NorCal Solar History

1981 Board of Directors

1981 NorCal Solar Board of Directors

The Northern California Solar Energy Association (now known as NorCal Solar), was started by a visionary group of engineers and educators in 1975.

The first Board of Directors, as of June 23, 1975, included President: Kinsell L. Coulson, UC Davis Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources Vice President: Bruce A. Wilcox, Berkeley Solar Group Secretary: Dean Anson, UC Davis Division of Environmental Studies Treasurer: Robert E. Paterson, Chevron Research Company Directors: Donald Aitken, Larry Anderson, Freeman A. Ford, Yvonne Howell, Marshal Merriam, Robert Pelikan, Dale Sartor, David Springer.

In 1974 the solar energy movement was just warming up in California, and the founders of NorCal Solar were all eager young engineers and renewable energy advocates who understood the need to educate the public about the new technology and provide communication venues for solar industry professionals. In the absence of the Internet, communication in the first twenty years of the organization took place at in-person workshops, conferences, and social events.

During the first few years the group held monthly member meetings where more than 100 people spent the day together sharing the latest technology developments and policy initiatives and coordinating their efforts to promote the solar energy agenda.

From the beginning NorCal Solar has had a distinctly democratic and grassroots style. The newsletter printed all letters submitted, all members were encouraged to participate in Board meetings, and the organization addressed a wide array of technologies, regions, and energy-related issues.

In the late 1970s, like today, solar energy advocacy groups were popping up all over Northern California, and NorCal Solar provided the main venue for sharing information between government program managers, solar installers, utilities, university institutes, local solar advocacy groups, and the general public.

Throughout its thirty years NorCal Solar has maintained its role as an information portal on all-things-solar for industry professionals, policymakers, advocacy groups, and the general public. The hundreds of Board members and thousands of volunteers through the years may be justly proud of the positive impact NorCal Solar has had on the application of solar energy technology in California.


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