Keynote Speaker Opening Plenary FRIDAY JUNE 6, 2014

Michael Brower

Michael Randolph Brower, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)

Michael R. Brower was unanimously elected to be the third permanent President and CEO of ACORE by the Board of Directors on December19, 2013. He had served as ACORE’s Interim President and CEO after Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn was named by President Obama to be the Assistant Secretary to the Navy for Energy, Installations and the Environment in July 2013. A former ACORE Board member, Mr. Brower has decades of experience in renewable energy policy, project development, finance and market development. He now leads the organization for implementation of the Board of Directors-ratified strategic plan, directing ACORE’s operational policy and practice; as well as, internal and external relations including financial matters and industry-wide coordination, communications and cooperation. More...

​Keynote Speaker Opening Plenary SATURDAY JUNE 7, 2014​

James Fenton

James M. Fenton, Ph.D.
University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)​

Dr. James M. Fenton is the Director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), where he leads a staff of 140 in the research and development of energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research.  FSEC’s SunSmart program placed 10 kW of PV with battery back-up at more than 100 schools to provide power to emergency shelters and education demonstrations for students.  The US DOE is currently funding national programs at FSEC in: “Building America” energy efficient homes, Photovoltaic Manufacturing, Hot-Humid PV testing of large-scale PV to show bankability, train-the-trainers education for solar installations, and programs to decease the soft-costs of PV installation. Recently, DOE provided funding to UCF to manage a smart-grid education consortium for power engineering students.  The US Department of Transportation recently awarded the nation’s only University Electrical Vehicle Transportation Center (EVTC) to FSEC.​

Topic: Effective Policy Mechanisms for PV Deployment

Angelina Galiteva 

Angelina M. Galiteva, Founder and Board President Renewables 100 Policy Institute

Ms. Galiteva is the Founder and Board President of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute, a non- profit dedicated to advancing Renewable Energy Solutions for the energy and transportation sectors. She is also Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy and a Principal of New Energy Options, Inc. Ms. Galiteva specializes in formalizing strategic direction for renewable energy, new technology development and overall sustainable policy programs for public and private entities. She was appointed to the Board of the California Independent System Operator and previously served as the Executive Director-Strategic Planning, for the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She is an attorney with a JD and Masters’ of Law Degrees in International, Environmental and Energy Law.​

Topic: PV Innovation Landscape: A Global and Local Perspective​

Dr. Fatima Toor 

Fatima Toor, Ph.D.,
Solar Research Analyst,
Lux Research Massachusetts

Dr. Fatima Toor is an Analyst at Lux Research on the Solar Intelligence team. She helps clients – Innovation 1000 corporations, leading institutional investors, utilities, and public policy makers – make better strategic decisions and monitor the ever changing global solar market. She is frequently quoted in the press, and has been cited globally in various publications on solar innovation and market trends. Dr. Toor obtained a doctorate and Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University where she developed cutting edge III-V-based quantum cascade lasers for environmental and medical sensing. Dr. Toor has published in many peer-reviewed scientific journals, presented at various scientific conferences and received several awards for academic excellence.

Topic: Insurance and your solar exposures

Lorin Schiff Montgomery 

Lorin Schiff Montgomery, CPCU Vice President Corporate Insurance Advisors, LLC

Lorin Schiff Montgomery is the Vice President of Corporate Insurance Advisors, a commercial insurance agency located in Ft. Lauderdale. She has worked with business owners for more than 29 years to protect their assets and income by assisting them in cost effectively managing their risk through different insurance vehicles. Ms. Montgomery has managed the insurance programs for many large South Florida businesses including: Eldorado Furniture, Farmer and Irwin Corporation, and US Foundry. Having the ability to ensure that specialized and general businesses in the US or overseas get exactly the coverage they need, at a fair market price, is the hallmark of her practice. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of NAWIC Chapter 78 and The Construction Underground.

Topic: Off grid PV systems for rural electrification, back up power, outdoor and recreational activities

Andres Castanos 

Andres Castano,
COO & Marketing Director
Yake Solar Power Corp.

