Key Executives

George Muntz, Founder (with Cigar) and team, Circa 1920

Joseph (Bill) Novak, P.E., M.B.A., S.P.       

President and Chief Engineer


Great-grandson of the founder, with 32 years experience, Mr. Novak is a licensed Professional Engineer in 22 states. Focused on continuous improvement and engineering resilient utility-scale solar and energy storage systems, he leads both electrical and civil engineering teams as a sole proprietor and President of Tropenas Company, an engineering firm founded by his great-grandfather in 1920. Typical projects include electrical and civil permit drawings for renewable energy systems, interconnection application designs, feasibility studies, permitting drawings, value engineering, construction design, and interconnection substation design.

PV-specific specialties include protection coordination, SCADA/PLC and controls design, risk mitigation, utility interconnection coordination of renewables, PVSyst solar performance simulations, solar performance modeling based on the NREL temperature corrected method, and O&M protocols for proactive maintenance.

Example solar PV and energy storage design, permit, and feasibility projects include:

  • 10 GWh AC coupled battery storage feasibility and 345kV interconnection designs in NY 
  • 567 MW (90 projects) Including solar and DC coupled Storage in NY 
  • 27 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hazlehurst, GA
  • 18 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hebron, MD 
  • 12 MW (35kV& 13.8 kV interconnections) for US Navy Guantanamo Bay Cuba
  • 7 MW (interconnection by others) for the US Navy, Parris Island, SC 
  • 4 MW (12 kV interconnections in Lonoke, and England AR
  • 2.7 MW (12kV interconnection) in Sommerville, TN
  • 2.0 MW (12 kV interconnection) at Cannon US Air Force Base in NM
  • 1.4 MW (12kV interconnection) Community Solar Project in Chattanooga, TN

Previously, Bill held various engineering, management and corporate finance roles including positions at Ford Motor Company and Chief Engineer at Lightwave Solar (a commercial installer).

Bill earned both a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University with a specialization in Lean Manufacturing Engineering and graduate level courses in Solar Engineering. He also earned an MBA with Highest Distinction from the University of Michigan. Other professional credentials include IEEE Senior Membership, NABCEP PV Professional, and US Army Corps of Engineers certificate in Construction Quality Management.

* Professional Engineering Licenses: Bill Novak: AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NM, NY, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA Licensed Professional Engineer, S.P.

Tropenas Company, a Registered Engineering Firm in TN, TX, MA

Charles W. Cunha, P.E.     

Chief Engineer – Medium Voltage


With 35 years of experience, Mr. Cunha is a licensed Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering in six jurisdictions; California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and US Virgin Islands. He leads all aspects of solar project integration with utilities including coordination studies, substation design, inter-connection protection and control design.

Charles’s solar experience includes utility and government large scale MV and solar PV engineering. Specialties include SCADA system design, arc flash studies, circuit coordination, overhead pole lines, underground systems, coordination of MV interconnections with utilities, and solar PV system design. Major solar PV projects include:

  • 70 MW (interconnection by others) (Confidential, under design)
  • 68 MW (35kV interconnection) on Oahu, HI;
  • 27 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hazlehurst, GA;
  • 4 MW (21kV interconnection) in Merced, CA;
  • 8 MW (12kV and 21kV interconnections) for clients in CA;
  • 5 MW (35kV interconnection) on Saint Thomas, USVI; and
  • 18 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hebron, MD.

Typical Storage projects include:

  • 20 MW Southern California Edison Colonia Substation 66-kV to 34.5-kV.
  • 10 MW AC connecting to Southern California Edison 12-kV distribution, DC system.
  • 5 MW AC project “Acorn I”, connecting to Southern California Edison.
  • 3MW AC project “Acorn II”, connecting to Southern California Edison.
  • (4) 10 MW battery storage facilities. Santa Ana, CA.
  • 10 MW AC project “Goleta Energy Storage#1” Southern California Edison 16-kV.
  • 10 MW AC Battery Storage project, “Cabrillo” Southern California Edison 16-kV.
  • 10 MW AC Battery Storage project, “Shield” Southern California Edison 12-kV.

In addition, Charles teaches classes on Utility Scale Solar Design and Underground Power Line Design (5kV to 35kV).

Charles earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Fresno.

Jon Novak, E.I.T.

Director of Civil


With 23 years of experience, Mr. Jon Novak is the Director of Civil leading all aspects of land development, construction oversight, and quality control within the renewable energy industry, including solar energy and energy storage. Additionally, he specializes in civil design, survey applications & practice, local jurisdiction board approval, as well as project management. He leads the PV site-support engineering team and oversees large project design and implementation.

Jon’s Solar Energy experience includes MW, commercial installations, and civil solar development planning, approval, and oversight. Moreover, he excels at project estimation and contract management.

Example Civil and Solar PV and energy storage design, permit, and feasibility projects include:

  • 10 GWh AC-coupled battery storage feasibility and 345kV interconnection designs in NY
  • 359 MW (67 projects) Solar and DC-coupled Storage in NY
  • 12 MW (Civil Design) for US Navy Guantanamo Bay Cuba
  • 2.0 MW (Site Layout and PV) at Cannon US Air Force Base in NM
  • 1200 man training facility for the National Guard, TTB Kelley, Camp Edwards, MA
  • 48 buildings, lighting and utilities for military training facility, MOUT Calero, Camp Edwards, MA

Jon held various civil engineering, project engineering and construction management roles including positions at Coneco Engineers and Coler & Colantonio. He coordinated cross-functional site development, contract negotiations, stormwater management, as well as construction and land development oversight.

Jon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Professional Associations, credentials & certifications:
Massachusetts Certified Soil Evaluator, SE 13166
OSHA Hazardous Materials “40 Hour” Course Certification
OSHA Construction Safety Training “10 Hour” Course
Electrical Hazard Awareness Training
American Society of Civil Engineers, Associate Member
Boston Society of Civil Engineers & Surveyors, Member

Russ Novak, Jr.

Strategic Engineering Adviser – Eagle Ford and Permian Basin


With 33 years of experience in mechanical design and field consulting with both domestic and international operations, Russ is our strategic advisor on technical matters related to engineering and energy production in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin.  Russ’s expertise includes compressor stations, pump stations, oil and gas production facilities, well pads and production surface facilities, tank batteries, gathering pipelines, transmission pipelines, CO2 injection, acid gas disposal, water disposal, solution mining, underground storage and atmospheric emission reduction. As a Project Manager, he is responsible for all aspects of engineering and design and keeping open lines of communication.

Russ earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Russ Novak, Sr.  – Chairman of the Board

Engineering and Technology Advisory Group


Russ Novak leads the executive management team at Tropenas covering technology advisory services for energy, manufacturing, and processing industries. An experienced executive, his strong energy industry background is coupled with in-depth experience in market analysis and research, strategic planning, and collaborative consulting. This enables Tropenas to collaboratively combine inputs from internal and external stakeholders of clients to affect positive change in business and operating processes resulting in improved fiscal performance.