It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Bhima (Bhimashankar) Nitta, founder and owner of Power-Guru Solar Electric Systems. Bhima entered the hospital and passed away on Thursday, August 6 after a very brief illness.
Power-Guru Solar Electric Systems will be continuing operation normally during this time; servicing existing clients, selling and installing new systems, and finishing development of the Bennington Community Solar Farm.
Bhima was passionate about being a part of the solution to global climate change. Educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, Bhima graduated with a doctorate in chemical engineering, and received a certificate in Systems Engineering from Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduation he worked for several years with BOC Gases and General Electric (GE), before settling down for seven years as a Project Manager and Energy Consultant with Efficiency Vermont serving industrial customers in the southern part of the state. In addition, Bhima worked for several years designing, patenting, and developing markets for clean energy technologies such as microturbines and fuel cells with United Technologies.
This lifetime of work focused on clean energy was more than a job for Bhima and it led him to the founding of Power Guru. Bhima believed that the only acceptable answer to the existential threat of climate change was to be part of the solution, and through his work at Power Guru he was directly helping people find solutions to their energy needs through renewable solar power, and indirectly helping Vermont meet it’s energy goal and ultimately helping the planet. Since his founding of Power Guru in 2008, Bhima’s company has installed over 200 solar power systems, and completed a community solar power farm that provides power to over 50 people and businesses.
Bhima’s business philosophy never wavered from his personal philosophy of helping his community and the planet. “I was honored to be able to speak on behalf of Bhima at a Select Board meeting about community solar in 2017” remembers Jonah Spivak, former president of the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, “As president of the chamber at that time, it was my pleasure to support Bhima and his efforts to bring affordable renewable energy to our community. He was a respected chamber member and his dedication to the chamber and the community at large is an ongoing testament to his life and work …a life cut tragically short.”
Never far from his passion for developing renewable energy through his business, was his equal dedication to education about solar power, energy efficiency, and how we as a community could lower our carbon footprint and help save our planet. Bhima volunteered his time over and over to participate in community forums, programs, and informational sessions to educate the public on how they can participate in the “green revolution”. Most recently this past January, Bhima was instrumental in conceiving, producing, and participating in the CAT TV show Green Energy Opportunities, which featured a panel discussion with the recently created Town of Bennington Energy Committee, a representative of Efficiency Vermont, and Bhima.
Bhima’s business acumen was readily apparent in the effective way he ran his business, but perhaps surprising to some would be how much time he and his staff spend working with people on ways to lower their energy needs. Rather than simply try to sell more solar panels, Bhima and his team always began with an energy audit where they would try to LOWER the number of panels needed by suggesting other ways of saving power. For Bhima, the ultimate goal was never his short term profit, but rather the long term goal of serving the needs of our community and planet.
If ever there was a time when the world needed people like Bhima, that time is now. The choice he made to dedicate his life’s work to green energy and saving the planet are a testament to the kind of person Bhima was. Today is the saddest of days as we must say goodbye to our dear Bhima Nitta. His contributions to the community, his employees, his family and the world will not be forgotten. Bhima’s family, and the staff at Power-Guru Solar Electric Systems believe that continuing this life’s work at Power-Guru is the best way we can honor his legacy.