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We are excited to highlight another member of our team here at Distributed Sun - Chet!
Chet joined Distributed Sun in 2014 and brings a great amount of engineering experience to our company. He began as an Operations Manager but took on the role of Director of Engineering in 2017.
Chet attended the University of Maryland where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He then went on to complete his graduate degree at the Imperial College London - one of the top technology schools in the world and at the time one of the few schools, along with MIT and Stanford, to have a renewable energy graduate program.
Chet had the opportunity to work under Professor Jenny Nelson, a leading figure in organic solar cells and the author of Physics of Solar Cells, and was inspired to write his thesis on the deployment of thin-film photovoltaics in rural Africa. His key finding was that solar home systems in rural areas are an effective way to provide electricity to households that otherwise cannot access it. As an interesting parallel in 2013, energy storage costs were still one of the larger barriers to adoption of renewable technologies in these areas.
Prior to his work at Distributed Sun, Chet spent six years working with Bechtel Corporation taking a number of roles from hydraulic engineer to field geotechnical engineer to hydrologist. Chet had the opportunity to work in the domestic power sector and on international mining projects. Chet was excited to see the Southern Vogtle plant come online after running calculations on water systems almost 15 years prior. He also worked at the electric generating facility in the Mojave Desert and this is where he got an introduction to the large-scale world of renewable energy.
Once joining Distributed Sun, Chet helped the team deliver Cornell University on their first MW-scale solar array at Snyder Road. This project was the second MW-scale project to be installed in Upstate NY - a huge achievement for the company and the state of New York as a whole. Since then, Chet has continued to help Cornell with the execution of almost 40 MW for their renewable energy portfolio.
His experience with Distributed Sun has been varied in terms of tasks and projects. He has worked with everything from preliminary simulations to energy simulations to systems layouts, closing with landowners, negotiating PILOT agreements, and handling due diligence with institutional investors.
Chet notes that Distributed Sun has made great strides since when he first began. Distributed Sun began with the ownership and operation of 50 kW solar arrays in the Mid-Atlantic, but it since has gone on to find many new opportunities in states and industry segments that at first were unexplored. He is excited to see how Distributed Sun will continue to grow.