About Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota
We Minnesotans are practical, and know a good idea when we see it. Solar is an opportunity for us to reduce our bills and create and energy system that benefits us. From our homes to offices to cabins, we’re spreading solar across the state.
We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket.
We’re a community of people building a new energy system and rooftop solar is the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.
We work with amazing partners to spread the solar word. Our partner organizations range from nonprofits to municipal governments, universities to community organizations, and individual “super volunteers” to houses of worship.
Minnesota advisory board
Our Minnesota advisory board provides strategic guidance to our work. Members do not have fiduciary oversight but provide strategic direction to the program. They are leaders of successful solar co-ops, solar champions, and leaders in the community.
||Anna began working at Bemidji State University as the Assistant Sustainability Director in 2014. She has now transitioned into full time teaching and works as a faculty member in BSU’s Center for Sustainability Studies. Her courses in Environmental Studies have a focus on policy and planning. She has her PhD in Sustainable Energy Planning from Aalborg University in Denmark where she studied wind energy development and integration. Previously, Anna spent three years as the Northwest Regional Coordinator for the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams. During that time, she focused much of her efforts on increasing access to clean energy to low-income individuals, families and communities.
Anna was a great leader for our Bemidji Solar Co-op, serving as an outreach partner, participant, and on the installer selection committee. We look forward to having her northern Minnesota and sustainability experience on our board.
Raised in Bemidji, Anna has a strong sense of place and responsibility to family, community and the environment. She is so grateful to be advancing clean energy and resilience work in her home in the Northwoods, and to be raising two beautiful, spirited daughters with her husband Joe surrounded by family.
||Rao has nearly two decades of experience in manufacturing, consulting, and electricity market management environments. He founded Rakon Energy LLC, a firm that provides consulting services to electric grid operators. the Midcontinent Independent Service Operator (MISO). MISO manages the electric grid from Canada down to Louisiana (including Minnesota). At MISO, Rao worked around resource adequacy, economic planning, business management and policy functions.
Rao has Bachelor Degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Bangalore University, a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington, and an MBA from Carlson School of Management. We look forward to having his storage and wholesale market experience on our board.
Rao volunteers as an engineering mentor with middle school students participating in Future City competition.