Program Director

Solar United Neighbors

Location: Anywhere in Minnesota

Solar United Neighbors, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is seeking a Minnesota Program Director to manage and grow our existing program in Minnesota. 

Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota, established in 2017, is dedicated to helping Minnesota homeowners go solar, join together, and fight for their distributed energy rights. Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota ensures that every Minnesota resident has equal access to solar education, competitive pricing for solar and other distributed energy technologies, and the opportunity to participate in the state’s energy transformation. Solar United Neighbors is dedicated to the vision that if a large and diverse number of people have a financial stake in the clean energy economy, they will fight for it. By building, demonstrating, promoting, and advocating for ways for people to financially benefit from clean energy, we build a broad new constituency for change.

In addition to Minnesota, Solar United Neighbors operates state programs in Washington, D.C, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, and Texas. Each of our state programs features three key pillars: deployment, engagement, and policy advocacy. On the deployment side, we help local residents and businesses go solar through our group bulk purchasing programs (called “solar co-ops”) and through individualized project support (offered via our paid membership program). Where strategic, we incorporate new distributed energy technologies into our programming (such as storage and electric vehicles) in order to build consumer education and investment opportunities in emerging markets. On the engagement side, we implement state-wide and local events programming, educational platforms, and volunteer opportunities designed to grow support for solar and get people excited about solar and distributed energy. Finally, we develop and lead local policy advocacy campaigns that empower our network of solar owners and supporters to fight for strong distributed energy policies in a variety of venues (state legislative policy, utility regulatory policy, local elections, etc.). Together, these three pillars form the basis of each of our state programs.

About the Position

The Minnesota Program Director will implement our solar deployment work (in particular, solar co-ops) across the state, and will and conduct extensive on-the-ground communications, engagement, and policy projects (in collaboration with our D.C.-based cross-cutting support staff) designed to help real Minnesota residents invest in and shape the state’s clean energy future. As an organization, we believe in a distributed model of leadership and work to train and empower local leaders, with the Minnesota Program Director supporting these efforts.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Develop, implement at solar co-ops in communities across the state working to ensure solar access for all residents.
  • Provide technical assistance to residents and organizations interested in going solar.
  • Work with Solar United Neighbors cross-cutting staff to organize on-the-ground events programming (towards educational and community-building ends) to build a state-wide network of solar supporters.
  • Closely follow and contribute to emerging distributed energy policy initiatives and market opportunities in the state, including (but not limited to) net metering and solar compensation policy, utility-led attacks on distributed solar, residential storage applications, electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure policy, and solar policy.
  • Work with Solar United Neighbors’ advocacy team to translate above policy work into strategic calls to action for our state network members.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with community partners and stakeholders across the state, with an eye towards building a strong, diverse coalition of solar-supporting groups, institutions, organizations, and individuals.
  • Develop and engage a citizen-led advisory board for Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota programming.
  • Represent Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota at wide variety of stakeholder meetings and community engagement opportunities across the state (and activate our state network to do so in tandem).
  • Collaborate with Solar United Neighbors’ engagement staff to design and implement a volunteer engagement program for Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota.
  • Support ongoing fundraising and donor engagement efforts.
  • Maintain online web infrastructure for the Minnesota section of our website to include in-depth information on solar and other distributed energy technologies, authoring timely content on solar-related topics happening in the state, as well as serve as an invaluable resource for citizen engagement.
  • Strategically follow and document trends in the Minnesota residential solar market, to be shared with fellow staff and our larger Minnesota network.
  • Additional initiatives and tasks as assigned.

Applicant Requirements

Solar United Neighbors seeks a full-time Program Director to implement the above work. Solar United Neighbors will provide strategic oversight and guidance, including supporting the use of our organization-wide Salesforce contact management database and shared materials. The Program Director lead the Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota team (with team members being located at headquarters and other parts of the country) to manage our solar organizing projects and guide state engagement, policy, and advocacy work.  The Program Director will collaborate closely with back-office co-op coordinators (based in our D.C. headquarters) on the day-to-day implementation of co-ops, and with Solar United Neighbors’ cross-cutting communications, engagement, membership, and advocacy teams where appropriate. The Program Director will be responsible for hosting information meetings and meeting with co-op members, including a number of evening meetings and travel throughout the state.

Qualified applicants will have at least five years of work experience, a strong understanding of effective organizing techniques, an ability to develop relationships with community members and organizations, and a strong motivation to help grow this program. Strong writing and verbal presentation skills are essential. Interest in working collaboratively in a team environment required. Desire to travel extensively across the state to work with all communities in essential. While not required, experience in solar is a plus.

The Director can be located anywhere in the state, but must be willing to travel extensively for community meetings.

Applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Emily Stiever at: jobs@solarunitedneighbors.org.

 

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