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

Lauren Carson

Lauren Carson, with over 8 years of experience in the solar industry, is the CEO of Kinect Solar, the leader of liquidation and wholesale business for electrical components and power generation equipment, transformers, electrical cable, and generators. They work with local installers and manufacturers to move excess inventory to their customers that span the globe from local installers in Austin to farmers in Belize and hotels in Fiji.

 

Insight from this episode:

  • How the business market is affected by tariffs.
  • How businesses can be impacted by local, state and federal policy.
  • How supply and demand can affect the import market, pricing and drive new trends.
  • Why tariffs affect where businesses start to pop up or move to.
  • How to approach being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry.
  • Strategies for finding a niche in the market.
  • Reasons to start small and slowly scale as an entrepreneur.

Quotes from the show:

  • “Our mantra is ‘We solve inventory problems’” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “The solar panel market really is a commodity so supply demand dynamic impacts by local, state and federal policy are very very apparent.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “I’m seeing as well in the development cycle, everyone is adjusting their engineering to take advantage of these more efficient panels to get higher production from their solar systems to get a higher return.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • There’s been a massive jump in efficiency, I think there’s still a lot of people sitting on the older wattage panels and I think we’re going to continue to see those prices go down for the more legacy wattage panels.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “It’s extremely stressful at times; there are financial stresses and there are personnel stresses but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think my favorite thing about having my own company is getting choose the people I work with.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • Tips for entrepreneurs: “Staying scrappy and focusing on one little piece of what you do and also finding one customer that’s willing to pay you for something, and then growing off of that success, and just being patient.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “I think you mentioned a great point; everyone feels like they need to have this structure set up but obviously business is about generating revenue and adding value to your clients. Sometimes people get lost in all that other stuff rather than focusing on what’s important.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • “People are willing to help, and it’s all about adding value. It’s almost like mentorship in a sense…mentorship has been very important for me and developing my business.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • In regard to being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry: “You have to let it roll off your back; if you hold onto that and think about how it’s setting you back then I think it starts to become a reality.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • In regard to being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry: “In general, we have a great industry with great people and I have looked at it as a positive.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.

Recommended Books:

 

Stay Connected:

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

Lauren Carson:

www.kinectsolar.com

Linkedin: Kinect Solar

info@kinectsolar.com

SMP 23: Community Solar 101 with Suzanne Waters

SMP 23: Community Solar 101 with Suzanne Waters

April 9, 2019

Episode Summary

 

Benoy and Suzanne discuss Community Solar and why this is an exciting area for renewable energy. From the challenges of contract tenure to providing access for low to moderate income housing, this is an area you should expect to see significant expansion. Expect to gain real insight and understanding of community solar.

 

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

Suzanne Waters

Suzanne Waters is an experienced solar professional with a broad knowledge of the industry, including project development administration, marketing best practices, financial strategy, and team leadership. Before joining Reneu Energy, Suzanne worked as the Business Development Manager and Proposal Team Leader at Vanguard Energy Partners, a national solar developer, and their affiliate firm, Vanguard Energy Capital. She oversaw proposal development and contract execution, and collaborated on structured finance for large scale, multimillion-dollar projects. In addition, Suzanne has extensive experience in many aspects of the PV industry, with unmatched enthusiasm for its capabilities and  a BA in Economics from Rutgers College at Rutgers University.

Insight from this Episode

 

  • How to share in the benefits of community solar projects without owning or developing your own project.
  • Why community solar should get everyone excited about solar.
  • How community solar is becoming more readily available for low to moderate income households.
  • How community solar has been affected by different challenges.
  • How community solar, net metering and credits work together.

Quotes from the show:

  • ·In regard to 100% renewable energy goals, “I think what we’ve seen are the challenges related to policy that’s able to move as quickly as the goals of the state.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #23.
  • “Community Solar is one of the fastest growing sectors of the industry.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #23.
  • “Community solar allows you to buy credits through virtual net metering from a solar project…it’s definitely access to provide solar in a way that hasn’t been there before.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #23.
  • “The challenge for community solar has been finding financing parties that are comfortable with the lesser tenure of a contract.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #23.
  • In regard to different structures of community solar: “The most popular structure is the subscription-based model, which is easier to structure and less expensive.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #23.
  • “Virtual net metering is what allows a household or business to receive the net metering credits associated with a net metering project that they don’t actually share an electricity meter.” Suzanne Waters, Episode #23.
  • “You don’t have to own the project to share in the credits.” Suzanne Waters, Episode #23.
  • “Community Solar is taking solar to the next level, where it really should be available to the masses. So if community solar doesn’t get everyone excited about solar, I don’t know what will!” Suzanne Waters, Episode #23.
  • “Carpe Solem (Seize the Sun)” Suzanne Waters, Episode #23.

