What goes into a great solar internship

This summer, Safari Energy brought on five summer interns who participated in NYSERDA’s NYS Clean Energy Internship Program. Their internships provided them with hands-on experience in the solar industry, built their industry networks and culminated in a group project presenting a solar opportunity to the company’s senior leadership.

A group of Safari Energy summer interns
Lawrence Xing, a rising senior at Cornell University studying Environment & Sustainability, worked on the Project Development team. Ryan Hunt, a master’s student in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, worked with Operations and Maintenance, as did Jenna Kornicki, a rising senior in Chemical Engineering at Columbia. Gaby Morales, a rising 3L at St. John’s University, joined the legal team. Heath Bleustein, a rising senior at Columbia studying Sustainable Development, worked with Project Finance.
Learn more about what they accomplished during their time with Safari Energy:

Lawrence Xing

Lawrence’s summer at Safari Energy was highlighted by solar policy and incentive research, utility bill analyses, and drafting relevant summaries for the Project Development team. He focused most of his policy research on the upcoming 2022 Connecticut non-residential successor solar program and worked to create a special policy update. He also combed through hundreds of news articles to find the latest policy updates from around the country, which he reported on. He also helped research the Massachusetts SMART program to clarify outstanding questions for a client project. Lawrence also assisted with an RFP response, and shared learnings from several industry webinars.

Ryan Hunt

Learn about solar internships from Safari Energy's 2021 NYSERDA internsDuring Ryan’s time at Safari Energy, he worked on several operating site portfolios, including Safari-owned and client-owned projects. He monitored the production of inverters and the movement of solar trackers at these sites, checking for issues ranging from communication problems to thermal events, and reported any issues that arose through work orders. During this process, he became well-acquainted with Safari Energy’s proprietary technology as well as third party software. He also created purchase orders for contracted maintenance work at various sites.

Jenna Kornicki

This summer, Jenna monitored the production of a portfolio with dozens of sites on the East Coast. She identified outages and reached out to the necessary parties to resolve any issues as they arose, while creating work orders and purchase orders as needed. She also coordinated lawn maintenance crews for some of Safari Energy’s projects in the Midwest. The capstone of her internship was the intern project, in which the group of five presented a solar opportunity to the senior leadership team. The presentation experience brought Jenna closer to her fellow interns and allowed her to learn more about the many factors that go into a solar project.

Gaby Morales

A group of Safari Energy summer interns Throughout Gaby’s time as a Legal Intern at Safari Energy, she researched environmental issues, including the risks associated with solar construction on landfills and brownfield developments. She drafted a risk policy delineating capped landfill risks to consider. She also assisted in the contractual work associated with acquisitions of solar projects, and reviewed engineering, procurement, and construction contracts. Gaby reviewed and organized Operation and Maintenance Agreements into categories based on their terms, termination provisions, and assignment provisions. In addition, she edited Non-Disclosure Agreements and Legal Opinions. Lastly, she created a corporate presentation on how Safari Energy employees should handle any disputes that may arise.

Heath Bleustein

During Heath’s experience as a Project Finance Intern at Safari Energy, he was exposed to various commercial and industrial (C&I) solar development deal structures and financing structures. He constructed a financial model that included a combination of rooftop, canopy, and storage scenarios for a client in Massachusetts, and he also prepared the financial analysis for the intern group project. Additionally, Heath researched state photovoltaic tax incentive programs and emerging battery technologies. During this research assignment, he contacted many states Department of Revenue representatives to inquire about solar energy-specific tax exemptions and updated the assumptions in Safari’s financial models accordingly.

Thanks to all the interns for their terrific work, and we wish them luck in their future studies!