Worker Profile Learn about real people in real clean energy jobs throughout the Midwest.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake founded Solar Bear, pronounced Gizis-o-makwa in Ojibwe, the only Native American/minority owned solar installation company in the state of Minnesota.

Raised to understand the intersections of a healthy environment, climate, energy, and Native culture, Robert has always been concerned about the climate crisis. He first dove into the renewable energy industry in 2016 when he attended a solar training academy put on by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. He was hooked.

As owner of Solar Bear, Robert has done it all since its inception in 2018, from bookkeeping to educating clients about solar to installations. Believing in second chances, he prioritizes training and employing those who may be challenged to gain or maintain employment.

Robert knows that educating about solar energy is critical because the more knowledge a client has about solar “the more comfortable and successful they’ll be owning their system.” He hopes that as more people understand more about clean energy they will take more initiative on climate change.

Needless to say, one of Robert’s passions is spreading the word about renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration. “The clean energy industry isn’t just a trend, it’s the future and it’s here to stay.” This is true even in cold, snowy Minnesota which, contrary to popular belief, does have high solar energy potential.

Further expanding his advocacy of clean energy, Robert serves as Executive Director of native-led nonprofit Native Sun Community Power Development whose mission is to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and an equitable energy transition through education, workforce training and demonstration.

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