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As a renewable energy development company, Distributed Sun is proud to contribute to improving the energy system by decreasing the emissions impact of every incremental megawatt to come onto our local electricity grids. All our electricity is emissions-free, and for all our projects, we ensure that stormwater flow quantity and quality are maintained at our sites.
However, as a new technology (at least in the eyes of many of the rural communities in which we work), we often get the question of “how will your solar array affect long-term land use changes?” Of course, we are leading with many of the best management practices from concrete-free racking foundations to pollinator-friendly grasses to forward-thinking decommissioning plans. With modular equipment and a lack of moving pieces, we can plan for a much lower impact on the implementation of civil works.
On this Earth Day 2021, we are proud to add that we can safely support and co-exist with endangered species. We have recently coordinated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on a Net Conservation Benefit Plan to preserve habitat of the New-York-State-listed short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)!
At one of our project sites in Upstate New York, our team discovered 35-year-old reference to the short-eared owl breeding in the area. In order to responsibly continue on this project, we engaged with qualified environmental consultants who visited the site and confirmed the presence of this beautiful bird. As this raptor, like many other species, is finding challenges in segmented habitat, we drove our stakeholders (the project, the NYSDEC, and the landowner) to find a mutually agreeable solution.
NYSDEC wanted to ensure that the owl could have pristine, preserved habitat to help its owlets survive the challenges of ground nesting. Our landowner agreed to help and set aside land with the caveat that he wished to continue his family’s hunting on the property, as it has always been. In an inclusive process, Distributed Sun engaged the parties and found the happy medium – a permit was issued and the project will go into construction this spring.
So please connect if you want to learn more about how we can help keep the skies clear and the land safe for our species of concern.
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Meet Bridget, one of our newest employees here at Distributed Sun.
Bridget joined Distributed Sun in December 2020. As a Senior Solar Developer, she is primarily responsible for overlooking project life cycles with everything from site selection to design, permitting, interconnection, EPC selection, construction, timeline management, and the final launch of commercial operations.
Bridget learned importance of sustainable practices at an early age. As a child, she lived on a farm and loved to spend time outdoors. She was raised with a deep respect for animals and nature as a whole, and this passion has carried with her throughout her schooling and career path. Although originally interested in veterinary practices, she shifted her focus to environmental topics in school to pursue classes related to global warming and climate change. She has worked to obtain skills and experience in government policy positions, private entities, and non-governmental organizations during her undergraduate schooling.
Bridget earned her Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech in 2017 in Sustainable Biomaterials with a minor in Green Engineering. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Bridget participated in a number of extracurricular activities and internships. She served in Virginia Tech’s Office of Sustainability for two years, leading teams of interns focused on energy and recycling initiatives across the school’s campus. During the Obama administration, she completed an internship with the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy.
Bridget has also participated in international non-profit work, traveling to a remote village in Ghana where she assisted in establishing a small solar business intended to bolster local economies while lessening community reliance on toxic fossil fuels such as kerosene. In creating this system, Bridget gained a global perspective on sustainability development.
Prior to joining Distributed Sun, Bridget worked as an engineering manager in the residential homebuilding and development industry. Her experience gives her unique insight into organizations that do not prioritize sustainability or understand the benefits of renewable energy deployment. Bridget’s life goal is to see a change in the global perception of sustainability. She hopes to encourage others to see the economic and environmental value of being resource and material conscious.
Bridget is excited to be working on corporate, community, and utility-scale solar development at DSUN, especially given her understanding of the inner workings of organizations without a sustainability focus. She knew that she would be a great fit at Distributed Sun after meeting the team and seeing the great work that we do here.
“I believe in the power of the company one keeps, so if I’m going to be the best at what I do and make as much of an impact as I hope to, I have to surround myself with people that challenge me and push me. To be the best, you must surround yourself with the best. That’s what Distributed Sun is.”
What skills does Bridget uniquely expect to master now that she has joined our team?
“Versatility. The wider the range of skills and disciplines I master, the more lethal I can be in the fight against climate change. I have the opportunity to work on, learn about, and master a wide variety of different skills and disciplines in many different aspects of the Renewable Energy industry, and that’s what differentiated DSUN from other businesses.”
We can’t wait to see all of the great work that Bridget will do!
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We are proud to support the energy transition and sponsor the Clean Energy for America Inaugural Ball. Please join us and celebrate President-elect Biden’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035.
The Energy Transition is accelerating with newfound energy and buzz as the Biden administration and Democrat-control of both houses of Congress are set to focus US energy policies in 2021 and for decades to come. The energy transitions unfolding today were almost unimaginable ten years ago – with 90% of new generation built globally last year coming from wind and solar. Electric vehicles among new car sales are surpassing 50% of all automobiles sold in some countries. The arrival and passing of peak oil is now admitted by the oil companies themselves; and, centralized and peak powerplants are making way for distributed generation and battery storage. One-hundred years-old incumbent players, technologies and models are finally, today, surrendering to this inevitable change.
Whether you see “transition” as brown to clean, consumption to conservation, waste to efficiency, finite to infinite or “fill in the blank,” it is happening everywhere and driving big changes even among renewable energy businesses – even before President-elect Biden steps on the gas electric pedal and speeds things up.
Distributed Sun’s growth in recent years reflects the intensity of corporate and consumer demand for cleaner alternatives. While our 2020 was unlike Tesla in scale, it was very Tesla-like for us with record-breaking performances in profitability, growth and other KPIs. New hires (↑six), cost reductions (↓15%) and development pace (↓22% fewer days in development – to 14 months from start to NTP for community solar) all leapt past our benchmark and stretch goals. DSUN achieved runaway results in 2020 with tangible project and revenue backlogs that position the company to accelerate and extend these gains in 2021 and the years to come.
When we founded the business in 2009, we knew clean energy and technologies were no fad, no passing trend or even a mere or momentous generational shift, but something epochal, irreversible. And, we wanted to help make it happen. Back then, C&I rooftop solar in Mid-Atlantic states was the present-day gold rush. It was our backyard and an obvious place to start. But we suspected then, as we know so well now, the path forward would push and pull us into different segments, new geographies and even technologies not considered at our founding.
As we pass 200 MW of community solar projects delivered and focus development on the next 100 MW, we are making significant investments in other key segments, including: 1) large corporate renewables (DSUN expands deployed C&I solar from 11 to 15 states in 2021); and, 2) utility/transmission-scale (500 MW in development) practices. DSUN transitions to Gigawatt-scale solar deployed while its scope grows to include a wider complement of new energy and carbon footprint reduction technologies.
We count our blessings to have thrived during 2020 while so many struggled to survive. Those tragedies are not lost on us. Three beloved and amazing people – family of our close team members – lost their battles with COVID last year. We remember them as they humble our spirits and deepen our appreciation for the successes we have enjoyed.
Executive Vice Chairman and Co-Founder
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