Donald Aitken

Dr. Donald Aitken, a LEEDTM Accredited Professional, is currently Principal of his own consulting company, Donald Aitken Associates, Affiliate Faculty Member at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and Senior Consulting Scientist for the Energy Department of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Previously he has been a staff research physicist and astrophysicist at Stanford University, where he founded and directed three laboratory research programs, and founder and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University, where he was named "Professor of the Year". Dr. Aitken has also served as the Executive Director of the Western Regional Solar Energy Center for the U.S. Department of Energy, and Senior Staff Scientist for Renewable Energy Policy and Economics with the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has over 100 publications in these various fields.


Andy Black

Andy Black is owner of OnGrid Solar performing Solar Financial Analysis & Purchaser¹s Consultations. He specializes in the financial payback of solar electricity systems. He holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering and a Certificate in Marketing. He is a NABCEP certified solar installer. Andy is also a board member of the American Solar Energy Society, former board member and Treasurer of the NorCal Solar Energy Association and Solar Tour coordinator for the annual San Jose Solar Tour.

Phone: (408) 428-0808.


Tom Chatagnier

Mr. Chatagnier has been teaching electrical, electronics and computer courses at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA for 23 years. In the last 6 years, he has started courses in Alternate Energy Systems and Photovoltaic Design and Installation. The present PV Design course is NABCEP approved to offer completing students the opportunity to take the Entry Level Exam by NABCEP. Tom has worked with electric cars, wind systems and biodiesel.

 Noah Eckert  

Noah Eckert

Noah is Senior Manager of Development for TSMC Solar North America, a newly created subsidiary of TSMC, the largest semiconductor foundry on the planet. Headquartered in Taiwan, TSMC is investing in cutting edge CIGS technology (thin film solar) with plans to be a global leader in the PV marketplace in 5+ years. Prior to TSMC Noah spent nearly 3 years at BP Solar where he developed, built and financed over 10MW of PPA solar projects with Walmart, FedEx and Palo Verde College. He has demonstrated success in both the boardroom and the field. He is adept at working with disparate stakeholders, across the entire value chain, to drive projects from concept to operation. Noah is excited to leverage his skill-set and industry expertise to enhance Norcal Solar’s relationship with the community.

Before getting bit by the renewable bug, Noah spent 7 years in telecommunications and helped start up a private equity fund. He holds an International MBA and MS Finance from the University of Denver where he co-founded the Sustainable Energy Society and was President of the Association for International Management. He received his BA in Anthropology & Geography from Northwestern University.

Noah is a lifelong athlete and competed in the Big Ten as a springboard-diver. He has been coaching on and off since college, whenever work life allows, and loves those ‘a-ha’ moments that light up kid’s eyes when a challenge is overcome. He is looking forward to working hard with the Board to help make solar accessible.

Noah can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Bruce Lymburn

Bruce is the General Counsel of Clif Bar & Company. As a real estate, land use, and business lawyer since 1982, Bruce has represented companies and entrepreneurs in a very broad mix of matters and in hundreds of real estate and business transactions.

Bruce was a partner at Oakland law firm of Wendel, Rosen for many years, where he headed up the firm’s Green Business Practice Group. He also was one of the first lawyers in the US to become a LEED® Accredited Professional. Bruce also served as the Co-chair of the California State Bar’s Task Force on Sustainable Practice. Bruce's other experience includes stints as a geologist with the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park, and as a criminal justice planner for Santa Cruz County. He has been a pilot and aviation enthusiast for many years and was a special deputy sheriff for the City and County of San Francisco, where he served as the Commander of the San Francisco Sheriff's Air Squadron.


Joe McCabe

Joe has been involved with the solar industry for the last 18 years. Currently Joe is Vice President of Business Development at Ascent Solar in Colorado. He is on the Advisory Council of Solar Today Magazine and is Chair Elect of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Solar Electric Division. He has been on the Board of Directors of: ASES; NorCal Solar; the Potomac Region Solar Energy Association; and Solar Cookers International. Joe is a life member of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society and ASES.

Joe has a Master's of Nuclear and Energy Engineering, University of Arizona; an MBA, Regis University; and a BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Dayton; and is a licensed Professional Engineer.