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

Suzanne Waters:

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

suzanne@reneuenergy.com

Linkedin: Suzanne Waters

SMP 24: 2019 US Solar and Energy Storage Discussion and Solar Opportunity Zone Investment

SMP 24: 2019 US Solar and Energy Storage Discussion and Solar Opportunity Zone Investment

April 16, 2019

Episode Summary

Benoy and Li reflect on the success of the Solar Maverick Podcast and share their expertise. Li explains the importance of branding through website design, providing key tips for converting observers to clients. Benoy explains the economics behind solar energy and he discusses trends that he is seeing in the solar and energy storage industry.  Benoy talks about opportunity zone investment in the new tax code and how it can be an opportunity for solar.

 

About Our Guests:

 

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

 

Li Wang

A life-long journalist and communications professional, Li Wang was hooked on the news as an intern at the Philadelphia Daily News during the summer of the O.J. trial. He has been a business reporter, arts editor and film critic. He has shifted his focus to digital marketing and creative services. His company, MJ Wang Media, develops brand messaging and identity through website design and content marketing.

 

Insight from this episode:  

  • Li shares his three questions for evaluating a marketing strategy:

    • So what?
    • Who cares?
    • Why you?
  • How to revamp your website by eliminating stock photos
  • Strategies for improving your business by prioritizing your website
  • Benoy talks about Massachusetts solar incentive program.
  • Discussion on Federal Solar Incentives.
  • Benoy talks about how returns on solar projects are getting lower due to increased competition from investors.
  • Benoy talk about the tax code changes with opportunity zones and it could be a great opportunity with solar power.

 

Quotes from the show:

“The biggest mistake that people make is adding stock photos.” - Li Wang Episode 24, on website branding and marketing

“The biggest takeaway about your website is to simplify, use high quality images, and make your messaging succinct.” - Li Wang Episode 24

 

“Even if you are a business that’s referral-based, some of those referrals may not be converting as easily or as quickly.” - Li Wang Episode 24, on the importance of having a well-constructed website

“Building a marketing presence and branding are huge differentiators especially with people in the same marketplace.” - Benoy Thanjan Episode 24

 

“The solar economy is one of the fastest growing sectors of the US economy.” - Benoy Thanjan Episode 24

 

“Energy storage is a game changer and once energy storage become economically it is going to be huge.”-Benoy Thanjan Episode 24

“Some Investors are taking development risk to get higher return on solar projects.”-Benoy Thanjan Episode 24

 

Resources Mentioned:

2019 is going to be a great year for Solar and the 2018 Year in Review! by Benoy Thanjan

Stay Connected:

Solar Maverick Podcast:

solarmaverickpodcast.com

 

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

info@reneuenergy.com

www.reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

 

Li Wang:

MJWangMedia.com

Instagram: @liwang22

li@reneuenergy.com

 

Subscribe to our podcast + download each episode on  itunes, and solarmaverickpodcast.com   

 

 

SMP 25: Unique Customer Acquisition and Financing Solutions for the Commercial Energy Market

SMP 25: Unique Customer Acquisition and Financing Solutions for the Commercial Energy Market

April 23, 2019

Episode Summary

Benoy goes deep into Kumar’s experience of evolving from his finance background into developing distributive energy projects in the U.S. and the new innovations in customer acquisition and financing that have allowed Kumar to become successful with his company. In addition, Kumar share strategies to investing and why Kumar likes to invest during the seed round of companies that he believes in Cleantech.

 

About Our Guests:

 

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

 

Kumar Aiyer

Kumar is the founder and Managing Partner of Blue Flame Energy Finance LLC, a start-up company in Carlsbad, CA focused on the commercial and industrial energy sector. Since 2011 he has served as the Managing Partner of CleanFin LLC., a structured-finance advisory firm focused on the sustainability sector. Prior to his career in clean energy finance, he was a portfolio manager and strategist on Wall Street in the residential mortgage and asset backed securities industry. He was a senior portfolio manager at ZAIS Group, a structured credit asset management firm in Red Bank, NJ from 2006 to 2011, working on residential mortgage securities and whole loans. He has also served in senior research strategy roles at Banc of America Securities, Credit Suisse, and Paine Webber.

