So Into/So Over – August 2016

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So into: Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. I was NOT a fan of Eat, Pray, Love and didn’t expect much. Boy, was I surprised. Gilbert’s take on fostering creativity is full of gems (with a few of her hippie-dippy ideas thrown in just to get under my skin). Rukaiyah Adams’ TED Talk. I’ve watched it about a dozen times and get something different every time. One of my favorite parts is her realization during the meeting with the bankers

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Utilities are like the UPS Store. Here’s Why It Matters for Solar, Storage, and the Future of the Utility Industry.

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Indulge me for a minute and picture the UPS Store. Originally started as an alternative to the post office, it offers a variety of services, mostly focused around getting stuff to or from you. Before Amazon Prime and its competitors made online shopping more common than trips to the mall, the UPS Store was a lot smaller than it is now and had lots of small dedicated mailboxes. The store received snail mail and the occasional package when grandma

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What’s New – August 2016

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Thanks to those of you who have reached out to ask where my newsletter went. I did not disappear, or go on a grand vacation – I’ve been hard at work and haven’t taken much time to reflect. Maybe it’s my contrarian streak wanting to hunker down when everyone else is at the beach. I have a few things to share: First, congratulations to my client, the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, on the release of its Open Solicitation for

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It Is Finally Time to Pay Attention to Green Bonds!

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Now is the time to start paying attention to green bonds. As many of you know, I haven’t been the biggest cheerleader for green bonds over the last few years. News Flash: I’m changing my tune…slightly. When green bonds hit my radar a few years ago, I wasn’t convinced that they were worthy of much attention. Mostly issued by global development banks such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, green bonds didn’t offer a pricing advantage

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Client Spotlight: Advanced Microgrid Solutions

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When I heard that the Irvine Company, one of the best-regarded real estate investors in the country, signed up to have on-site Tesla batteries, I was intrigued. When I found out that Irvine was expected to save $900,000 a year by installing the batteries, I knew I needed to know more. I’ve been looking for opportunities to bring together my institutional real estate background with my clean-energy expertise. Fast-forward a few months, and I am working with the company

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So Into/So Over – March 2016 Edition

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So Into: The first clean energy loan from one of my first clients, The California Infrastructure & Economic Development Bank (IBank), which will be lending money to the City of Huntington Beach for a major streetlight project. Press release here. Adam Grants new book Originals, a great resource for understanding the mindset, habits, and conditions necessary to innovate effectively. See what he says your choice of web browser says about how innovative you are… The potential for grid-interactive residential

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Miriam tries…Improv as Cross-Training for the Business Brain

My class being a carnival. I'm the funhouse mirror in the back!

In the last six weeks, I’ve been: a sailboat, a snake, a plunger salesman, and a general plotting a robot war. I’ve thrown invisible balls to people who caught them. I’ve also played seemingly endless rounds of a game called “Pass The Clap.” It’s not what you imagine. I have just completed an introductory-level improvisation class, and I can’t believe how helpful it has been for my business brain. While there’s nothing like actually being in a room with

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One Year In and Walking the Talk

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Earlier this year, I marked one year since I decided to start my own consulting business. It has been a year of walking the talk and proving to myself and an industry that things can be done differently. Not surprisingly, a lot of people don’t get it or don’t want to take the risks of going down the path of what if. It makes sense…what if can be pretty scary. It’s easier to grumble about why a large organization

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Making Sense of YieldCos: Following the Yo-Yos

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Every time I sit down to write my take on the current YieldCo market and its impact on the rest of the solar industry, the market changes before I finish my thoughts. So, I’ve decided to give some feedback on the general phenomenon of the YieldCo, its impact on the rest of the industry, and try to determine what it means. For me and many of my clients, the first step is to analyze the major market forces at

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