Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Katie Garza, Co-Founder and COO, Lyssy Energy
By Constance Thompson
October 7, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the next installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installment features industry leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and just transition to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, ACORE is highlighting three Hispanic-owned member companies that are thriving in the renewable energy sector.
Today, we are featuring Lyssy Energy Enterprises, a utility-scale renewable energy developer in Texas. The following is a Q&A with Lyssy Energy Co-Founder and COO Katie Garza and Constance Thompson, ACORE’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs.
What inspired you to start Lyssy Energy?
Lyssy Energy Enterprises all started with a favor to my father. He asked me to put together an energy lease that would protect his land for ranching and farming while providing an additional source of income. Before we knew it, my husband and I were helping others in the same situation. So, we made it official, started a business and got to work.
A couple years later, we started partnering with renewable energy developers. There were certainly challenges and shortcomings, closed doors and unequal partnerships, but we used this time to really hone our craft. We realized that if we wanted our business to grow and succeed then we would need to take a risk. In 2020, when the world was forced to slow down due to the pandemic, we decided to take that risk. We used 2020 to rebrand Lyssy Energy into the company we had always dreamed about. In 2021, we have reintroduced ourselves to the world – no longer as an energy service company, but as renewable energy developers with the hope of owning and operating utility-scale renewable energy projects.
Tell us about Lyssy Energy.
Lyssy Energy Enterprises is an innovative, privately held, utility-scale developer of solar, wind and battery energy solutions. Our prime directive is to contribute to the acceleration of the energy industry’s transition to sustainable energy. We concentrate our operations in Texas, where booming population and business growth mean a rapidly growing demand for energy. Lyssy Energy believes that by deploying wind, solar and battery storage, we can maximize our efforts and provide all kinds of renewable energy solutions. This state is our home, and the energy crisis unfolding in our backyard is personal. We want to be a part of the solution and help our neighbors across the state develop much-needed sources of clean power. We are well on our way, with 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of clean, reliable energy consisting of one wind and three solar projects currently in development and a potential portfolio of 15 GW.
What challenges do you face? Why?
Capital is one of the biggest challenges we face at the moment. The sun and the wind provide electricity, but capital is what moves everything and everyone else. We need capital for everyday operations, and to develop, construct and operate our projects.
Securing development capital early is essential in providing land control and interconnection studies to get projects off the ground. We are working hard to develop relationships with large investment firms that have a strong interest in renewables and can provide the capital necessary to create a successful renewable energy project.
How can potential partners do business with you?
Lyssy Energy Enterprises is open to partnerships or joint ventures. We are available to discuss the need for all types of capital stack with various equity, tax and debt companies that operate in this industry and those interested in investing in renewable energy projects and companies. Ideally, we would like to work with investment partners that can provide capital from the development phase through the construction phase. We are also open to partners who are interested in investing in the company.
How are you making an impact through Lyssy Energy?
Lyssy Energy Enterprises strives to continue building a diverse company. We hope to help balance the inequalities in our society by reaching out to individuals that are historically ignored and passed over. Women and people of color are key to our success, and it is important to promote their advancement to positions of management and leadership.
Poverty is another issue we hope to address. Lyssy Energy is working with poor communities in rural areas, and we hope to make a difference by bringing renewable energy projects to areas with high rates of poverty and other vulnerable communities. These projects provide reliable and affordable electricity, and also bring job opportunities and infrastructure development to poor communities. It is important for the energy transition to not only change how we produce energy, but to bring the disenfranchised to the center of this technological evolution so everyone shares the benefits.
How has your Accelerate membership helped your business?
Being able to participate in ACORE’s Accelerate membership program is a delight and a privilege. This program has supported our efforts to be a part of the solution during this uncertain time in our lives. The Accelerate Program has connected us to some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world, and these connections help give us the power to make a difference. Someday, we hope to return the favor.
To learn more about or contact Lyssy Energy Enterprises, visit https://www.lyssyenergy.com/.