66 episódios

The Solar Maverick Podcast is the insiders guide to where the solar and energy markets meet entrepreneurship and trailblazing. Hosted by Benoy Thanjan - a serial entrepreneur and founder of Reneu Energy one of the industries top companies. Benoy is known for his passion, leadership and style. Always eager to truly learn from his guests, Thanjan digs deep and provides a tangible blueprint for his listeners to put what he’s learning to immediate use - making the show not only funny but entertaining, energetic and hyper -useful.

Solar Maverick Podcast Benoy Thanjan

    • Ciências naturais

The Solar Maverick Podcast is the insiders guide to where the solar and energy markets meet entrepreneurship and trailblazing. Hosted by Benoy Thanjan - a serial entrepreneur and founder of Reneu Energy one of the industries top companies. Benoy is known for his passion, leadership and style. Always eager to truly learn from his guests, Thanjan digs deep and provides a tangible blueprint for his listeners to put what he’s learning to immediate use - making the show not only funny but entertaining, energetic and hyper -useful.

    SMP 67: Investor/Developer's Perspective on the Indian Solar Market and Other International Markets

    SMP 67: Investor/Developer's Perspective on the Indian Solar Market and Other International Markets

    Episode Summary
    In this episode of the Solar Maverick Podcast, Kushagra Nandan provides a unique international perspective on the solar industry that comes from his early days in the United States solar market, starting his company, SunSource, in India, and his experience working on over 300 solar projects across many countries throughout India, Asia, and Africa.  While talking about his journey with SunSource, Kushagra gives an in-depth overview of the entire Indian solar market from its inception to its future.  
     
    Benoy Thanjan 
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodity transactions. 
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
     
    Kushagra Nandan
    As Co-Founder and President of SunSource, Kushagra has guided the company’s strategy, project execution, technology and engineering efforts, with a primary focus on client-specific solar solutions and international market development.  He has played an active role in helping shape SunSource’s offerings for domestic and international markets. Kushagra has pioneered efforts towards providing end-to-end engineering solutions beginning from initial scoping and capacity building to actual project design, engineering, supervision, and construction.  Kushagra is actively engaged in building the capability to handle a challenging portfolio of solar projects and focused on deeply entrenching the philosophy of minimizing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
    Kushagra brings a vast amount of experience in leading teams that have developed, designed and installed multi-megawatt solar PV projects.  Prior to SunSource, Kushagra worked with global solar majors including SunPower and GE. As one of the core members of the SunDurance Energy team, he led the technical group and helped grow the team and capability to develop, engineer-build projects ranging from 100’s kilowatt to multiple megawatts.  Kushagra has also had roles at New Energy Options, Inc., AstroPower Inc. (currently GE Energy), and the Center for Sustainable Energy at the University of Massachusetts.
    Kushagra holds a Master’s degree in Solar Energy Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.  He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology. Kushagra has also successfully completed a Solar PV Technology Assessment Certification from Florida Solar Energy Center & Villanova University along with Electrical Safety for Qualified Electrical Workers Certificate from Louisiana Tech University.  He is a Lifetime Member of the Solar Energy Society of India and was a member of the interconnection group at the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Association to assist New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities to help define State’s solar policy implementation.
     
    Insights from this episode:
    Details on SunSource, their future growth plans, and ownership targets that will allow further international expansion.
    Strategies for d

    • 36 min
    SMP 66: How Relationships Allow an Investor to Scale Ownership of Solar Projects

    SMP 66: How Relationships Allow an Investor to Scale Ownership of Solar Projects

     
    Episode Summary
    In this episode of Solar Maverick, Rich Walsh shares his journey to founding Madison Energy Investments with his two other partners, why Madison Energy Investment focuses on the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) solar market, and their goal of owning solar projects in every state.  The overall discussion is a very high-level look at trends in the solar industry, the complicated financing of solar projects, and where to continue to find value in solar sectors.
     
    Benoy Thanjan
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodity transactions. 
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
     
    Richard Walsh
    Rich oversees all activities relating to business development and strategy at Madison Energy Investments.  This includes project origination, new market analysis and partner and customer relations. Rich spent 5 years at WGL Energy where he led business development activities related to solar.  He originated over $300 million of projects across dozens of state markets with clients ranging from the federal government to professional sports teams. Rich also previously worked in renewable energy advisory with Sterling Planet.  Rich currently serves as the US Representative for the World Energy Council’s future energy leaders programme. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Samford University.
     
    Insights from this episode:
    Details on how Madison Energy Investments was founded, the partnerships they formed, and the role they play in the solar investment industry.
    How to differentiate your company using diversity, assuming risk, and adding value.
    Benefits of building strong, long-term relationships with developers of solar projects.
    Details on community solar projects and other solar programs across the United States that Madison Energy Investments is involved with.
    Secret to creating a strong business brand in a specialized market by identifying where that market has the most need.
    Benefits of creating many good partnership opportunities instead of focusing on only one large scale opportunity.
     
