Welcome to Episode 85 of Suncast!

Did you Check the Tactical Tuesday  (#81) several weeks ago with Josh Weiner? Tor Valenza summed it up well on Twitter saying, "If you're just getting started adding storage to your solar projects, give this a listen". I mention it because I'll be bringing Josh back next week for a full-length interview, and this one is not-to-be-missed! Somehow we managed to whittle a nearly 3 hour conversation into under an hour of edited tape, so it's jammed packed with goodness.

Today on SunCast, I had a chance to catch up with one of my oldest friends and colleagues in the industry. If you're unfamiliar with his name, or the company he started and recently sold for well into the 8+ figures range, then you should at least be curious to learn how he took his FIRST company to a nearly half-billion-dollar valuation and exit, and in-so-doing achieved the status of "No. 1 ranking US Solar Company in the US" by SolarPowerWorld in 2016.   

Stick around as we dig into a variety of topics, including: 

  • What contributed to becoming the largest C&I solar company in the US 
  • How his young, inexperienced team pulled together some of the biggest deals in our industry at the time 
  • The old-school tactics he employed that led to a very successful business and exit 
  • And more lessons and takeaways than I can capture here in bullet points! 

Mike co-founded Greenskies in 2008, then managed the company’s transition from a start-up to a leading commercial and industrial ("C&I") solar development firm in the United States with a customer base that included Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Amazon, AT&T, Target, schools and universities, municipalities  and several of the largest electric utilities in the USA. He sold that business and its renewable energy assets in 2017. As the company’s President and CEO for eight years, he was responsible for the architecture and management of the business from deal origination, project financing and EPC through asset management, accounting and treasury. 

Mike was also directly responsible for closing over $500mm+ of C&I solar project finance across three funds, building and owning over 400 solar projects ranging from 200kW to 5MW, creating industry-leading O&M and asset management departments and expanding the company's footprint across 23 states from California to South Carolina. Greenskies was ranked #1 by market share for commercial and industrial solar developers by Greentech Media and was named one of the Best Places to Work by the Hartford Courant in 2016. 


Get in touch with Mike via Email: mike@energea.com 

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn

Find Energea here

Mike's non-profit, Big Life Foundation

Greenskies named No.1 ranking US Solar company

The Sika Sarnafil project we discussed in the episode

Greenskies Acquired December 2017

Mike is one of the Connecticuit 40 under 40


Speaking of goodness, This episode is brought to you in partnership with Solrates.com, the fast and Free online platform for providing your commercial customers with a credible lease financing proposal. If you have commerical solar projects over $100K value, and you'd like to see how Solrates can help You quickly and easily deliver a financing proposal to your customers, Head over to www.mysuncast.com/SolRates and click on the Request an Invitation button. 


This episode is ALSO brought to you by Alion Energy, the innovative new fully-ballasted solar tracker that is at home in the harshest environments, helping developers reduce project risk, increase yield and keep their solar asset magically clean and productive, and they're still able to compete on price! To learn more about their ballasted tracker & robotic cleaning solutions, please visit www.alionenergy.com, and if you'd like an intro, shoot me an email nico@mysuncast.com


About the Host of SunCast:

Nico Johnson is the creator and host of SunCast, a regular conversation with Solar Industry professionals who are leading in emerging solar markets. The content of the show is geared towards listeners looking for insights on where the markets are headed, how to position themselves or their companies, and what today's market leaders do to stay ahead of the pack.

Nico is a 10-year veteran of the solar industry, having led development in the US and Latin America for global companies like Trina Solar and Conergy.  He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and is considered one of the market's leading experts on solar PV expansion in the region.

Nico can be reached on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus