AMSOLAR executive brings solar energy to education facilities
MONICA UNHOLD, The Daily Transcript
An influx of new solar startups catering to more professional clients represents a huge opportunity in the U.S. solar market.
As managing partner of San Diego-based startup AMSOLAR Corp., Joshua Weinstein is poised to take advantage of the trend, particularly in the education market.
AMSOLAR provides solar energy systems to educational institutions through power purchase agreements. The company owns and operates the solar energy systems it installs and leases the power back to the educational institutions. Under such contracts, schools pay nothing up front for installation.
"AMSOLAR has set a goal to become the number one provider of solar solutions to educational institutions," Weinstein said.
The company recently signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the University of San Diego, to install 1 megawatt of solar generation on the campus. The installation will be among the eight largest in the United States and will reduce the university’s utility bill by 15 percent each year.
Solar arrays at the university will include outdoor laptop charging stations and rooftop panels on
nine buildings, including academic facilities, residence halls and a parking structure.
In addition to reducing institutions' reliance on utility power, the company provides educational services for students through its corporate community action arm. AMSOLAR GIVING. Representatives of the company travel to schools to talk to students about solar energy.
Education is important as solar technology continues to advance.
"Like any efficient market, this is rapidly evolving," Weinstein said.
Solar technology will one day integrate with other renewable energy technologies in a smart grid that ensures reliable power supply, Weinstein said.
"I think solar energy is one piece of a renewable energy ecosystem," Weinstein said.
The U.S. solar market currently lags behind the rest of the world's, due to lack of financing. The U.S. market is driven by federal and state subsidies, however AMSOLAR is fortunate to work with GCL Solar Energy Inc., which assists with financing, Weinstein said.
Weinstein is experienced in the global solar market, having worked as an adviser and investor and executive at solar companies in Europe and Asia.
Prior to the launch of AMSOLAR, Weinstein served as an investor and adviser to leading German solar companies, Payom Solar AG, SD Solardach GmbH and Wirsol Solar AG. He also has ties to the Asian solar community, having worked in mainland China.
Weinstein's resume may sound extensive, especially for a 30-year-old, but it does not end there. Prior to striking out on his own with AMSOLAR, Weinstein worked as an investor with Beverly Hills-based Brener International Group LLC. He began his career as manager of Corporate Synergy & Special Projects at The Walt Disney Co. He also served as a White House intern under Gene Sperling, national economic adviser to the Clinton administration.
In his spare time, Weinstein serves as a member of the Coalition for Green Capital, a consortium of leaders in energy development enterprises.