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.
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