Riding the “solar coaster”
I’m one of two CEOs at ForeFront Power. I’m in charge of sales and development, plus Mexico and other new territories. On the sales side, the job involves getting contracts to supply power. That covers everything from securing sites for solar farms to negotiating power purchase agreements. Development is about getting permits, getting an interconnection and managing construction.
Most of my time at Mitsui, I’ve worked on large-scale—or “utility-scale”—power generation projects. Community solar is an innovative business that provides solar energy to a wide range of customers who don’t currently have access to it. It’s an interesting field, and a challenging one as well. Why? Because things change so fast, particularly the regulations. In recent years, increased import duties on solar modules and changes to the rate of corporation-tax both had a big impact on us. In fact, the solar business has such a reputation for boom-and-bust that people here talk about the “solar coaster”! Anyway, it’s a business with plenty of challenges. I mean, with community and distributed solar together, we’re handling up to two hundred projects at once, all at different stages of development, from East Coast to West Coast.