In 2008, a fate that befell millions of Americans at the beginning of the deepest recession since the Great Depression hit home for Tim Gulden. The Winona, Minnesota-based father of three was working as a Senior Electronics Design Engineering Technician, when he was laid off.
But business success stories that began in garages inspired Tim to use his engineering skillset to start his own solar PV business. He recruited a neighbor down the street who worked as a master electrician and together they launched Winona Renewable Energy in January of 2010.
Since then, Tim has added three employees, and over the years has installed 1.5 megawatts of solar across southeastern Minnesota. About half of his business comes from residential installs, and the other half is commercial or agriculture, and he adds a solid 95 percent of his customers come to him in order to save money on energy costs.
Tim says it’s exciting to be a part of the clean energy industry because he believes electricity is the fuel of the future.
He says, “I equate the future of solar to a mountain top piercing the clouds, and we are just entering the foothills of the mountain – that’s how much potential we still have to achieve with solar energy.”