By Meghan Craig, program manager for OSEIA
Elemental Energy was running a business at full capacity when it asked its employees to install an additional 120 systems in a tight three-month span. Missing this deadline would have cost the company $6,000 per job. Despite the high stakes of the looming deadline, John Grieser, co-owner of Elemental Energy, still stepped in to take on 10 extra projects abandoned by another local installer that had recently went bankrupt.
John’s vision for a clean energy revolution is bigger than being really, really busy for a short period of time. He strives to move the whole industry forward, together. John’s decision to take on those 10 extra projects—six in the two days before the deadline—at a loss was to protect Oregon’s solar industry from a black eye.
This is only one example of how John is leading the way to a well-rounded industry in Oregon. Even with the loss of a state-supported residential solar incentive and a shift to other markets, John insists on continuing to engage homeowners at the individual level. He believes the residential solar market is the core of a healthy solar industry. In order to install more solar in the region, John has been creatively expanding Elemental Energy to serve new markets in Oregon and Washington and is now the largest locally owned solar installer in the Portland metro. His vision to connect solar energy experts with energy-poor communities around the world has even led to the co-founding of nonprofit Twende Solar.
John is working hard to inspire the next generation of solar enthusiasts by encouraging legislative and policy participation among his employees. He is also an adjunct instructor who designed and delivers curriculum for a PV system engineering course at his alma mater, the Oregon Institute of Technology. In his free time, he helps tiny houses and food trucks go solar and carts a solar trailer to festivals, rallies and the local ski hill to power outdoor events. John’s big-picture vision and collaborative nature make him a great asset to Oregon’s solar sector.