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700! Behind the Success of Strata Clean Energy, Markus Wilhelm
Episode 70016th May 2024 • SunCast • Nico Johnson
00:00:00 01:12:00

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It only took me 8 years and 699 episodes to finally land today’s guest! But the wait was WELL worth it. You’re in for a treat. And it was recorded in-person at Strata’s HQ, so you might enjoy some of the extra footage included in the YT video version of this episode. 

Markus Wilhelm founded Strata Clean Energy in 2009, but readily admits that he didn’t have the right initial vision for the company.  In fact, it wasn’t till the THIRD pivot that he says they really found their groove.  By any measure, Strata has now become an undeniable success-story in the world of Solar Energy Development and Construction. Over the course of 15 years, Strata has grown from a small residential installer to a globally-recognized utility-scale developer, owner, and operator of clean energy assets. 

Yet, few have been able to get access to the man behind the curtain and unpack what makes him tick and how Wilhelm's background as a former media executive uniquely prepared him to grow the company to this level. One of the most interesting things for me, having done now 700 of these, is that when Markus and his wife began this venture, it was supposed to be something to pass the time…in his RETIREMENT!  15 years later, he’s still going strong, and Strata is more relevant and impressive than ever.

Filmed at Strata's Durham NC HQ, this episode finds Wilhelm reflecting on the company's evolution—from pioneering the North Carolina solar market to building multi-billion dollar solar and battery storage projects. 

Expect to learn:

  • Strata’s three strategy changes that led them to become the company they are today. 
  • How building a vertically integrated business model can enhance your project quality.
  • How Markus’s background as a media executive prepared him to grow an energy company
  • How Strata plans to stay flexible amid inconsistent government policies and administration changes

This is a rare opportunity to hear how an industry titan built a solar company from the ground up.

Oh, and listen closely, because we’re giving away a free gift to our listeners for helping us reach 700 episodes!

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to his contact info in the show notes on the blog at

SunCast is proudly supported by Trina Solar.

You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you at

Remember, you can always find resources, learn more about today’s guest and explore recommendations, book links, and more than 650 other founder stories and startup advice at

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