President of Policy and Business Development, Tesla Inc.
Christopher Ercoli leads the policy and business development activities for Tesla Inc. – expanding infrastructure that advances the adoption of electric vehicles and clean energy technology throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College and a Master’s degree in Carbon and Energy Management from the University of East Anglia, UK.
Director, Policy and New Markets, Sol Systems
Sara Rafalson has been with Sol Systems since 2011, and has worked for the firm in many different roles in business development, public affairs, and operations.
Today, Ms. Rafalson oversees market strategy and is responsible for state-level solar policy advocacy. She also manages the firm’s relationships with industry nonprofits and regional and national trade associations, including SEIA, MDV-SEIA, NECEC, NJSEC, ACORE, and REEBA. Ms. Rafalson is the author of the monthly SOURCE: The Sol Project Finance Journal, which has a distribution list of nearly 3,500 professionals in the solar industry and related fields.
Prior to Sol Systems, Ms. Rafalson worked for three years as a sustainability program manager at the University of North Carolina’s Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling. She was also a Fellow in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior during the summer of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2009, Ms. Rafalson spent a summer advocating for national climate and energy policy in Anchorage, Alaska at the Alaska Center for the Environment. She is also fluent in conversational Spanish after living in South America for six months.
Ms. Rafalson holds a BA in International Studies, Sustainability, and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest distinction and was captain of the water polo team. She is co-chair of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Women’s EmPOWERment initiative, and was previously President of Women in Solar Energy (WISE).
President, CleanGrid Advisors LLC
Harry A. Warren, Jr. is President of CleanGrid Advisors LLC, providing consulting and new venture development support on renewable energy opportunities nationwide, with special focus on Mid-Atlantic markets.
Harry was formerly Executive Vice President of Community Energy, Inc., a leading developer of large-scale solar power projects nationwide. Harry was responsible for coordinating sales in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore region, as well as community solar, virtual net metering, and other retail customer access programs across the country.
Prior to joining Community Energy, Harry was President of Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., a leading retail electricity and natural gas marketer in the mid-Atlantic region. He served as President of WGES from 1997 to 2014. WGES ranked first in customer satisfaction among retail electricity providers in Maryland in J.D. Power’s 2014 survey. The company was named Green Power Supplier of the Year in the non-utility category by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2011 and was given a Mayor’s Sustainability Award by the District of Columbia Department of the Environment in 2013. Harry negotiated the corporation’s first solar PPAs in 2008 and 2009. He previously worked for WGES’ utility affiliate, Washington Gas. At the utility he served in many roles including Executive Assistant in the Office of the Chairman, Director of Investor Relations, and Director of Sales. Prior to joining Washington Gas, Harry worked in research, development and design of renewable energy systems.
Harry serves on the Board of Directors of the National Energy Marketers Association and is past Chairman of its Executive Committee. He is on the Board of Directors of the Maryland-DC- Virginia Solar Energy Industry Association and serves as the Association’s Treasurer. He was presented with a Solar Leader – Industry award by MDV-SEIA in 2011. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
CEO and Co-founder, SolUnesco
Francis Hodsoll is the CEO and co-founder of SolUnesco, LLC, Board President of the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Association and President of E&E Frontiers, which he has led since he founded in 2011.
Francis Hodsoll is a highly networked executive who combines business development and general management expertise with strong strategy, finance, policy and performance management capabilities. His expertise is in international power plant development, finance, green energy, sustainability, energy efficiency, hydro, solar, wind, biomass, and natural gas.
Francis has held leadership positions in both the private and public sectors including CFO for a power plant owner and operator; Deputy Director of the Federal regulator for offshore energy; and VP in charge of a distributed energy project development group. He earned his MBA from the MIT’s Sloan School of Management and his BA in Economics from Colby College.
Co-CEO, Alpha Solar Group
Shelley Cohen is Co-CEO of Alpha Solar Group. She brings to Alpha Solar Group 17 years of hands on renewable energy and energy efficiency project development experience. Shelley is a respected solar industry professional, who has developed close to 20 MWs of renewable energy, including solar projects in DE and DC while working as a Senior Project Developer at Ameresco. She has an expertise working with clients to assess needs, design project options, and bring projects on-line. Prior to working at Ameresco, she worked for the EPA promoting renewable energy, at the White House on sustainable development, and on Capitol Hill. She currently serves on the boards of MDV-SEIA, NWF, and was recently accepted as one of the 2015 recipients of the Women’s Leadership Fellow at the Impact Center. Shelley has a 12kw solar system on her home, and regularly gives tours and provides information on solar. She spends as much of her free time as possible, out doors, with her family.
Market Development and Policy (Eastern US), SunPower
Robin Dutta joined SunPower in 2015 and currently leads the company’s East Coast state policy initiatives, as well as assists in Federal affairs. His work at the state level has spanned RPS issues, net metering fights, and community solar. Robin supports the interests of SunPower’s residential and commercial dealers, as well as the company’s commercial and utility-scale direct development. Additionally, because he has worked up and down the East Coast, Robin has first-person experience in the hot button policy issues facing the solar industry – from land siting restrictions to the New York REV regulatory proceeding and next generation solar incentive structures. Robin has not forgotten where he started in the industry, working on solar water heating policy.
