for McIntyre, the magazine’s
most important role over the
years may be in influencing
the way people think about
energy use in their homes,
businesses and communities.
“i think [the magazine]
was a major force in
stimulating growth of solar
in all areas,” says Notari.
Creators Reflect on Past, Future of SOLAR TODAY
It was 1986, and severe solar-funding cutbacks imposed by President rea- gan in 1981 had bankrupted much of the industry. the american solar energy society’s (ases’) member
benefit, Solar Age, produced by an outside publisher, went out of business in
april, taking with it the society’s primary
mode of communicating with members.
facing declining membership that tracked
the industry’s sharp contraction, the ases
board knew a new publication was essential. they appointed a magazine management board, led by doug balcomb and
Paul notari at the solar energy research
institute (seri, now the national renewable energy laboratory, or nrel), to create an in-house magazine. by July, notari’s
seri team had produced the first edition of
ASES News. in January 1987, it re-launched
as SOLAR TODAY.
from the start, SOLAR TODAY’s chief mission was to bridge the gap between technology developers and the professionals
and consumers who would put the innovations into practice, according to notari. now
retired from nrel and devoting his time to
ases’ colorado chapter, notari appointed
one of his seri staffers, the late dan halacy,
as the inaugural editor. a year later, Paul
hersch, another seri staffer, stepped in
for two years. in 1990, the magazine hit
its stride, with a major redesign and the
appointment of maureen mcintyre as edi-tor/publisher, a position she would keep
for 13 years.
“i think [the magazine] was a major force
in stimulating growth of solar in all areas. i
also give it credit for saving ases in its dark-
est hour,” said notari. “it really started excit-
industry since her time at the magazine,
mcintyre finds many gratifying develop-
ments. she’s pleased that one of her long-
time passions, solar deployment in devel-
oping countries, is gaining traction. and
she recalls joking that solar will have arrived
when you can walk into a home depot and
see solar systems on the shelf. “now you
can do just that!” mcintyre said.
since leaving SOLAR TODAY, mcintyre
has continued to produce publications
focused on renewable energy, energy effi-
ciency and green building, most recently
working with nrel on u.s. department of
energy commercial building Partnerships.
she’s excited to see her decades-long
efforts bearing fruit as builders integrate