November 2023 TechCast | Shining Bright in the Desert: Solar Energy in Arizona
The November 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council’s AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Autumn Johnson from Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association, Adrian Keller from Solar United Neighbors and Colleen Mahoney from Array Technologies. These leaders joined Steve Zylstra,...
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The November 2023 episode of the Arizona Technology Council’s AZTechCast podcast featured experts including Autumn Johnson from Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association, Adrian Keller from Solar United Neighbors and Colleen Mahoney from Array Technologies. These leaders joined Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council, and Karen Nowicki, president and owner of Phoenix Business RadioX, in sharing the challenges, wins, setbacks and opportunities that solar energy present for both businesses and individuals across Arizona.
In this hour-long informative and dynamic discussion, the panel of three experts discussed the challenges and opportunities that exist for solar in Arizona, how the Inflation Reduction Act has helped and how the Arizona Corporation Commission’s decision to revisit the value of solar ruling could affect future progress. With over 300 sunny days per year, it’s no secret that Arizona has plenty of sunshine. Overall, Arizona ranks second in the nation in solar energy potential and ranks among the top five states in the nation in total solar-powered generating capacity from both utility- and small-scale installations. In the quest for increased clean energy sources, solar provides tremendous opportunities for the state. On the flip side, challenges and hurdles remain. Tune in to hear what Autumn, Adrian and Colleen have to say about solar energy in Arizona – from residential to commercial and beyond.
AriSEIA’s Executive Director, Autumn T. Johnson, is a proud clean energy advocate, and is dedicated to advancing AriSEIA’s mission and growing our organization. Autumn has 16 years of experience in environmental law and policy, including 7 years in energy. She is the CEO of Tierra Strategy, a public interest policy advocacy and consulting firm. Autumn is an Arizona native and started her career with the State of Arizona as a social worker. Following her time with the State, Autumn was compelled to attend law school and has been passionate about the environmental and energy space ever since. She was the Government Affairs Manager and Energy Policy Analyst for Western Resource Advocates, the Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Boise State University, and an adjunct professor teaching energy and agricultural law at Concordia University School of Law. Prior to these roles, she was a practicing attorney in Seattle, focusing on small businesses and nonprofits. Driven by a personal mission to advance the public interest, Autumn’s work focuses on advancing clean energy, moving the power sector away from fossilfueled resources, transportation electrification, and developing regulatory and statutory mechanisms to address climate change. Autumn has a BA from the University of Arizona, a JD from the University of Oregon, an MBA from Seattle University, and was a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at Boise State University (all but dissertation), where she also received her MPA.
She also serves as AriSEIA’s General Counsel.
As the Arizona Program Director, Adrian Keller leads efforts to expand rooftop solar in the state through solar co-ops, community education, and policy campaigns. He is deeply passionate about solar energy and its ability to lower costs and improve quality of life for Arizona families. He comes to Solar United Neighbors with a background in public policy and municipal government. Adrian lives in Phoenix and holds a Master of Sustainability Solutions from Arizona State University.
Colleen Mahoney is the Vice President of Product Management at Array Technologies, where she spearheads growth by steering product strategy and managing the product lifecycle. Since joining in June 2022, she has utilized market-driven insights to hone Array’s product offerings, enhancing both organic growth and financial outcomes through innovative software and service solutions. Prior to Array, Colleen’s 19-year tenure at Honeywell saw her in diverse roles, significantly impacting both the Aerospace and Building Technologies sectors. Her accomplishments include leadership in sales excellence, driving global sales and marketing initiatives, and managing product direction for multi-billion-dollar business units. Colleen’s foundation in finance and marketing is underpinned by an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in both fields from the W.P. Carey School of Business. She also holds a Certification in Product Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.
In conclusion, these experts were hopeful about the future of solar energy growth and potential in Arizona. They acknowledge there are still hurdles and work to do but they are committed to doing the work to make it happen. Take a listen below to hear more of what they had to say!
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/techcast to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.
About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.
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