Carnegie Mellon University


The Economics of Solar Development

Join the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University for a tech talk by Carnegie Mellon alumnus Leigh Zanone (Dietrich, Tepper 2004), senior director of operations and asset manager at 8minute Solar Energy. Zanone will deliver an overview on development economics at utility scale, its applicability to the Western Pennsylvania region, photovoltaics (PV) and storage consideration development and how that impacts grid reliability and facility generation revenues in a more dispatchable real-time market, development needs for improvement of SCADA software and dispatch algorithms both from Transmission operators and project along with reliability and uptime concerns.  

Date and Location

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM (EDT)
Bosch Conference Room (formerly Marquis), 5201 Scott Hall | Carnegie Mellon University | 5000 Forbes Ave. | Pittsburgh, PA 15213

8minute Solar Energy is finishing a 400 MW PV 300 MW 1200MWh Battery PPA contract for Los Angeles DWP, and recently completed a 200 MW PV 100MW 400 MW Battery system for NV Energy. These are the first of their size PV + Lithium-Ion Storage utility scale installations in the U.S.

Zanone is a subject matter expert on the contractual and technical implementation of forecasting, controls, metering, operations, performance analytics, project economics on the opex side, and OM scope for PV and battery systems. His talk will be geared towards anyone interested in real-world application of these topics. 

Zanone is a 15 year veteran of the solar industry focusing on the technical operation and asset management of photovoltaic and battery storage power plants and  portfolios. Currently he oversees 8minute Solar Energy’s technical R&D strategy, as well as the operations and asset management development and execution strategy for projects ranging from 100-400 MW AC. He is a recognized expert in the financial and performance modeling of PV projects from inception through end of project life. He has consulted to and trained asset managers, performance engineers, operators, owners, and utility personnel on how to best manage solar assets. 

He has experience in residential, commercial, utility, and mixed portfolios. He regularly volunteers for EERE, DOE, and industry working groups on Research and Development funding, best practices for modeling, and methods of metering and analyzing real world data to improve performance and lower LCOE. Leigh holds a B.S. in Dual majors: Business Administration and Political Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and has a data sciences engineering Certificate from John Hopkins University. 

The Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall is located on the west side of Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus between Hamerschlag Hall and the FMS building, and adjacent to the west wall of Wean Hall. We recommend you park at the East Campus Garage on Forbes Avenue and walk to Scott Hall following the directions below. VIEW PARKING RATES