BrownAvatarDayton Brown

Occupation:  Solar Designer
Company:  SunCommon
Location:  Waterbury, VT

Dayton works on the final designs for SunCommon’s community solar arrays (CSAs). Determining the electrical specifications, the equipment sizing, wire sizing selection, and estimating how much energy the array is going to produce, his work is a combination of office and fieldwork. He helps teams survey the sites for new CSAs, and he helps with the final stakes for the design. Staking out a project is important because it allows the property owner to see what the array space will look like.

When asked what he likes best about his job, Dayton said, “The people; these are the best people here. It’s mission-driven. It’s not about money or some of the other reasons why people work. Everyone’s motivated to do something different than a typical job. You can make a difference, help people go solar, and help change our future.”

Recalling an exceptional time at work, Dayton mentioned a day last winter (2014-15) when he and some team members were outside during a snowstorm, laying out stakes in 3 feet of snow. “It was right in the middle of winter when people aren’t really thinking of solar, but so many people are gung-ho about it and are there to support us even in the cold,” he said. “That was a memorable time.”

Dayton graduated from VTC (Vermont Technical College) with a dual Bachelors degree in Architectural Engineering and Sustainable Design. He studied structural, plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems for buildings. In addition, Dayton credits his experience in the Vermont Air National Guard and the training he receives help to ensure his success in solar. He holds OSHA certification and PV entry and will be taking the PV Installers exam in the spring 2016.

His advice to jobseekers is to visit the company and ask them what they are all about. One of the best things that prospective employees can do is to learn about the opportunities and not limit themselves. “Try to figure out your strengths and weaknesses and how you can fit in,” Dayton said. “Take courses, and get involved because there are lots of different options.”