Get to know us! Each month, we sit down with one of our employees to get their perspective on the industry and share a little more about them with you. This week, our “5 Questions With” features Dave Groleau, VP of Power Marketing.
As VP of Power Marketing, Dave oversees Pine Gate’s commercial efforts and contract origination. In short, his team markets and contracts the energy, renewable energy credits and other products our solar projects produce.
1. What does Pine Gate Renewable’s mission of “getting solar done” mean to you?
“Getting solar done” has a few layers for me.
From a high level, it reflects the movement of markets. It’s found in the engaging conversation we have with legislators about the amount of opportunity these large projects bring to local communities. It reflects the endless meetings and friendly internal debates that push the creative limit with project financing/structuring to make solar work under market constructs where it hasn’t worked before.
On a more practical level, “getting solar done” is shaking hands with landowners whose lives have been improved by a 40-year lease on their property. Or it’s about executing a Power Purchase Agreement with a company that can now reach their renewable goals and add a tangible benefit to their stakeholders and future generations. I really love this part of “getting solar done.”
2. What are you most optimistic/excited about in this industry?
I’m elated about the opportunities in our industry. Having been in power generation and development for more than 15 years, I’ve never seen so much recent momentum around renewables, particularly around the growth of utility-scale solar and storage.
I’m most excited about how mature and smart solar is getting. Solar is now attracting the power generation industry’s finest talent and most seasoned energy minds. We’re moving from forced creativity and resourcefulness to applied strategy. We have better tools to help guide decision-making, more pattern recognition to prevent failures, and most importantly, stronger smarter people who are taking the solar industry and Pine Gate to the next level.
3. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
“On one hand is the creativity, drive, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit that gives the organization its vision, and on the other is the precise and mundane systems and processes that bring scalability, consistency and profitability.” – Les McKoewn (Author of “Predictable Success”)
Several years ago, I dug deep into the dynamics and necessary balance between vision and process, which humbled and inspired me. The concept exposed how much I desperately need process, organization and strong systems in my work life, which I had previously discounted. This realization motivated me to expand on my strengths and surround myself with personality types that compensate for, and challenge, my infinite weaknesses.
For instance, I’m not very detail-oriented and I philosophically think goals are restrictive/confining (why have a limit?). However, the people I learn the most from are the task-oriented and goal-driven types. Interacting with colleagues who contrast my persona exposes my natural selective hypocrisies and challenges my decision-making approach. I find this stimulating and extremely valuable for the types of decisions we have to make on a daily basis.
4. What is an unknown skill you possess outside of your day job?
I’m really good at cribbage.
5. What’s one thing still on your bucket list that you hope to achieve in the next 5 years?
A classic – I’d love to hike the Appalachian Trail the next time I have a few months to spare!