Social/Environmental Justice Track: Raising Awareness and Action

Session Moderator: Karen Soares 

Accelerating solar adoption by and for all people is being helped through a variety of activities which are raising awareness. This session spotlights innovations in built environment designs and planning, superfund redevelopment initiatives, and novel use of social media marketing. Assessments are underscoring the important role of early educational opportunities in growing an inclusive solar workforce; the importance of transparency and rule changes to accelerate integration of renewables into the grid; and the value of understanding the evolving knowledge base of solar shoppers and adopters.


Aug 05 2021


2:15 pm - 3:45 pm


East Ballroom


  • Avery Dowell
    Sunray Smart Home

    I moved to Las Vegas 2 years ago and got started in direct marketing. I’ve been in the solar industry for over a year now. I’ve been with 3 different companies and currently own my own company now.
    Presentation Title: African-Americans in the Solar Industry

    Presentation Description: I’m a 25 year old African-American Solar company owner who is using direct marketing & social-media to bring awareness to the industry.

  • Heba AlFarra
    Women in energy and environment at MENA region

    The Young Champion of the Earth for West Asia 2018 – UN Environment
    global competition & prize.
    o Founder & CEO of “WEE” Women in Energy & Environment at Middle East &
    North Africa.
    o Hera Ambassador : The light of Women
    o LEED GA, Leadership in Energy & Environment Design, Green Associate from
    USGBC – US Green Building Council.
    o COM, Certified Organizational Manger from Florida State University, March
    o Certified Energy Auditor on November 27-30, 2016 at Amman- Jordan from
    the association of Energy Engineers.
    o Florida Accreditation- CSM – Certified Supervisory Manager.
    o Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering from Islamic University-
    Palestine (January 2012)
    o Professional Certificates such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and
    other technical programs during year 2011
    o High School Certificate, Science Branch; Palestine (July2006).
    Presentation Title: Empower Women in Energy at Middle East & North Africa

    Presentation Description: Women challenge in the region, Women empowerment tools & channels, Women achievement

  • Kent Johnson
    August Mack Environmental

    Kent Johnson serves as Program Development Manager with more than 25 years of experience with extensive knowledge regarding environmental due diligence studies; Brownfield site investigation and remediation; Underground Storage Tank (UST) removal and closure; groundwater monitoring sampling programs; asbestos and lead investigations and management; and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) investigations. He has previously presented on a variety of topics, including green remediation, IAQ, the legal and technical aspects of All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) as well as how to avoid environmental liability during foreclosure.
    Presentation Title: Beneficial Re(newable) use of a Superfund Site: A Case Study on the First Utility-Scale Solar Farm Constructed on a Former Superfund Site

    Presentation Description: EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Initiative
    (SRI) helps communities reclaim and reuse contaminated lands for a wide
    range of purposes, including renewable and alternative energy generation. Many of these sites do not support traditional redevelopment but the EPA’s initiative is helping turn these community liabilities into assets that generate renewable energy.

  • Robert Ferry
    Land Art Generator

    Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian are the founding Co-Directors of the Land Art Generator, a nonprofit organization that consults with planners, developers, and communities to co-design clean energy systems and regenerative infrastructures that engage the public, beautify public places, and inspire a more rapid and equitable energy transition. Through the Land Art Generator Elizabeth and Robert have published, exhibited, and presented globally on the aesthetics of renewable energy and the role of art in providing solutions to climate change. Their publications include Regenerative Infrastructures, The Time is Now, New Energies, Powering Places, Energy Overlays, and Return to the Source.
    Presentation Title: Planning and Designing Inclusive Solar Energy Infrastructures

    Presentation Description: The current rate of solar deployment is still small compared to the scale of solar deployment required to meet the climate challenge. Solar energy development most often focuses on installations at large remote sites because of the purchasing power of larger installations, the simplicity of racking and layout, and the perceived complexities of approvals, permitting, and operations in urban areas. With innovation in the model of design and planning, we can increase the percentage of solar installed within the built environment, reduce the cost of energy, and alleviate concerns related to the land use impacts of solar energy.

  • Tracy Fitz
    City Solar/Solar Globe, LLC (City Solar, dba) and Acupuncture Alternatives, LLC

    Involved in community and residential solar, and building efficiency Passive House and BPI GBCI, since 1994, and health care since 2000, NYC area
    Presentation Title: Community Solar/Rooftop Solar/PSC/Con Edison New York City

    Presentation Description: Public demand for participation in renewable energy can explode, through transparent Energy Supply Company choice and Public Service Commission rule change to facilitate the integration of renewables into a given residential or commercial utility bill, plus installer cost transparency (ie. materials, municipal filing fees, licensing and design documentation costs, and labor as part of installation documentation.)

  • Vikram Aggarwal

    Vikram is the founder and chief executive of EnergySage, the industry’s leading online comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop solar, solar financing, energy storage, and community solar. He started EnergySage after more than 15 years of experience with Fidelity Investments, where he specialized in private equity investing, growth strategy, marketing, and new business development. Vikram’s thought leadership on solar industry innovation has appeared in many publications such as Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, The Energy Gang, and The New York Times. He has spoken at dozens of industry events across the country including SPI, ASES, and the BNEF Summit. Vikram holds an MBA from Northeastern University and is a CFA charterholder.
    Presentation Title: It’s not 2015 anymore: how solar shoppers have–and haven’t–evolved

    Presentation Description: Consumer behavior trends often transform slowly, making those shifts easy to miss. To understand how solar consumers have–and haven’t–evolved, EnergySage fielded a large, comprehensive suvey in 2020 five years after our original survey was fielded with similar (and in some cases identical) questions. These survey results provide a unique, singular opportunity to clearly demonstrate, identify, and highlight where today’s solar shoppers differ from those exploring solar five years earlier, and what actions the industry should be taking as a result.

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