About Us

 

Clean power is an integral part of Ohio’s energy mix, and solar demand is growing our economy.

The changing energy landscape is driving enormous private investment to Ohio in large-scale, or “utility-scale,” solar power.  Solar farms generate enough electricity to contribute directly to the state’s power grid.

These projects will boost Ohio’s economy, especially in rural areas.

The growth of solar is being propelled by a powerful and positive convergence of factors occurring all at once that are primed to grow Ohio’s solar industry and create thousands of jobs.  Ohioans can leverage the rapidly increasing demand for clean energy, the major declines in the cost of generation, and the state’s ideal conditions for development.

The Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio (USSEC) is a non-profit organization representing developers, manufacturers and industry leaders in our state working to meet the demand for clean energy and drive economic development benefitting Ohio’s communities, schools and rural landowners.

Board Members

Chris Ercoli

Chris Ercoli leads the policy and government affairs activities for Brookfield Renewable throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regional markets. As one of the world’s largest investors in renewable power, Brookfield holds over 20,000 megawatts of generating capacity. Before joining Brookfield in 2018, Chris led Tesla’s energy policy and electricity markets team throughout the PJM interconnection region. Ercoli joined the USSEC board of directors in 2021.

Logan Stephens

Logan Stephens is a highly experienced developer of solar and energy storage projects throughout the United States.  For more than a decade, Stephens has supported and led the successful development of over 20 utility-scale projects totaling more than 1 GW.  As Director of Development for Geenex Solar, he is responsible for the company’s development activities in the state of Ohio.  Stephens joined the USSEC board of directors as Treasurer in 2021.

Jared Wren

Ohio native Jared Wren is a Senior Development Associate with Hecate Energy, a leading developer, owner and operator of renewable power projects and storage solutions in the United States. Wren specializes in utility-scale solar PV installations and has supported projects across the United States and sub-Saharan Africa, including the successful development of more than 400 MW of solar PV projects in the state of Ohio. Wren is a founding member of USSEC and has served on the USSEC Board of Directors since 2020.

Mark Walter

With more than a decade of experience in the solar and renewable energy industry, Mark Walter is the Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs with Savion, LLC. Savion develops utility-scale, greenfield solar photovoltaic power projects across the country for renewable and cost-effective energy. Walter is a founding board member of USSEC and has served since 2020.

Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a renewable energy industry expert with over a decade of experience spanning customer origination, project development, and finance. Mike co-founded Open Road Renewables with the goal of developing least-cost renewable energy in Ohio and established itself as one of the early leaders in by successfully developing the first utility-scale solar project in the Buckeye state. Volpe is a founding board member of USSEC and has served since 2020.

Leadership Team

Executive Director

Jason Rafeld

Jason Rafeld is the founding Executive Director of the Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio.  As a leader, strategic thinker and problem solver, Jason is responsible for the growth, policy, strategy and direction of the organization.

Jason has been legal counsel to numerous organizations and people through many trying situations, served as the Chief of Staff for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Chief of Staff for the Ohio Department of Education and General Counsel for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.  Jason is also a former U.S. Naval Officer.

Assistant Director

Jake Kuss

Jake is the Assistant Director of USSEC. He started his career in brand management and strategic marketing, but he has recently devoted his time to promoting solar energy in Ohio.

Jake founded Shared Power Network, an Ohio-based nonprofit, to help schools develop solar energy projects and educational programming. He also worked in solar project development with Solarvision, LLC and serves on the the Green Energy Ohio Board of Directors. Jake earned his undergraduate degrees from Miami University (OH), completed a master’s thesis on energy policy at the University of Chicago and an MBA at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.