[Honolulu, HI] Blue Planet Energy, developer of the Blue Ion energy storage platform, announced today that industry veteran Joe Schwartz has joined its team. For more than two decades, Schwartz has been a vocal advocate for the advancement of best practices, safety, standardization, training and accountability throughout the U.S. solar and storage industries. Schwartz joins Blue Planet Energy as Market Development Lead. Through technical marketing and sales, professional training and product development, he will leverage his industry perspective and experience to support Blue Planet’s expanding network of dealers and vendor partners.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Schwartz began his solar industry training at Solar Energy International (SEI) in 1995. “I purchased the course textbooks beforehand and completed the system sizing and configuration exercises before I rolled into SEI’s Carbondale, Colorado, classroom. I was raring to go,” Schwartz laughed. “That summer, I was introduced to the technologies and the community that became my professional focus and my extended family for the last two decades.”
Following his training at SEI, Schwartz worked as a renewable energy systems integrator in southern Oregon and northern California. “In the mid 1990s, I was part of the second wave of renewable energy professionals. I was extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work beside and learn from many of the solar industry’s early pioneers and visionaries. They had not only a common vision, but also the dedication and unique business acumen to create an industry that’s building a post-carbon economy and employing 250,000 Americans.”
In the late 1990s, Schwartz began working on projects for Oregon-based Home Power magazine. “In the early days, Home Power’s founders Karen and Richard Perez operated the business out of their remote, off-grid homestead. Throughout its 31-year history, Home Power played a central and indispensable role in the mainstreaming of residential-scale renewable power systems,” Schwartz said. “Home Power provided a first-of-its-kind networking hub for manufacturers and installers to interact with their end-user customers and, not insignificantly, with each other.”
“Over time, my role at Home Power evolved from building power systems, testing equipment, writing and technical editing to operations and business management,” said Schwartz. “I was also involved with advocating for Oregon state legislative efforts to advance solar energy. We successfully passed Oregon’s first net-metering legislation, as well as the legislation that created the state’s Limited Renewable Energy Technician license.”
In 2008, Schwartz built and led the exceptional team that created and launched SolarPro, the U.S. solar industry’s bar-setting trade publication for more than a decade. “Home Power played a foundational role in the mainstreaming of residential renewable energy systems,” Schwartz commented, “and SolarPro had a similar impact further along the industry’s time line. We launched SolarPro to help industry stakeholders gain and communicate the skills and best practices required to scale PV power system capacities from kilowatts to megawatts to gigawatts.”
Today, after a move from technical publishing to market and product development with Blue Planet Energy, Schwartz has a renewed focus on energy storage systems. “Depending on the metric you evaluate, modern energy storage technologies and markets are where solar generation was 5, 10 or even 15 years ago. Advancements in lithium-ion and other storage technologies are accelerating the transition from lead-acid batteries. If well-designed, manufactured and supported, these new storage platforms offer superior lifecycle cost, performance, power density, reliability and safety,” said Schwartz.
“Blue Planet Energy’s Blue Ion is a premium energy storage platform that offers an exceptional lifetime cost of ownership and the inherent safety of Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LFP) cells, all while backed by the longest warranty in the industry,” said Schwartz. “I’ve operated a Blue Ion unit at my off-grid property for the last year. Without question, it’s the most significant improvement to not only our off-grid power system, but also to our quality of life in the 16 years we’ve been on the property. In the simplest of terms, Blue Ion has removed the hassle and, in some instances, the fear from living with energy storage. We no longer need to worry about the impact of deep cycling on our storage system's longevity. Additionally, the Blue Ion system has intelligent controls that ensure fail-safe operation.”
“Our success is fueled by the quality of our people, and we have been building an amazing team at Blue Planet Energy,” shared COO Chris Johnson. “We are so excited to welcome Joe to our ‘ohana! He brings remarkable experience in the industry and insights into our customers. He’s a natural fit with our company culture.”
“Blue Planet Energy’s technology and team caught my attention,” Schwartz recalls. “The post-carbon vision of its Chief Executive, Tetris founder Henk Rogers, and his prioritization of sustainability as a core business value create a company I’m extremely proud to work with. It feels like home.”
Schwartz lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife Emily and their pair of often boisterous and occasionally well-behaved yellow labs. They operate a grid-connected PV system at their in-town property that offsets more than 100% of the energy consumption of their all-electric home and electric vehicle. Located 10 miles outside of town, their off-grid homestead is powered by the sun and Blue Ion. Schwartz is an avid cyclist, both on pavement and off. He is a steadfast advocate of a post-carbon economy, healthy ecosystems, intact and expansive wilderness and everything that’s wild and free within it.
You can contact Joe via LinkedIn
About Blue Planet Energy • Blue Planet Energy
Blue Planet Energy's mission is to eliminate the use of carbon-based fuels and replace them with clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy. We are changing the way we power the world through the development of next-generation, high-performance energy storage systems. Through years of research and testing, we created the industry’s safest lithium-ion energy storage system with the lowest lifetime cost of ownership. We designed our best-in-class Blue Ion product line to be the fastest, most-scalable and most-efficient platform to install. Our systems are available through our trained and certified dealer network across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.
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