Mr. Castano is an Electrical Engineer graduate from Florida International University specialized in Control Systems. During his senior design he worked on a project called "The Smart Green Factory", a smart automated system using renewable energy that allowed factory personnel to manipulate all loads independently and also the energy source based on grid peak hours. His experience contributed in the development of Yake Solar’s innovative line of products. His passion for the solar world started long before joining Yake Solar, he had a passion for helping the world improve its energy use through innovation and renewable resources. He has been a guest speaker at various solar energy conventions.

Topic: 3 times the power in 30% less space: Distributed Concentrated Solar

Robert Mellifont 

Robert Mellifont,
Vice President,
Business Development
Sunergy World, Inc.

Robert Mellifont is Vice President, Business Development at Sunergy World, a wholesaler of Solar Panels and other Solar driven systems. Mr. Mellifont has been actively involved in designing and selling solar energy systems for the past 6 years. His motto is “Find a Better Way”. He has spent the last 45 years in Sales, Sales Management and Entrepreneurship. He has designed and sold residential, commercial and mobile solar energy systems. Mr. Mellifont has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from St. John’s University in New York City. He moved to Broward County in the Sunshine State in May 2013.

Topic: FIU Solar House’s Potential Performance: A Study of Natural Ventilation Strategies


(Charlie) Lin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Florida International University

Dr. Cheng-Xian (Charlie) Lin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at FIU. He directs the Computational Fluids and Energy Sciences (CFES) Laboratory and the Sustainable Energy and Thermal Transport Systems (SETTS) Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and has authored and co-authored over 160 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His current research interests include Solar Energy Utilization, Building Energy Simulation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Heat Transfer. He serves on the review panels of NSF, DOE, and DoD, and on the editorial boards of eight international journals. He is an active member of the ASME, ASHRAE, AIAA, and ASEE.

Long Phan

Long Phan,
Graduate Research Assistant Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Florida International University

Long Phan is currently a Ph.D. student working in Professor Cheng-Xian Lin’s Sustainable Energy and Thermal Transport Systems Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Florida International University. In 2003, he and several FIU students provided technical support for the Solar Decathlon China. Mr. Long completed his Bachelor of Science degree at FIU in 2013. With a steady momentum, he decided to pursue his Ph.D at FIU to further extend his research interests. His major research areas are renewable energy applications, computational fluid dynamics, building energy simulation, and sustainable design of modern green buildings.​

Topic: Accessing Affordable Solar Financing Through PACE

Stacey Lawson 

Stacey Lawson, CEO

As CEO of Ygrene, Stacey Lawson brings 20 years of experience as a business executive in the areas of manufacturing, technology and clean energy. She co-founded the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Engineering. Ms. Lawson previously held positions as Division General Manager for Siebel Systems, Senior Vice President for Parametric Technology Corporation and co-founder of InPart Design. She was also recently a candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 2nd congressional district. Ms. Lawson holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Topic: The Value of Solar: Developing Solar Friendly Communities

Rebecca Cantwell

Rebecca Cantwell
Senior Program Director, Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association
And Executive Director,
Go Solar Colorado​

Go Solar Colorado Executive Director Rebecca Cantwell brings years of project management, communications and policy leadership experience to her work on solar energy. As Senior Program Director for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, Ms. Cantwell led the team that created Solar Friendly Communities, a nationally recognized program to reduce solar soft costs. Rebecca previously worked as a Community Energy Coordinator and has managed numerous renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. She edits Smart Energy Living, an online magazine at Rebecca came to her work on clean energy after a nationally award-winning career as newspaper and magazine journalist.

Topic: Distributed and Mobile Solar Electricity Generation with Energy Storage Devices and Application to PrePaid (PPD) Technology for the Latin America Marketplace​

Albert Franklin Rodriguez

Albert Franklin Rodriguez
President of ATI Energia LLC, ATI Companies Group and
Vice President of Marketing, Ambient Technologies, Inc. and Subsidiaries​

Mr. Rodriguez is a member of the BellSouth International Wireless team that developed the first international roaming service throughout the Americas growing revenues to $28 Million in 7 years. He was also leader of the team that designed and built the “ATI Solar Lounge” which has become a trademark of ATI Energia and a prototype for Mobile Solar Technology. The ATI Solar Lounge received a nomination for the top 10 Innovations at the BizTech Innovation Summit in 2011 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. In March of 2011, Mr. Rodriguez was a speaker at the Renewable Energy World Conference, Tampa Convention Center showing the benefits and parallels between the deployment of Wireless Technology and Distributed Electricity in Latin America.​

