University of Southern California USC

March 8 – Tom Buttgenbach

Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of 8minutenergy

“Why Solar PV Power Plants Will Fundamentally Change the Way We Power the Planet”


Tom Buttgenbach_HeadshotTom Buttgenbach, Ph.D., is president and co-founder of 8minutenergy. He brings over 20 years of executive management experience in large-scale solar PV, land entitlement, project development, M&A, and capital structuring and origination. Tom has led transactions totaling over $5 billion involving over 15,000 acres of land development, and closed over 1,400MW in power purchase agreements.

Prior to co-founding 8minutenergy, he was a successful entrepreneur and fund manager working on Wall Street with Alliance Bernstein, a $500 billion fund, leading the investment banking group of RCLCO, where he has transacted and developed large scale real estate development projects in the US and Mexico, and as a project manager for McKinsey & Company in Europe and the US. He earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the California Institute of Technology.


Seminar Description:

Over eighty percent of the energy used worldwide today is from fossil fuels. That’s a changing paradigm though as renewable energy continues to gain momentum, and proven technologies such as solar power are rapidly growing more cost effective and efficient.  Join Dr. Buttgenbach for this presentation as he explains why photovoltaic (PV) power plants are becoming mainstream, and what economic and technological factors are driving this growth. Topics discussed will include national and global renewable trends, irradiance patterns, solar pricing vis-à-vis natural gas, energy storage, distributed versus utility generation, and more. This session will appeal to renewable energy experts and novices alike.

Discussant:   Detlof von Winterfeldt, Professor of of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Public Policy and Management at USC

Full-length Recordings: Available on YouTube and iTunesU.

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