BayWa r.e. Solar Town Halls

Every month, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems brings U.S. solar contractors and industry leaders together to discuss challenges and opportunities in the business of solar installation and deployment.

Solar Town Hall Wednesday, January 27 at 9 AM: Looking Ahead at 2021 (Episode 201)
In our next #SolarTownHall, we’ll take a look at what to expect in 2021 with leaders in market analysis, operations, consumer experience, and entrepreneurship. Register Now »

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Solar Town Hall - December 9: Working Together to Offer Solar in Every Community

In this #SolarTownHall, we talked with leaders from around our industry on growing equity and access to solar opportunities across the United States.

Topic: Our guests this week shared their experience and insights regarding actionable steps we all can take to bring residential and commercial solar to under-served communities and overlooked partnerships. What are solar professionals of color experiencing as they establish in our industry? How can be better understand the “financial geography” of individuals and communities we strive to serve, from rural to urban? What can we do to create welcoming spaces for collaboration and start new conversations as solar colleagues?

Featured guests:

Solar Town Hall – October 21: Inside the Mind of the Solar Consumer

Do solar customers truly make rational decisions? Let’s explore the behaviors, emotions, and values that truly drive homeowners to commit to solar — and to their installer!

Topic: Our multidisciplinary lineup for this week’s #SolarTownHall tackled questions like: Can we quantify the factors that lead to solar adoption? What is the interplay between emotions and rationalization in consumer purchasing decisions? Why you might prioritize hiring “empathetic” sales staff. And, of course, what can behavioral science teach us about solar sales?

Featured guests:

Solar Town Hall – September 23: Q4 and Beyond: A Look into the Future of Commercial PV & Storage

How can solar contractors specializing in C&I projects finish strong for 2020 and strategically prepare themselves for the new calendar year?

Topic: From market demand to supply chain changes to pandemic and wildfire impacts, 2020 has been a journey for contractors with commercial and industrial (C&I) projects. There’s quite a bit to stay apprised of, as everyone manages inventory for the year-end rush and start planning ahead for sales and opportunities in 2021. Fortunately, we covered some key takeaways in this week’s week’s #SolarTownHall — a special commercial solar edition!

Featured guests:

Solar Town Hall - August 26: Codes, Compliance, and the Solar Contractor

National and local electrical codes may pose frustrations during design and inspection, but solar contractors can take leadership to ensure both innovation and safety stay apace in our rapidly evolving industry.

Topic: Exploring how contractors can take a proactive approach in understanding safety code — including working with code-setting committees and inspectors — was the theme of this week’s #SolarTownHall.

Featured guests:

  • Rebekah Hren, Solar Engineer at Air BnB
  • Ryan Mayfield Founder & CEO at Mayfield Renewables
  • Matt Paiss, Technical Advisor, Battery Materials & Systems at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Vaughan Woodruff Founder & CEO at Insource Renewables
  • Solar Town Hall - July 15: The Software Stack of the Modern Solar Business

    In adapting to digitization, solar contractors face a fractured offerings of generic software tools. But new efforts in solar-specific software are changing the playing field.

    Topic: Until recently, solar installers suffered from a fractured set of generic software tools with legacy dysfunction and siloed incompatibilities — some for sales, some for design, some for tracking workflow, et cetera. On July 15 we talked with visionaries in the field of solar software for our expert roundtable and explored this exciting future of efficiency and integration, with a focus on new efforts in solar-specific software that are changing the playing field.

    Featured Guests:

    Solar Town Hall - July 1: Creating a Diverse, Equitable, and Resilient Solar Industry

    How can we truly live up to our promises to bring diversity to our industry — and make solar energy and jobs accessible for all?

    Topic: Great companies know that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are principles that genuinely benefit the communities we cultivate and the markets we serve. But how can solar professionals truly walk the talk and hold ourselves accountable to our teammates, our trade, and our society?

    Featured Guests:

    Town Hall: A Solar Shift? Mental Models for the New Normal

    Out of pandemic disruptions, how can our solar industry break molds and embrace innovations in digitization and engagement?

    Topic: As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, what lessons have we learned? And is there an opportunity to shift how we think about the business of solar?  

    Featured Guests: 

    Solar Town Hall: Closing Sales In a "Low Touch" World

    Get expert tips and advice from solar sales and marketing experts, as well as from fellow solar contractors, on what's moving the sales needle in the these strange times.

    Topic: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for solar to adapt to a low-touch sales environment. What best practices can contractors adopt for refining messaging and pitches, building customer rapport, and simplifying digital storefronts? What marketing tools, search trends, and calendar deadlines matter for closing solar sales as we head into summer months? We’ll talk with fellow contractors and other expert panelists on our next Solar Town Hall live event on June 3rd 

    Featured Guests: 

    Solar Town Hall: What Does “Reopening” Look Like for Solar Contractors?

