Fall 18, René García Franceschini ’19, Solstice

My name is René García Franceschini, I am a senior in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. I still don’t have the slightest clue what I’m doing after graduation, but I’ve decided to live with it for the time being.

This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity of working at Solstice as a Data Analyst Fellow. Solstice’s mission is to expand access to community shared solar power to all Americans, not just the privileged and wealthy. I stumbled upon them in a rather roundabout way. I had gotten really interested in solar energy models after spending last IAP back home in Puerto Rico. I had specifically been really interested in using social entrepreneurship to increase access to solar energy. Through the PKG I got connected to Solstice, and I’ve been working there ever since.

The specific project that I’m working on is in some ways a mix of literally everything I’ve come to enjoy at MIT. I’m working on the development and deployment of EnergyScore, a new credit qualifying metric intended to supplant the industry standard, the FICO credit score. EnergyScore was developed using machine learning techniques, taking into account past user payment performance, trade data, etc. We are now working to deploy this tool in a series of pilot projects over the course of the next couple of months. So in short, it’s a combination of data science, renewable energy, class equity, social entrepreneurship and project management; pretty much everything I’ve enjoyed at MIT!

What I specifically worked on was developing of the experimental methodology for the study, updating a lot of the calculations based on new data that we had acquired, and working on the IRB approval process for the study. For the next couple of weeks, I will be finalizing the IRB approval process, finalizing the white paper for the EnergyScore, and turning on my project management hat for the actual deployment.

So far working at Solstice has been a real blast. I’m really excited to see what this semester has in store.

If you want to learn more about Solstice, be sure to check out their website, Facebook or Twitter!

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