While serving on the MDV-SEIA Board of Directors the last two years, Robin has done more than just supporting the solar policy work of MDV-SEIA. He has served on the Conference Committee, assisting in conference planning, and in the hiring committees when there have been staff vacancies. He is currently serving on the hiring committee for the association’s next executive director.
Previously, Robin worked at the DC-based company, Nextility. Before his solar work, Robin worked in the political arena, mostly on local electoral campaigns. He earned his MA in Public Policy from the University of Delaware in 2012. Robin currently serves on the boards of the Solar Research Institute and the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association.
Head of Regulatory and Compliance, CleanChoice Energy
Jennifer is the Head of Regulatory and Compliance at CleanChoice Energy , where she engages stakeholders in the development of policies and regulations on retail and renewable energy and ensures that company contracts and marketing materials are in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Previously, Jennifer worked for Direct Energy and was responsible for the development, advocacy, and implementation of legislative and regulatory policies to support the company’s solar growth agenda. Her background in issues impacting restructured (energy choice) states gives her a unique perspective on renewable energy policy. Jennifer has extensive experience in smart meter and data access policy, and has testified on these issues in D.C., OH, IL, and MA. Jennifer has Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from The Ohio State University and a J.D. with a concentration in environmental and energy law from Capital University. Jennifer is an avid gardener and food preservationist.
General Manager, Virginia; Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Trinity Solar
Ed has been working in the energy industry for nearly 25 years, 16 of which have been spent in the solar electric industry. In his current role as Vice President/ General Manager, he is leading Trinity Solar’s expansion efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region. With a background at PV manufacturing pioneer BP Solar, as well as one of the nation’s leading solar providers, Trinity Solar, Ed has held various roles throughout the solar value chain in sales, marketing, operations and government affairs. Ed is well-versed in project finance, marketing strategy, offer development, and incentive rate design for both residential and commercial-sized systems.
Over the years, Ed has participated in various lobbying efforts in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Prior to the merger of the Solar Alliance with SEIA, Ed was an active leader in the group focusing on East Coast legislative and regulatory affairs. In 2009, Ed led the Solar Alliance’s intervention in PSE&G’s “Solar 4 All” petition to the New Jersey Board of Public Affairs and participated as a key member, providing analysis and testimony, in support of and passage of New Jersey’s Solar Act of 2012.
Ed holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. He also is a registered professional environmental engineer (inactive) and holds a Maryland Home Improvement Contractor’s License.
CEO, New Columbia Solar
Mike Healy is a respected visionary leader within the flourishing renewable energy industry. He is an experienced entrepreneur and business strategist who has played a key role in starting two successful energy companies. He has been instrumental in developing business growth strategies from start-up level to maturity, including originating more than 30 successful partnerships within the private and public sectors. Mike has a proven track record of developing a long-term strategy, implementing the tactics to maintain and execute that strategy, and delivering results. Mike recently served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) a nationwide trade association advocating for the solar industry and also served as Vice President and Policy Chair at MDV-SEIA. He is a former founder and partner at Nextility Inc., one of the largest solar developers in Washington, DC. Mike also lead MDV-SEIA’s RPS efforts in Washington, DC in 2011 (and has played a large role in 2016) and lead Maryland’s RPS efforts in 2012.
Director of Project Development, Standard Solar
John Finnerty is focused on guiding organizations to develop, implement and achieve innovative renewable-energy projects. At Standard Solar, Mr. Finnerty advances business development, job growth and mentoring goals with a focus on growing local-generation markets in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Delaware.
Mr. Finnerty organizes expert engineering, construction, finance and operations teams to deliver innovative, market-leading solar and emerging storage projects for clients. Central to his success is applying current public-policy benefits while advocating for policies that sustain market growth.
Mr. Finnerty is a member of the Delaware Tech Energy Advisory Board and is active with industry organizations. Mr. Finnerty’s previous work in the renewable-energy sector included bringing advanced regenerating electric propulsion systems for sailboats to international markets. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from McGill University in Montreal.
Executive Director, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic
Nicole Steele is the Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit solar installer and job trainer working exclusively in underserved communities. She is a leading voice for low-income solar and energy efficiency in the Mid-Atlantic including DC, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Nicole directs the Mid-Atlantic office for GRID Alternatives and works with policymakers at the local and state levels to help develop and implement inclusive solar policies. GRID focuses on access issues across the entire project development process including outreach and education, affordable financing, and workforce development. GRID seeks to impact owners, renters, and building managers by installing single-family, multi-family, and community solar systems. Nicole has been on the MDV-SEIA Board of Directors since 2015, where she helped launch the first Job Fair hosted at MDV-SEIA’s Solar Focus partnered with GRID Alternatives. The first year was a smashing success with 300 job-seekers connecting with nearly 25 employers. Looking forward to an even more successful year two!