    As regions consider reopening, how do we keep crews safe, stay compliant, and build consumer confidence?

    Topic: As states and counties consider modifying COVID-19 sheltering restrictions, how can solar contractors prepare to safely put crews back on the job site? What liability, compliance, and industrial hygiene practices need updating? We talked employee safety, operational logistics, and customer assurance with fellow contractors and other expert panelists.

    Featured Guests:
    Katharine Kent President of The Solar Store
    Doug Esposito Renewable Energy Leader at Owen-Dunn Insurance Services
    Steve Crawley Director of Technology at
    Lamara d’Arbeloff Procurement Manager at SunBug Solar
    Grant Ferrell President and CFO of Enable Energy

    20 More PPP Questions Answered

    I'm applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?

    Following up from our April 29 town hall on the PPP, Tom sat down with Gina Romdoss to answer 20 more of your PPP questions.

    NOTE: The federal guidance on what you need to do to achieve forgiveness is a moving target. Please keep in mind that the advice Gina provides may be out of date in the coming week. Gina and I will circle back soon for an update, but please keep in mind the temporal nature of this conversation as you work on your PPP applications.

    The question this week: I’m applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?

    FYI – The town hall will be on hiatus for the next week or two while we plan our next round of guests and topics. See you soon!

    Gina Ramdoss

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #6

    I'm applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?

    Topic: The question this week: I’m applying for, or received, my PPP funds. What do I do now?

    Featured guests:

    Connect with Gina Ramdoss –
    Martha Amram and 
    Rosa Cucicea – River City Bank –
    Grant Farrell – Enable Energy –
    Barry Cinnamon – Cinnamon Energy Systems –

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #5

    How to thrive in tough times, an audacious goal to train millions of solar workers, and a look at future opportunities

    Topic: This week, we discuss how to thrive in tough times, an audacious goal to train millions of solar workers, and a look at future opportunities.

    Featured guests:

    This week we have Dr. Charlie Gay – External Advisory Board at Sandia National Laboratories; Former director of the U.S. Department of Energy – Solar Energy Technologies Office; Former director of NREL; SOLPAD.

    Marla Korpar – Development Director at Solar Energy International.

    Hersch Wilson – writer, consultant, and author of Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #4

    Solar financing, jobs, the US economy, and the future of renewables

    Topic: This week, we discuss solar financing, jobs, the US economy, and the future of renewables.

    Featured guests:

    Robyn Kenkel, Risk & Business Development, Mosaic;
    Gregg Fisher, Sr. Manager, Business Development – Sunlight Financial LLC; Martha Schary Amram, CEO, GLYNT;
    Vikram Aggarwal, CEO, EnergySage;
    Jeremy White, Solar Division Leader, Robco Electric;
    Rachel Schapira, Director, Residential Finance – BayWa r.e. Solar Systems

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #3

    How to sell and conduct site assessments, virtually

    Topic: How to sell and conduct site assessments, virtually.

    Featured guests:

    Michelle Spina – Instructional Designer/Trainer, SolarEdge;
    Joseph Marhamati – Co-Founder, Ipsun Solar;
    Vaughan Woodruff – Founder/CEO, Insource Renewables;
    Benjamin Davis – Policy Associate, CALSSA;
    Shane Helle – Project Manager, Porter Electric LLC

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #2

    A global perspective, SEIA on permitting, contractor messages from on the ground, and more

    Featured guests:

    Frank Jessel, the head of global distribution for BayWa r.e.
    David Chang, Sr. Director, Head of Sales, Solar & Energy Storage for LG Electronics
    Evelyn Butler, Sr. Director of Codes and Standards, SEIA
    Vikram Aggarwal, CEO & Founder, EnergySage
    Corey Garrison, CEO of 
    SouthFace Solar
    Stephen Trimble, Founder & CEO of Arctic Solar Venture
    Karen Paramanandam, Sales & Marketing Program Manager at Unirac.

    COVID-19 Solar Town Hall #1

    CEO Boaz Soifer, solar contractors, and industry leaders talk about responses to COVID-19

    Featured guests:

    Barry Cinnamon from Cinnamon energy systems.
    Louis Woofenden from Net Zero Solar in Tucson, AZ.
    Joe Marhamati from Ipsun Solar in the mid-Atlantic.
    Sara Birmingham, Senior Director, State Affairs – SEIA.
    Kathy Swartz, Executive Director of Solar Energy International