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 29 years of experience, Mr. Novak is a licensed Professional Engineer in 16 states and is focused on engineering affordable and robust utility-scale solar with an emphasis on continuous improvement of solar PV construction operations. Additionally, he is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional. He leads the solar PV electrical and civil engineering teams and oversees large project value engineering, design, implementation as well as operations and maintenance plan design for both utility-scale ground mounted solar projects as well as large commercial and industrial rooftops.
Bill’s Solar Energy experience includes utility and commercial scale PV design and installations, solar supply chain experience, and launch of solar manufacturing initiatives. Specialties include complete electrical and civil permit drawings for solar projects, SCADA, PLC and controls design, risk mitigation and training, coordination of MV interconnections with utilities, PVSyst solar performance simulations, solar performance modeling based on the NREL temperature corrected method, solar thermal system design, and O&M protocols for proactive maintenance. Major solar PV projects include:
135 MW (18 interconnection projects ea. w/ 7.5MWDC and DC coupled Storage) in NY 2018-2020
70 MW (interconnection by others) (Confidential, Under design)
27 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hazlehurst, GA (2015);
18 MW (25kV interconnection) in Hebron, MD (2015);
12 MW (interconnection by others) for US Navy, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (2019-2020);
7 MW (interconnection by others) for US Navy, Parris Island, SC (2018);
4 MW (12kV interconnection) in Oak Ridge, Eastbridge, Plateau Park, Cookville TN (2015-17);
3 MW (12 kV interconnection in Lonoke, AR (2019)
2.7 MW (12kV interconnection) in Sommerville, TN (2018-2019)
1.4 MW (12kV interconnection) Community Solar Project in Chattanooga, TN (2017);
1 MW (12 kV interconnection) in England, AR (2019)
Previously, Bill held various engineering, management and corporate finance roles including positions at Ford Motor Company as well as 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 classes in Solar Engineering. He also holds an MBA with Highest Distinction from the University of Michigan. Bill maintains active memberships and professional development training with the IEEE, ASME, NSPE, TSPE, SEIA and NABCEP among other organizations.
Bill Novak Professional Engineering Licenses: AL 34786, AR 18571, FL 86894, GA PE039334, KY 30528, LA 40951, MD 46376, MI 6201066626, MS 26091, NY 096232, NC 042245, SC 32198, TN 114582, TX 122787, UT 10648961-2202, VA 402059920
Charles W. Cunha, P.E.
Chief Engineer – Medium Voltage
With 32 years of experience, Mr. Cunha is a licensed Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering in five jurisdictions; California #12478, Hawaii #16491, Nevada # 019649, Oregon #90412PE and US Virgin Islands #018885-1B. 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 19 years of experience, Mr. Jon Novak is the Director of Civil leading all aspects of land development, construction oversight, and quality control within the solar energy industry. 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.
Jon holds 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, storm water 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.
Russ Novak, Jr.
Strategic Engineering Adviser – Eagle Ford and Permian Basin
With 28 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.