Thursday, July 8, 2010

SolarTech releases COB student finance study

The SJSU Solar Workforce project is a partnership of the College of Engineering and College of Business with the larger SolarTech Workforce Innovations Collaborative. The former draws on Jim Mokri’s existing class on Solar Engineering.

The latter builds on the relationship between the COB and SolarTech created in Spring 2010 through the efforts of two teams of unpaid interns from the Gary J. Sbona Honors Program. One of the teams was of finance students, and the other was of management students.

The results of the finance study were released Wednesday. The report — “Solar PV Financial Calculators: Study and recommendations for public domain financial analysis tools” — is now posted to the SolarTech website.

The focus of the study is at the heart of the economics of renewable energy. To quote the press release:
All solar projects come down to three simple questions:
  1. what is the resulting cost per kilo watt-hour as compared to other procurement options;
  2. what is the expected return on investment; and
  3. what cash-flows or payback period can we promise investors?
The goal of the study was to study the existing public domain calculators on solar return:
The report was written by Sheirly Caruline, Melissa Kieselbach and Adam Steadman, working with Todd Grenich (head of the the SolarTech finance committe) and David McFeely, head of its external grants program.

This is a great example of how our Sbona Honors students work to solve the problems of local companies and other organizations. The program provides an elite group of 80 students (out of 5,000 undergraduates) to better position themselves for industry careers. I’m proud to be one of the three honors faculty in the Organization & Management department.

In parallel to the finance team, the management students worked on a study of the permitting process by local government agencies. I’ll post a link to that study once it's released by SolarTech.

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