Without having context on what Hexagon Energy does when walking into their office, one can quickly make a guess when they observe the dozen or so “tables” repurposed from defective solar panels scattered around the office. If one looks even closer, they would see that there are even a few fastened together to create a ping pong table, where friendly competition occurs during breaks throughout the work day. Hexagon employees even maintain a ladder to keep track of rankings in the office. These details describe the atmosphere and culture of the clean energy developer, hard-working and competitive while always keeping their purpose in view. Now, of course, Hexagon employees are now working remotely since mid-March due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Founded in 2015 by Matt Hantzmon and Drew Price, Hexagon Energy is a Charlottesville, Virginia-based clean energy developer. Hantzmon partnered with Price to create the energy development company after working at a few other renewable energy companies in the state. They believed that Virginia would see growth in clean energy deployment on par with neighboring North Carolina in the coming years. And while Virginia has not yet reached the level of success that North Carolina has seen, recent favorable policies and attitudes towards solar indicate the state is well on its way.
“We are excited about the future for solar in Virginia,” said Adam Ventre, Director of Development at Hexagon Energy. “Our government, utilities, and largest corporations have taken notice that, in addition to being clean and safe, utility-scale solar is now the cheapest source of power in Virginia.”
Before joining SHINE in the early stages of the program back in the Spring of 2018, Hexagon had already recognized the need to connect Virginians with the emerging solar job market. “Since the Virginia market for solar has taken off in the last few years, we want to make sure that we are replicating and exceeding the success of our southern neighbor [North Carolina],” Ventre continued. “It became obvious that we need a program to both train Virginians for the jobs that are being created and pair those trainees with jobs to ensure their success. The public/private partnership established by SHINE is perfectly positioned to ensure that we build Virginia’s solar job market and boost our local economies.”
In addition to being a founding member of SHINE’s Leadership Council, Hexagon is also a member of SEIA, MDV-SEIA, and is a founding member of the Charlottesville Renewable Energy Alliance (Cville REA). CvilleREA advocates for the growth of the renewable energy economy and supports the Charlottesville community’s transition to more sustainable energy practices.
The people at Hexagon are agile and creative problem-solvers. They have found that no two solar projects take the same pathway from inception to construction to delivering clean energy to the grid. They also pride themselves on their honesty and transparency with all of their partners, including landowners, local communities, local officials, and utilities.
Developing clean energy projects is difficult work and sometimes the importance of Hexagon’s work gets lost in the challenging logistics of the industry. “We make sure to take time to reflect on our broader goal of helping transition to a clean energy future,” Ventre said on the matter. “On Earth Day each year, we take the day off to hike Old Rag Mountain. We meet early in the morning to make sandwiches to pack then enjoy a day off to get outside and remind ourselves why our mission is so important.”