Solar Spotlight with Barry Cinnamon of Cinnamon Energy Systems
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
In this episode of GreenLancer's Solar Spotlight, Nick Schlueter and Jeremy Duston spoke with Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems.
Barry is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar energy expert. He is also the leading residential and commercial solar contractor in Silicon Valley. When Barry is not running his business, he spends his time as the host of the weekly "Energy Show" on KDOW radio. Nick, Barry, and Jeremy discuss the importance of renewable energy and how technology has impacted this industry.
Nick: Joining me today is the founder and CEO of Cinnamon Energy Systems, Barry Cinnamon. He's a true pioneer in the industry and one of the most influential voices in all of solar Barry is also the host of the energy show which is a podcast where he discusses all things solar so I definitely encourage you to check that out for some incredible content without further ado, Barry, welcome to the Green Lantern solar spotlight.
Barry: Hey! Great, thanks Nick and thanks to Jeremy for inviting me on.
Nick: Sure thing, so Barry tell us the Barry Cinnamon story, we want to know when you got into solar and what what made you do.
Barry: So you know it's a long story because I realized I've been doing this for like almost 45 years! I was in college in 1977 and there was this energy crisis thing where oil prices went up. Jimmy Carter did a speech there the energy crisis was the moral equivalent of war. I wasn't sure what I wanted my major to be, I was doing physics, but I decided to get into solar. I created a solar curriculum (because back then it didn't exist) and when I graduated I went to work for a solar company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I continued to do solar and energy efficiency until about 1984. That's when the tax credits went away, when Reagan came in and it killed the solar market. So what do you do when you can't follow your passion? I just decided to go back to school, went to B school and when I graduated from B school I still couldn't find a job in solar, so I did to me the next best thing, which was spending 15 years in the software industry. I founded a couple of software companies and took one public, so I kind of got the hang of the finance side of things. I restarted with solar in 2001 when I was living in California. I realized that PV was a terrific investment even though it wasn't being sold as such, so I started a company called Akeena Solar where over the next few to half-dozen years we became the largest national scale residential installer with offices in seven states and had a successful public offer. Later I partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse solar in 2010 and I sold the whole company in 2012. I couldn't kind-of retire, not even close to that, so I started up Cinnamon Energy Systems and have been happily doing residential and commercial solar and battery storage systems in Silicon Valley since 2012-2013
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