Solunesco develops renewable energy projects, leveraging local knowledge and local boots on the ground.  We coordinate a diverse group of stakeholders, including:

  • connecting rural landowners with new revenue opportunities through sustainable, cost competitive energy generation, and

  • working with the community to ensure responsible development.

SolUnesco was founded in 2015 by Francis Hodsoll and Jon Hillis based on four plus decades of utility plant management, energy project development, construction experience, and corporate leadership. Prior to forming SolUnesco, they had already delivered over 1GW of power generation projects. They have also led solar policy and legislative efforts in the mid-Atlantic for the last five years. SolUnesco develops clean energy projects utilizing our market and full value chain expertise, energy regulatory experience, project development skills and general management experience.

At SolUnesco, we conduct ourselves based on the following values:
Trust: Our business relies on our reputation, built on fairness and transparency.
Passion: We believe our projects contribute to a more sustainable future and are determined to achieve their success.
Creativity: Every project is unique and will require a different path to success.
Community: We are the guests of any community we build in. We respect local interests and character.
Expertise: We offer knowledge and experience in highly complex and heavily regulated markets

Sharing Our Success

When SolUnesco proposes a solar project in a new community, we try to find ways to embrace the community, including offering our assistance to local organizations. To accomplish this goal, we have formed the SolUnesco Charitable Giving Program, through which we give back to the communities in which we operate.

We seek opportunities to share our success in communities where we do business and with organizations一either local bodies or branches of larger organizations一that are servicing local constituents through their programs. We welcome partnerships with those organizations that demonstrate a philosophy that is consistent with SolUnesco’s core values of trust, passion, creativity, community, and expertise.

Read more about our charitable giving projects below.

Sustaining Communities

  • Boys & Girls Club/Emporia Unit of Greensville County, VA: SolUnesco is pleased to support the Boys & Girls Club through the funding of local programs throughout the life of the Meherrin Solar Project.

  • Locust Grove Middle School in Locust Grove, VA: In support of Locust Grove Middle School’s STEM Camp, SolUnesco has offered a gift of a Solar4STEM 200 Solar Electric Energy Trainer kit, in addition to funding towards books related to sustainable energy, notebooks, and other materials.

  • Seneca Ridge Middle School: SolUnesco partners with Seneca Ridge Middle School and other businesses and members of the Northern Virginia community. We give to Seneca Ridge not only with monetary donations, but also in a variety of ways, including donating time, equipment, specialized training, and service.

Meet Our Team

Francis Hodsoll
Francis HodsollCEO / Co-founder
Francis is an expert on solar technology and policy, land options, leases and acquisitions, land use, local, state and federal permitting, electricity interconnections, wholesale and retail energy markets, strategy, finance, policy and performance management involvement.

As an industry expert, Francis is involved in a variety of industry organizations. His commitments include a seat on the board of the MD-DC- VA Solar Energy Industry Association, chair of the Energy Workgroup for Governor McAuliffe’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, a Committee member of Governor McAuliffe’s Energy Committee, a Founder of the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Association, coach of youth football, basketball and soccer and member of school PTO.

Francis has two related degrees: an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a BA in Economics from Colby College.

Jon Hillis
Jon HillisPresident / Co-founder
Jon is an expert on operations, finance and human Capital Development, commercial construction, solar PV energy system installation, solar policy, project management, construction engineering and estimating, and CAD/GIS.

Jon’s industry involvement includes membership on the VAEIC Executive Board, the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority, and the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) RISE. He is a certified solar roofing professional in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a member of the Virginia Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors, the Green Building Committee, and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Green Business Initiative Committee.

Jon has degrees in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems Installation from Pennsylvania State University.

Seth Maughan
Seth MaughanDirector of Project Development
As Director of Project Development, Seth engages with landowners during site procurement and manages relationships with government, utilities and vendors on permitting, interconnection and site work. Prior to working in solar energy, Seth spent several years in the Canadian oil and gas industry. He holds a BS in Geology from Western Washington University and an MS in Energy Policy and Climate from Johns Hopkins University.

In his free time, Seth enjoys struggling to keep his bonsai plants alive and (slowly) developing his ukelele skills.

Lea Maamari
Lea MaamariResearch & Marketing Senior Associate
As Research & Marketing Senior Associate, Lea leads Marketing and Communications, as well as aides with research & analysis in support of project development. She holds a BS in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech. In her free time, Lea enjoys yelling at the TV to make sure the Hokies are winning during football & basketball season.