Sita Kuteira ‘13 is doing exciting work at a solar energy start-up, called Solar Census, which is producing the first commercial-grade online shade tool that enables salespeople and system designers to customize PV systems in 3D and create highly accurate quotes in minutes. The software will streamline the sales and design process, reduce change orders and soft costs, and increase close rates and homeowner satisfaction."Right now solar installers drive out to the house and go on the roof with a hand held tool to determine the shading. But with this software they will design the entire system from their computer," says Kuteira.
Last year, Kuteira co-wrote a grant application for the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative Incubator Program, and in mid July, the company was awarded a $735,000 grant. The company has two patents on determining the solar potential of rooftops over the internet.
Kuteira worked for the company on and off throughout law school. For this project, she was in charge of writing up most of the text for the official award documents including a statement of project objectives (a very detailed business plan) as well as the 14-month budget that the grant is based on. She is currently doing general business development and managing the award. With the grant the company is opening a new office, hiring more staff, etc, and she also drafts documents for investor communications or potential partnerships. Kuteira also wrote an a grant to the state for funding from the California Solar Initiative that is under the CPUC. The decision is pending on that grant.