CPN seeks Director for Minnesota program

By Ben Delman on August 4, 2017

Update: This position has now been filled.

Community Power Network (including DC SUNMD SUNWV SUNVA SUN, OH SUN, and FL SUN) is seeking a Minnesota Program Director to manage and grow our new state program in Minnesota.  The Minnesota program will launch in the fall (pending grant funding) under the name Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota, reflective of our upcoming organization-wide name change.

Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota, the newest state program of Community Power Network, will be dedicated to making solar accessible and affordable to every resident of Minnesota. In each of our state programs, we help homeowners form solar cooperatives and become owners, investors, and stakeholders in their state solar economy. Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota will ensure that all Minnesotans have equal access to solar programs and technologies for economic development. Community Power Network 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 our upcoming work in Minnesota, Community Power Network implements state programs in D.C, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. A core component of our state programs is to facilitate neighborhood solar co-ops. The basic approach is to gather homeowners and businesses together and to help them go solar as a group. By forming a group, participants can save off the cost of the installation. We support co-op members through the decision-making process, creating a group dynamic that helps more people go solar, and we engage in policy work that improves and strengthens the solar market for everybody.

Beginning October 2017, Community Power Network will launch a state-based membership program to run in tandem with our solar co-ops.  Membership will bring new constituencies into our organization (beyond solar co-op participants) and further expand our base of solar supporters into a strong, diverse political force.  Members will receive a suite of services, including a real-time Solar Help desk and robust advocacy materials.

About the Position

The Minnesota Program Director will implement solar co-op programs across the state and conduct extensive communications, outreach, press, and trainings around creating an accessible and affordable solar market in Minnesota. We believe in a distributed model of leadership and work to train and empower many local leaders, with the Program Director supporting these efforts. Focus areas include:

  • Develop and implement solar co-ops in communities across the state, working to ensure that all Minnesota residents have access to solar.
  • Provide technical assistance to residents, businesses, and organizations interested in going solar.
  • Work with CPN staff to organize an annual Solar Congress, open to all interested Minnesota residents.
  • Closely follow and contribute to emerging distributed energy policy/regulatory initiatives in the state, including (but not limited to) Minnesota’s community solar program, renewable portfolio standards, low-income solar access, and other solar-related policy issues.
  • Work with CPN advocacy team to translate above policy/regulatory work into strategic calls to action for members.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community partners and stakeholders across the state.
  • Develop and engage a citizen-led 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 CPN’s 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 website to include in-depth information on solar basics, authoring timely content on solar-related topics, as well as serve as an invaluable resource and forum for policy discussions and citizen engagement.
  • Strategically follow and document trends in the Minnesota residential solar market, to be shared with fellow CPN staff (for Help Desk deployment) and our larger Minnesota network.

Applicant Requirements

Community Power Network seeks a full-time Program Director to implement the above work. Community Power Network will provide strategic oversight and guidance, including supporting the use of our organization-wide Salesforce contact management database and shared materials. The Program Director will function as part of the CPN team to deploy the solar co-ops and guide state 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 CPN’s 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 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 essential. Interest in working collaboratively in a team environment required. Experience with online CRMs, solar basics, and solar project development a plus.