Sunrun taps former state regulator as Chief Policy Officer

On Wednesday, U.S. solar installer Sunrun announced that it has hired Anne Hoskins, who served as Maryland Public Service Commissioner from 2013-2016, as its Chief Policy Officer.

Anne has also served as a committee chair at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), in a policy role at New Jersey power company PSEG, and conducted research on the value of distributed energy while at Princeton.

This is not the first time that a large solar company has hired a former regulator to do policy work, with SolarCity famously hiring former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Jon Wellinghoff in April.

However, it is an interesting move for Sunrun, which has been perhaps the most combative company in the industry in terms of policy advocacy. Sunrun is a frequent participant in utility cases throughout the nation, including through The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), which it leads.

TASC has fought hard to defend net metering policies in a number of states, but has been disparaging of other policy approaches including value of solar tariff (VOST) and feed-in tariff policies. Last November, SolarCity left TASC, which led journalists to speculate that this was due to TASC’s approach.

However, Sunrun’s style has not prevented Hoskins from joining the team. “With our world facing a critical need for lower carbon, sustainable energy, I am thrilled to be joining a company with the vision to ‘create a planet run by the sun’.” declared Hoskins in a press statement.

“I look forward to applying my experience as a regulator and advocate to work with policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders to empower customers to make smart, clean, and affordable energy choices.”