Robert E. (Bob) Parkins, P.E.

Education and Professional Registration


  • BS Civil Engineering, Stanford University
  • MS Civil Engineering, Stanford University
  • Registered Professional Engineer, State of California
  • Certified Energy Manager
  • C-46 Solar Contractor in California

Past and Present Professional Activities


  • Board of Directors, Solar Electric Power Association
  • Board of Directors, Solar Cookers International
  • Board of Directors, Association for Efficient Environmental Energy Systems
  • Numerous positions in utility and energy oriented organizations
  • Solar PV workshop instructor
  • Private solar energy consultant

Professional Experience


Mr. Parkins has over 30 years of engineering experience.  He has extensive experience as a project manager and supervisor in building design and construction with the Army Corps of Engineers in the U.S., Germany, and Turkey.  In this capacity, Mr. Parkins managed a design team responsible for a 600 million dollar facility design program (1988 dollars) which included complex hospitals and clinics, the Space Shuttle Program at Vandenberg AFB, advanced research and testing facilities at Edwards AFB, advanced energy management systems, and passive solar design.  These assignments often required accomplishing complex engineering projects under changing conditions, tight schedules and budgets, and delicate diplomatic situations (overseas). He subsequently served as the senior manager responsible for the Engineering and Construction Program in California for the U.S. Department of Energy, Western Area Power Administration (Western). The highlight of this effort was the construction of a $200 million (1990 dollars), 500 kV transmission line with substations linking Oregon to California (California-Oregon Transmission Project).  He also managed the design and construction of a 230 kV transmission tie line and supporting switching station which linked a new 550 MW combined cycle, combustion turbine generating plant to the California power grid (Sutter Power Plant) and a new 230 kV transmission line to the City of Roseville (Roseville-Elverta T-line).

Mr. Parkins also served as the Energy Services Manager for Western, during which he became the solar photovoltaic (PV) expert for all of Western and a PV technical consultant to the U. S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program.  He instructed numerous PV workshops throughout the United States and assisted numerous public agencies and private clients by analyzing potential PV projects, designing systems, writing technical RFP specifications, evaluating bids, performing construction inspections, installing systems,  consulting on municipal solar programs and corporate marketing strategies, developing PV Power Purchase Agreement and Operating Lease proposals for public and private clients, and evaluating new PV components and products for PV industry clients.  He also has performed research and development of PV components and systems and has implemented three PV Beta Test Sites.

While consulting with a recent PV development firm, he provided design guidance on three new PV products: a small user friendly, village level PV product for use in the third world and other off-grid applications, a residential PV tile, and a PV carport, which emphasized aesthetics and ease of installation.  He also provided design review and guidance to two start-up PV companies: one which developed a concentrating PV module and another which developed a new thin film module. He has experience in the planning and design of utility sized PV systems ranging from 1 to 100 MW, and has consulted with clients in India, southern and western Africa, Mexico, Chile, Australia and Japan.