Nicole SancheS

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MA)

What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?

I love working on solar energy issues because it is a technology that is cutting-edge and yet accessible. A homeowner can power their house using the same technology that runs a Mars rover. That is pretty amazing! I also like working in solar energy because it can save residents and business owners money while giving them more autonomy over their energy.

What impact do you feel the SolSmart program and you as an Advisor will have on the communities with which you will work?

I hope that the SolSmart program will get our communities excited about solar prospects in their towns and cities. I think that this is a wonderful opportunity to prepare our communities to efficiently handle programs such as Solarize campaigns or community solar programs, and to have a leadership role in new solar events. I would like for community members to feel comfortable at the end of the program answering questions about solar from developers.

What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about working on?

The pieces of the work plan that I think will be most impactful are moving solar permitting to an online and streamlined process, implementing training for firefighters and first responders, and working on zoning plans for multi-family homes. I know that many of the communities in the Boston area have interest in planning for multiple occupancy buildings. I think that the solutions that can result from this process have the potential to make solar accessible to a much larger portion of our community for the first time.