 

PhD, Electrical Engineering from University of Rochester

MS, Renewable Energy Systems from Loughborough University

Insight from this episode:  

  • The challenges related to developing small scale solar projects
  • BlueFlame’s technology platform called Hyperqual to assist developers and installers with financing their projects
  • Tips on how to procure and scale businesses
  • Strategies to streamline and finance a distributed energy portfolio
  • How to recognize needs in a market
  • Tips to use prior knowledge in other industries on our current endeavors
  • In depth explanation of C-Pace- Commercial Property as a Solar Energy
  • Strategies to finding product market fit
  • Secrets to recruiting great team members

 

Kumars suggestions for being an entrepreneur

  1. Be passionate about what you do
  2. Do research to make sure there is adequate funding for your business to grow

Quotes from the show:

 

  • “What we found is practice is very different from theory.”- Kumar Aiyer Episode 25
  • “I am very passionate about climate change and renewables at a high level. ”- Kumar Aiyer Episode 25
  • “We are working with a lot of greenhouses that grow organic lettuce and things like that, that are also big energy consumers and they need innovative financing” - Kumar Aiyer Episode 25
  • Right now C-Pace is limited to certain states and jurisdictions” - Benoy Thanjan Episode 25
  • “I put money where my mouth is” - Kumar Aiyer Episode 25
  • “Our focus is very simple, we want to bring in the cheapest cost of financing to these projects for our customers” - Kumar Aiyer Episode 25
  • “Identify the segment that you are looking to finance make sure there is adequate funding for your business plan to go 1-3 years and grow”  - Kumar Aiyer Episode 25

Resources Mentioned:

https://apifortress.com/

Stay Connected:

Solar Maverick Podcast:

solarmaverickpodcast.com

 

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

info@reneuenergy.com

www.reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

 

Kumar Aiyer:

info@bfef.biz

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kumaraiyer/

SMP 26:  A Developer’s Perspective on the US Solar Market

SMP 26: A Developer’s Perspective on the US Solar Market

April 30, 2019

Episode summary:

In this episode, Steve Raeder sits down to talk about the opportunities and challenges of solar over the past 10 years.  Steve also discusses Summit Ridge’s focus on community solar and offering solar to the residential community and their initiatives throughout multiple states.  Also, Summit Ridge is working to overcome the financing through the lenders to bring the solar option to more residential customers. Steve talks about the next phase of the company which is to own all the projects that they develop and co-develop.

 

About our Guests:

 

Benoy Thanjan

 

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

 

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

 

Steve Raeder

 

Steve Raeder CEO and Founder of Summit Ridge. In the beginning, the company’s focus was commercial customers, cities and federal agencies that Steve had worked with for years, but over time, Summit Ridge Energy changed to working with communities and developing community solar. They developed a nearly 7-megawatt community solar project in Maryland, and the company is heavily invested across Illinois. He was previously the managing director of Northeast Business Development a Sun Edison.

Insights from this episode:

  • Challenges of using solar power
  • Bringing solar power to the residential customer
  • Initiatives throughout the states
  • How trends are changing toward the future in solar power.
  • How to survive a competitive market.

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “There is a time, call it in the next 10 years where this will be the cheapest resource.” - Steve Raeder
  • “I’m a believer in the inevitability of what we’re doing.” - Steve Raeder Episode 26
  • “Know your space, I think timing is somewhat natural” - Steve Raeder Episode 26
  • “I knew what I wanted to do and I thought I knew how to do it.” - Steve Raeder Episode 26
  • “Stay small, you can do a lot in the space. You don’t need 95 bodies” - Steve Raeder Episode 26
  • “It became a very lucrative incentive and people at that time weren't sure” - Benoy Thanjan Episode 26

Stay connected:

 

Benoy Thanjan

https://www.reneuenergy.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bthanjan/

info@renewenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

 

Summit Ridge

linkedin.com/company/summitridgeenergy/

http://www.srenergy.com/

 

Steve Raeder

linkedin.com/in/steve-raeder-5283a0?trk=org-employees_mini-profile_cta

SMP 27: How Climate Change has impacted the Economy?  The PG&E Example.

SMP 27: How Climate Change has impacted the Economy? The PG&E Example.

May 7, 2019

Episode summary:

Benoy and Li reflect on the Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy and its effect on the solar industry.  The reason why PG&E is in bankruptcy due primarily to the liability from California wildfires. Benoy talks about current projects on the horizon, Colombia’s failed renewable energy auction, and the upcoming Summer Solstice party.  Benoy also discusses passive income and what he looks at when he invests in different opportunities.

 

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

 

Li Wang

A life-long journalist and communications professional, Li Wang was hooked on the news as an intern at the Philadelphia Daily News during the summer of the O.J. trial. He has been a business reporter, arts editor and film critic. He has shifted his focus to digital marketing and creative services. His company, MJ Wang Media, develops brand messaging and identity through website design and content marketing.

