200 episodes

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tune in, and stay informed.

SunCast Nico Johnson

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 102 Ratings

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tune in, and stay informed.

    Andrew Birch, Nem3.0, Save our Solar Jobs!, Live @Intersolar N.A.’22

    Andrew Birch, Nem3.0, Save our Solar Jobs!, Live @Intersolar N.A.’22

    Andrew Birch, affectionately referred to by many as simply “Birchy”, joins Nico in this live interview [rebroadcast] from the Intersolar N. America expo hall floor from Thursday January 13, 2022. Birchy is the Godfather of online solar sales (you may remember him as the co-founder and CEO of Sungevity), and always has keen insight into what’s trending and what to consider within the fast-growing distributed solar arena.
    Birchy had just come from the CALSSA “Save our Solar Jobs Rally” in LA, and gives an update on the state of the industry in light of the recent negative press on CA’s NEM3.0 ruling.
    From the CALSSA website:
    “The CPUC’shttps://calssa.org/blog/2021/12/13/nem-3-proposed-decision ( proposed decision on NEM-3) would destroy net metering, ending our state’s clean energy leadership and decimating our industry, and our jobs, in the process. This is our SOS, our chance to make our voices heard and insist that the PUC change course. Now is the time to go big.
    Our industry is on the line. Our jobs and livelihood are at stake. This is it.”
    And thousands did - they shut down their offices all over the state, took the day off, and came down from the roof for one morning to be there! If you couldn’t make it, you’re in luck because Nico asks Birchy for an update from the front lines. He then goes into what he sees as trends for the coming year as well as what he’s changed his mind about (and it might surprise you, it did Nico!)
    Special thanks to Drone Base for supporting this live interview.
    Learn more about http://www.mysuncast.com/dronebase (Drone Base) and their worldclass aerial thermal imaging.
    Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 400 other founder stories and startup advice at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/401 (www.mysuncast.com).
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on http://www.twitter.com/nicomeo (Twitter), http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus (LinkedIn) or email

    • 19 min
    Greenpenny, banking that funds Clean Energy. Jason MacDuff, President

    Greenpenny, banking that funds Clean Energy. Jason MacDuff, President

    Jason MacDuff is President of greenpenny, a virtual carbon-neutral bank dedicated to financing a sustainable tomorrow. Money deposited in greenpenny is secure, earns interest, and is only used to finance renewable energy systems and carbon reducing efficiency projects - no fossil fuels. And greenpenny has been offering their residential and commercial solar loans in the midwest for longer than just about anyone. As Jason said, “It’s time for banks to offer green products and services that empower customers to take their own climate actions.” But greenpenny is distinct in the market because unlike most solar financiers or banking fintech startups, it’s part of an actual century-old midwestern bank!
    After 24 years at Wells Fargo, Jason was ready for a change. He took two years off to travel the world and came back with a new perspective and passion, determined to use his experience in banking to make serious progress on climate change. It’s a big leap from major bank to banking entrepreneur. We talk about the challenges, frustrations, inspirations and big ideas of his role leading greenpenny, including their unique approach to solar loans (and the long heritage doing so), hiring (they’re hiring!), pivoting and fine tuning the marketing message. Hear all about where he came from and where he’s going, right here in our conversation on Suncast.
    Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 400 other founder stories and startup advice athttps://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/401 ( www.mysuncast.com).
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, onhttp://www.twitter.com/nicomeo ( Twitter),http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus ( LinkedIn) or email