    Quotes from the show:
    On the company motto Certainty, Speed, and Trust: “It’s to remind us that every time we introduce ourselves to someone we truly mean we are going to do exactly what we tell you we are going to do and we’re going to do it fast.” – Richard Walsh, Episode #66
    “The only way to get [larger scale projects] is to aggregate, the only way to aggregate is to have a team that understands what they’re doing, that has experience, and the only way to find the deals is to have long-term relationships.” – Richard Walsh, Episode #66
    On what makes Madison Energy Investments successful: “The whole key is being able to aggregate and manage assets effectively, which we have shown we can do both of those.” – Richard Walsh, Episode #66
    “We hope to be in every single state at some point and we will probably be in 20 by the end of next year

    • 37 min
    SMP 65:  20 Year Solar Veteran and Entrepreneur Provides Perspective on the Solar Market

    SMP 65:  20 Year Solar Veteran and Entrepreneur Provides Perspective on the Solar Market

     
    Episode Summary
    In this episode of Solar Maverick, David Buckner recounts how and why he left the world of finance to start Solar Energy Systems, a full-service solar energy company that has become a leader in the Northeastern solar market.  David and Benoy talk about specialization in the solar industry, how to grow as a company in an evolving industry, and what they both love about the solar market.  
     
    Benoy Thanjan
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodity transactions. 
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
     
    David Buckner
    As a founding member of Solar Energy Systems (SES), David has been with the company since its inception in 1998.  His first two years building SES were spent after-hours “moonlighting” on his day job. He’d been a government bonds broker for a Wall Street brokerage firm and enjoyed most of it, but yearned for more diversity in his daily activity, including time outside, and he discovered he loved being up on the roofs.  So he quit his Wall Street gig in 2000 to dedicate everything to SES.
    Today as President, David does everything from meeting with clients and vendors to taking a delivery if no one is available or if he just needs some exercise.  He thinks longevity in the solar industry is an asset: “I’ve seen many ups and downs as the industry has grown from a heavily subsidized start-up to what is increasingly becoming a mature space. I respect the effort it takes to organize people and get projects constructed. And I enjoy developing new opportunities, but it's really about executing for the clients who have already committed to working with us.”  He believes that life is a team sport.
    David has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Fordham University and is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).  He was actually one of the first to take and pass the test back when NABCEP began testing in 2004.
    David has 5 bikes and 4 BMX scooters — he likes to take clunkers and put minimal cost and effort into making them rideable.
     
    Insights from this episode:
    Details on Solar Energy Systems’ early decision to focus on the commercial/industrial sector of the solar energy industry over the residential solar energy sector.
    Details on the challenges of installing solar panels in New York City.
    How to determine good business opportunities for Solar Energy Systems and how they take advantage of those opportunities.
    Benefits of creating a business plan in the changing solar market that allows for adjustment and provides the most value.
    Strategies for becoming an entrepreneur in general and specific advice for gaining entry into the solar market.
    Quotes from the show:
    On Solar Energy Systems’ decision to focus on commercial solar energy: “It just became more interesting and more fun for us to figure out how to do larger projects and work together as a small team.” – David Buckner

    • 33 min
    SMP 64:  How Solar is Powering Extra Space Storage.

    SMP 64:  How Solar is Powering Extra Space Storage.

     
    Episode Summary
    In this episode of Solar Maverick, Nathan Vasher discusses how Extra Space Storage is one of the biggest corporate users of solar energy and how they plan to continue growing their solar deployment and also employing energy-conscious initiatives.  Nathan also shares his path to solar, trends he’s excited about, and an energy future that looks very bright.
     
    Benoy Thanjan
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodity transactions.  
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
    Nathan Vasher
    Nathan Vasher is the Manager of Solar at Extra Space Storage, a publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500).  It is a fully-integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust. Extra Space has properties in 40 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, they own or operate over 1,800 stores comprising approximately 1.3 million units and 135 million square feet of rentable space.  Extra Space has become one of the largest corporate users of solar energy according to rankings realized by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  The trade group ranked Extra Space in tenth place in terms of the number of solar installations.
    Nathan has 7 years of professional client-facing experience working with public sector, non-profit and international clients through all phases of organization development; providing strategy, performance management, measures development, process improvement, change management, training and business process design services. He has experience providing technical support to advance health programs in the area of supply chain management working in multiple countries including The Netherlands, South Africa, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Cote D'Ivoire, and Switzerland.
     
    Insights from this episode:
    Details on Nathan’s role as Manager of Solar at Extra Space, the history of the company’s solar program strategy, and how that strategy has advanced over the years.
    How Extra Space determines what properties to install solar.  
    How Extra Space runs RFP process with preferred vendors on properties to determine where to install solar.
    Why Extra Space has a preference toward owning the solar projects on their properties. 
    How Nathan uses Extra Spaces’ past successes to guide where they invest in new solar properties.
    Strategies to plan for the future when you are dealing with older properties and the inevitable repairs they will need.  
    Benefits of employing energy-saving initiatives including increased energy efficiency and cost-saving.
    Details on the step-down of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), how states are creating their own renewable energy incentives, and how that affects the viability of future solar development.
     
