Ryan Park’s Other Love

on August 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Ryan Park is skilled at handling national fame and romantic rejection, but when it comes to the solar energy business, he’s focused on guaranteeing companies don’t reject small scale solar that can have a big impact.

Park is most famous for his role as a contestant on the reality television show The Bachelorette, but he has worked steadily since graduate school in building the business of REC Solar. REC Solar, a now-national player in solar based in southern California, puts distributed generation solar systems on roofs of Costco superstores as well as on homes and at other easily-accessed and easily-permitted sites around the country.

In the attached podcast, he spoke with Breaking Energy in detail about the role his company plays in the evolving energy business and in using otherwise wasted land in sunny areas.

There is a bias in the energy business against small scale solar, Park says. That stems from a dollars-per-kilowatt project comparison that makes no sense when the cumulative impact of distributed generation and the way it works within existing businesses is considered, Park says.

As costs of panels and components decline swiftly, the economic argument against distributed solar is being even further undermined, Park says.

The company last year installed thousands of residential systems and is working to partner with auto companies to support charging of electric vehicles. Using fleets of electric cars as batteries to store solar power is central to his vision of a new energy future.

Ryan Park‘s television romances may be behind him, but his prospects as a salesman for the solar industry’s potential are bright. Listen as he describes his approach to the industry, and his company’s role in a clean energy future.

Reporting for this article was contributed by Shifra Mincer.