Distributed Generation

Solar Power International & Energy Storage International

The Next Big Market: Engaging Low & Moderate Income Communities

Wednesday, September 26
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: 202AB

A recent NREL study suggests there is a potential to add 320 GW of rooftop solar on low and moderate-income housing -- a massive business opportunity for the solar industry. This session will investigate the challenges that stand in the way of deployment, outline new, innovative solutions such as community solar that can expedite access to this market, and feature an interactive discussion of lessons learned from early entrants.

Zach Franklin

Chief Strategy Officer
GRID Alternatives

Zach joined GRID Alternatives in 2006 and built the organization's national fundraising and communications efforts, and now is helping drive GRID's long-term strategy and new initiatives. Prior to joining GRID, Zach worked in the affordable housing field in the areas of project development, fundraising, and community services, including launching and running community technology centers at affordable housing complexes in the Bay Area and Providence, Rhode Island, and helping fund and develop housing facilities for low-income seniors and homeless families in Oakland and Richmond. He holds a degree in Economics and History from Brown University, and serves on the Board of Directors of Rising Sun Energy Center, a leading workforce development organization that provides employment and training programs for youth and adults, while providing no-cost energy efficiency audits and upgrades, in 20 Northern California communities across six counties.


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Trenton Allen

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer
Sustainable Capital Advisors


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Michelle Moore

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Moore is CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit community solar developer and subscriber management organization whose mission is buiding community power.

A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from building the global green building movement as a senior executive at USGBC to leading the sustainability team for the Obama Administration. Michelle’s passion for community power is rooted in her faith and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”


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Tom Neyhart

Chief Executive Officer
PosiGen Solar & Energy Efficiency

Thomas Neyhart serves as CEO of PosiGen, a leading provider of residential solar PV and energy efficiency solutions. Founded in 2011, PosiGen’s mission is to make a positive financial impact on customers’ lives by providing green energy solutions to low-to-moderate income homeowners. Tom and his team work with federal and state government entities to make this possible. PosiGen currently serves over 12,500 homeowners in New York, Connecticut, Florida and Louisiana with plans for rapid expansion.

PosiGen was ranked number 58 on the 2015 Inc.5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies List. The energy solution provider was awarded the Patriotic Employer Award by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, PosiGen was named one of 27 Coolest New Businesses in New Orleans by Business Insider.

Over the years, Mr. Neyhart has led a number of successful businesses in the construction and retail industries. Mr. Neyhart was named one of Goldman Sachs' 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2014. He is an invited speaker at renewable energy and construction business forums and a sustaining member of the Society of American Military Engineers.


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Kelly Roache

Director, Inclusion

Kelly has years of experience working as an organizer, advocate, and entrepreneur for social justice and energy democracy in the U.S. and abroad. As Director of Inclusion at Solstice, she oversees the development and implementation of alternative qualification and financing mechanisms to increase low-income and environmental justice communities' access to clean, affordable shared solar energy. Kelly also serves on the Steering Committee and chairs the Policy and Intersectionality Working Group and of the NY Energy Democracy Alliance, a statewide coalition advancing a just and participatory transformation to a renewable, equitable, accountable, and local energy system. She is a Co-Founder of Symbiosis, a confederation of grassroots groups building a direct democratic, ecological society from the ground up.

Formerly with the U.S. Department of State, Kelly helped achieve a humanitarian evacuation in Syria, advanced the U.S.-India bilateral relationship, and led an Ambassador-level review and overhaul of the goals and objectives of the U.S. Embassy to the U.A.E. As a student, she spearheaded a campaign to divest Princeton University's endowment from corporations complicit in human rights violations in the Middle East, which won majority support among the student body. Kelly has also supported organizing for LGBTQ+ rights in New Jersey for over a decade. She earned her B.A. cum laude and a Masters in Public Affairs (M.P.A.), both from Princeton. She is a part-time resident of both Asbury Park, NJ and Albany, NY.


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The Next Big Market: Engaging Low & Moderate Income Communities

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