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David Amster-Olszewski    

Founder and CEO at SunShare

Amster-Olszewski grew up in Florida, and when it was time to choose a college he decided on CC, even though he had been accepted by several in the northeast. He was planning on a career in business and finance, following other family members who worked in investment and real estate.

But while he was studying at CC, Amster-Olszewski says he “began connecting the dots. I grew up loving the environment, but not understanding the connection between the things I was doing — the gas I was filling the car with — and the effect that had on the outdoors I loved.”

The more he learned about solar energy, Amster-Olszewski says “the more I just couldn’t get past a fundamental question: ‘What if consumers could choose the kind of energy they want, like they choose an Internet provider?’ ”

Today Amster-Olszewski’s best “crazy idea” is the backbone of his innovative company, SunShare, which has contracted with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and Colorado Springs Utilities to develop the Colorado Springs Solar Garden. The garden, with an array of 2,500 solar panels at the Venetucci Farm, is the first public-private partnership of its kind in the U.S., and is being studied by other states including California.

Colorado Springs Utilities customers can lease solar panels at the farm; the power their panels produce is sent to the Colorado Springs power grid and customers get credits on their monthly electric bills.

When he isn’t working, Amster-Olszewski plays with his new puppy, and says he loves running, hiking, and backpacking.

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