Episode Summary

Lauren and Benoy share knowledge on topics from how the solar panel industry has seen new trends take effect because of the increase and decrease in tariffs, how the solar panel market continues to grow and create openings for niche companies, and how to approach not just becoming an entrepreneur but also being a female entrepreneur in the male dominated solar industry.

About Benoy Thanjan

Benoy Thanjan is the Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy and he is also an advisor for several solar startup companies. Reneu Energy is a premier international solar energy consulting firm and developer and the company focuses on developing commercial and industrial solar and utility scale solar plus storage projects. The company also sources financing for solar projects and hedges energy and environmental commodities. Reneu Energy has brokered $27 million in environmental commodities transactions.

Benoy received his first experience in Finance as an intern at D.E. Shaw & Co., which is a global investment firm with 37 billion dollars in investment capital. Before founding Reneu Energy, he was the SREC Trader in the Project Finance Group for SolarCity which merged with Tesla in 2016. He originated SREC trades with buyers and co-developed their SREC monetization and hedging strategy with the senior management of SolarCity to move into the east coast markets. Benoy also worked at Vanguard Energy Partners, Ridgewood Renewable Power, and Deloitte & Touche.

About Lauren Carson

Lauren Carson, with over 8 years of experience in the solar industry, is the CEO of Kinect Solar, the leader of liquidation and wholesale business for solar electrical components and solar power generation equipment, transformers, electrical cable, and generators. They work with local installers and manufacturers to move excess inventory to their customers that span the globe from local installers in Austin to farmers in Belize and hotels in Fiji.

Insight from this episode:
  • How the solar panel business market is affected by tariffs.
  • How solar panel businesses can be impacted by local, state and federal policy.
  • How solar panel supply and demand can affect the import market, pricing and drive new trends.
  • Why tariffs affect where businesses start to pop up or move to.
  • How to approach being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry.
  • Strategies for finding a niche in the market.
  • Reasons to start small and slowly scale as an entrepreneur.
Quotes from the show:
  • “Our mantra is ‘We solve panel inventory problems’” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “The solar panel market really is a commodity so supply demand dynamic impacts by local, state and federal policy are very very apparent.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “I’m seeing as well in the development cycle, everyone is adjusting their engineering to take advantage of these more efficient solar panels to get higher production from their solar systems to get a higher return.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • “There’s been a massive jump in solar panel efficiency, I think there’s still a lot of people sitting on the older wattage panels and I think we’re going to continue to see those prices go down for the more legacy wattage panels.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “It’s extremely stressful at times; there are financial stresses and there are personnel stresses but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think my favorite thing about having my own company is getting choose the people I work with.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • Tips for entrepreneurs: “Staying scrappy and focusing on one little piece of what you do and also finding one customer that’s willing to pay you for something, and then growing off of that success, and just being patient.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • “I think you mentioned a great point; everyone feels like they need to have this structure set up but obviously business is about generating revenue and adding value to your clients. Sometimes people get lost in all that other stuff rather than focusing on what’s important.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • “People are willing to help, and it’s all about adding value. It’s almost like mentorship in a sense…mentorship has been very important for me and developing my business.” Benoy Thanjan, Episode #22.
  • “In regard to being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry: “You have to let it roll off your back; if you hold onto that and think about how it’s setting you back then I think it starts to become a reality.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
  • In regard to being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry: “In general, we have a great industry with great people and I have looked at it as a positive.” Lauren Carson, Episode #22.
Recommended Books:

 

Stay Connected:

Benoy Thanjan

LinkedIn.com/bthanjan

www.reneuenergy.com

[email protected]

Facebook: Reneu Energy

Lauren Carson:

www.kinectsolar.com

Linkedin: Kinect Solar

[email protected]

It’s Official! @kinectsolar made the @incmagazine #inc5000 list as #162 fastest growing private company in the US!

  • #4 in Energy
  • #5 in Austin
  • #14 in Texas

 

About Inc. 5000

The Inc 5000 lists the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list has developed into the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony celebrates the remarkable achievements of these companies. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

The winners are ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2015. They’re also U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2018. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2015 is $100,000; the minimum for 2018 is $2 million.

For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.

To view the complete results of the 2019 Inc. 5000, including company profiles sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, visit www.inc.com/inc5000.

 Notes from our CEO

Tesla’s high-efficiency solar panels are hitting the market, and you now have exclusive access through Kinect Solar. Assembled at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, NY, these solar modules are sure to generate excitement with your customer base. Tesla’s quality and name recognition pair with top of the line Panasonic manufacturing technology to produce a beautiful, efficient, and well-priced solar panel.

Details you should know about Tesla solar modules:

Tesla Solar Panel

  • Tesla’s solar modules offer better performance at higher temperatures. Unlike conventional panels that tend to weaken as midday temperatures rise, Tesla’s modules feature an industry-leading temperature coefficient of -0.258% /⁰C, and their cell design delivers peak efficiency in even the hottest of climates.
  • With the added strength of Tesla’s ZEP frames, these modules allow installation with traditional racking in higher load zones; Tesla solar modules offer the industry’s most straightforward installation.
  • The advanced heterojunction technology (HJT) cells multiply energy output. Sunlight is captured from both sides of the cell, converting more of the sun’s rays into electricity and minimizing electron loss. Thin, amorphous silicon layers reduce electron carrier loss to minimal levels, resulting in a high-efficiency solar cell that produces more significant long-term energy output.

-Lauren Carson, CEO and Founder, Kinect Solar