Skyheat's Board of Directors

  • Richard Komp, PhD., Director
  • Michael Holahan, Secretary
  • Joan McMurry, Treasurer
  • Larry Komp, Board Member
  • Vicky Patton, Board Member
  • Kathleen McConnell, Board member
  • Charles Ewing, Board Member

Skyheat Associates is recognized as a public non-profit 509(a)(2) organization (Part of 501 (c)(3)) and your donation is tax deductible. Our Federal ID number is: 31-1021520.

Dr. Richard Komp's Bio

Dr. Richard Komp, co-founder of Skyheat, currently serves as Director. Surely few people can match both the enthusiasm Dr. Komp has brought to solar energy as well the length of his career around solar technologies. While he didn’t start working professionally with solar energy until 1960, as far back as 1951 he had worked with passive solar and radiant heating technologies. He has taught literally hundreds of workshops around the world, and has dozens of publications to his name—from academic papers to his current book “Practical Photovoltaics”. He is also the editor for the Maine Solar Energy Association’s quarterly newsletter and their guide to backyard solar entitled “The Maine Solar Primer”.

His workshops have included such themes as: PV module assembly and solar micro-drip irrigation. He has pioneered PV as a “cottage industry” in Nicaragua, Mali, and Haiti (and soon Jamaica and Rwanda), making use of cells that are rejected by major manufacturers to do low-tech assembly of PV panels. Currently groups in these countries are assembling dozens of panels per year for a total of over 10 kilowatts per year.

Richard has had a deep career in the academic and research worlds. He received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Wayne State University in Michigan and later was an associate professor at Kentucky University. He also has been an adjunct or visiting professor at several other universities, including currently the national engineering university (UNI -- Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería) in Managua, Nicaragua where he spends 2-3 months per year. Earlier in his career he conducted extensive research at Xerox’s Materials Research Laboratory, resulting in about a dozen patents on such things as nanoparticle photoreceptors. That said, Richard is far more than just an “academic”. He is just as “hands on” as he is cerebral and he lives in an off-the-grid solar house that he built himself far “down east” in Jonesport, Maine (the only place a solar scientist could afford coastal real estate). The house is decked out with many of the technologies he has taught in workshops, including photovoltaics, solar thermal hot water (via his “hybrid” system), and rain water catchments. It allows him to lead a simple, inexpensive, and fruitful life that many would envy.

His involvement in several organizations speaks to his commitment to share his knowledge and skills to younger generations as well as to make a difference in the world. He currently is involved in the following organizations:


  • Skyheat Associates – Director & Co-Founder, non-profit
  • Maine Solar Energy Association – President, non-profit
  • Sunwatt Corporation – Founder
  • Grupo Fenix – Scientific & technological Advisor, group of Nicaraguan organizations
  • SeedTree – Treasurer
  • Northeast Sustainable Energy Association – Chapter Board Member
  • Great Auk Land Trust – Board Member

Places Richard Has Been in the World

  • Canada (Falls Brook Centre), Europe, Haiti, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mali, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and San Andreas (Colombia)


  • Astronomy and building telescopes
  • Sailboat racing out of Gross Point Yacht Club with GM physicists (Richard was never a member but the club is known for being a place that kicked out Michael Moore)


  • English, some Spanish, French, & German

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Richard Komp's House
Richard Komp (right) and others, assembling a solar hotwater collector with the solar business SUNI Solar in Managua, Nicaragua.
Richard Komp's House
A solar cooked lunch made using a sola box cooker.
Richard Komp's House
Assembling a solar panel at Skyheat in Jonesport, Maine.

Skyheat Associates, PO Box 184, Harrington, ME 04643 USA
(207) 497-2204