Distributed solar generation: a developer’s perspective on opportunity in the changing economy


Date Thursday February 26th 2009
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

The business of “downstream solar”—project development and investment— has changed significantly over the past decade with increasing demand and declining equipment costs. The industry now finds itself at a critical turning point as bargaining power shifts to developers, the financial crisis reduces the availability of project capital, and new government policies radically change the attractiveness of various state markets. Arno Harris will explore these changes, their impact on downstream and upstream markets, and the role of distributed generation in the global energy mix. He will also give his perspective on strategies for meeting the renewable energy goals set out by policymakers, including the time and scale advantages of distributed solar; the evolving roles of developers, utilities, government and the private sector; and what the expectations are for the solar industry both nationally and globally. Finally, he will share his thoughts on being a renewable energy entrepreneur and positioning a private equity backed startup for growth during tough economic times.


Arno Harris is the CEO of Recurrent Energy. Arno is a solar industry veteran and successful entrepreneur. His career features a number of solar industry milestones, including the sale to Google of the largest US corporate solar generating system and the City of San Francisco's 5 MW project, which will be the largest municipal solar photovoltaic system in the country when completed next year. Prior to Recurrent Energy, Arno was general manager of EI Solutions, serving large-scale commercial and government solar customers. EI Solutions was formed when Arno sold his pioneering solar business, Prevalent Power, to En ergy Innovations in 2005. Arno's previous experience includes founder and leadership roles for startups that include WineShopper.com, RedEnvelope (NASDAQ:REDE), and Novo Media Group. His background combines marketing, sales and consulting with experience serving such clients as Berlex, Toyota Motor Sales USA, GlaxoWellcome, MCI, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Nikon Precision, IKEA International and NBC Digital Publishing. Arno writes about solar and renewable energy on his blog Clean Energy Future http://arnoharris.typepad.com/cleanenergyfuture/ .

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