Sierra Jackovics, Mana Pacific’s UN, Energy Policy, and Project Manager, was invited to do an episode on the Solar Maverick Podcast. The Solar Maverick Podcast is hosted by Benoy Thanjan, Founder and CEO of Reneu Energy, and was voted by Power Market as the #1 green energy podcast.
During the podcast, Sierra dives into her experience at Mana Pacific and its work developing and financing renewable energy projects in the Pacific.
Sierra emphasizes the significance of community engagement in solar project development. She highlights how it is critical to go beyond understanding local needs and to instead foster mutual collaboration and community-led development processes. To Sierra, this ties into an identified non-negotiable: to ensure systems can be built and managed by the local community for the lifetime of the project. On this topic, she describes her role in incubating workforce development initiatives at Mana Pacific to support solar training and must-needed local O&M capacity.
Moreover, Sierra proudly shares her leading role in Mana Pacific being awarded the Community Power Accelerator Prize by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which showcases the company’s commitment to community-led project development and innovation in community solar. This prize not only awards Mana Pacific for their ongoing co-development work in Molokai, HI but also supports them in launching additional community solar projects across U.S. Territories in the Pacific.
In addition, Sierra addresses various barriers that Mana Pacific is navigating to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across Pacific Island Nations and Territories (PICTs), including financing challenges, diseconomies of scale, regulatory complexities, and logistical hurdles. However, she pinpoints several solutions that Mana Pacific employs to overcome these barriers, which provides valuable insights into their development work that are transferable to other renewable energy projects facing similar challenges. Ultimately, this podcast episode contributes to the broader conversation on renewable energy deployment, community leadership, and how to equitably accelerate the energy transition – all while highlighting Sierra as a young emerging leader in the growing renewable energy industry and the immense role that the new generation is taking on.
Listen to Sierra Jackovics’s insightful conversation with Benoy Thanjan on the major podcast platforms listed below, and follow Mana Pacific as they continue to drive positive change and resilience through renewable energy development in Hawaii and the Pacific Island Countries and Territories.
Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/22PSbSprJMoL4ZfGZV1cRB?si=1534942d606f4a10
Listen on Podbean (Ep 136): https://solarmaverick.podbean.com/
Listen on Apple Podcasts (Ep 136): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/solar-maverick-podcast/id1441876259