Master of Green Design

Robert Schmidt
Photographed by Greg Miles

Tell us about your background. I studied biochemistry at LSU but always had a knack for sales. In addition to being a licensed electrical, mechanical, solar and general construction contractor in the state of Louisiana, I’m charged with overseeing all of Joule’s sales and marketing efforts. I’m also responsible for designing and producing a comprehensive, software-based tool that Joule’s Design and Sales divisions use.

Who are the principals of your business? Robert Schmidt, Julian Thomas and Hamilton Hutchinson.

How does New Orleans affect your profession? What are the benefits and challenges? New Orleans offers a vibrant, diverse, growing population that makes it easy to find smart, passionate people who want to work in our industry. The biggest benefit for New Orleans proper is the New Orleans City Council. They have been outstanding in promoting green industry in the city. For the Greater New Orleans area, the biggest challenge is probably dealing with regulatory changes and interpretations coming from the Public Service Commission.  

Tell us about your current projects. We are currently contracted to install solar PV systems for over a hundred homeowners throughout southeast Louisiana. We are about to conclude a contract with Lamar Advertising to interconnect solar panels that are on top of many of their billboards throughout the state. Collectively, this is the largest renewable energy project in the state of Louisiana.

What else would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I have an entrepreneurial spirit that naturally pulls me toward new business models. I have a passion for new technology as well as and the environment. With all of the water shortage issues across the country and with the looming price hikes from the New Orleans water and sewerage board, I’d probably be in a similar role at a company specializing in water conservation.

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