Bill Stillinger

In Memoriam: 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The NESEA community mourns the passing of Bill Stillinger on December 3, 2019. Bill was a NESEA Board and Lifetime Member and the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award for his work with the NESEA Board of Directors. Most recently, he was the External Affairs Manager of PV Squared, a worker-owned solar energy cooperative in Greenfield, MA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributing to The William Leroy Stillinger Renewable Energy Memorial Scholarship at Greenfield Community College: 

The Memorial scheduled orginally for March 21 has been postponed until May due to the traveling restrictions about of Corona Virus.  

Please see his obituary for more information.



I wanted to put in a few more words about Bill Stillinger as we had a very strange beginning long before he became active in NESEA but whose interest in renewables was just beginning in about 1992-1993 when we met. Back then, as I think most of you know, Bill was working for Northeast Utilities and some of their people treated solar as a toy at best and a thorn in the foot at least. But Bill, who was then Director of Technology and Transmission Planning, at least kept an open mind on it and a twinkle in his eye.

I can't recall exactly when we met but I did get to cross examine him at a 1993 hearing mostly on externalities and renewables. His testimony took up about 60 pages and my grinding questions for him took up five pages and went on forever. Anyhow, we kept in touch and did lunch together on a fairly regular basis.

Some years later a university hired me to do a project on a DOE grant for to determine a Value of Solar and I brought Bill into it. Somehow the university people went off the rails much to our horror and dissatisfaction. Bill and I resigned within two hours of each other. My email to them read "I was sincerely hoping that bringing Bill Stillinger into the project might provide that direction. His 30+ years of working at utilities (including in high-level R&D positions) and his current employment as a PV company president and general manager provides a unique perspective and immense credibility to this project but his talents and perceptions were not well-used---or respected."

And so it was. I am so pleased over the outpouring of respect and gratitude for Bill's work and legacy. I only regret I may not have always treated him as well as I should have during his utility days. Still, we got along well and he even introduced me to the best Oriental food place I can recall, the East-West Grill in West Hartford where we shared some good times together. He taught me much and is already missed.

Jamie Wolf's picture

I have posted a remembrance of Bill, including some of his musings about Whole Systems, at the Whole Systems in Action website we created together for that now defunct track at Building Energy.

I sure do miss him!

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