Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Megan Day
Jan. 22, 2015 by Sherry Stout
Megan Day, a project leader with NREL’s Market Partnerships & Tools group in the lab’s Integrated Applications Center, answers seven questions about her work.
What are your primary research interests?
I’m looking into the most effective ways for local governments to grow their installed solar capacity. We’re finding out which communities have the most installed solar--both in terms of total capacity and per capita--and trying to figure out what the commonalities they share. This kind of information allows us to help other communities employ similar solar strategies.
What did you do prior to joining NREL?
Most recently, I worked for six years in utility-scale solar farm development and project implementation. I also conducted a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and measures analysis while spearheading the climate action planning process for Manitou Springs, Colorado.
What has been your favorite project since coming to NREL?
I’m excited to be working on several projects to aid cities in finding the most effective paths toward a clean energy future.
What is the most interesting issue in solar for you right now?
This is such an exciting time for solar because electricity from large-scale solar projects can now meet or beat the cost of electricity from new natural gas plants. Similarly, residential and mid-sized solar installations are financially attractive in a growing number of communities and states. This new cost competitiveness means we have to revisit all of our assumptions and plans for our energy generation profile moving forward.
What opportunities do you see for solar in 2015?
I see a significant opportunity to enable utilities join in the increasing cost savings from solar. When utilities incorporate solar into their revenue generation strategies, the perception of solar as a competitor or subsidy recipient lessens and the future of solar looks even brighter.
What challenges do you see for the solar industry in 2015?
As states begin to develop their plans for reducing carbon pollution under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the solar industry faces the challenge of educating state regulators about how solar, particularly large scale facilities, can be a very cost effective component of those plans.
What are your non-work interests/activities?
I enjoy trail running, telemark skiing, and spending time with my two daughters and my husband.