Meet Emily Byrne (Mann)
Emily is Senior Director at Citizens Solar, a division of Citizens Energy Corporation. Prior to joining Citizens solar team in early 2016, she worked as a project development manager for a large renewable energy firm developing solar projects. Emily has 15 years of experience in the energy industry, with expertise in solar, transmission, GIS, and the siting and permitting of energy facilities.
Q: How did you get your start in the Renewable Energy industry?
A: I started my career as a GIS analyst for an environmental consulting company. I spent 9 years with this company doing various siting and permitting activities for energy projects across the country, including some renewable energy projects. I realized I wanted to remain in the renewable energy industry and eventually found an opportunity to leave the consulting world and work for a solar developer. I’ve now been developing solar projects for over 5 years!
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of working in an industry as booming, and vital, as Renewable Energy?
A: I really enjoy working in renewables as it feels like every day my energy and efforts in the workplace are contributing a little bit toward a greener future for us all. Additionally, not only is my company, Citizens Energy, building renewable energy projects, but we are helping the less fortunate at the same time. Several of our recent solar facilities are operating as low-income community shared solar farms, which allows us to provide deeply discounted energy credits to low-income families. Knowing my work has real, positive impacts is a great motivator and is also very gratifying.
Q: Environmental sustainability is at the core of your work – What are some simple, sustainable practices you apply on a regular basis and would like to see the general public adopt and integrate into their daily lives?
A: I think it’s important to start with small changes to things in your everyday life. For example, recycle! I also use cloth napkins instead of paper, reusable water bottles and kitchen storage bags. I try to buy products that are natural and/or environmentally friendly. I also try to grow some of my own food and buy from local farmers markets.