This is the final presentation I put together and presented. The purpose of this presentation is to make my pitch in less than 5 minutes to a board of executives at an electricity utility. The desired outcome would be the utility hiring me and a team to determine the best way to enter the rooftop solar market for their company. 

If anyone wants to use this or has any questions, feel free to ask me!

After delving deep into how existing rooftop solar systems work with utilities in different parts of the world, I started putting together this chart. This is looking at all the major aspects of what the utility would need to determine before rolling out a rooftop solar program. 
A big reason for going this route is that I realized company executives don’t like being told what to do. They want to be the ones coming up with the idea and making it their decision to do something. Using a model like this allows them to see pros and cons that different choices would make to construct their own rooftop solar program.

After delving deep into how existing rooftop solar systems work with utilities in different parts of the world, I started putting together this chart. This is looking at all the major aspects of what the utility would need to determine before rolling out a rooftop solar program. 

A big reason for going this route is that I realized company executives don’t like being told what to do. They want to be the ones coming up with the idea and making it their decision to do something. Using a model like this allows them to see pros and cons that different choices would make to construct their own rooftop solar program.

Here I defined my audience as the CEO and other executives at an electricity utility company. What matters most to these people is increasing profit and managing risk, so that’s what I started focusing on. 
This thought process and starting to visualize my ideas like this was a big step. This is when I started building my case for why these executives need to listen to what I have to say, and why they should invest in people to figure out how to make rooftop solar fit into their business. 

Here I defined my audience as the CEO and other executives at an electricity utility company. What matters most to these people is increasing profit and managing risk, so that’s what I started focusing on. 

This thought process and starting to visualize my ideas like this was a big step. This is when I started building my case for why these executives need to listen to what I have to say, and why they should invest in people to figure out how to make rooftop solar fit into their business. 

The Transition to Rooftop Solar

Making the jump from focusing on BPA and the pollution of our waterways to rooftop solar was a pretty big jump. It was aided by talking about the trends in solar power in a class I’m taking called Foundations of Social Innovation and Enterprise. After seeing some of the trends pointing toward solar being a bigger part of the global energy portfolio, but still facing many obstacles, I knew I wanted to look more into it. 

I looked more into BPA and why it isn’t more regulated, why the research on it is so contrary, and why companies don’t replace it with alternatives in their products. I realized two important things:

  • In many cases companies tend to adapt and change faster than governments can enact new policies.
  • Most companies will not go out of their way to make changes in their business, like replace BPA with another material, unless it is financially beneficial. 

These realizations fascinated me and I knew that I wanted to do something that focused on compelling companies to voluntarily make these changes instead of forcing them to do so through policy change. While thinking about this I redefined my project to focus on compelling companies to be more environmentally sustainable.

This is where the big transition to rooftop solar came. After broadening my problem to “environmental sustainability” in general, I realized I needed to narrow down on a certain aspect of environmental sustainability. Recently learning more about the trends in solar power, I naturally gravitated towards it. 

My new project focus: Make the business case to electricity utility companies to diversify their energy portfolio to include more rooftop solar units

These are sketches of Don Moyer’s Napkin Sketch exercises that I did to help clarify the problem, identify questions I needed to answer, and discover solution opportunities. 

The web of connections sketch was particularly useful because it helped me make a connection from all these sources and the health consequences to how those health consequences actually affect people and industry financially. It made me realize that this isn’t just an ethical issue, it also increases the financial burden of the different parties involved.