From October 10-12, Mana Pacific’s UN, Energy Policy, and Project Manager, Sierra Jackovics, was in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) for their annual Leadership Forum. Every year, the WRISE Leadership Forum unites renewable energy professionals who identify as women or non-binary from around the country to discuss a wide range of energy-related topics and engage in professional development activities to enhance their careers.
Leading up to the event, Sierra was a valued member of the Content Planning Committee and organized four panels for the forum:
- “Let’s Talk Minnesota” which covered the state’s energy history and transition to renewable energy. Speakers included fellow Committee members Angela Piner (MN Resident and Power Client Lead at HDR) and Meg Nyberg (MN Resident, Member of the Lakota Tribe, and Owner of Amurleo Energy), as well as Minnesotan political icon, Ellen Anderson (Climate Director of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Former MN Senator)
- “Accelerating Climate Finance” which explored various methods to accelerate project financing as well as financing trends in the renewable energy, DER, and grid resiliency sector. Moderated by Bari Wien (Director of Renewable Energy & Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo), the panel also included Erica Reidy (Director of Investments, Leyline Renewable Capital), Zoe Berkery (COO, CleanCapital), and Lydia Li (Senior Vice President, Investments, Arevon Energy)
- “From Community Building to Buy-In: Before and During Project Development” which discussed how to undergo meaningful community engagement that goes beyond consultation and into collaboration and ownership. Panelists included moderator Sarah Salem (We ACT), Kara Herrnstein (Partner, Energy and Utilities at Bricker & Eckler LLP), Juli Schroeger (Environmental Scientist, Offshore Wind, VHB), Andrea Johnson (Executive Director, Green Empowerment), and Sam Frick (Community Engagement Manager, Pivot Energy – and previous Mana Pacific team member).
- “Out with the Old, In with the New: Making Sense of the IRA” which framed the guidance for how renewable energy developers may utilize and benefit from the ITC and PTC, elective pay and tax credit transferability, domestic content requirements, the upcoming application for the Low-Income Communities Bonus adder, and many other aspects of the monumental law that is the Inflation Reduction Act.
In addition to her hard work planning these four panels, Sierra moderated the final session of the event on the Inflation Reduction Act with fantastic panelists Abigail Campbell Singer (Head of Climate and Infrastructure Policy at Siemens), Elizabeth Crouse (Tax and Renewables Partner at Perkins Coie LLP), and Sage Briscoe (Director of Federal Policy at Rewiring America).
Overall, the WRISE Leadership Forum was a fantastic event and conference that highlighted incredible female and nonbinary voices from the renewable energy sector. Mana Pacific is honored to have been represented by Sierra Jackovics, and thanks the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) team and WRISE Executive Director Doseke Akporiaye for hosting. The Mana Pacific team cannot wait for next year, and hopes to send all of its female team members next time.