Insights from this episode:

  • How the climate is affecting the economy
  • How wildfires have a  large effect on California utilities
  • Why the Colombian Renewable Energy Auction Failed?
  • Tips for young people getting into solar energy.

 

Important Links:

Reneu Energy’s Summer Solstice Party

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reneu-energys-summer-solstice-party-tickets-60983558465

 

Why did the Colombian Renewable Energy Auction fail?  By Francisco Sanclemente, CFA-Energy and Infrastructure Investment Banking Associate at Bancapital S.A.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/way-forward-francisco-sanclemente-cfa/

 

Quotes from the show:

  • Advice to young people in solar: “I think working at a solar company will be a huge opportunity.” -Benoy Thanjan, Episode 27
  • Advice to young people in solar:“It’s all about getting real world experience”  -Benoy Thanjan, Episode 27
  • “It’s very important to build different passive income streams”  -Benoy Thanjan, Episode 27
  • “Luck is a creations, you create your own luck.” - Li Wang, Episode 27
  • “You never know where a connection could come from” - Benoy Thanjan, Episode 27
  • “Open your mind, open your eyes, listen to people and never judge people” - Li Wang, Episode 27
  • “For opportunity to come your way you must ask” - Li Wang, Episode 27
  • “It’s all about living life to it’s fullest.”  - Benoy Thanjan, Episode 27

Stay connected:

 

Benoy Thanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bthanjan/

 

Li Wang:

MJWangMedia.com

Instagram: @liwang22

SMP 29: SREC 101

SMP 29: SREC 101

May 21, 2019

Episode Summary

 

Benoy and Suzanne discuss Reneu’s Energy’s Summer Solstice Party and Benoy moderating a community solar panel at the NY Solar Summit while giving a SRECs 101 tutorial. SRECs is an environmental commodity that different states have created to incent development of renewable energy.  Reneu Energy has brokered $28 million in SREC transactions and manage 12MWs of solar project with SREC asset management. Reneu Energy also has created SREC research on different states.

 

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

Suzanne Waters

Suzanne Waters is an experienced solar professional with a broad knowledge of the industry, including project development administration, marketing best practices, financial strategy, and team leadership. Before joining Reneu Energy, Suzanne worked as the Business Development Manager and Proposal Team Leader at Vanguard Energy Partners, a national solar developer, and their affiliate firm, Vanguard Energy Capital. She oversaw proposal development and contract execution, and collaborated on structured finance for large scale, multimillion-dollar projects. In addition, Suzanne has extensive experience in many aspects of the PV industry, with unmatched enthusiasm for its capabilities and  a BA in Economics from Rutgers College at Rutgers University.

 

Insight from this Episode

 

  • What SRECs are and how they work.
  • How SRECs are a volatile market and fluctuate in value.
  • Where and how SRECs are traded.
  • What states are currently using the SREC incentive.
  • Future of SRECs

 

Quotes from the show:

  • “At Reneu Energy we have a lot of experience in SREC’s and we have brokered about 28 million.Benoy Thanjan, Episode #29.
  • On the decrease in value:  “NJ had the Solar Energy Act in 2012 where they increased the demand” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #29
  • “The demand is created by the state.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #29.
  • “The state tells companies that are generating in that state that a certain amount of it has to be in renewables and a certain amount has to actually be in solar” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #29.
  • “It’s not a tradeable commodity where you can go on an exchange” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #29.
  • “If you sign a long term contract and then you might be able to sell the SRECs on the spot market for much more than you signed that long term contract for.” Suzanne Waters, Episode #29.
  • “The SACP is almost like a fine they have to pay if the renewable portfolio standard isn’t met.” Suzanne Waters, Episode #29.

Resources:

 

CBL Markets is connecting buyers and sellers to trade multiple environmental products on one screen.  CBL Markets Exchange is spot marketplace for RECs. If you are interested in learning more about CBL Markets, contact Sean Barwin Phone (US): +1 212 520 2935 and Email: sean.barwin@cblmarkets.com.  Let Sean from CBL know that you heard about them through the Solar Maverick Podcast.

