Since it’s been near six months from our last posts, it’s probably a good time to recap what’s been happening lately.

Probably best to start with work.  Mortenson continues to be an excellent place to spend my working hours, and the solar industry is an absolute joy.  I oversee the marketing for our operating group, it’s a lean team but we’re also an industry leader and there’s a lot of room for growth.  The solar industry has been booming the last few years. 2016 was the largest year in history, near double the size of any other mostly due to an expiring tax credit.  The technology is getting less and less expensive and is now competitive with other types of generation assets like natural gas and wind.  In many areas it’s the least expensive technology.

The industry is going to continue to grow for the next three decades, maybe longer, until something better is developed.  In all likelihood this is where my entire career will unfold.

It feels pretty amazing to be working in an industry like this.  The biggest reason is that climate change has been on my mind for near a decade, but before starting here I really had no clue what to do about it.  I still don’t have the answers, but do have a plan.  One of the best aspects of this role is it’s tangential nature to very smart organizations like Fresh Energy, Great Plains Institute and SEIA who do excellent work to help decarbonize our electricity infrastructure.

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One of my biggest goals this year was to become educated on climate change.  In the last few months I’ve began reading books on the subject and hopefully will become more active in taking actions that lead to a better future for younger generations.  The first book I just completed was by Mike Bloomberg and Carl Pope, called Climate of Hope, it’s a book explaining how urban areas control their own destiny and can lead without federal oversight.  More to come on that and many other books in the coming months.  Learning the science is next up.

Outside of work Juniper has been growing like a weed.  She learns new words every week.  She speaks in complete sentences (sometimes) and has a wonderful personality.  Well wonderful isn’t the word for it, I’m more in awe of her as a being than her personality being wonderful.  I love her to death but she is particular and favors her mother a great deal.  Tough to blame her, I would too.  She is back full time in day care as Teresa just started her new school year.  Sounds like most of her kids are great but the last hour is a little squirrelly.

This summer went quickly, it’s near fall now.  We rebuilt our deck this year, it looks really nice.  We just had some new carpet put in two rooms, one for guests and another for Juniper to move into when she outgrows the crib.  It struck me the other day that we are pretty much rebuilding this house from the inside out.  There are only a few more “big” projects, but a whole lot of small ones.  My guess it will be another five years before everything is final structurally speaking.  That’s OK.

A lot of friends have been buying their second houses lately.  The only place I’d really want to move to would be South Minneapolis, either the Cedar Lake area or around Lake Harriet and Minnehaha park way.  I’d consider it, but the houses aren’t much nicer, just a lot more expensive, as are taxes.  Who knows, maybe someday.

Not a lot more news than that, it’s time to winterize everything here and up at the lake with Mom and Dad.  Mom just had her knee replaced.  This is the second surgery and it sounds like everything went well.

We are running up to Bethel today to see a friend and his farm animals.   Speaking of that, a few weeks ago we went to a llama farm for Teresa’s birthday–I’ll try to update this with pictures after the functionality is fixed.  Currently it’s not working…enjoy your labor day.