I am honored and humbled to have been selected to join SEIA’s Board of Directors for the 2018/2019 term. I greatly appreciate the immense growth of solar energy in our nation since I first started my career in the clean energy space over a decade ago. This success wouldn’t be possible without forward-thinking policy, innovative technologies, and support from national advocacy groups, all of which continue to propel the clean energy industry forward. Organizations like SEIA, NECEC, CCSA, among many others, provide the education, resources, and support necessary for cohesive advancement within the solar space.
It’s that time of year when we can’t help but reflect, look back at the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. What have we done with the time we’ve been given?
When I think about the year “that was” for solar, there’s no denying the progress made, the momentum built and the signs pointing to an industry maturating. This was the year that, according to the SEIA, saw 36% of all new electric capacity installed come from solar. It was the year where a new solar project was installed every three minutes. It was the year where we saw costs drop dramatically to the point that the national average PV installed system price declined to $2.71/W by Q3 of 2014, with solar even reaching grid parity with fossil fuel generation in some states. The industry is awash in sunny news with the forecast for more sun holding strong.
It seems today, in this age of continual disruption fueled by technical innovation, that “once in a lifetime career opportunities” are no longer rarefied. Industries are being upended, “enchanted objects” via the Internet of Things are being imagined and designed, and great minds, young and old, are collaborating to solve the world’s big problems. But not all disruption is equal nor is every opportunity – some truly are singular.
Just shy of a year ago, I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to join Nexamp as its CEO. At the time, the company was already poised for success – having amassed a stellar team and nearly a decade of solar experience, and devised a differentiated strategy to develop, build, own and operate installations. The exuberance for solar this past year could be felt on Main Street, Wall Street, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and this excitement reached from Massachusetts to California. Year-over-year install growth was nearly 50% and in the first quarter of 2014 nearly three-quarters of all new generation came from solar. Just this month, SEIA and GTM Research, released a report noting that in Q2 2014 the U.S. installed 1,133 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics to total 15.9 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity or enough to power 3.2 million homes. For me, the opportunity to lead Nexamp is singular. Not only because of the momentum behind our company and the industry, but because we are just getting started.