Solar Power International & Energy Storage International

Siting Solar Projects Right

Wednesday, September 26
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: 202AB

What happens when birds mistake solar panels as a lake? Will solar harm neighboring property values or agricultural production? With accelerated solar development across the country, balancing community engagement and education around land use and siting solar is critical to seeing a project through to the finish line. Join experts to learn the tactics that effective developers employ to ensure local government and community leaders are informed and (hopefully) excited about solar in their backyards.

Maggie Clark

State Affairs Senior Manager, Southeast
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Maggie Clark joined SEIA in 2016 as the Southeast State Affairs Manager, overseeing regulatory and legislative engagement in the Southeastern United States. Prior to SEIA, Maggie worked in Government Affairs at the NC Sustainable Energy Association. Maggie received her B.A. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maggie lives in Raleigh, NC.


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Ben Adamich

Solar Developer
Geronimo Energy

Ben Adamich is a Solar Developer with Geronimo Energy and has worked on site origination and development of over 150 MW of operational or under construction community solar projects across Minnesota. Ben is currently serving as the lead solar developer in Illinois for Geronoimo, working on a development pipeline of over 400 MW of community scale and utility scale solar projects.


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Stephen S. Kalland, MS

Executive Director
NC Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University

Steve Kalland, Executive Director of the Center, has over 25 years of experience in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. Steve directs the Center and its programs, including activities programs ranging from technical assistance to economic development, public policy and workforce development. Mr. Kalland currently serves on the Board of Directors of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and is a past board member of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association (USCHPA) and the N.C. GreenPower organization. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), based in Washington, DC. Previously, Steve served as project manager with McNeil Technologies, Inc. of Springfield, VA, and as the director for Government Relations and Grid-Tied Markets at Xantrex Technology, Inc. (formerly Trace Engineering, now part of Schneider Electric). Steve is a former executive director of the Maryland-DC-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA), the regional chapter of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Before that, he was the director of State Programs and Policy Analysis at the national SEIA. Steve graduated in 1991 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a degree in Government and Psychology, and in 1993 he received a Master of Science in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester (NY).


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Kaitlin Savage


As principal at SOL VIS, Kaitlin Savage provides consulting support to utility-scale solar developers across Virginia, PJM territory, and the southeast region of the US. SOL VIS is a Richmond-based consulting firm which combines expert stakeholder engagement strategies with innovative land use and planning tools - including geospatial analysis and data science. SOL VIS services are designed to reduce project risk, accelerate development timelines, and enhance the long-term value of renewable energy assets.

In her former project management role at a Virginia solar company, Kaitlin directed facility siting, local and state permitting, and public engagement for utility-scale solar development across dozens of Virginia counties. Prior to entering the solar industry, Kaitlin developed a diverse range of experience in environmental science and geographic information systems (GIS).

Today, Kaitlin also serves as director of public engagement at the Solar Research Institute, where she performs a broad range of research and public education activities. Under her direction, the Solar Research Institute has formed partnerships with the Virginia American Planning Association and other organizations to provide solar land use workshops for planning staff across the Commonwealth.

In 2017, Kaitlin previously served as a member of Governor-Elect Ralph Northam’s Transition Policy Council on Natural Resources. Kaitlin is also member of the MDV-SEIA state policy leadership team, which drove the landmark passage of the Virginia Grid Modernization and Security Act in March 2018.


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Robert S. Spencer

Data Scientist & Engineer
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Robert is a data scientist & engineer within NREL's Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis Directorate. His work focuses on scientific data-driven applications that enable decision makers in understanding clean energy transition scenarios through cost-effective modeling tools, collaborative and exploratory data analytics, and interactive visualizations of large high-dimensional datasets. He is currently working with the Hawaii State Energy Office to provide a planning tool for the configuration and optimization of Hawaii’s future clean energy infrastructure and establish transparent communications to all stakeholders. Additionally, his team has been involved with identifying low-impact solar development opportunities, including the assessment of floating PV installations. Robert holds a master's degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering.


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