The Future is Renewable Energy

11 Million Acres

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 13. Climate Action

Overview

Adam Pleasant provides deep insight into the topic of renewable energy’s importance in local communities. He speaks toward the position and innovation of 11 Million Acres in a consequential, ambitious market- solar. Adam explains the company’s unique and cutting-edge methods in practice that lead them to achieve 7 out of 17 SDGs from a research and development perspective.

Author

Sophia Jaro

Sophia Jaro

School

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Professor

Nancy Landrum

Nancy Landrum

Innovation

11 Million Acres embraces its role in the solar industry by dedicating themselves to inclusivity and transparency in their community. By living up to these standards, the company operates in such a way that deliberately delivers its sustainable solar solutions.

In other words, they aren’t your average solar company. More often than not, corporations will associate themselves with solar companies simply because it “looks good on paper.” Similarly, solar companies target big corporations because they receive a larger return on investment. The energy market is striving, and “anyone who has money in the energy field is throwing it at solar since it’s a huge return on investment for companies.” Because of this, the intention behind their purpose can be somewhat artificial.

Unlike these companies, 11 Million Acres sees themselves ahead of the curve. They pride themselves on their ability to create unique programs and solutions that put solar technology anywhere a business owner could imagine. These programs include energy management, Hive, Total Solar, TruPPA, and real estate developer’s toolkit. Businesses and organizations want to do better in terms of helping the environment, and sometimes they need support. These programs aim to help smaller businesses that are looking for ways to reduce their overall energy spend. Some of the ways 11 Million Acres helps businesses achieve their sustainability goals are by starting small and upgrading old boilers, chillers, refrigerators, insulation, and lights to their high-efficiency counterparts. Implementing these smaller practices initially lower a small business’ energy costs and potentially earn them money since some states offer rebates and incentives on saved energy.

For example, California is the leader in solar usage in the country and continues to keep ambitious goals in mind. Businesses are offered up to 26% federal solar tax credit for owners who have solar installed by the end of 2020. There are also local utility solar rebates from $0.20 to $1.25 per watt. With these incentives in mind, California aims to run on 100% carbon-free energy by 2045. 11 Million Acres, along with other renewable energy companies, helps turn those goals into reality.

Depending on the business, 11 Million Acres can further assess plans of action toward implementing a more extensive energy-saving program, which opens the door for innovation to take care of their customer’s energy needs through research and development innovation and the mindset to accept any business because “it’s the right thing to do.”

Whether its internal evaluation or external projects, founders David Pavlik and Mark Nakayama pledge 11 Million Acres in all its capacity to implement clean energy solutions while acting in any community’s best interest- specifically undervalued ones. They do this by raising awareness of systemic inequalities and racial justice, hiring or contracting intentionally within the minority community, and financially benefiting minority businesses.

The Future is Renewable Energy

Photos taken from www.11millionacres.com

Inspiration

Adam recalls a story shared with co-founder David Pavlik and coworker John Staunton. He states that during a brunch meeting, Mr. Pavlik brings a book called Loonshots by Safi Bahcall and asks them to read it in their free time. What Adam comes to find is that the book is representative of the company’s ideals. Bachall aims to teach readers a “surprisingly new way of thinking about group behavior and nurturing radical breakthroughs.” In Adam’s words, it’s about the “craziest ideas that did not come into fruition either because they cost too much, did not align with the current climate, or were too risky, that are often the most successful.”

Adam shares that his experience at 11 Million Acres displays a company that fosters the "loonshots" instead of shooting them down so that they can “change the industry, drive huge innovation and make an impactful difference.”

Overall impact

Seeing that the company is steadily growing, there is plenty of room for young professionals, like Adam, to experience exponential growth potential. One of his major tasks includes “driving massive data sets to better inform future decisions.” Along with analyzing data, he engages in an intensive market and land acquisition research that led him to express his research ideas to the senior management team. For the business, this meant that Adam had the space to drive forward the obscure data sets into meaningful information to understand how to advance projects with clients in an efficient time frame. Because of all this data at their fingertips, 11 Million Acres can reach out and manage their customers' energy needs better by implementing their solar programs on time. Ultimately, for the community, this means that more businesses are achieving their sustainability goals and the environment benefits as more businesses are transferring to renewable energy.

Business benefit

11 Million Acres core team consists of eight people. They are mainly independent contractors who range from energy and finance professionals to sterling students. Co-founder, Mark, mentions that the company culture is ultimately beneficial because of their dynamic, candid, and ambitious mindset. Because of this high level of internal operations, they can pursue the most challenging company projects with transparency and candor. “Everyone feels like what they’re doing is purposeful.”

When speaking to Co-Founder and Partner, Mark Nakayama, he explained that 11 Million Acres operates on two core competencies- capital investments and savings. The first being the ability to structure financing that enables energy projects to take flight which would otherwise cease to exist due to financial limitations. The second is their ability to develop a keen and meaningful understanding of their client’s operational needs, which, to many business owners, are costs and savings. As mentioned above, part of 11 Million Acres' competitive advantage is finding their customers the tax benefits and financial strategies, whilst simultaneously aligning the sustainability goals clients may have. Essentially, their core beliefs lie in delivering economic savings to help their clients reduce costs, but also offering guidance to aid businesses in achieving their environmental goals.

In terms of revenue, 11 Million Acres differs from their energy developer counterparts because they are fully integrated. This means that through their energy, sustainability, and financial solutions they can drive revenue from capital marketing fees and development fees from each project.

Social and environmental benefit

The societal and environmental benefit is obvious. The explosive growth of solar power is rising at a faster rate than ever before in the United States. Part of the reason is due to the falling cost of solar panels and increased panel capacity coupled with rebates and incentives from local government organizations. 11 Million Acres provides clean and renewable sources of energy which means their programs are not dependent on burning fossil fuels or other elements; rather, it uses electrons captured from the sun’s energy for energy creation. For example, residential solar systems are capable of meeting a household’s electricity consumption entirely, and it results in 80% lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels. When businesses choose to implement clean energy solutions, they see a rise in their own economic growth, therefore valuing the symbiotic relationship between the two companies. Each business that partners with 11 Million Acres take part in building sustainable communities and helps the company reach the 7 SDGs through clean energy. From this, climate action is possible independent of socioeconomic status. Through 11 Million Acres, anyone can be a part of the solution.

Interview

Adam Pleasant, Research and Development

Keep this story going! Share below!