Prior to joining GRID Alternatives, she was the Director of Policy and State Relations at the Alliance to Save Energy managing high profile initiatives such as the Alliance’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy. Nicole was also the Director of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program for Loudoun County, Virginia. While in that position she designed, commissioned and implemented twelve separate energy-related projects ranging from capital improvements to feasibility studies to education and outreach programs. Prior to moving into that role, Nicole was a legislative and long-range land use planner for Loudoun. Ms. Steele also has a background in advocacy, policy development, affordable housing, urban planning, energy efficiency, and green building.
Founding Partner, Solar Energy World
Geoff Mirkin has spent the majority of his career with Homefix Corporation, focusing on market expansion. In 2000, Mirkin purchased one of Homefix Corporation branches and grew sales by more than million per year until 2008, when he sold his interest in Homefix. In 2009, Mr. Mirkin and his partners launched Solar Energy World which is a self performing residential and commercial solar integrator. Mr. Mirkin’s leadership roles include sales, marketing, training, operations and customer relations. Mr. Mirkin now sits on both the board of directors and the policy committee of Maryland/DC Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). He brings a track record of building successful organizations, combined with a passion for renewable energy. Mr. Mirkin was born and raised in Montgomery County Md. He currently resides in Gaithersburg, MD with his wife Franki of 18 years and his daughter Paige 15 and son Max 12.
President, Solar Energy Services
Rick Peters manages administration, sales and marketing for SES. Rick holds a mechanical engineering degree from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. Prior to entering the solar industry, Rick’s 9-year executive leadership position in Sales and Marketing of an Information technology Services Company was instrumental in growing the firm of 14 employees to more than 100.
His previous positions build a broad base of experiences including: civilian engineering project manager in submarine silencing for the US Navy; and various manufacturing management positions for a Fortune 500 packaging manufacturer. Rick is active in regional solar policy initiatives and he has served as former President and current board of directors of the Maryland/DC/Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA) since 2010. Rick invests substantial time in education and market development for solar thermal technologies. Rick’s lifelong support for environmental concerns coupled with his extensive business experience has positioned him well for advancing SES while pursuing his passion.
President and Founder, Kenergy
Ken founded Kenergy Solar and is responsible for Kenergy’s day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s internal and external development. Nearly every decision he makes, from ‘on-shore’ sourcing of products to raising funds for underserved community projects, is driven by his deep commitment to socially proactive business practices and to building a sustainable solar industry.
Prior to founding Kenergy Solar, Ken excelled as Executive Account Manager at Tellabs for nearly a decade, responsible for all products and services in the Northeastern United States. He also served as a regional account manager at Advanced Fibre Communication where he doubled the sales territory, expanding sales from million to million.
Ken was elected boardmember of the MD, DC, VA Solar Energy Industries Association since 2010 for his industry development work. Among his many accomplishments was the preservation of net metering in Maryland, the very premise that allows integrated energy solutions. He is also a member of the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council and a former Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors for the Potomac Region Solar Energy Association. His determination to advance the industry and provide for the community is an inspiration.
Ken received his MBA from University of Maryland and BS from University of Virginia. He also enjoys playing soccer and coaches his son’s soccer team.
Program Director of New Markets, Vote Solar
Scott Thomasson is the Program Director of New Markets for Vote Solar. Scott focuses on opening solar markets in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. He also manages Vote Solar’s national work on community solar and other new and innovative solar policy models. He brings over a decade of energy policy and legal experience to the role.
In 2013, he was lead counsel for a Georgia solar developer in its successful campaign to encourage the Georgia Public Service Commission to authorize over 500 MW of new solar projects. During his years in the United States Senate, Scott served as legislative counsel to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and as professional staff for the Senate Appropriations Committee. A native of Atlanta, he now resides in Washington, D.C.
Eric W. Hurlocker
Co-Managing Partner, GreeneHurlocker
Eric Hurlocker has spent the past twenty years practicing and advising clients in the areas of energy law, commercial transactions and general corporate work. Eric works closely with renewable energy development companies, as well as companies looking to use renewable energy in their operations. In this capacity, Eric has appeared on behalf of clients before the Virginia State Corporation Commission. He has also worked with mid-size and large manufacturing and technology companies in developing procurement and sales agreements, and negotiating sophisticated commercial transactions. Recently, Eric has advised start-up and small consulting and service companies in general corporate and commercial matters.
Prior to co-founding GreeneHurlocker, Eric was a partner in the Richmond, Virginia office of Williams Mullen. Earlier in his career, Eric was a senior in-house corporate and energy attorney at PPL Corporation in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and at Virginia Power in Richmond, Virginia. In those capacities, he was responsible for non-regulated activities, energy project development, asset acquisition and disposition, and energy trading. Eric returned to private practice in 2006 at the Richmond-based firm of Hunton & Williams.
Eric was born and grew up in Central Pennsylvania. He spends as much of his free time in Nelson County, Virginia, hiking, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. Eric remains active at the University of Richmond, where he went to college and law school.