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We are excited to introduce you to another excellent addition to the Distributed Sun team – Stephen O’Connor, our Head of Land Acquisition.
Stephen majored in History and minored in Architecture at Penn State. It was during these years that his interest in solar energy sparked as he had the opportunity to design a passive solar house for an architectural engineering class. Passive solar homes were quite popular in the late 1980s as a result of their efficiency and the hope was that photovoltaics would soon catch up in popularity, as they did.
Prior to joining Distributed Sun, Stephen worked in various industries ranging from real estate to journalism. Stephen started his career in the US in the real estate brokerage and development sector where he worked for a few years before heading to Eastern Europe, where he switched gears to investigative business journalism. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, Stephen successfully founded a media company comprised of investigative weekly business journals in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Thanks to his entrepreneurial initiative, more than 1,000 people were employed for over 14 years.
Afterwards, Stephen spent several years between Russia and the US, working in various commercial real estate development and media occupations. It was at this time that Stephen decided he wanted to be involved in something new and different. With a deep understanding of business and real estate prospecting, he decided to apply his skills to the solar industry, convinced of renewable energy’s meaningful and bright future.
Stephen currently manages the Land Acquisition process at Distributed Sun, establishing and maintaining relationships with landowners interested in solar while working closely with our engineers to ensure the most efficient and environmentally conscious solar system design. He also assists with new market prospecting.
Stephen thinks “Building face-to-face communication with landowners is one of the key differentiators of Distributed Sun. Being able to reach out directly to the community and explain the value of solar projects is the right thing to do,”
He notes that Distributed Sun has done a tremendous job in focusing on utility-scale and community solar developments in different states and will continue to have a proactive role. Stephen proudly says, “I think the states are catching up with solar and people are increasingly becoming more accepting of it.”
We are very happy to have Stephen on the Distributed Sun team and look forward to bringing more solar projects online, while adding value to communities that embrace solar energy and its importance.