Topic: Solar Microgrids and Your Community's Disaster Recovery Strategy: How to prepare for the worst, plan for the best, and save money in the process​

Michael Burr

Michael Burr
Founder and Director
Microgrid Institute

Michael Burr is the founder and director of Microgrid Institute, a collaborative think tank that addresses factors affecting deployment of microgrids and distributed energy resources for communities, companies, and institutions. Mr. Burr coordinates multidisciplinary efforts to develop legal and financial models, perform microgrid feasibility studies, and support project development. He formerly served as editor-in-chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine, and Electric Light & Power magazine before that. He has provided consulting and advisory services to a variety of public agencies and Fortune 500 companies, such as the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Maryland Energy Administration, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and U.S. Generating Co.​

Topic: Trendsetting Green Initiatives at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort​

John Allan

John Allan
General Manager
Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

John Allan was recently appointed as the General Manager of Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. He is a three time recipient of the hotel’s Genius of the “And” Award for exceptional overall performance in each of the key performance indicators.  Mr. Allan oversees the quality and service brand standards for the property and manages over 200 team members. The award-winning resort recently installed wind turbines and remains committed to environmental stewardship. Mr. Allan has over twenty years of hospitality leadership experience. He is a graduate of Florida International University’s School of Hospitality Management.​

Topic: Micro-Parallel Inverters: A New Technology that Reduces Installation Labor by 75%

Arnold Kravitz
Vice President of Commercial Business
Technology Research Company

Prior to joining Technology Research Company, Mr. Kravitz was the founder and General Manager of the Integrated Sensor Solution Business Unit for the Sarnoff Corporation. Previous to that he held the positions of Vice President of Advanced Technologies and Vice President of Engineering at L-3 Communications. Mr. Kravitz's distinguished career also includes various positions at BAE Sustems, where he was Chief Engineer, Program Engineering Manager III, and Department Head for the Integrated Electronics Systems Integration Division and the Optics Center of Excellence.

With over 30 years of industry experience, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and has been granted numerous US and internation patents. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hartford, a Masters of Electrical Engineering from Resselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a graduate of numerous corporate training programs.​

Topic: Energy and the New Paradigm​

Richard F. "Scott" Schroeder
Solar Contractor and Vice President
Schroeder Solar Energy


Mr. Schroeder started his technology career by installing Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) in 1970 for Southern Bell in Dade County Florida. He moved into engineering after completing his Bachelor's degree at FIU and has contributed to many state-wide projects.

Deregulation facilitated innovation but left Mr. Schroeder stagnated in POTS as wireless took off. In 1996, after 26+ years at Ma Bell he made the jump to Nortel and was Lead Network Engineer of many country-wide projects in the Caribbean and Latin America. 

Expecting energy deregulation, he obtained a solar contracting license but learned that Florida lawmakers encourage Plain Old Electric Service (POES). Mr. Schroeder works to advance energy policy in Florida in order to facilitate the rollout of 2G energy and its plethora of services.​

Topic: Training Opportunities for the Solar Workforce​​

Colleen Kettles 

Colleen Kettles
Program Director
Florida Solar Energy Center

Colleen Kettles is a Program Director at the Florida Solar Energy Center. She serves as the Coordinator of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition and is engaged in alternative energy workforce development and training initiatives. Ms. Kettles has worked in both the public and private nonprofit sectors and has more than 30 years of legal and policy research, program development and implementation in the fields of solar energy and energy efficiency.  She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar, serving on the Environmental and Land Use Law Section Energy Committee and the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section Development and Green Building Committee.​

​Topic: Today and Tomorrow, Design Driven Decisions​

Valerie Amor

Valerie J. Amor 
Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD&C, Lic. Florida R.E. Broker 
Founder of Drawing Conclusions
and Owner/Principal Broker of Eco Logical R.E. + Community Builder

