The Clean Power Hour is brought to you by Chint Power Systems - thank you for speeding the energy transition!
Jan. 18, 2022

James Geshwiler on Solar for Non-Owner Occupied Facilities | Solar as a Tenant | Ep.69

There is a huge opportunity in rooftop solar that isn't currently being developed - non-owner occupied facilities which represent 90% of the commercial real estate. When tenants don't own their own roof they struggle to install rooftop solar because solar becomes part of the building that they don't own. Catalyze is working with big warehouse, industrial, healthcare and office building owners to help them monetize their roofs with solar, battery storage and EV charging.

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

90% of real estate in America is owned by a third party. And this is a big part of what makes rooftop solar so challenging in the commercial and industrial space. How do you convince a property owner to install rooftop solar when it’s the tenant who pays the utility bill? How do you develop systems that work at scale and can expand as regulations change?

James Geshwiler is the Cofounder and Chief Strategy and Investment Officer of Catalyze, a private equity backed energy transition company focused exclusively on rooftop solar for commercial and industrial facilities. Catalyze works with commercial real estate groups, large-scale owner operators and regional renewable energy developers to build and operate solar storage and EV charging systems at scale. James and his team are on a mission to accelerate the large-scale transition to clean energy by making it easy and profitable.

On this episode of Clean Power Hour, James joins Tim and John to explain how Catalyze is overcoming the challenges of rooftop solar for C&I by serving as a long-term, independent energy services provider for its client-partners. James discusses the Catalyze partnership with Microgrid Labs, describing how the two companies are preparing for the coming shift to electric vehicles. Listen in to understand how Catalyze leverages the REenergyze software to future-proof its solar infrastructure and learn how James sells rooftop solar to property owners who don’t care about sustainability. 

Key Takeaways

What makes rooftop solar for commercial and industrial facilities so challenging

Catalyze’s work as an energy transition company focused on solar storage and EV charging for C&I

How James’ team serves commercial real estate groups, regional renewable energy developers and large-scale owner-operators

Catalyze’s evolution from tech-focused software company to long-term owner-operator and energy services provider

How operating at scale gives Catalyze a price advantage 

The advantage Catalyze has in being able to expand as regulations change

How James thinks about future-proofing to deal with demand curves

How Catalyze leverages its REenergyze platform to create energy profiles for commercial buildings

Catalyze’s partnership with Microgrid Labs to manage electricity charging and fleet scheduling

How Catalyze sells rooftop solar to an owner who doesn’t care about sustainability

How Catalyze offers lead gen as part of its partnership with local developers

Connect with James


Connect with Tim 

Clean Power Hour  

Clean Power Hour on YouTube

Tim on Twitter

Tim on LinkedIn 

Connect with John

Commercial Solar Guy 

John on Twitter 

John on LinkedIn 



SunRa Solar

EnCap Investments 

Microgrid Labs 

Catalyze’s REenergyze Platform


Sol Alliance


The Clean Power Hour is produced by the Clean Power Consulting Group and created by Tim Montague. Please subscribe on your favorite audio platform and on Youtube: | | contact us by email: | Speeding the energy transition!