Thoughts on Solar

Solar in the Mainstream

December 03, 2013


The Center for American Progress recently reported that more than 1,460 MW of residential solar installations have been installed across the country since 2000, with more than 80 percent of that capacity added in the past four years alone. Not that we needed more proof that solar technology is moving into the mainstream and becoming more affordable: the research also underlined an overwhelming trend of installations in middle-class neighborhoods where the median income does not exceed six figures…. Read More

Trading Places at SPI

November 04, 2013


Thousands of solar professionals assembled last week in Chicago at SPI. Through workshops, exhibits, speaking engagements and networking events, it clearly was evident that the solar industry continues to mature. Despite this, the industry is progressing at such a fast pace that developers, utilities and regulators are struggling with the rapidly evolving landscape, inevitably leading to inherent tension among these stakeholders. Issues such as net metering, how to adjust transmission and distribution costs, power intermittency and its effect… Read More

We’ll See You at Solar Power International

October 16, 2013


Chicago, it’s my kind of town. In June, Chicago became one of the first cities to be certified as a sustainable destination for meetings and events. The city’s convention center, McCormick Place also was certified as a sustainable venue making it a smart destination for next week’s Solar Power International (SPI) Conference. SPI brings together the “Who’s Who” in the solar industry for four intense days of educational and networking opportunities. Assurant’s solar group is excited to be… Read More

Solar Doesn’t Take the Fall or Winter Off

September 10, 2013


The sun is setting earlier, children are back in school and leaves are beginning to turn color. It won’t be long before the fall foliage rains down upon us. For owners of solar arrays, it won’t be just the lawn that will need raking and the gutters clearing. Fall clean-up takes window washing to a new level. Photovoltaic panels need a good cleaning because solar doesn’t take the fall and winter off. Forget about the glass spray, however…. Read More

Finding Room for Solar at Home

August 05, 2013


My next home is going to be in a beautifully wooded area near a lake. Gearing up for the big move isn’t without its challenges, of course. One of the big issues has been thinking about how we can go solar. A colleague of mine had a different problem. The panels were picked out and the financing in place only for her to learn that the system would require an upgrade of the connection to the utility and… Read More

Celebrating our First Year In Solar

May 21, 2013


    We are blowing out the candles on the cake and celebrating our first year in the solar industry. We began on an auspicious note when we launched our Assurant Solar Project Insurance last year. We were greeted by a news headline that said our entry into the solar industry signified the maturing market and less exciting times to come. Well, insurance may seem boring but the past 12 months was high energy for our Solar team…. Read More

An ounce of prevention

January 17, 2013


Every 3,000 miles. When I was teaching my children how to drive I also taught them that every 3,000 miles they should get an oil change and maintenance checkup before something goes wrong. I taught them to not ignore the car service light when it goes on and to remember to fill up the gas tank before it gets too low. But despite my best efforts, I occasionally found myself jumping into my car to go get them… Read More

Enhancing Risk Management Services for the Solar Industry

December 13, 2012


                  Since we launched Assurant Solar Project Insurance our goal has been to help solar project developers complete more projects by securing project financing more easily. Assurant Solar Project Insurance helps satisfy lender and investor requirements. One of the challenges, however, has been making sure solar installations continue to generate the energy yields that investors anticipate during the course of a project’s lifespan. Sound and ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) services… Read More

Solar Shines through the Storm

November 15, 2012


 When Hurricane Sandy pounded the East Coast, it left 8.5 million homes and businesses across 16 states in the dark as transmission lines, transformers and substations fell victim to powerful winds and the storm surge. While the conventional electric grid suffered the storm’s wrath, power generating sources of renewable energy including solar modules made it through largely unscathed. Solar modules are designed to withstand the elements and are resilent in most weather conditions. Hurricane force winds can uproot… Read More

Solar Module Warranties

October 16, 2012


I am thrilled to be adding my voice to the discussion on solar photovoltaic (PV) project development as the newest member of the Assurant solar team. For my first post, I thought I’d weigh in on the issue of solar module warranties. It is a topic that continues to preoccupy solar developers, owners, investors and lenders alike. Typically, solar developers only needed to ask themselves two things about solar modules. First, what’s the price? Second, what’s the energy… Read More