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PPM Staff Spotlight – Jason Gonos, Co-founder, Director

Jason Gonos – PPM Solar Co-founder

Jason Gonos, a University of Florida alumnus and a key co-founder of PPM Solar, has significantly shaped the company into a leading provider of residential and commercial solar energy installations and battery storage. Since its inception in 2009, which he spearheaded alongside Alex Khokhlov, Jason has established PPM Solar as a prominent solar development firm in the Southeastern United States, particularly in Northcentral Florida.

PPM Solar, based in Gainesville, Florida, has flourished in solar photovoltaic electrical design, installation, and service under Jason’s guidance for nearly sixteen years. His connection to the community and the University of Florida influenced the company’s course, bringing him personal accolades – such as the prestigious Gator100 list, an honor he has received three times, celebrating the fastest-growing businesses led by the University of Florida alums.

Today, Jason is a business leader whose passion for renewable energy illuminates hundreds of homes and businesses across Florida. Plus, he inspires entire communities to embrace a solar-powered tomorrow.

“Jason is extremely intelligent, personable, and very dedicated to solar and renewable energy. He is compassionate and inclusive with all of his employees. He definitely makes working at PPM Solar interesting and engaging.”
Janet Westberry – HR Manager

Shaping for the Future

Jason Gonos’ educational journey laid the cornerstone for his career in the solar energy industry and his entrepreneurial venture with PPM Solar. He says his academic path began at Florida Atlantic University, where he pursued an Associate of Arts degree, a phase of his life that is fundamental to his success. However, his transfer to the University of Florida in 2001 set the stage for his future endeavors.

Jason majored in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Florida, specializing in HVAC systems. This choice of study was more than just an academic pursuit. It was a deep dive into energy systems’ intricacies and efficiencies. The rigorous curriculum, steeped in principles of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and mechanical design, equipped Jason with a robust understanding of the technical aspects of energy systems.

This mechanical engineering background was instrumental in Jason’s transition into the solar energy sector. The principles of energy generation, transfer, and conservation he learned became fundamental to his understanding of solar technologies. His education provided him with the technical know-how and fostered a mindset attuned to innovation and efficiency — two pillars essential in the renewable energy industry.

“Jason, a trusted business partner and close friend for over 15 years, has always been the cornerstone of reliability and support in our joint endeavors. His unwavering dedication and camaraderie have been pivotal in our journey, always ensuring he’s got my back in every situation.”
Alex Khokhlov – Co-founder, Director

The leap from HVAC systems to solar energy was inevitable. He recognized the potential of solar power as a sustainable energy source and its critical role in addressing environmental challenges. This insight, coupled with his technical acumen, propelled him towards co-founding PPM Solar.

Also, as a certified NABCEP professional, Jason Gonos brings an even deeper understanding of the complexities of solar photovoltaic systems, from their design to installation. His certification upholds the highest industry standards. This specialized certification, combined with his background in mechanical systems, is crucial in the intricate design details of solar installations. With Jason’s NABCEP certification, PPM Solar’s projects are technically sound and optimized for maximum efficiency, ensuring quality and reliability in every endeavor.

“Jason’s relentless pursuit of excellence and passion for cutting-edge technology continually inspire our team and drive our success. It’s a privilege to collaborate with someone so dedicated to advancing the solar industry.”
Hadley Price – Local Marketing

Solar-Optimized Engineering

At the innovative San Felasco Tech City (SFTC), Jason Gonos applied his mechanical engineering and solar technology skills to transform how the community uses solar power and arranges its HVAC systems. He strategically planned the HVAC layout to work well with the solar panels, boosting their effectiveness. In our interview this past year with Mitch Glaeser, CEO of Emory Group Companies and co-developer of SFTC, he notes Jason’s significant role in this process. SFTC, located in Alachua County, Florida, covers 82 acres and is a hub for technology and sustainability. It offers over 270,000 square feet of tech space, recreational areas, cafes, daycare, and residential options, all focused on sustainable living and powered by a comprehensive solar energy system from PPM Solar.

Jason’s innovative approach involved carefully placing HVAC units and other rooftop equipment to enhance solar panel efficiency. His design allowed larger solar arrays in the same space, improving the system’s efficiency and energy production. Integrating building infrastructure and solar technology showcases Jason’s forward-thinking and efficient planning.

Adding to the innovative approach at San Felasco Tech City, Jason acknowledges the crucial role of his team at PPM Solar. “This achievement at SFTC is not just my own. It’s a testament to the incredible dedication and expertise of the entire PPM staff. Their hard work and commitment to excellence make these groundbreaking projects possible. Together, we’re installing solar systems and building a sustainable future,” Jason reflects.

“His commitment to our team, his focus on building positive relationships, and his family-oriented values shine through in everything he does.”
Monty Harris – Warehouse Manager

Jason’s Family is Incredibly Important to Him

Away from the bustling world of solar energy and innovative technology, Jason Gonos finds his greatest joy in his family’s company. He cherishes the moments spent with his father, son Francisco, and fiancée Paula, embracing activities that bring them closer together. For Jason, the beach or spring is a haven of tranquility and a favorite family destination. In the serene embrace of nature, they relish the simple pleasures of swimming, lounging, and exploring in Jason’s FJ Cruiser. This love for the outdoors extends to his passion for riding the Onewheel, a hobby he enjoys with Francisco and Paula, bonding over the thrill and freedom it offers.

Jason’s bond with his father is a tapestry woven through shared hobbies and memorable experiences says Jason. They often find themselves on the golf course, engaging in friendly competition or playing backgammon, combining strategy and leisure. Fishing trips and boat rides are more than just pastimes. They are cherished rituals that strengthen their connection.

These family outings to the springs and beach are leisure activities and a celebration of their familial bond. Additionally, Jason’s family extends to South Florida, where he has close ties with his younger brother, his wife, their twin eight-year-old nieces, and his mother. These relationships are the bedrock of his life, providing a loving and supportive network that complements his professional achievements.

The staff of PPM Solar is thankful to Jason for his unwavering dedication to success and mutual respect. We all look forward to the coming years under his leadership.

“Jason is an energetic leader who brings genuine passion to every project. He cares deeply about the work he’s doing, and it shows.”
Riley Mixson – Commercial Project Coordinator
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