Valerie Amor is the Visionary Founder of Drawing Conclusions, a multi-disciplinary, community focused architectural firm engaged in cutting edge sustainable design, helical research, educational program (SCALe™), LEED consulting, certifications, accreditations and emerging green job initiatives. She is the owner/principal broker of Eco Logical R.E. + Community Builder focused on sustainable real estate development. Ms. Amor is dynamically engaged in local, county and national organizations focused on sustainability and climate change issues. Ms. Amor chairs the Fort Lauderdale Sustainability Advisory Board and co-chairs the AIA Fort Lauderdale C.O.T.E. As a published author, she contributes to several columns as well as local and national publications.​

Topic: How Can I Tell If Solar Will Be A Good Fit For My Home / Business?​

Steve Collier

Steve Collier
Director Smart Grid Strategies
Milsoft Utility Solutions

Steve Collier is Director Smart Grid Strategies at Milsoft Utility Solutions, an industry leader in the development, deployment, and support of electric utility software. Starting at Houston Lighting & Power in the mid 1970s, Mr. Collier began a long career in professional, executive, consultant, board member positions for energy, telecommunications and information technology companies. After graduate school at Purdue University, he worked in the USDOE solar photovoltaic program at Sandia National Labs. Mr. Collier is an IEEE Technical Expert who writes and speaks extensively on smart grid technologies and applications.​

Second Annual Go SOLAR & Renewable Energy Fest    

The Second Annual Go SOLAR & Renewable Energy Fest will be held on June 6 & 7, 2014 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center. This is the premier event in South Florida to promote and expand rooftop solar in Florida. The Go SOLAR program is growing! For our second Fest, in addition to photovoltaics, we added topics such as thermal, biomass, energy efficiency, wind energy and job creation to our agenda.

Abstract Deadline: April 15, 2014

Final Presentation Deadline: May 16, 2014

Abstract Submittal Form (PDF)

The first Go SOLAR Fest proved to be a shining success as more than 1,220 attendees, 54 exhibitors and 37 speakers showed up to the Broward County Convention Center on January 25-26, 2013 for the inaugural event. The exciting event offered solar and electrical contractors, installers and residents interested in bringing more solar energy to South Florida a unique opportunity to hear from the experts about recent advances in permitting, financing, solar rights, zoning, net metering and interconnection.

Prospective authors for the second Fest are requested to submit an abstract of 200-500 words and one 100 word biography by April 15, 2014. The abstract must clearly describe the nature, scope, content, organization, key points and significance of the proposed paper by completing the application package.

Presentations are to be original, non-commercial in that they focus on the technical business merits of a design, a method, a structure, an integration scheme, a material or a process rather than on the individual company’s product benefits. All abstracts will be reviewed and selected speakers will be notified no later thanMay 4, 2014.

Final Presentations canbe submitted electronically via EmailbyMay 16, 2014.

We invite you to share your expertise by submitting a proposal to present at the conference. We encourage presentations and panel discussion on the following topics:

Finance and Policy

  • I can get my permit in minutes…how do I pay for my solar system?
  • Increasing the Use of Renewable Energy in Florida
  • Federal, state and local policies that affect solar and other renewable energy
  • Production Tax Credits
  • Building Community Solar Programs
  • Financing commercial and municipal solar projects
  • Solar Economics 101
  • Available Financing Options for Residents

International Renewable Energy Developments

  • Renewable Energy Projects Across the World
  • The role of renewable energy in developing and developed countries
  • Energy and economic growth in emerging economies
  • Public-private ventures for energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability

Renewable Technologies and Market Trends

  • Technologies beyond PV and CSP, such as micro-inverters, central inverters and power optimizers
  • Pros and Cons of Battery-Based Solar Systems, Design and Maintenance
  • Preserving historic properties while embracing renewable technologies
  • Solar Thermal in the Sunshine State
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • The latest PV research
  • Energy Efficiency

I am ready to Go SOLAR!

  • I am interested in solar, what do I need to do first?
  • Simple ways to save energy and money (programmable thermostats, weatherizing, energy efficient windows, and more)
  • How many panels can I put on my roof to have a zero electric bill?
  • How does the FPL rebate work, what tax incentives are available?

Training Workshops: (Learning Units Preferred)

  • Code Compliance and Inspection of PV Systems
  • Fire Fighter Safety and Solar PV Systems
  • Sustainable Design (LEED)
  • Consumer Level ABCs of Solar

Jobs in Renewable Energy

  • What jobs are available?
  • What special training will I need?
  • What do they pay?
  • Is this a growth field?