Wolfpack Wednesday: Auston Taber, CEO Who "Wants to Conquer the World"

“Someone has to do something, and I’m going to do my part.” - Auston Taber

To Auston, being called a CEO innovator, and leader feels incongruent. “It’s like my brain can’t align with what’s actually happening… and at the same time, it feels effortless and as if I was born to do it,” Auston says. “I enjoy leading and I’ve stopped worrying about the title.” Auston feels that his reason for being on this planet is to make a difference—and solar has always been the vehicle for that purpose. 

Great outcomes from Bad Religion

Bad Religion has always been one of Auston’s favorite bands. “Their lyrics about politics, global issues, and life run through my mind like mantras on what’s important in life,” Auston shares. 

The song “I Want to Conquer the World” has been the most impactful: 

I want to conquer the world

Expose the culprits, and feed 'em to the children

Do away with air pollution, and then I'll save the whales

We'll have peace on Earth and global communion

Changing the way information is shared 

“When I was a boy I saw a solar car racing across the sand blasted roads of the southern California deserts, I knew I loved the idea of solar,” Auston says. 

Auston joined the industry in 2006 when he was searching for a career. “It started with digging trenches and climbing up ladders with modules on my back,” Auston shares. Once he joined SMA, he began traveling the country working at some of the largest utility scale sites in the nation. 

“It was humbling to be included in those projects,” Auston states. “My experience at SMA and other OEMs was the impetus for starting Solar Support. I wanted to change the way information was shared within the industry. I could see inefficiencies and it was clear that I could make a difference with Solar Support.”

 

Starting Solar Support

“When you have a group of people in a support role, they end up hearing a TON of issues,” Auston explains, “and they provide feedback and gain expertise on those issues. IF they choose to document and share what they have learned, they could make a big impact on the people with boots on the ground.”

Auston says he saw this first-hand in many situations with his employers in the past. “A single person at a single site couldn’t see the larger picture, the larger host of problems and issues.” The individual who had heard all of the issues and helped develop solutions that could share knowledge for the benefit of all—if only they were shared and distributed. This thought wasn’t being leveraged despite the resources behind major OEMs and O&Ms. “All this tacit knowledge was hoarded by senior technicians, and the management didn’t incentivize sharing the goods,” Auston says. 

“I started Solar Support to get people to share.” 

Hey man of science with your perfect rules of measure

Can you improve this place with the data that you gather?

- Bad Religion

Greater opportunities + resources

“I was having a conversation with my cofounder and the statement ‘I’ve been a CEO for 4 years’ came out of my mouth and I realized that I’ve spent more time as CEO than I ever did waiting tables,” Auston laughs.  

“That simple thought has had a big impact on me, and I’m excited to share that we’ve sold a portion of our equity and joined a larger group of like minded companies with RNWBL.” 

RNWBL is all about leveraging technology and business intelligence, which lines up EXACTLY with what Solar Support does and where our organization wants to go. “It’s incredibly exciting to see what we’re building together as a group,” Auston says. 

Coming together ultimately means more resources for Solar Support to bring to their clients. “We have access to some great minds that RNWBL has hired. In addition, with the capital injection we’ve received, we can focus on developing products and services that were just dreams before.” 

The future of solar 

“There’s a lot of complaints around the cost of String Inverter utility scale sites, but ultimately I see it moving to a string inverter model,” Auston says. “They are too easy to service and they are backwards compatible from generation to generation. They have multiple MPPTs which leads to improved efficiencies when there’s clouds, flocks of birds, soiling, row shading, and more.” 

Auston can also see the modular power conversion systems becoming more popular as well. 

“The future for our industry is looking up and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the growth,” Auston says. 

Keep up with the team. Reach out to Auston on LinkedIn.


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