One of the major benefits of Community Wind projects is that they provide incremental jobs, wages and business income in communities, since ownership is retained and profits are recycled locally. In addition, the community has a significant amount of control over management of the project and there are opportunities for members of the community to have a direct financial stake in the project.
Jacob Susman | OwnEnergy
One: Our current transmission grid is straining to deliver clean energy from the rural areas where it is generated to the populous cities where it is consumed. Because Community Wind projects are smaller and more distributed by nature, utilities are able to connect the projects to existing grid infrastructure without building new lines or making costly transmission upgrades.
Two: Financing. Today, small is the new big. Investors want to participate in Community Wind projects because they require a smaller investment and have relatively low risk because of local involvement and support.
Three: We have seen a real increase in new legislation and state policy focused on growing Community Wind. Several states have implemented these policies, including Minnesota, Maine, Colorado, Montana, and Nebraska, and we expected to see that trend continue across the country.
Four: It’s all about jobs. Community Wind projects are proven to provide more local jobs and stronger economic benefits for the community than traditional large scale projects. At a time when this nation must create jobs and stimulate economic growth, Community Wind does both.
Five: There is real concern in many rural communities that wind development is happening around them, but that it doesn’t include them. Community Wind is a response to that dynamic that allows communities and their members to take an active role in the projects and to perceive greater economic benefits in turn. We are reinventing America’s economy and creating its energy future – our citizens and communities can play a critical role in setting that course.
What kind of projects do you have in development?
Founder and CEO, OwnEnergy
Jacob Susman has ten years of investing and business development experience in the field of renewable energy. Jacob has led OwnEnergy since its inception, including recruiting and managing the team, raising capital, establishing the brand, sourcing new business, developing projects and generating revenue.
Before founding OwnEnergy, he was a founding member of Goldman Sachs' Alternative Energy Investing group, where he was involved in Goldman's investment in Horizon Wind Energy and co-led a portfolio financing that was named Project Finance’s N.A. Renewable Energy Deal of the Year. Prior to that he served as Project Manager for the AES Corporation, working on a team that developed one of the largest power plants in Spain—named European IPP of the Year by Euromoney. Jacob also led AES’s efforts to develop a Spanish renewable energy business, which included negotiation of more than 1,000 MW of wind energy investment opportunities.
Jacob holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he led a team to the finals of the Business Plan Competition with the concept for OwnEnergy.
Jacob lives with his wife, Jodi, and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York. They are active in the local community and are avid skiers.
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