Sunsense Spotlight: Steven Haines, Off Grid Guru and Solar Maven

In our second installment of the Sunsense Spotlight Blog series, we are going to highlight Steven Haines. Steve is our Off Grid Solar Consultant, Residential Solar Sales Manager, and Purchasing Manager…needless to say, this guy is pretty busy. Steve is a long time Sunsense-sonian and has been with the company for over 10 years! From working on RVs to cabins to businesses on Main Street, Steve has done it all! He is basically a walking encyclopedia of all things solar, which as you can image, always comes in handy.

When Steve is not helping to keep the Sunsense Team together, you can find him doing a wide array of outdoor and back country activities or–as he has been doing more recently–working on building his dream home with his wife Bailey!

Here are some of Steve’s thoughts and insights into the Solar Industry:

Why do you choose to work in the Solar Industry?

I wanted to do something that had more meaning that just making a living.  Off grid solar was really attractive to me because I was able to use my backcountry and outdoor skills with my technical solar knowledge.  It’s rewarding to overcome challenges and make a living while helping people and the environment by producing clean power.

How did you get into Solar?

I got into solar during my junior year at Allegheny College I studied abroad at Kibbutz Ketura and the Arava Institute where they now host Israel’s first large solar farm! One of my independent study projects was to weld up experimental solar PV concentrators with flat mirrors instead of parabolic mirrors to reduce the cost.  Of course heat was a large problem on the PV cells at that point.  Another one of my projects was helping to ensure the tropical fish hatchery at a neighboring Kibbutz had power 24/7, which meant solar PV, inverter/chargers and lead acid batteries, because the grid wasn’t always reliable.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]What has been the most satisfying aspect of your job?

As many roadblocks that our industry faces, I still enjoy the challenges and problem solving.  We have an amazing team here and I love working together to come up with mutually beneficial solutions for our clients.  It would really help the industry to get to a point where solar is like installing a water heater – it’s the status quo.

What has been Challenging?

The ever changing regulatory and permit environment.  We work in 20+ different combinations of jurisdictions, utilities, and non-profits.  It’s very hard to keep current on everyone’s different rules and processes and rebates, but we do a good job with it.

How do you see the future of the Solar Industry?

I see a slowdown when the tax credit expires Jan. 1st, 2017, but I think we’ll get back on track quickly afterwards.  There is too much momentum and benefits from solar electric, that it would just be going backwards to not use solar for our electricity needs.

If you weren’t working in the Solar Industry, what would you be doing?

I’d be a professional dumpster diver with a full warehouse of stuff for sale on eBay, craigslist and Amazon!

If you have any questions about getting an Off Grid system or about your current Off Grid system, make sure to call Steve! If you are thinking about getting solar for your home or solar for your business…you can also call Steve…or one of our other wonderful Sunsense Consultants at (970) 963-1420.

Kelsey Gibb
Administrative Assistant and Rebate Specialist

Categories: Sunsense Spotlight