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"Making Solar Power a Reality in California"

A Whiting-Turner Lecture: April 26, 2012

Stephen Zaminski

Stephen Zaminski, CEO of Solar Gen 2 LLC, gave a Whiting-Turner Lecture on April 26 as part of the 2012 Engineering Sustainability Workshop.

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Stephen Zaminski founded Solar Gen 2 in the summer of 2010. Prior to Solar Gen 2, he co-founded Starwood Energy Group. In 2008, Zaminski and his partners at Starwood Energy Group successfully closed a $433 million dedicated energy fund. Zaminski co-led Starwood Energy Group’s fund investment strategy having committed to over $3.5 billion of enterprise value energy assets. Overall, Zaminski has more than 20 years of power industry experience having participated in the closing of more than $11 billion of transactions. Prior to Starwood, Zaminski was an investment banker – initially with Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown’s Global Energy and Utilities Group followed by McManus & Miles. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Zaminski worked as a management consultant, advising Fortune 500 energy industry clients.  In 1996, Zaminski founded Horizon Financial – a mortgage brokerage business that he later sold. Zaminski began his career with UltraSystems Development Corporation, an independent power developer now owned by LG&E. He is a frequent industry speaker at events sponsored by Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Securities Analysis, Inc., and the California Energy Commission. Zaminski holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Clark School, where he is on the Board of Visitors. He received an MBA, graduating with honors, from the Wharton School.


What is the most challenging aspect of implementing solar power on a large scale?  Politics.  Navigating the long and risky journey from proven technology to installed and functioning solar power generation requires not only technical knowledge but also strong interpersonal skills.  In this lecture, Clark School alumnus and Board of Visitors member and Wharton MBA Stephen P. Zaminski, CEO of Solar Gen 2, shows how he has learned to work with federal, state and local politicians, utilities, the local community in California's Imperial Valley, the capital market participants and all of the stakeholders who will help determine his company's long-term success.  He has much to teach students and faculty members in engineering, business and public policy who dream of realizing alternative energy solutions through entrepreneurship.