 

http://www.cbourses.com

 

Intercontinental Exchange builds, operates and advances global markets through information, technology and expertise.  An exchange that you can buy and sell SRECs.

https://www.theice.com/index

 

Reneu Energy Summer Solstice Party

 

Benoy Thanjan

info@reneuenergy.com

www.reneuenergy.com

 

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

Facebook: Reneu Energy

Suzanne Waters:

suzanne@reneuenergy.com

Linkedin: Suzanne Waters

www.reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

 

SMP 28:  The Virginia Solar Market

SMP 28: The Virginia Solar Market

May 21, 2019

Episode summary: Benoy and Li talk about Benoy’s meeting with former President Barack Obama. Benoy talks about the Virginia’s solar market and how companies goals of 100% percent renewables is leading to a lot of development of utility scale projects in Virginia.  Benoy talks about the benefits of having solar on brownfield and landfills. Li and Benoy discuss what podcasts motivate them and books to purchase and live by.

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions. Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

Li Wang

A life-long journalist and communications professional, Li Wang was hooked on the news as an intern at the Philadelphia Daily News during the summer of the O.J. trial. He has been a business reporter, arts editor and film critic. He has shifted his focus to digital marketing and creative services. His company, MJ Wang Media, develops brand messaging and identity through website design and content marketing.

 

Insights from this episode:

 

  • Conversations between Benoy and former President Barack Obama
  • The possibility of Benoy running for President in 2020?
  • Industry updates on the Virginia Solar.
  • How and why large companies have adopted the 100% renewable goals and how that is leading to solar development in Virginia.
  • Upcoming speaking engagements of our hosts.

 

Quotes from the show:

 

  • “I’m all about diversification and passive income.” -Benoy Thanjan, Episode 28
  • “Focus on right now.” - Li Wang, Episode 28
  • “You create your own luck” - Li Wang, Episode 28
  • “It’s all about building your network and building strong, genuine, transparent relationships.” - Benoy Thanjan, Episode 28
  • On implementing what you learn “It’s huge to put it into practice” - Benoy Thanjan, Episode 28
  • On utilizing what you learn : “It’s one thing to read it but to put it into practice” - Li Wang, Episode 28
  • On going after what you want: “If there’s something you want, what is the worst that can happen?” - Li Wang, Episode 28

Resources Mentioned:

Reneu Energy Resources

 

Reneu Energy Summer Solstice Party

 

Toastmasters International

 

Podcasts:

Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik

How I Built This with Guy Raz

Chasing Excellence

Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu

 

Books:

Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Stay connected:

Benoy Thanjan www.reneuenergy.com info@reneuenergy.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/bthanjan/

Li Wang: MJWangMedia.com Instagram: @liwang22

SMP 30: How to construct a great solar project

SMP 30: How to construct a great solar project

May 28, 2019

Episode Summary

 

Benoy and Dominick discuss safety guidelines in solar and how Pro Circuit Electrical ensures safety for all of it’s employees.  What got Dominick originally interested in working with solar, trends they are seeing in the market and advice for any new entrepreneurs.  Also, Dominick talks about how to construct a great solar project.

 

About our Guest:

Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

Dominick Matinelli:

 

Dominick is a founding partner at Pro Circuit Electrical.  He and his partner started the company back in 2011 but Dominick’s interest in solar started back when he was working with a company that didn’t actually do any solar.  From there he went to Vanguard Energy Partners LLC where he was the Director of Electrical Services and then started Pro Circuit Electrical in 2011 with his partner Josh Nierman.

Insight from this Episode

 

  • Strategies to make safety a number one priority of a solar company.
  • What hazards are unique to the solar projects from other construction projects.
  • What Dominick really thought solar was when he first learned about it.
  • Keys to success and how to implement them.
  • Advice to new entrepreneurs.
  • Benoy’s take on upcoming changes in the market

Quotes from the show:

    • On his partnership with Josh “ Our strengths and weaknesses definitely counter balance each other and it was just inevitable that this was going to happen.” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.

 

  • “Everybody gets to come home safely no matter what.” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30

 

  • On successful partnerships: “It’s all about people that are honest and transparent” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #30.
  • On Dominick and Josh’s working relationship “I’m good at spreadsheets and Josh is good at everything else” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.
  • “Safety is paramount in a successful operation.” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.
  • “Don’t underestimate the power of your own integrity” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.
  • “Reputation is everything and if you can’t make it by doing the right thing and doing right by all of your business associates then don’t even bother.” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.
  • “Make sure every deal you cut, that both sides are a winner.” Dominick Matinelli, Episode #30.
  • “Community solar is one of the fastest growing areas of solar” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #30.

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

info@reneuenergy.com

Facebook: Reneu Energy

Dominick Matinelli:

Pro Circuit Electrical Contracting

operations@procircuitec.com

LinkedIn: Pro Circuit Electrical Contracting

LinkedIn: Dominick Matinelli

Facebook: Pro Circuit Electrical Contracting

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