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Public Policy, Advocacy, & Market Transformation

The ImagineSolar staff has held leadership positions on many clean energy policy and advocacy boards and organizations including the following:

Austin Local Solar Advisory Committee

  • Member, Austin Local Solar Advisory Committee (just created by the Austin City Council in April 2012, appointed position for Michael Kuhn): we will develop a strategic plan with specific recommendations to ensure the optimum utilization of Austin’s local solar energy resource base, including the following:
  • Review and update studies of Austin’s local solar resource base.
  • Assess all methods of local solar development and analyze their costs, including customer-owned systems, leased systems, financing mechanisms, community solar, incentives, multi-family facility systems, and others.
  • Consider how these resources interact with each other and with existing energy infrastructure.
  • Integrate these models, assessments, and analyses into a strategic plan establishing realistic goals and a timetable for maximizing Austin’s local solar energy resource and related economic development.
  • Provide solar energy development scenarios suitable for serving as a foundation for a service-area-wide goal through the year 2020, with an interim goal for 2015.
  • Make recommendations relating to current and future Austin Energy solar programs, products, rates, tariffs, marketing, incentives, financing, economic development, and regulatory initiatives.

Resource Management Commission (RMC)

  • Vice-Chair, Resource Management Commission (RMC), City of Austin; appointed by the Mayor Pro-Tem of Austin; 1998 – 2005. The RMC consults for the Mayor and the City Council on public policy for advanced energy technologies, renewable energy sources, green building, clean energy economic development, and energy and water conservation. The RMC brought to council the next-generation of incentives and policies for renewable energy, for commercial, residential, and utility sectors. Michael Kuhn’s resolutions included a new aggressive renewable energy portfolio, specific goals for solar electric power in the city’s 5-year plan, and a new solar rebate program – the first in Texas – which also required certified installers to do the work. Introduced strategic planning, team-building, and effectiveness processes (PR, cable-casting of meetings) to the RMC.

Austin Clean Energy Initiative (ACE)

  • Member, Steering Committee, Austin Clean Energy Initiative (ACE); 2002 – 2006. The ACE initiative was a public education and advocacy organization promoting the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy with the goal of establishing Central Texas as an international hub for the clean energy industry. Michael Kuhn was responsible for strategy, policy advocacy, and relations with government agencies. We disbanded the ACE Initiative once the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce decided to add the Clean Energy industry to their list of focused industry sectors relevant to Central Texas.

Solar Austin

  • Solar Austin, Steering Committee then Board of Directors, Austin, Texas, 2004 – 2011. Solar Austin is a non-profit organization working to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy, building healthy communities, strong economies, and energy independence.

U.S. Department of Energy, Solar America Communities Project for the City of Minneapolis and the City of St. Paul;

  • In proposing the Twin Cities for the Solar America Cities program, program leaders developed the following focused objectives for the cities and identified key partners who could collectively help achieve the program’s objectives:
  • Build a solar infrastructure leading to a quintupling of market penetration of solar capacity in the Twin Cities by 2010.
  • Develop a long-term strategic plan for the sustainable large-scale deployment of solar technologies in the Twin Cities by 2015.
  • Demonstrate leadership in renewable energy by expanding the use of solar technologies in public buildings.

As a consultant to CH2M Hill, ImagineSolar conducted training for the Twin Cities solar project decision-makers and stakeholders, conducted site assessments on their public buildings for large-scale solar projects, conducted solar project analysis and prepared the written reports.

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