Dec 19, 2021

Reflections From the NYSEIA Solar Summit

By Kelly McClymonds and Ellen Barrett

Having started at PowerMarket during the pandemic, there have been limited opportunities for in-person engagements. It has been interesting joining a new team and industry from behind a computer screen. For the last year and half, we have been joining NYSEIA meetings virtually, learning about the statewide policy landscape and hearing different stakeholders, all from a distance. These meetings always proved to be informative and insightful. Admittedly, apart from seeing their names on our screens, we didn’t fully appreciate the number of members in the organization and their impact in shaping the solar market in New York. That all changed when we attended NYSEIA’s New York Solar Summit last month in Albany, NY. At the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, New York’s solar community gathered in person and it was wonderful to be among so many great minds in the industry.

At the conference, we were able to hear from countless panelists from throughout the solar industry, including NYSEIA President (and PowerMarket client, Empower’s), David Schieren and our own Chief Operating Officer, Jason Kaplan. We also spoke with partners and friends - many of whom we had never met in person before. Whatsmore is that this conference provided the opportunity to talk with people from other parts of the solar industry who we don’t necessarily connect with often, like a woman who has been in the rooftop solar industry since 1993.

For all the advancements the industry has made, being in person also made it evident just how much the industry still has to grow. Many of those in attendance were male which was somewhat surprising from our day-to-days at PowerMarket as our team is over 50% female and we have employees from a variety of nationalities, religions, and races. While this is something we are particularly proud of at PowerMarket, it was clear just how much opportunity there is for the industry to be more diverse in the future.

We came away from this solar conference excited for the future of our industry. Sometimes it can be difficult to feel the impact you are making while behind a computer screen but being at the New York Solar Summit reminded us of just how vast and strong the solar industry is in New York State. Looking around the conference was a helpful reminder of the real change that is happening across New York. We felt the excitement in the room as companies shared their accomplishments over the past year and enjoyed connecting with each other again.