The Future of Insurance Podcast – Jason Kaminsky

CEO, kWh Analytics

Season 3, Episode 3, June 21, 2022

Guest Bio

Jason Kaminsky is the CEO at kWh Analytics. Just prior to joining kWh Analytics, Jason spent more than three years as a Vice President of Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo Bank. As a senior member of the Wells Fargo deal team, Jason originated, underwrote, and financed tax-equity investments during a time when the bank added nearly $1bn of solar assets. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2011, Jason worked at SPG Solar, where he supported the CEO on strategic corporate initiatives.

Jason received both his B.S. in Mathematics and his B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Environmental Sciences from UCLA. He holds an M.S. degree in Environment and Resources from Stanford University, and also completed his M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is from Thousand Oaks, California.

Highlights from the Show

  • Jason’s background is on the finance side of solar and alternative energy
  • kWh was founded to create a data ecosystem that could be used by the financial industry
  • They created a data co-op model with solar asset owners who would share the data with kWh and get insights back, allowing kWh to use that data in its products to the financing world
  • In 2015, they collaborated with the Department of Energy to see what could be understood about solar production, to see if there’s a better way to forecast than the tools on the market so far
  • This also enabled an entry into the insurance space because of what kWh understood about the solar projects they could apply their data to
  • These solar projects needed to generate enough power to pay for their construction and operation, and insurance can be used to cover the risk that they fail to cover their costs
  • Project Finance is nothing new, but when it’s in new technologies like solar, it’s inherently riskier and more expensive, so insurance can help ensure the flow of financing, allowing these new technologies to take hold
  • While the entity doing the project is the one that takes out the coverage, the lender needs to understand the insurance, too, so they can provide more favorable loan terms, so that creates a need to educate both sides of the risk equation, not just the buyer
  • Projects started to have trouble getting Property insurance in 2021 due to climate risk, especially in markets like Texas, where a large hail event lead to a multi-million-dollar loss at a solar project
  • kWh wondered whether they could do a better job of understanding these risks than existing insurers, and find a way to insure these projects
  • They go a step further, though, because they also have data on the success of projects, including weather-related losses a project suffers, and actions project owners take to protect against these losses, so they can give proactive insights and advice to insureds to reduce their risks and enhance the project’s performance
  • Having come from the renewables space, the kWh team is better positioned than the broader insurance market to understand and support these risks, just like specialist financiers can do a better job choosing and supporting projects than the general lending community
  • As we look at power production being built, 3/4 is renewables, so this may be a small space today, but it is very quickly ramping up
  • My ESG paper can be found at

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