Sustainable Solar Education Project - Advisory Committee

CESA assembled an advisory committee to guide its Sustainable Solar Education Project. The project’s advisory committee was comprised of representatives from across the country who helped ensure that the project reflected the views and needs of its key stakeholders. The advisory committee reviewed the project work plan, provided input on the specific topics to address and project outputs, helped keep us informed of relevant information related to solar consumer protection and equitability, and assisted us in making sure our trainings and outputs reach our target audience. The members who served on this advisory committee are listed below.


Shannon Baker-Branstetter

Policy Counsel, Energy and Environment - Consumers Union

Shannon Baker-Branstetter has served as policy counsel for Consumers Union’s Washington, D.C. Office since 2009, where she handles clean energy and climate change policy, toxics regulatory reform, and safe drinking water issues.  Ms. Baker-Branstetter earned a B.A. from Yale University and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles. She served as the Esther Peterson Fellow at Consumers Union in 2007-2008, and her prior employers include the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Labor.  Ms. Baker-Branstetter is an alumnus of Georgetown Law and is a member of the California and District of Columbia Bar Associations.


Shauna L. Beland

Chief, Program Development - Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources

Shauna Beland works on a range of initiatives at the Energy Office including oversight of Rhode Island’s Clean Energy Industry Report, managing the Solarize Rhode Island and Microgrids Pilot Programs, implementing the Renewable Energy Growth program, creation of RI’s new workforce development program for the Clean Energy sector, and managing low-moderate income incentives for PV.  Previously, she worked for the Renewable Energy Fund at Commerce Rhode Island as the Portfolio Manager where she ran Rhode Island’s first two pilot rounds of Solarize Rhode Island and managed the quality assurance contract for all Renewable Energy projects awarded by the REF.  She also worked for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) in Boston as a Project Coordinator for various renewable programs including solar, hydro, wind and workforce development programs.  Shauna has BA in in History and International Studies from Elon University and is a member of New England Women in Energy and the Environment.


Michael Forrester

Energy Manager - Office of Environment & Sustainability, City of Cincinnati

Michael Forrester is the Energy Manager for the City of Cincinnati. Prior to this position, Michael worked as Energy Program Developer for the Ohio Development Services Agency.


Mark Gaiser

Clean Energy Program Manager - Energy Conservation and Management Division - New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Mark Gaiser is an electrical engineer by training and have an MBA degree. He has worked over 20 years in the aerospace arena with experience in spacecraft power systems including batteries, inverters, and solar panels, and also ground power systems for these spacecraft. Mark worked for a Concentrating PV (photovoltaic) firm and managed the installation of several small CPV systems in various locations around the world.  He is presently working for the New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division managing the residential solar tax credit.


Jeni Hall

Project Manager - Solar Program - Energy Trust of Oregon

Jeni Hall is a senior project manager with the Energy Trust of Oregon solar program where her work focuses on maintaining a strong and sustainable solar trade ally contractor network across Oregon. As the technical lead she is responsible for the programs installation requirements and contractor quality management to ensure that all projects receiving incentive funds will be durable and high performing. Jeni is responsible for managing the programs soft cost reduction initiatives and working with utility partners on a project to explore the opportunity that solar+storage affords both customers and the grid. Prior to joining Energy Trust Jeni served as co-owner and director of operations for Synchro Solar, a residential and small commercial solar installer based in Portland. She holds a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering and before following her passion into working with solar was employed by Sikorsky Aircraft to evaluate the handling qualities of Blackhawk helicopters.


Elizabeth Hutchison

New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) Program Lead - California Energy Commission

Elizabeth Hutchison is the Program Lead for the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) Program, which provides financial incentives for solar installations on new residential construction. Elizabeth is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, where she received a B.S. in Biological Sciences.  Elizabeth started with the California Energy Commission in 2010 working on renewable energy projects and has worked on the NSHP program since 2012.


Max Joel

Community Solar Program Manager - New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA)

Max Joel works to make solar power more accessible and affordable through Community Solar NY and Affordable Solar for All, two components of the NY‐Sun Initiative focused on community‐driven projects. The NY‐Sun Initiative aims to increase the number of solar electric systems across New York State by stimulating the marketplace, so that costs associated with installing solar electric systems for residents and businesses are reduced. Previously, Max was the Director of Community Solar Initiatives at Solar One, a nonprofit organization in New York City, and the Capital Projects Coordinator at the Queens Botanical Garden.


Michael Mendelsohn

Senior Director, Project Finance & Capital Markets - Solar Energy Industries Association

As Senior Director of Project Finance and Capital Markets, Mike is tasked with opening financing opportunities and innovations for the solar asset class. Mike will be leading SEIA’s outreach to the banking, rating agency, capital markets, real estate and other stakeholders communities to facilitate new market and investment mechanisms. Mike has 25 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining SEIA, Mike worked for NREL where he led the Solar Access to Public Capital working group.  He also held economist and analysis positions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Levitan and Associates, and Western Resource Advocates.  Mike holds a BA from Ithaca College in Computer Science and a MS from University of Pennsylvania in Energy Management and Policy.


Stacy Miller

Solar Policy Specialist - Minnesota Department of Commerce

Stacy Miller is a nationally recognized solar policy expert with a unique combination of technical, policy, and business knowledge gained through 15+ years’ experience in various aspects of the solar industry. She is a successful grant writer with $2M+ in competitive solar proposals funded, managed, and closed since 2007. She has co-developed and promoted strategic plans leading to solar market transformation in pursuit of federal, state, and local clean energy policy goals.

CESA board member Selya Price

Selya Price

Senior Manager - Connecticut Green Bank

Selya Price is a Senior Manager at the Connecticut Green Bank where she has worked since 2010, currently in management of the Residential Solar Investment Program which provides incentives for residential solar PV projects toward a legislative goal of 300 MW. Her prior roles included leadership of the Green Bank’s participation in the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge to reduce solar PV soft costs, as well as providing support and financing to clean energy start-up companies (through the Green Bank’s predecessor organization). Prior to the Green Bank, Selya was a senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory office in Washington, D.C., and has worked in data management and research in the medical field. She holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics from the City College of New York and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from MIT.


Daniel White

Energy Program Specialist - Department of Energy & Environment

Daniel White works as an Energy Program Specialist at the DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). In this role, he advises and collaborates with to non-government organizations, governments, businesses and citizens to create a sustainable clean energy market to benefit all communities. Daniel has a degree in business management from Bowie State University.


Elizabeth Youngblood

Senior Project Manager, Commonwealth Solar Programs - Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Elizabeth Youngblood is a Senior Project Manager at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), which is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects —while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth in Massachusetts. Elizabeth is responsible for driving consumer education and adoption programs at the MassCEC, including the Solarize Massachusetts and Mass Solar Connect programs, and has been advancing solar PV projects for public, commercial, and residential customers since 2009. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College, and a Masters of Environmental Management from the Harvard Extension School.

In addition to the advisory committee members, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Finance Team, the law firm of Keyes & Fox, and PaulosAnalysis partnered with CESA on this project.