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C-Suite Corner: 5 questions for SoCore's Pete Kadens

C-Suite Corner: 5 questions
for SoCore's Pete Kadens

This week, on July 22-23 at the Chicago Symphony Center, the Energy Thought Summit (ETS) will host an Infrastructure Thought Leaders panel, featuring speakers from the White HouseExelonComEdArgonne National Laboratory, and more. ETS partner and energy market researcher Zpryme sat down with speaker Pete Kadens, co-founder and president of SoCore Energy, to discuss solar's bright future.

First, please tell us a bit about your organization. 

SoCore is a solar energy developer with operations in 17 states. And we have had the honor of working in partnerships alongside such clients as Walgreens, FedEx Ground, Cinemark, IKEA, Target, and many others.

SoCore's sunny chief, Pete Kadens. 

SoCore's sunny chief, Pete Kadens. 

What excites you most about the work your organization is doing? 

The people excite me most -- both the clients we get to work with and my colleagues at SoCore. It never gets old, working day in and day out with smart and insanely curious people. We are working on solar and storage integration projects with a movie theater client of ours that is very exciting. We are also working on a lot of horizontal integration right now, layering in solutions that supplement our solar offering. That's been very exciting.

Where do you think the Midwest is heading in terms of energy innovation in the next five years? What’s on the horizon? 

I don’t think we have any choice but to head in the direction of renewable generation. Lots of coal is coming offline, providing a ton of opportunity to redefine the energy landscape. Now we just need to have the political will and sheer determination to work hand in hand with our utility partners and our legislators to make this dream become reality. In 2020, I think you will see a dramatically different power mix in the Midwest.

Reducing its carbon shadow: Walgreens, the nation's largest drug store chain, now has solar panels on more than 150 stores across the U.S., with more in the process. Its goal is to reduce energy use by 20% across all its stores by 2020.

Reducing its carbon shadow: Walgreens, the nation's largest drug store chain, now has solar panels on more than 150 stores across the U.S., with more in the process. Its goal is to reduce energy use by 20% across all its stores by 2020.

How does Socore fit into the Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the Midwest? how has it supported related technologies? 

We believe that SoCore has helped develop and nurture the Midwest’s renewables ecosystem. We proved that you don’t have to be on either coast to have a good idea, or to build a viable enterprise in the clean tech space. And we are incredibly proud of this. We see SoCore as a leader in an industry that will hopefully employ many people but that will also inspire many others to put their roots down in the Midwest, and to build businesses here.

What is the single biggest challenge facing Energy Innovation over the next five years? 

Policy, political will, and the ability for the various factions to come together and to collaborate in a productive fashion, versus infighting and stone throwing.

How can we can best overcome, or prepare for, that challenge? 

We should genuinely listen to one another and understand the needs of the party sitting across the table from us.

To learn more about this week's event, please visit ets-chicago.com, or contact info@zpryme.com.

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