The unique and dedicated team of people who work at Sol Systems have been a key part of our success over the past 11 years. With a growing staff of more than 60 full-time employees in Washington, D.C., the driven, talented group of industry professionals have created resourceful financing mechanisms for the solar industry and thousands of individual projects. This summer, we will give you an inside look at some of the incredible work our team members have been doing. This week, we are featuring Senior Associate on our Asset Management team, Kate Brandus. Kate manages reporting and compliance for Sol Systems’ SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) funds.
1. What brought you to Sol Systems?
I’ve always had an interest in sustainability, environmental matters, and energy issues that address climate change. After I graduated college and began applying to jobs, I came across an open position in operations at Sol Systems through the DC Eco-Women listserv, which connects women in the DC area to jobs and environmental events. At the time, I was in Atlanta, but after I interviewed with Sol Systems, I instantly became intrigued and decided to move to DC.
2. What sparked your interest in the solar energy industry?
In college, I gained some exposure to the REC market through my curriculum, which I work with through my current job. The solar energy industry is constantly changing and adapting based on the current climate of the market. We also see this with varying state policies in the SREC market. The solar industry is filled with young, passionate individuals, especially in DC. Because the community is small, but growing, you naturally meet people within various solar-focused companies. Because of this, my passion for solar energy and sustainable advocacy continues to thrive.
3. What is your favorite part about working at Sol Systems?
From a personal perspective, Sol Systems has allowed me to grow professionally through an incredible network of managers who prioritize my career goals and aspirations. One of my favorite parts about working here is the incredible group of people and the autonomy to make things happen as a team. We constantly do fun activities, especially during “Soliversary”, our anniversary week, where all employees come together to focus and reflect on the company’s past. Because we naturally practice sustainable efforts due to our line of work, we also make community service a huge priority. Recently, 20 Sol Systems employees volunteered to pick up trash for two hours on an island and couldn’t pick up the entirety of the waste. This experience was extremely eye-opening and made me want to refocus my plastic consumption and refrain from using single-use plastic. These ideas were brought back to our sustainability task force, which is a group of 10-11 people that facilitate and enact sustainable efforts among the office. One of our goals is to make our office carbon neutral by 2020 by accessing our current carbon inventory and setting achievable initiatives for the future.
4. How has your role at Sol Systems evolved?
At the beginning of my career, I handled customer service and operations on our SREC team. As my career has progressed, I am now working with asset management, specifically reporting and compliance for SREC funds. I also respond to customer and installer partner inquiries, troubleshooting any customer issues, managing the quarterly payments cycle and managing KPI reporting regarding day to day processes, customer acquisition, customer retention and portfolio performance. Additionally, I manage the compliance obligations and operational performance for Sol’s debt-financed SREC funds. Although my work hasn’t changed too much, I have expanded my capacities into other markets to build my professional portfolio.
5. What are your thoughts on the future of Sol Systems?
Over the next few months and year, my team’s aspirations are to set up long term planning and refocusing on business development to eventually dive into new markets. We have been focusing on operational efficiencies for a long time and there is always room for more growth, but we’ve revaluated where we can continue to succeed even further.
6. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
In the fall, I will be going back to school part-time to obtain my MBA at the University of Maryland, so I am excited to learn about business and enhance my financial skills. As for my career, I love the solar industry and hope to continue my passion for sustainability and resiliency issues.
7. Outside of Sol Systems, what do you like to do for fun?
I consider myself to be the only “aquatic animal” here at Sol Systems. Everyone at Sol Systems is a big runner, but I was a swimmer, so I try to coordinate a monthly Sol Systems swim club. I also enjoy going out with my friends, biking, hiking, and mastering my cooking skills.
Are you interested in joining the Sol Systems family? Visit our careers page to see which career opportunities we are currently offering.
ABOUT SOL SYSTEMS
Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008. Sol is backed by Sempra Energy, a $25+ billion energy company.
Over the last ten years, Sol Systems has delivered 800 MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies.
Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.solsystems.com