The 1.76-megawatt solar installation at the Assurant Specialty Property Facility in Springfield, Ohio is the largest array in the Springfield, Dayton area, according to a release from the company.
But the installation is about more than providing clean power to the facility.
“We undertook this project as a learning experience,” said Jeanne Schwartz, vice president of new venture commercialization. “We commissioned a project so we could learn first hand what’s it’s like to be a solar customer.”
Since the company has entered the solar industry, it has become an active player in various different groups, including one that aims to make solar more bankable.
This Ohio installation includes 6,200 rooftop solar panels and panels on top of carports for employees.
“This project helped us identify the insurance and protection needs of the industry,” Schwartz said. “We learned how difficult it can be to get a project done and how important insurance can be to lenders.”
One of the lessons from the installation resulted in the company added something to its commercial solar insurance program that most other providers don’t address – the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Those SREC sales are an essential part of financing a project, Schwartz said. And if there is an interruption or problem with the equipment, most insurance covers actual lost revenue, but Schwartz said she believes Assurant is the first to also cover lost revenue from those SREC sales.
The company’s solar array dedication on Earth Day was well attended with several prominent local political figures and representatives from the Solar Energy Industries Association at the event.