Solar Washington: How or why did you become interested in solar? Tell us about any specific experience with solar:
Alex Nephew: I was accidentally introduced to a few solar projects about 2 years ago and I found them fascinating! I am in my 6th year as an insurance broker and, for the past 3 years, I have been insuring construction companies. I began to read more about the solar project modules themselves and the differences in risks that solar contractors face vs. specialty trade contractors. In insurance when you look at a business you look at its operations and its exposures. Solar contractors, depending on what they do, may each have a unique exposure to be considered and it requires intimate knowledge of the business, reading contracts and understanding operations to understands the nuances and offer the best policy.
This got me even more interested in the subject! I reached out to a few teammates in my company and realized that we have a team of people who have been working with renewable energy companies for over 10 years. I now insure renewable energy projects around the country as well as solar contractors, system owners (from rooftop to utility scale) and developers of those projects.
SW: Why did you join Solar Washington and what do you expect from Solar Washington?
AN: I was looking for an organization that promoted solar and would help me network with like minded people and companies. When I joined, I didn't know what to expect. Now as a Solar Washington board member, I see that there are so many more individuals who, like me, want a place to connect and to learn more and create an impact, but who want to do it TOGETHER!
One of the things I love about the annual Solar Summit is the networking, this is an opportunity to meet others who align with the same or near same interests. What a great time to meet someone new who can help you expand your thought process and help you grow your business, your knowledge or your awareness. What if we could continue to bring more change to solar and Washington? What if we could have individuals and stakeholders from various sectors represented and have them all come together and round table ideas on how we can continue advancing solar in the State of Washington. Solar Washington should be the catalyst for that change.
SW: Do you have any advice for anyone considering solar right now as a career or as a source of energy in Washington?
AN: Let's talk about careers: Even before the recent (IRA) legislation, renewable energy has been one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Now it is even more crucial! There are companies WILLING and WAITING to train from the ground up and they need more people! This is an industry that will see growth for years and years to come. Get more information and get connected!