What authority and expertise does SolarReviews have?

Our editorial advisory committee is comprised of full-time SolarReviews staff, as well as independent contributors, who are among the most experienced individuals in the solar industry.

They come from a variety of backgrounds, including electrical engineering, solar design, and solar installation. A number of our content advisors lead lectures and are actively teaching the next generation of solar professionals. All care deeply about the reputation of the renewables industry and improving the quality and reliability of solar content made available to consumers.

Andrew Sendy
LLB B.Com 1994 Flinders University
Advanced Diploma Solar System Design 2008 G.S.E.S.

Andy started his professional career as a corporate lawyer before joining a corporate advisory firm, Leadenhall, where he learnt financial analysis skills. He founded the successful Australian software company Strategic Ecommerce in 1999. After its successful sale to SecurePay in 2007, he trained as a solar system designer and founded South Australian solar installation company Solar Wholesalers. This company is now the largest residential solar installation company in South Australia and he remains a major shareholder in this company, although he is no longer involved in day-to-day management of the company.

Since 2012, he has dedicated his time to building SolarReviews. He gives consumers rare advice and insight that only a solar installation company insider could give. He is uniquely qualified to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of different solar companies and solar equipment because he has sold them. He can do this from an unbiased perspective because he is not affiliated with any particular solar company in America.

Vassie Fitzgerald

Vassie Fitzgerald is the Co-Founder of SolarReviews. He has a long and distinguished career in the IT industry, having held senior IT positions in the South Australian State Government, initiating and leading award-winning strategic projects. Since then he has almost exclusively worked in startups, initially in Strategic Ecommerce before moving into the online training arena and other areas.

In 2012, Vassie and Andrew saw an increasing need for information and research related to solar, and so co-founded SolarReviews with the aim of providing better information and tools for homeowners interested in solar. Vassie applied his experience in growing tech startups to create and lead the development team for SolarReviews as well as sister site Solar-Estimate.org. He has overseen a growing team of software engineers and overseen initiatives to provide data and functionality previously unavailable to solar consumers. He is passionate about solar and drives SolarReviews' technical innovation.

Ryan Miller
Ph.D. Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
MBA UNM Anderson School of Business

Ryan was a joint founder of Sun Number, a business that was acquired by SolarReviews in 2019. This business is most well known for providing "Sun Number scores" for approximately 84 million American homes that are listed on the Zillow website. SunNumber has provided this functionality to Zillow since 2016.

SunNumber was the first web service in America that measured the effect of shading on particular homes and used this as part of a wider formula to calculate a SunNumber for a home. The shade calculation software uses LIDAR data that is collected by government authorities around the country.

Ryan is also writing an automated solar panel layout tool that will be released shortly on the SolarReviews and Solar-Estimate websites. Ryan is one of the most knowledgable people in the world at modeling the effects of the surrounding environment on the solar energy production from solar panels.

Michael Bishop
Instructor for NABCEP and San Francisco's Pacific Energy Center

Michael takes special interest in the U.S. transition to a smarter electric grid, and in improving homeowner confidence in their decision to go solar.

From 2006 to 2017, Michael was the sole developer of the solar industry's longest-running financial presentation software. Since 2006, he's provided direct guidance to thousands of solar-energy professionals across the United States.

Michael loves to teach. He regularly teaches the Solar Economics workshop at the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioner's annual conference. He also teaches this Solar Economics workshop at the Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco, California. In the past, he's taught for the California Solar and Storage Association, at community colleges, trade schools, and elsewhere.

He currently serves on a National Renewable Energy Laboratory technical advisory group, and on several California Solar and Storage Association committees.

Evan Nicoles
Chief Operating Officer

Evan's interest in solar started while studying Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He took a renewable energy course and was particularly drawn to the solar industry. As a result, his senior project focused on building and maintaining a solar array. After graduating with his bachelor's degree in 2014, he briefly worked in sales for a residential solar company before joining Michael supporting users of the OnGrid Tool.

Many OnGrid users called in to ask questions related to the economics of solar, so because of this Evan acquired a deeper understanding of the financials of solar. In addition to supporting users, he created a new sales proposal, maintained the OnGrid web application (OnGrid Sky), and created OnGrid's website.

After three years with OnGrid, Evan joined SolarReviews in 2017 as a web developer and user support for a software tool similar to OnGrid's. In 2019, he started a new SolarReviews office located in Asbury Park, NJ.

Lachlan Fleet
Chief Executive Officer

Lachlan started his career in solar back in 2010. He has worked for and run some of the largest solar companies in his home state of South Australia. In 2016, Lachlan moved to America to add another layer of solar experience to the SolarReviews team and now leads the team that manages installer relationships across the country.

Lachlan holds a C-46 License (license to install solar) in the state of California. His first hand experience in the industry along with the relationships that he has built with solar installers in states throughout America gives him a unique and in-depth understanding of the solar industry in the USA.

Peter Sendy
Chief Editor www.solarpaneltalk.com

Peter followed his brother into the solar industry in 2009 and founded Gawler and Barossa Solar.

Since 2015 Pete has been the chief editor of SolarPanelTalk, the largest solar panels technical forum in America. Through moderating and evaluating posts on this site Pete has gathered valuable knowledge and insights into the changing information needs to consumers and developing trends in the industry.

Areas of expertise:

  • Solar system monitoring
  • Solar battery storage solutions
  • Solar system design
  • Solar industry trends

Ana Almerini
M.A. Climate and Society

Ana is a Content Specialist and Communications Coordinator at SolarReviews. She has been working in the solar industry since 2020 and brings her knowledge from her Master's degree and professional experience in marketing to research and review all things solar.

During her Master's courses at Columbia University, she studied the science behind what is driving climate change and how communities are adapting and managing this changing climate - including the key roles that solar power will play. Additionally, climate communications was an important factor in this degree to understand how to break down complex, science heavy information to the general reader.

Her previous work experience includes managing creative teams within marketing agencies for various clients ranging from utility to pharmaceutical companies.

Catherine Lane
Content Specialist

Catherine is a Content Specialist at SolarReviews. After seeing the impacts of Superstorm Sandy on her hometown in 2012, she discovered a new found passion for climate issues, leading her to pursue a degree in environmental science. She became a member of her campus’ Student Government Sustainability Committee which focused on implementing sustainability initiatives on campus, including the school’s transition to solar power.

She previously worked as an assistant project manager at an engineering company where she worked on the remediation of contaminated sites and inspection of residential and commercial construction projects across the eastern United States. Some of her other work experience includes completing research on migration and nesting habits of various bird species throughout New Jersey.

Catherine graduated from Rampo College of New Jersey with a B.S in environmental science.

Ben Zientara
Solar Energy Researcher and Policy Analyst

Ben is a writer, researcher, and data analysis expert who has worked for clients in the sustainability, public administration, and clean energy sectors. He entered the solar industry in 2014, joining Solar Power Rocks to lead the team that put together its annual State Solar Power Rankings Report, which has been cited by a diverse mix of advocacy groups and media like PolitiFact, The Guardian, The Center for American Progress, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the Solar Institute at George Washington University.

He's now joined SolarReviews to add his expertise to the content development team and expand the site's coverage of state solar policy and incentives.

Ben holds a B.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota, with special coursework in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability Studies. He spends his time away from the solar power world cooking and eating delicious food or spending quality time with his family in the mountains, woods, parks, and playgrounds of the Portland, Oregon area.