At Sol Systems, our team is our most valuable asset. Their dedication and passion for bringing creative financing solutions to the solar industry are essential to our company’s success. We are proud to employ some of the brightest talent in the renewable energy sector. This month, we sat down with Jessica Robbins, a Senior Associate on the Tax Equity team, to reflect on her time in the solar industry.
What brought you to Sol Systems?
It was a personal connection with a current Sol Systems employee, Andrew Gilligan, who graduated from the same program at Georgetown as me. He told me about this great, little company over in Dupont Circle that was doing some exciting things with renewable energy and connected me to an internship in January 2012.
When I came to Sol Systems, it immediately became apparent that its private-sector, startup mentality focused on solving problems, creating financing solutions, and figuring out what works and what does not in a continuously evolving industry was a great fit. I ended up coming on full time in July of 2012. I was the fourteenth person to join the company.
How has your role at Sol Systems evolved?
When I joined Sol Systems, I initially did a lot of market research on new incentive programs that were popping up in the United States in 2012. Looking at the successes and failures of different incentives and regulations led me to a lot of questions surrounding the economics underpinning solar financing and the business development of those initiatives. Those questions directed me to working on our project acquisitions team, where I developed relationships with folks who were working on solar projects across the country and looking for financing solutions.
In that role, I became more interested in the structuring and financing of solar projects, which led me to pivot to our tax equity team in 2014. In this role, I conduct project diligence, investment analysis and deal execution for the funds that we are closing and have enjoyed it very much. From 2014 to 2015 our team tripled the amount of capacity we closed, and we are looking forward to another big year in 2016.
What is your favorite part about working at Sol Systems?
Definitely the people, hands down. Although, the work itself is fantastic as well and is a close second. It is important work, and you wake up every morning feeling like you are contributing to a greater purpose than just earning a paycheck. But really, my favorite part is working with such a great team of intelligent, fun people of integrity. They are the highlight for me.
What are your thoughts on the future of the solar industry?
We are in a transitional moment in the industry. The extension of the ITC in December completely lifted the lid off of solar development on a national level. It is going to allow solar to grow exponentially through the next couple of years into a world where we will rely less on the ITC and more on state-driven initiatives resulting from the Clean Power Plan. Now, the industry’s focus will shift to state- or utility-level regulatory battles surrounding net metering, rate design, PURPA implementation, and other issues affecting how solar can be integrated into the grid in the most equitable and economic way.
What do you do outside of work?
Having an artistic, non-work-related outlet is important to me, so I sing in the City Choir of Washington. We recently had our Christmas concert, a huge two-and-a-half-hour extravaganza with organ, full brass section, and an incredible youth choir (who were potentially better than we were). Anyone in DC should check out our next performance in April!
I am also passionate about clean energy outside of work. I belong to the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, which is a fantastic organization in DC that is an incubator and network for young energy professionals. It has been a great way for me to meet and connect with other likeminded folks in DC and beyond. I would encourage any clean energy professional to check it out for ways to get involved.
Interested in a career with Sol Systems? We are currently seeking a project manager, senior accountant, senior director of project delivery, and summer interns. To learn more about solar energy careers with Sol Systems, please visit our careers page .
ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS
Sol Systems is a solar energy finance and investment firm. The company has facilitated financing for over 400MW of solar projects on behalf of Fortune 100 corporations, insurance companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. Sol Systems provides secure, sustainable investment opportunities to investor clients, and sophisticated project financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services range from tax structured investments and project acquisition, to debt financing and SREC portfolio management. Inc. Magazine named Sol Systems on its annual Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for a second consecutive year, ranking it No. 6 in the nation’s top solar companies in 2014. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com.