Pete-KadensZpryme took a moment to catch up with Pete Kadens, Co-founder & President, SoCore Energy, for his thoughts on the growth of solar, the dramatically different power mix coming at us, and the opportunity to work with smart and insanely curious people.

[ZP] Please tell us a little bit about you, and your organization. 

[Kadens] SoCore Energy is a solar energy developer with operations in 17 states who has the honor of working in partnerships alongside clients including Walgreens, FedEx Ground, Cinemark, IKEA, Target and many others.

[ZP] What excites you most about the work your organization is doing? Tell us about some key projects your organization is spearheading or participating in. 

[Kadens] The people excite me most. Both the clients we get to work with and my colleagues at SoCore. It never gets old working day in and day out with smart and insanely curious people. We are working on solar and storage integration projects with a movie theater client of ours that is very exciting. We are also working on a lot of horizontal integration right now layering in solutions that supplement our solar offering and that has been very exciting.

[ZP] Where do you think the Midwest is heading in terms of energy innovation in the next five years? What’s on the horizon? 

[Kadens] I don’t think we have any choice but to head in the direction of renewable generation. Lots of coal is coming offline, providing a ton of opportunity to redefine the energy landscape. Now we just need to have the political will and sheer determination to work hand in hand with our utility partners and our legislators to make this dream become reality. I think you will see a dramatically different power mix in the Midwest in 2020.

[ZP] How does your organization fit into the Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the Midwest? What are your organization’s key contributions to supporting a region focused on developing innovative energy technologies? 

[Kadens] We believe that SoCore has helped develop and nurture the Midwest’s renewables ecosystem. We proved that you don’t have to be on the coast to have a good idea or to build a viable enterprise in the clean tech space and we are incredibly proud of this.  We see SoCore as a leader in this industry that will hopefully employ many people but who will also inspire may people to put their roots down here in the Midwest and to build businesses here.

[ZP] What is the single most important challenge facing the Midwest Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the next five years? 

[Kadens] Policy, political will and the ability for the various factions to come together and collaborate in a productive fashion versus infighting and stone throwing.

[ZP] How do you think we can best overcome or prepare for that challenge? 

[Kadens] We should genuinely listen to one another and understand the needs of the party sitting across the table.

Pete Kadens will be speaking at Zpryme’s ETS@chicago event, July 22-23 in Chicago. To learn more about the ETS@chicago and all of our speakers, please visit ets-chicago.com or contact info@zpryme.com.

ETS@chicago is LIVE!
July 22-23, 2015 | Chicago Symphony Center