About Sunrise Energy Ventures

Sunrise Energy Ventures is a solar energy development company bringing high-quality solar energy installations to communities across the United States. We offer vast expertise, industry knowledge, and business acumen to build and deliver solar energy projects that provide communities a sustainable source of clean energy and investors a viable and high-value asset providing a meaningful and stable return on investment.

The success of our many projects is a result of our ability to work effectively with a range of valued stakeholders – from landowners to zoning authorities to utilities. Our trust-based and collaborative relationships ensure the best, highest quality solar projects that deliver clean energy for decades to come.



Our Mission

We develop exceptional quality solar installations that provide communities with clean, affordable energy and investors with a steady and significant return on their investment.

Our Values + Ethics

Our relationships are based on trust, created and built over our many years in the energy business. Everything we do is guided by values and ethics that are the foundation of our business, our history and our future:

We are honest, transparent and ethical

We are respectful of others

We follow all laws and regulations

We fulfill our business commitments

Our Team

Dean Leischow

Dean Leischow

Chief Executive Officer

Dean Leischow, Chief Executive Officer, has served in the energy business for over 30 years. Previous to focusing his work on energy production, Mr. Leischow has worked for Fortune 100 companies in energy efficiency and process management and was a pioneer in the performance contracting business. Read more.

Rob Castle

Chief Financial Officer

Rob Castle has over 20 years of operational, administrative, and financial leadership. Rob has served as a CEO, President, COO, CFO and Managing Director of numerous small-to-medium sizes businesses across various industries. In addition, Rob has an MBA in Finance and is a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA).

Meron Demissie

Solar Project Engineer

Meron Demissie leads the engineering work at Sunrise, with experience designing substations at various voltage levels for utility clients and construction firms. She previously worked in renewable energy, on construction sites for wind farms throughout the United States. Meron is a registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota with a MBA from Carlson School of Management, BSC in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and a BA in applied science from Concordia College.

Susie Sulmonetti

Utility Interconnection Specialist

Susie Sulmonetti is a Utility Interconnection Specialist with a focus on the confirmation of Ameren Illinois territory, including 3-phase distribution lines and corresponding substation location mapping, line capacity, and general coordination between internal engineering and Ameren distributive generation interconnection personal. Susie has been working in the energy industry for more than 29 years.

Chuck Beisner

Project Development Manager

Chuck Beisner, Project Development Manager has 20+ years of experience in commercial development. Chuck has spent the last 3 years in renewable enegy working on the development of 30+ projects totaling over 100MW’s of solar energy. Previous to working in renewable energy, he worked on all aspects of development in the telecommunications industry developing 800+ telecommunications facilities. He has vast experience in land acquisition, permitting and construction management.

Joe Tierney

Joe Tierney

Vice President, Business Development

Joe Tierney, Director of Project Development, has over 8 years of experience in solar development and energy management. With a background in physics and economics, Mr. Tierney brings both practical experience and intellectual command to each project under development at Sunrise Energy Ventures. Read more.

Michael Cathcart

Project Development Associate

Michael Cathcart joined Sunrise Energy Ventures in 2017. Prior to Sunrise, Michael was a marketer at Ecolab where he was responsible for the execution of marketing programs in the highly regulated food retail and food and beverage processing markets. Prior to Ecolab, Michael was a National Account Manager at Coyote Logistics where he developed and managed a portfolio of national accounts and was responsible for identifying cost-effective ways for customers to move inventory.

Mark Zwieg

Project Development Manager

Mark Zwieg has over 13 years of experience in the electric utility and renewable energy industries. Prior to Sunrise he served as a Land Development Manager for SunEdison where he managed all development activities including land use permitting, civil design, and interconnection associated with the 100+ MW Minnesota Xcel Energy community solar garden portfolio. Prior to SunEdison Mark served as the Director of Land for Clean Energy Collective where he directed the land acquisition and Local, State, and National permitting activities of over 50MW of community solar garden projects throughout the U.S.

Roger Brown

Land Acquisition Specialist

Roger Brown has 44 years experience in energy development, working 24 years in petroleum, exploration, development, and production–domestically and internationally. The last twenty years in Roger has worked in renewable energy outreach and project development in the Midwest, primarily in wind and solar. He has extensive experience conducting research and outreach in wind energy and in the land acquisition, permitting, and the transmission interconnect process.


We use proven technologies and business models to ensure our solar projects are good for both communities and investors. By carefully managing every last detail concerning siting and land use agreements, regulatory and zoning compliance, community relations, construction contracts, and revenue and PPA contracts, we ensure successful outcomes for everyone involved.

Photovoltaic Basics

Photovoltaic (PV) devices convert light into direct current electricity. They have no moving parts, and use the properties of semi-conductor materials to perform conversion. Photovoltaic cells are usually installed in large arrays to maximize efficiency. Most arrays are enclosed in sealed frames so that little or no maintenance is required.

A complete PV power system includes one or more arrays, support structures, distribution and safety wiring, and conversion equipment such as inverters or charge controllers. These are known as balance-of-system components.

Solar Energy Evolution

PV technology was developed more than a century ago, and became practical in 1954, when Bell Labs invented the silicon solar cell. The New York Times called it “the beginning of a new era, leading eventually to the realization of one of mankind’s most cherished dreams—the harnessing of the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of civilization.”

The first significant use of solar power was in satellites and spacecraft, which could not carry fuel. Today, the most common applications are in generating electric power for homes, businesses, and utility providers.

Solar Benefits

The energy produced by PV systems is 100% sustainable. Unlike fossil fuels or renewables that are burned to generate power, solar energy does not consume physical materials. By replacing other energy sources, it reduces harmful effects on the natural environment.


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