Rich Nicol—Owner and Designer
Rich combines ten years of experience in the micro-electronics industry with many years of living the off-grid lifestyle. He is passionate about solar energy and is more than happy to share his knowledge of solar, be it technical or philosophical. He is a Solar Partner with Renewable Energy Vermont and received his designer/installer certification from Solar Energy International. When he has free time he enjoys riding his motorcycle, studying history and politics, tinkering on vintage sports cars, and taking long walks in the woods. Rich grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and graduated from Lyndon Institute and Lyndon State College. He has a BS in History, AS in Business, Management Certificate from the University of Southern Maine, and SEI certifications in Solar Electric Design and Installation and Advanced PV System Design.
Donna Nicol—Co-owner and Office Manager
Donna manages Solartech’s home office. When not behind the desk, she attempts to balance hearth, home, and family with a variety of educational pursuits. She has a BA in English Literature and Writing from Ithaca College.
With the mind of a philosopher and the skills of a tradesman, Byron rounds out Solartech’s crew. He has a variety of work experience including, but not limited to: heavy construction, building bridges and roads, general carpentry, auto repair, and electronics. His skills are many, and we appreciate having our own “Renaissance Man” whose knowledge and enthusiasm never lets us down. In his quiet time, Byron enjoys reading, running, and horseback riding. He has SEI certifications in Solar Electric Design and Installation and Advanced PV System Design.
Josh is the second member of our great installation crew. His enthusiasm for the work never falters, and his keen eye and expertise in roof mounts is a boon to our crew. Josh grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and entered the trades after high school. He has solar training certification from the U.S. Solar Institute. In his free time he surfs and rock climbs.
Norbert Patoine—Excavation and Ground Work
Precision, care, and wisdom: these words best summarize the skillful ways of our excavation operator, Norb. But he knows much more than just excavation. His life is his work. Years of designing and building homes, foundations, driveways, and more translates into a man whose skills we trust. Firmly rooted in his Sutton community and Vermont traditions, Norb raises his own beef and works on the homestead he’s built with his wife where the usual (and some unusual!) farmyard animals live a good life.
Luke Colby—Master Electrician
Luke is licensed in VT and NH. While an electrician by trade, his thorough skill set also includes excavation experience, carpentry and sawmilling. As well, Luke built his own timber frame home in Lunenburg where he lives with his family.
Dana Patoine—Mechanical Engineer
Dana is a graduate of Clarkson University. The son of our excavator operator, Dana has lived a life fully immersed in the trades, beginning his lessons with his dad at age 12! Dana’s engineering skills and experiences are great assets to the installation of our designs. Dana lives with his wife and children in Sutton.