Gwen Rose

As a renewable energy advocate with Vote Solar (, Gwen works with local partners in different states to remove regulatory barriers and create the policy infrastructure necessary to build solar energy markets. Prior to Vote Solar, she coordinated a climate protection and solar outreach program for the County of Marin. Gwen received her B.S. from UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources in Environmental Sciences.


David Springer

A 1973 graduate of the University of California at Davis, Mr. Springer now manages operations, and participates in mechanical design, technology development, market transformation, standards development, and other projects, and is currently leading one of the four National Renewable Energy Laboratory Zero Energy Home program teams. He is an ASHRAE member and serves on the board of the Radiant Panel Association.


Tom Starrs

Tom Starrs has more than 25 years of renewable energy experience, with an emphasis on both distributed- and utility-scale solar photovoltaic technology development.He is currently the Managing Director of Market Development at SunPower Corporation's Utility and Power Plants business unit.Tom has served on the Board of Directors of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES, of which NorCal Solar is a chapter) and also served as ASES's Chair.

Tom holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from U.C. Berkeley, and a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley.

 Sam Vanderhoof  

Sam Vanderhoof

President of Solar Cowboyz, Nevada City, CA. Solar Cowboyz offers comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) and renewable energy consulting, design, installation, and training services for commercial and residential projects in domestic and international solar markets. Technology development (hardware and software), for electric vehicles specializing in motorcycles and alternative vehicle development.
Vice President, Petra Solar, South Plainfield, NJ. Petra Solar is the largest manufacturer of A/C solar modules/micro-inverters for utility applications, and has installed a 40 mW project with PSE&G utility, the first to incorporate a successful use of solar energy with smart-grid. SEGIS/DOE 3 year contract.
Director, SMA America, Rocklin, CA. SMA America, a subsidiary of Germany-based SMA Solar Technology AG, develops and manufactures power inverters for solar, wind, and fuel cell markets.
Directed the activities of a team of 70 sales, marketing, and development team members. Produced accurate forecasting and P&L reports. Project Management for residential/commercial PV systems. Developed technical training including installation, troubleshooting, and maintaining grid-tie solar applications. Built SMA into the largest inverter supplier in North America, earning 90% market share.  Collaborated with engineering and German operations to develop new products for the American market. Landed several long-term contracts with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
President, Schott Solar, Rocklin, California  Schott Solar is a global company with 19,000 employees that manufactures on grid/off grid commercial PV systems and high-tech glass for automotive and consumer products Partnered with SMUD solar development division providing Schott solar modules.
Vice President Sales and Marketing, Trace Engineering (now Xantrex)~ Arlington, Washington (4/93 – 12/00) Trace Engineering, currently Xantrex, is a developer and manufacturer of inverter technology for the renewable energy industry and backup power markets. Brought on board to lead Trace Engineering/Xantrex to global prominence in the renewable energy and backup power markets. Developed and directed worldwide marketing and sales strategies for all product lines. Drafted and negotiated all distributor and supplier contracts. Developed training programs for installers and energy professionals. Instituted and managed marketing communications. Created and managed all company budgets and P&L, including engineering. Established long-term inverter and service contracts with SMUD, for solar systems. 
Sam received his BS in Fine Arts and Mechanical Engineering from Chico State University. Currently on the advisory board of Solar Energy International Technical Training and Sierra College Solar Energy Advisory Board.


Claudia Wentworth

Claudia Wentworth is the President of Quick Mount PV, a PV, solar thermal, HVAC, and satellite code compliant roof mount manufacturer sold throughout the US and Canada. Quick Mount PV manufactures a standard mounting product line sold through distribution in the US. QMPV also does custom manufacture mounts for commercial, industrial and residential applications.

Claudia Wentworth served as Board President of the Northern California Solar Energy Association to help the Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal and Passive Solar markets bring education to the consumer for new market penetration. Claudia has been granted one utility patent and currently has a few more pending in the mounting field. Claudia is certified NABCEP PV with entry level of knowledge and is an Adjunct Professor at Diablo Valley College and sits on the Advisory Board of Solar Universe Network. Claudia held a seat on the Intersolar North America Conference Committee 2009 as she did in 2008. Claudia Wentworth has been active in the solar industry for over ten years and the green building and construction industry for more than twenty.

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