    Quotes from the show:
    On the financial feasibility of solar projects: “That’s something that we are always looking

    • 35 min
    SMP 63:  2020 Solar Predictions and Trends

    SMP 63:  2020 Solar Predictions and Trends

     
    Episode Summary
    In this episode of Solar Maverick, Benoy and Li look into the future and define trends in solar energy.  Community Solar Programs will continue to rise in popularity along with energy storage and favorable state level renewable energy legislation.  Benoy and Li conclude the interview with a personal look toward 2020 and how they stay focused and mindful throughout the year.  
    Benoy Thanjan 
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. 
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
    Li Wang
    Li Wang is a life-long journalist and communications professional. He worked as an intern for the Philadelphia Daily News, during the summer of the O.J. trial, and has since had some fascinating jobs, from being a business reporter to an arts editor, to a film critic. He has since shifted his focus to digital marketing and creative services, and now his company, MJ Wang Media, develops brand messaging and identity through website design and content marketing. 
     
    Insights from this episode:
     
    Benefits from the cultural shift of society regarding renewable energy and climate change that is emerging.
    Defining the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) and a how that is allowing significant development of solar
    Details on the risks associated with corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and opportunities that will exist in the future for smaller companies.
    Benefits of incentive programs and how they can help produce more solar energy. 
    Details on Green Tariff Programs that utility companies offer customers the ability to purchase green energy.
    Benefits of using bifacial solar modules
    How tariffs on solar panels impacted the solar market.
    Benoy and Li speak about mindfulness and mediation to help achieve their resolutions throughout the year.
    Quotes from the show:
     
    “What we see is that it’s really big companies are taking advantage of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) but we think there will be an opportunity for mid-size and smaller commercial and industrial [companies].” – Benoy Thanjan, Episode #63
    On state solar programs and legislature: “There seems to be a focus on incentives to produce more solar energy.” – Benoy Thanjan, Episode #63
    “With all these states taking leadership in this position [on incentives] it’s going to lift up the entire industry just by mandating certain standards.” – Li Wang, Episode #63
    “There’s a lot of incentives in the pipeline to develop solar [energy] and [energy] storage, both stand-alone and together.” – Benoy Thanjan, Episode #63
    On Green Tariff Programs: “For small and mid-size businesses it could be an opportunity for them [to reach] their renewable energy goals.” – Benoy Thanjan, Episode #63
    “Politics do matter as far as how the policies reflect the industry, the Trump administration has not been supportive … on their attitudes toward policies that help renewable [energy]. ” – Li Wang, Episode #63
    “If you look at state legislation, a lot

    • 28 min
    SMP 62:  Impact of Renewable Energy on the Future of Real Estate

    SMP 62:  Impact of Renewable Energy on the Future of Real Estate

     
    Episode Summary
    This episode of Solar Maverick Podcast is a live panel discussion from the Deloitte Renewable Energy Seminar held in Dallas, Texas from October 2019.  Lisa Brown from Johnson Controls, Susan Nickey from Hannon Armstrong, Benoy Thanjan from Reneu Energy and Todd Samson from Deloitte & Touche participated in a panel discussion on the role of renewable energy in real estate.
     
    Benoy Thanjan
    Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, as well as an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer, and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar, as well as utility-scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges both energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodity transactions. 
    Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity, which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity, to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.
     
    Lisa Brown
    Lisa Brown joined Johnson Controls in 2003. As national director for municipal infrastructure and smart cities, Lisa is responsible for the growth of the local government market in North America, including the development of strategies, offerings, and innovations for local government service and systems markets. In 2015, Lisa created Johnson Controls' local government urban growth initiative, which combines smart city solutions with community outreach and workforce enhancement for midsize to large municipal customers. Lisa is consistently sought out to deliver keynote presentations and participate on smart city and IoT panels to discuss how data can assist cities to become "smarter" and its relation to climate resiliency, smart infrastructure, and economic growth.
    Lisa was recently nominated to join the Women of Municipal Government committee for the National League of Cities and the Smart Communities Advisory board for the International City Managers Association. For the past three years, she has been the leader of the East Region Women's Resource Network of Johnson Controls and served as a global ambassador for International Women's Day. Lisa served 15 years with the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, four of those years as director of community development and outreach in Newark, New Jersey. Lisa currently is a board member of the Rumson-Fair Haven Education Foundation. In 2016, she was honored as a NY Women of Valor and received the Humanitarian Award from St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, which support 1.5 million food-disadvantaged New Yorkers annually.
     
    Susan Nickey
    Susan Nickey is a Managing Director at Hannon Armstrong, a leading provider of debt and equity financing to the energy efficiency and renewable energy markets. Susan has over 25 years of executive leadership in the energy and finance sectors. She has focused her efforts on proving that creative solutions and innovation can make the production of clean energy more profitable, competitive, affordable and mainstream. Most recently, she founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Threshold Power. Prior to working at Threshold, she served as Chief Financial Officer at ACCIONA Energy North America. She was named one of Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for her leadership in sustainable development. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre

    • 44 min

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