SkyFire Energy is a big fish in a small pond. The company has installed 45 per cent of the solar capacity tied into Alberta’s electricity grid, but the province only produces 9.6 megawatts of solar. Ontario has 2,000 MW, and the U.S. installed more than 7,000 MW last year alone.
That presence in Alberta (and a similar one in B.C.) gives Vonesch the opportunity to be an industry leader. He’s involved with the Canadian Solar Industry Association and has worked with the government to bring in appropriate policies. “A big part of being in this industry is education,” he says. “It is new to most people so there’s a lot of time spent explaining how it works and breaking down some of the myths that exist around storage and costs.”
Vonesch describes his leadership style as collaborative. He and his business partners govern by consensus, for the most part, and they’re open and transparent with employees. “Everyone has something to offer and something you can learn from,” he says.
A leader I admire Elon Musk. “Every time he talks about why he’s building Tesla he talks about climate change and the need to transition away from fossil fuels. At the same time he built a multi-billion-dollar company.”