Jesse Morris is a Sr. Associate in the electricity and transportation practices of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Within electricity, Jesse is primarily involved in RMI’s solar program where he works with his team to help expand PV solar deployment across the U.S. Jesse works closely with industry to identify and capture balance-of-system cost reduction opportunities in addition to exploring new financing opportunities within the solar industry. Jesse also participated in RMI’s Reinventing Fire research initiative where he analyzed the potential for whole-system design to improve the U.S. transportation system by investigating exactly where, when, why, and how we use our vehicles. He also researches freight system efficiency and heavy truck design and operations.
Select RMI Projects
- Solar PV Finance — Along with his colleagues in the Next Generation Electricity initiative and RMI's solar program, Jesse is collaborating with lending banks, rating agencies, the solar industry, and the real estate community to help attract low cost capital from public financial markets to the distributed PV space. This work focuses on data collection efforts (regarding both PV system performance and customer lease performance), analyzing and helping to publicize innovative "rollup" projects like Project Amp and SolarStrong, and investigating the opportunity for bundled PV and energy efficiency projects on commercial and residential properties.
- Developing Solar Friendly Communities — In partnership with the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association and several local governments in Colorado, Jesse is part of a Department of Energy–funded project dedicated to improving market conditions for rooftop solar PV in Colorado communities. This work revolves around deep collaboration with local governments and, with COSEIA, the development of a program analogous to LEED or Bicycle Friendly Communities that will recognize "Solar Friendly Communities" across the country for their leadership in creating robust markets for rooftop solar.
- Solar 3.0 — Jesse is part of an industry-led group funded by the Department Energy whose goal is to reduce photovoltaic non-hardware balance of system costs related to permitting and interconnection processes by 30%. As a member of the Solar 3.0 team, Jesse analyzes best practices in permitting and interconnection in order to estimate their actual impact on PV costs throughout the U.S. upon adoption.
- Reinventing Fire: Transportation — While working on Reinventing Fire, Jesse focused on applying whole-system design to U.S. transportation by focusing on where, when, why, and how we use our vehicles. He also researched freight system efficiency and improved heavy truck design and operations.
- Domestic Freight Efficiency — Jesse has contributed to a variety of freight efficiency projects with other nonprofits and trade associations, including work with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.
Jesse Morris graduated from Colorado College with a degree in International Environmental Policy. At Colorado College, Jesse was deeply involved with academic research groups with a variety of focuses, ranging from commercial oil sands development in Alberta, Canada to climate change in the Arctic Circle and its implications on international environmental laws and norms. Before joining RMI, Jesse worked in the private sector and pursued his interest in alternative energy and efficiency with PV Powered (now Advanced Energy), a grid-tied photovoltaic inverter manufacturer.
Prior to this work, Jesse also worked with a private consulting firm and several nonprofit organizations where he performed business development functions, provided analytical support, and coordinated research efforts. Within RMI’s Reinventing Fire initiative, Jesse analyzed the impact of fleet vehicle purchases on advanced vehicle adoption in the U.S. He also developed a national VMT-reduction strategy and analyzed techno-economic potential for efficiency within the U.S. freight system. Education
Bachelor of Arts, International Environmental Policy, Magna Cum Laude, Colorado College, 2009
Phi Beta Kappa Society