700 episodes

Nico Johnson takes you into conversations with those at the forefront of Renewable Energy.

SunCast gives an inside look into what is happening in renewable energy. From conversations with the biggest Solar Panel manufacturers in the world to the small startups creating the future of renewable energy, such as carbon capture and battery technology breakthroughs.

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grow and be ahead of the curve in the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Featuring over 600 conversations, Nico has interviewed people from Tesla, SolarCity, Trina Solar, Meyer Burger, Conergy, SunEdison, Energy Vault and even the US Government... to name a few. Covering topics such as Solar Power, Wind Energy, Batteries, Electric Vehicles, Carbon Capture, Finance, Hydrogen, and more.

You can watch SunCast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@SunCastMedia

...or view the full archive of SunCast episodes here: https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes

SunCast Nico Johnson

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 162 Ratings

Nico Johnson takes you into conversations with those at the forefront of Renewable Energy.

SunCast gives an inside look into what is happening in renewable energy. From conversations with the biggest Solar Panel manufacturers in the world to the small startups creating the future of renewable energy, such as carbon capture and battery technology breakthroughs.

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grow and be ahead of the curve in the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Featuring over 600 conversations, Nico has interviewed people from Tesla, SolarCity, Trina Solar, Meyer Burger, Conergy, SunEdison, Energy Vault and even the US Government... to name a few. Covering topics such as Solar Power, Wind Energy, Batteries, Electric Vehicles, Carbon Capture, Finance, Hydrogen, and more.

You can watch SunCast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@SunCastMedia

...or view the full archive of SunCast episodes here: https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes

    Hydrogen's Role in New York's Green Future with Haiyan Sun of NYSERDA

    Hydrogen's Role in New York's Green Future with Haiyan Sun of NYSERDA

    New York set an ambitious goal for a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.
    What will it take to get there? 
    Turns out, hydrogen may be a key component to New York's climate strategy, especially for difficult-to-electrify sectors.
    Haiyan Sun is the program manager and team leader for hydrogen and clean fuels at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).  With over a decade of experience in the power sector (much of which was in GE’s gas division), she has valuable insights to offer on hydrogen’s potential to fuel NY’s clean energy goals, so listen up!
    Expect to learn:
    How hydrogen can decarbonize hard-to-electrify industries like the transportation, power gen, and high temperature industrial sectors (ie, Steel).The importance of including disadvantaged communities in the energy transition.New York's strategy for making hydrogen as successful as solar and battery storage. 
    Curious about how hydrogen fits into the green energy puzzle? Press play!
    If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.
    SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.
    You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.
    Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

    • 10 min
    Adding Storage to Solar is Harder Than We Thought! Leigh Zanone managed 8Minute/Avantus’s Portfolio & Shares His Insights

    Adding Storage to Solar is Harder Than We Thought! Leigh Zanone managed 8Minute/Avantus’s Portfolio & Shares His Insights

    Is solar plus storage magically going to fix our grid? If you listen to many of the conversations I’ve heard the last 2+ years, you’d easily assume “we got this, just throw some batteries out there and we’re well on our way to 100% RE!” 
    Turns out it’s not that simple. 
    Building hybrid power (solar+storage) projects requires a deep understanding of the unique challenges they present, from how to forecast revenue to  building integrated software solutions that can handle massive complexity.  Leigh Zanone, an 18-year solar industry veteran, shares his insights and experience from working in leadership roles at meteocontrol and Avantus (formerly 8Minute Energy) plus a long tenure in the monitoring & asset management side of the business long before that was even the terminology. Leigh’s expertise spans the technical, legal, and financial aspects of solar project management, and his perspective on what it takes to finance and build these projects will challenge your conventional wisdom. 
    Expect to Learn:
    Why deploying hybrid projects is far more complex than solar-only projects.Why comprehensive software solutions for forecasting and optimization are currently lacking (and how we can solve this issue).How we can better educate investors to help them understand hybrid project risks.The hidden complexities that actually require longer diligence periods for hybrid projects.What factors make solar plus storage almost three times more volatile than traditional solar projects
    Press play, get smarter.
    If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.
    SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.
    You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.
    Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

    • 48 min
    Can We Squeeze More Power Through The Existing Wires? AES says Yes; Alexina Jackson, VP of Strategic Development

    Can We Squeeze More Power Through The Existing Wires? AES says Yes; Alexina Jackson, VP of Strategic Development

    How do we solve yesterday’s interconnection problems with today’s technology? 
    Alexina Jackson, Vice President of Strategic Development at The AES Corporation, pulls back the curtain to show us how AES is using cutting-edge technology to integrate MORE renewable energy into the grid. Because we need to add new energy fast and our current grid isn’t up to the challenge, AES is inventing solutions as they go.
    Expect to learn:
    How AES’s new technology can push more power through existing wiring when the conditions are rightWhy more battery storage will add flexibility to the energy grid.AES’s method for turning distributed resources (separate windmills, solar farms, etc.) into “virtual power plants” 
    AES is the leading developer for commercial and industrial customers in the US. They’re on the front lines, inventing technologies to augment the efficiency of existing utility assets. 
    Ready for the most useful fifteen minutes of your week? Hit play!

    If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.
    SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.
    You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.
    Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

    • 17 min
    O&M: How to Keep Existing Solar Projects Producing for Decades to Come with Renewable Energy Veteran & Founder, Josh Fraughton (FSLR, NOVA, R7/RNWBL)

    O&M: How to Keep Existing Solar Projects Producing for Decades to Come with Renewable Energy Veteran & Founder, Josh Fraughton (FSLR, NOVA, R7/RNWBL)

    As our Secretary of Energy says, deploy deploy deploy! It’s incredible to see how hard we’re pushing to modernize the grid, but, we also must maintain and ensure solar projects are delivering on every kilowatt hour that we promised. Today’s guest has been delivering on those promises for nearly two decades. 
    Josh Fraughton, a renewable energy veteran with nearly two decades of experience in the solar industry, has seen firsthand the increasing need for a stable supply chain for solar O&M. So Josh collaborated with RNWBL at the founding of R7 Supply, a venture so immediately successful that it scaled to meet to start filling the gaps within 18 months and continues strong today under RNWBL.
    Today, he shares his entrepreneurial journey with us. 
    Expect to learn:
    Josh’s story of going from boots-on-the-roof as an installer to orchestrating O&M and supply chain operations for industry giants.A business idea to address a need in the solar industry that Nico and Josh both believe will be hugeJosh’s plan to tackle obsolescence in solar components and ensure that systems remain efficient and viable over time.How well-intentioned entrepreneurs are creating their own inflation in the solar industry. 
    Don't miss out – press play to learn more about optimizing the O&M side of the solar industry and Josh’s extensive experience solving the industry’s problems.
    If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.
    SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.
    You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.
    Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Debunking Myths About Solar's Resilience in Extreme Weather; Lightsource BP’s Kevin Christy and Dave Martin

    Debunking Myths About Solar's Resilience in Extreme Weather; Lightsource BP’s Kevin Christy and Dave Martin

    Increasing extreme weather events year over year are forcing all energy assets to reconsider asset protection and resilience. The solar industry has been wrongly accused of grid reliability issues in the face of these extreme events, but what does the data say from operating assets that have “weathered” the storms? 
    Lightsource BP’s Kevin Christy is working to prove solar energy's resilience (especially during challenging weather conditions) and address misconceptions about renewable energy in grid stability and performance. As Head of Innovation and Operational Excellence for Lightsource BP, he and his colleague Dave Martin explore the future of solar energy, discussing advancements in technology, operational efficiency, and the crucial role of data analytics in optimizing solar plant performance.
    Expect to learn:
    Strategies for managing solar assets during extreme weather events (like hail mitigation and Texas’s Winter Storm Uri)Exactly how reliable solar is in extreme weatherHow automation and digitalization will change solar plant operations and maintenanceThe role of renewable energy, particularly solar, in creating a more stable energy gridHow Kevin Christy addresses common misconceptions about renewable energy's grid impact
    This episode is essential listening for anyone interested in the cutting-edge of solar innovation and the pivotal role renewables will play in shaping a stable power supply.
    You'll find more resources and learn about SunCast's guest(s), recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    You can learn more about partnering with SunCast here: https://mysuncast.com/sponsors
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/

    • 57 min
    Are Diversity and Efficiency being downplayed in the Clean Energy Revolution? Paula Glover of The Alliance to Save Energy gives advice from the front lines

    Are Diversity and Efficiency being downplayed in the Clean Energy Revolution? Paula Glover of The Alliance to Save Energy gives advice from the front lines

    Our guest today points out that energy efficiency is actually employing MILLIONS MORE than Renewable Energy as a sector!
    Paula Glover, President of the Alliance to Save Energy, is fighting on the front lines to reduce energy waste. She uses her platform to champion energy efficiency as a cost-saving measure and a fundamental principle for achieving energy justice and economic growth. Paula believes that the "first fuel" is non-consumption. 
    Paula’s a returning guest to the show (Ep 333) but it’s our first time digging into her career evolution and role in championing Energy Efficiency.
    Expect to learn: 
    How many people the energy efficiency sector employs (hint: it's way more than you think)Why energy efficiency is foundational to achieving broader economic and environmental goalsPaula and the Alliance to Save Energy's strategies to educate the younger generation about energy efficiency An unlikely ally to black industry leadership that led to a best-selling book Why Paula thinks diversity, justice, equity and inclusion have been sidelined as a conversation.
    Why are you still reading…click play and find out for yourself.
    If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.
    SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.
    You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.
    Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.
    Subscribe to Valence, our weekly Linkedin Newsletter, and learn the elements of compelling storytelling: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/valence-content-that-connects-7145928995363049472/
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:
    Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo
    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

    • 1 hr 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

Joan W. 2024 ,

Must listen for the renewable energy industry

Nico brings us digestible market intelligence from across the industry to draw out insights you just can’t get anywhere else! Thank you, Nico, for all that you do!

chuck sagianw ,

Learning the Stories and People Behind the Energy Revolution

My name is Charlie Saginaw and I have been a B2B sales person in solar for the past 9 years. Suncast has been huge for doing discovery and learning about the different businesses that I am trying to provide solutions to. Aside from being useful for business development, the stories are heart warming and give me a sense that solar is more than a industry but it also a community of people trying to make a positive difference in the world.

Keep up the good work Nico! S

lil dricky ,

This show is a MUST FOLLOW!

Discovering this podcast has been an absolute game-changer for me on my new journey into the solar industry. The entertainment & knowledge gained in the short couple months I’ve been following is impressive! Now working for Azimuth Energy, I can honestly say that Suncast has played a major role in my understanding of the solar industry, and I can’t thank you enough Nico!! Keep it up!

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