    • 49 min
    American Clean Power, w/CEO Heather Zichal

    American Clean Power, w/CEO Heather Zichal

    Some of you will recall, Nico was live-broadcasting from the CleanPower21 tradeshow in Salt Lake City back in December. While he was there, Nico got the chance to sit down with Heather Zichal, the CEO of the organization that runs the CleanPower show and that has been shaking things up in Washington for you and me in a good way all last year.
    The three areas covered in today’s episode are:
    1. AWEA rebrand to ACP and 2022 Goals
    2. Messaging to the solar industry specifically, from Heather and ACP
    3. Acquisition of ESA
    Launched at the start of 2021, the American Clean Power Association is a new trade association unifying the wind, solar, storage and transmission companies that are driving jobs and investment in the U.S. economy and providing solutions to the climate crisis.
    Many of you will recognize is as “the AWEA rebrand” or something along those lines, but I believe it’s much more than a simple rebrand.
    From their website: The American Clean Power Association works to champion policies that will transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. By uniting the power of wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers, their goal is to make renewables the dominant energy source in the United States.
    And, as of July, American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) agreed to merge their staff, programs, and members into ACP!
    Remember, you can always find the resources and learn more about today's guests and recommendations in the show notes at http://www.mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes (MySunCast.com).
    While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to the show right there in your podcast player, pretty please!
    And, to hear more about Heather and ACPs thoughts on the ESA integration, specifically, we'd encourage you to read Julian Spector's insightful interview with Heather in December, which we link to it in the show notes on the blog (link above).
    Let’s get down to business, and to tune up your skills Solar Warrior with another practical tactical conversation here on SunCast.
    Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 400 other founder stories and startup advice athttps://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/401 ( www.mysuncast.com).
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, onhttp://www.twitter.com/nicomeo ( Twitter),http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus ( LinkedIn) or email

    • 25 min
    A comprehensive SaaS suite for utility-scale solar? Andrea Barber, CEO RatedPower

    A comprehensive SaaS suite for utility-scale solar? Andrea Barber, CEO RatedPower

    You probably assume that the Utility-scale solar market, having deployed hundreds of GW globally, has surely by now figured out the necessary software suite to manage projects. It’s hard to imagine how everybody would just keep building novel tools in silos like it’s still 1998 and Salesforce still doesn’t exist!
    Well today’s guest, Andrea Barber, founded RatedPower to solve the same challenges she noticed many of her colleagues were struggling with, including her former employer and their customers.
    In today’s episode, we get into the details of how and why this powerful female leader found herself answering the call to step out on her own and start a company focused on solar project design and management software. Fresh off a ~$6M Series A, Andrea and team are bringing their SaaS suite of utility-scale solar project development tools to the US market, and Nico gets down to the details with Andrea on the acute problems they aim to solve, along with the usual how, when, where and why of choosing her founder team, scaling an MVP and capitalizing a new venture.
    Impressively, RatedPower has been profitable since year one, so the fundraising was to fuel expansion. If you’ve been considering how to take your nascent idea and turn it into a viable venture, then you’re going to love this candid discussion with Andrea.
    Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 400 other founder stories and startup advice athttps://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/401 ( www.mysuncast.com).
    You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, onhttp://www.twitter.com/nicomeo ( Twitter),http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus ( LinkedIn) or email

    • 57 min
    Drones or manned aircraft for site data? Maybe both? Mark Culpepper, GM Solar, Drone Base

    Drones or manned aircraft for site data? Maybe both? Mark Culpepper, GM Solar, Drone Base

    Mark Culpepper, who heads up global solar for Drone Base, is on a mission to simplify the process and amplify the importance of solar site data gathering with aerial methods. As the name might imply, Drone Base has built an entire business around aerial thermographic inspection. They’re on a role, hot off a $20M round of investment and acquisition of India-based Airprobe to add a sophisticated A.I. engine to their platform of global data analysis.

    • 41 min
    Goal-setting, Regenerative Capitalism & Food Forests, with Jim Gale

    Goal-setting, Regenerative Capitalism & Food Forests, with Jim Gale

    If you have yet to set out your goals for 2022, then you’re absolutely in the right place.

    If you have, then maybe this anecdote will help support your courage to achieve them!

    Well, today’s guest credits his practice of goal-setting since age 19, I mean really committing it to writing, to becoming a 4-time All-American athlete, hitting over $1.3 Billion in sales, retiring “early” by age 32, and ultimately finding his current passion: Regenerative Capitalism.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

JaS19012 ,

Suncast is a valuable listen

I love tuning into Suncast. Nico is knowledgeable and down to earth. I always learn something while listening, whether about renewables or life. Thanks Nico.

_semt ,

Excellent resource

Highly-relevant, efficiently-curated content on technical topics and career development in the clean tech sector.

SmellyGoat ,

Best Solar Podcast

Nico has done an incredible job. This Podcast is not only outstanding for solar professionals, but in general it's a genuinely great podcast which covers a lot of tips for thriving in any professional setting. I'm not typically entertained by Podcasts, but this has an at-home vibe where it feels like I'm part of the discussion. Well done! My advice: Try it!

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