Episode 700

700! Behind the Success of Strata Clean Energy, Markus Wilhelm

Published on: 16th May, 2024

It only took me 8 years and 699 episodes to finally land today’s guest! But the wait was WELL worth it. You’re in for a treat. And it was recorded in-person at Strata’s HQ, so you might enjoy some of the extra footage included in the YT video version of this episode. 

Markus Wilhelm founded Strata Clean Energy in 2009, but readily admits that he didn’t have the right initial vision for the company.  In fact, it wasn’t till the THIRD pivot that he says they really found their groove.  By any measure, Strata has now become an undeniable success-story in the world of Solar Energy Development and Construction. Over the course of 15 years, Strata has grown from a small residential installer to a globally-recognized utility-scale developer, owner, and operator of clean energy assets. 

Yet, few have been able to get access to the man behind the curtain and unpack what makes him tick and how Wilhelm's background as a former media executive uniquely prepared him to grow the company to this level. One of the most interesting things for me, having done now 700 of these, is that when Markus and his wife began this venture, it was supposed to be something to pass the time…in his RETIREMENT!  15 years later, he’s still going strong, and Strata is more relevant and impressive than ever.

Filmed at Strata's Durham NC HQ, this episode finds Wilhelm reflecting on the company's evolution—from pioneering the North Carolina solar market to building multi-billion dollar solar and battery storage projects. 

Expect to learn:

  • Strata’s three strategy changes that led them to become the company they are today. 
  • How building a vertically integrated business model can enhance your project quality.
  • How Markus’s background as a media executive prepared him to grow an energy company
  • How Strata plans to stay flexible amid inconsistent government policies and administration changes

This is a rare opportunity to hear how an industry titan built a solar company from the ground up.

Oh, and listen closely, because we’re giving away a free gift to our listeners for helping us reach 700 episodes!

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes/.

SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.

You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at www.mysuncast.com/sponsors.

Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

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You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on:

Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/nicomeo

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickalus

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About the Podcast

Your resource for developing a clean energy or climate tech career
Nico Johnson takes you into conversations with those at the forefront of Renewable Energy.

SunCast gives an inside look into what is happening in renewable energy. From conversations with the biggest Solar Panel manufacturers in the world to the small startups creating the future of renewable energy, such as carbon capture and battery technology breakthroughs.

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grow and be ahead of the curve in the fastest-growing markets in the world.

Featuring over 600 conversations, Nico has interviewed people from Tesla, SolarCity, Trina Solar, Meyer Burger, Conergy, SunEdison, Energy Vault and even the US Government... to name a few. Covering topics such as Solar Power, Wind Energy, Batteries, Electric Vehicles, Carbon Capture, Finance, Hydrogen, and more.

You can watch SunCast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@SunCastMedia

...or view the full archive of SunCast episodes here: https://mysuncast.com/suncast-episodes