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5 Why's

Anyone that is into continuous improvement or root cause analysis (RCA) there is the “5 Whys” as a guideline for getting to the root cause. Recently I did something similar to evaluate my drive and passion for sustainability – I wanted to get to the root cause (or my why).

1. Why did I join the solar industry?

Credit goes to my mother-in-law that mentioned a small company (Power-One) in Phoenix that was growing and hiring when I was looking for job as I was transitioning from the Navy. I was interviewed for an installation/commissioning engineer role, however my training background for the military immediately opened a training a door in my first corporate interview, where the role I was interviewing for was changed mid interview. I was hooked to learn and grow.

2. Why did I go all in on solar?

The more I learned about the industry and potential the more I was convinced this was the future of energy. Having a nuclear background, I know how renewable energy can be so powerful, but also complicated. Photovoltaic (PV) Solar is amazingly simple (at least relative to other forms of energy). Traveling to warehouses and solar installations, interacting with industry professionals always felt amazing for some reason, maybe it was the energy (no pun intended).

3. Why could I not stay in one place or change jobs?

As I learned and grew my career staying in one place seemed so constricting and stagnant with how fast the industry was moving. Being in training roles I got to interact with so many companies that I loved learning, seeing so many approaches, business strategies, and perspectives. I just am always hungry to meet more people, grow my skill and others’ skills in the industry to always move forward.

4. Why did I transition to energy storage (batteries)?

Seeing millions of solar panels that had the ability to create energy but were shut off due to the grid constraints made me so mad. No, it didn’t make me mad because my business unit was losing money, it made me mad because of the waste. I personally was on the ground through excessive heat limitation in California and the winter event that crippled Texas, and solar plus storage was the solution that would not only eliminate this waste, but also provide an opportunity for a more reliable and responsive grid that will be needed sooner than predicted by climate models.

5. Why do I do what I do?

Future generations need change, and they need change fast. I am very data driven and am very intrigued and puzzled by climate change. The more I read, learn, and see first-hand all over the world I know that the future has to be cleaner, has to be sustainable. That should not only be true for countries with the resources ($), we all have sunlight and can change the living conditions for so many people if we use that sunlight to power people’s everyday lives, give them jobs and purpose. It means equality, inclusion, and a world culture that I truly believe can be One Earth, with humanity and humility at the center. Just as the sun is the center of our small part of the universe.

I know many in the industry feel the same way, and some have more passion than I do for this cause. Join us in this effort to make solar the industry that can and will change the world!


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