What is the most important characteristic of a successful venture? Many believe it is the team’s fit. Being able to work together to build a successful business is key, and Solar Roof Dynamics (SRD) is building a team to handle the roller coaster of solar. Home solar is an industry that has had many ups and downs but is here to stay. We were a few minutes early at our first visit and several employees put aside their tasks and offered to help us while we were waiting. Even Willow, SRD’s office mascot dog, stopped her daily activities to greet us with a wagging tail.

In a conversation with Aaron Nitzkin, CEO and Founder at Solar Roof Dynamics, we enjoyed hearing the stories about his entrepreneurial journey and how he started the company from an idea phase. During his decade of professional experience companies including Dow Chemical and Petersen Dean, Aaron discovered an opportunity in the solar roofing space and jumped at the chance to found Solar Roof Dynamics in Davis, California in 2013.

By utilizing the company’s strong experience in the space, SRD has built a Signature Dealer Network to provide top-notch solar solutions to professional roofing contractors. The company’s unique approach to solar roofing significantly eases customers’ concerns on work quality while helping contractors to improve their profits; SRD begins with training roofing contractors in solar installation, and then matching up customers with contractors after ensuring a high-level of confidence in the roofers. Today, SRD has expanded to a team of twelve and has established strong business relationships with global first-class OEMs such as LG Solar and GAF.  

The Future

Aaron knows the solar path has always been a bumpy road leaving the business sensitive to government policies and cost-benefit imbalance. However, the recent advancement of battery storage has improved solar reliability while enabling consumers to save more on energy expenses.

Less than 12 hours after our conversation, the Trump administration announced a 30% tariff on solar panels and cells imported to the U.S in an effort to create jobs and bolster the industry domestically. The Solar Energy Industries Association followed with a comment that the tariffs would cause 23,000 installers, engineers and project managers to lose their jobs as billions of dollars in planned investment evaporates.

The impact of the solar tariff remains unclear. Check out Aaron article in the Davis Enterprise.   A long-term trend toward increased consumer awareness of environmental benefits of solar will continue, but the new economics will change the attractiveness of solar installations in the short term.  Aaron and others will have to face this new bump in the road and be as creative as ever.


Qidong is a CleanStart Associate who follows new technologies that can connect with his passion for sustainability, education and economic empowerment. Helping CleanStart and clean tech startups in the Sacramento Region, he is looking to help positively impact the world. He recently graduated from UC San Diego and has a B.S. in Managerial Economics. His multicultural background helps companies approach problems from new perspective.in the region.