SunCast Podcast – With CEO, Kimberlee Centera

EPISODE 537

SunCast Podcast

KIMBERLEE CENTERA

“People are sometimes surprised when they hear renewable projects are so difficult. They’re like, ‘Well, you guys are green, you should be the good guys, and it should be easy.’ But it takes a lot of fortitude and perseverance to get these projects through because there’s one barrier after another”

Transcript

Nico Johnson [00:00:09] Providing clean power for all. Hey there, Solar Warriors. I’m Niko Johnson, and this is SunCast. Each week, I pull back the veil on the life and business insights of clean tech entrepreneurs building the most noble and impactful companies of our time. I hope what you learned from this conversation is the catalyst for your own work. So thanks for tuning in and welcome to our tribe. And welcome back senior warrior to another executive profile here on SunCast. I want to thank you for lending me your ears and the only nonrenewable resource you’ve got that is your time. If you’re new here, you’re going to get a ton of value out of this episode, especially if you’re looking at the utility scale side of the renewables industry. I just want to thank you for giving us a chance to earn your attention. It really is priceless. Today’s entrepreneur is a high power female executive who has been in the trenches for many, many years in the energy industry. Kimberlee Centera is one of the only female CEOs of a privately held utility scale renewable energy practice. She has a deep history in renewables development from really decades of experience and has generated over 12 gigawatts of projects in wind, solar and energy storage. She’s also been involved in financing more than 6 Billion with a B in project value. And her team are really are risk management experts for the development finance of these large scale projects. We’re going to dig into how you can learn ways to mitigate risk in your own projects and learn from four decades long experience. If this is the kind of thing that you look for in podcasts or you have found a gold mine. My friend, we’ve got more than 500 additional founder stories and startup advice from folks like Kimberlee on the frontlines of the Clean Energy Revolution. You can hear more of those stories by subscribing to the show or going to mysuncast.com, where you’ll find a treasure trove of deep conversations like the one you’re going to hear today. I want to give a hat tip to fellow podcaster Tim Montague, who made the intro to Kimberlee Centera. Tim, thank you, my friend, you’re a gentleman and a scholar. For now get ready to tune up your skills below here as we tune in to another powerful conversation here on SunCcast. We specialize here on SunCast on trying to get the real, authentic back story of the industry leaders who are really carving the path for the rest of us to follow. And when I get a chance to meet the guest for today, Kimberlee, have to admit that I didn’t know much about her background and I was so pleasantly surprised to find someone with such a deep knowledge and understanding not just of how solar projects come together, but how the industry has developed. We’re going to dig into that and so much more today. But firstly, welcome Kimberlee Centera, to SunCast.

Kimberlee Centera [00:03:15] Thank you, Niko. I’m honored and excited to be here.

Nico Johnson [00:03:20] Kimberlee, you have a treasure trove of experience in the industry. Before we really dig deep into that. I’d like to go back to prior to your coming into the solar industry or the clean energy industry at all and explore a little bit more about the nature of kind of how the environment you were raising, maybe prepared you for what was to come. I’d love to know what your family unit. Was it a big family or a small family. And perhaps you can explain that through the context of what did the conversation look like or sound like around the dinner table when you were young?

Kimberlee Centera [00:03:54] It’s a great question. And my father was a teacher, and he was one of the early entrants to California back in the early sixties when California was really trying to attract top talent. And all the colleges were offering incentives to the veterans to come in and go to school because they wanted to build up a bench. And so my dad came in with a dream. So being a teacher, he just naturally encouraged us to have opinions, to be aware, and in fact he challenged us to have opinions and be aware. And we had the 5 children. So family of seven and, you know, with a schoolteacher as a father, it was modest. You know, we pick strawberries and, you know, cut apricots and dried apricots out in Mountain View in the early days when there were still lots of farms and before it turned into the environment that it is today. So really appreciation for the land, I think. One of my earliest memories was going on a field trip with one of my father’s classes. He taught biology, chemistry, so he taught the sciences and we were out in the delta. I think you mentioned maybe you come from the Oakland area, so you might remember the Delta area of the Bay Area. And so we went out and did some trenching and were looking at the water lines and some of the micro organisms and that kind of thing really stuck with me. But I think overall there was a challenge. There was encouragement to to learn and to grow and always be learning and always be willing to grow. And so I think that for me was very foundational for me in terms of my thinking and my approach to my business, my life. I always be learning.

Nico Johnson [00:05:59] I love that. We are a community here of infinite learners in the SunCast Tribe, so more than a few are nodding along with your knowledge and having found someone else as devoted, I would say, to lifelong learning. And that is something that I think would become a recurring theme here. And in the conversation, as you were being under the tutelage of a lifelong learner himself, an academic, do you have early memories of kind of the career trajectory you wanted to take, influenced by a father who said challenge, challenge everything and choose your own path?

Kimberlee Centera [00:06:37] You know, I’m sure it contributed to my starting my business and ultimately where I ended up just because, you know, you have to have that entrepreneurial, willing to learn spirit. I think when you’re starting a business, you know, there really isn’t a rule book. You know, nobody really hands you a book and says, okay, just check all these boxes and you’re going to be a fabulous success right. You have to sling it out. But, you know, I think that encouragement, you know, I had another teacher when I was in high school that really influenced me in the area of law, really made law really interesting. And so I took a lot of law classes and learned a lot about different things. And that was really it was that basis that led me into renewables. I was really pursuing law and, you know, just really found that I loved it and wanted to work in that area. And so, it was that position that that opened up that caused me to leave the law firm and end up in the legal department for developer and a wind developer in the very early days.

Nico Johnson And not just any wind developer. Tell me about your first foray into what at the time was the very early development market for wind power projects in California and beyond, and how that turned into a more than a decade long career that culminated at a company that many years ago called AES how did that come about?

Kimberlee Centera [00:08:09] So I ended up working In-House and the legal department for Sea West Wind Power, which was owned by really one of the only wind development and actually develop some of the earliest projects up in Altamont in the days when the tax incentives were tied to the individual turbines. So if you want to take advantage of the tax benefits, you would actually own a turbine and the transmission and and you would have a piece of the access. And so if you had a wind project with 35 or in those days, it might have been 100 small, very small kilowatt machines, and then you would have 100 owners. And I know this for a fact, because one of my very early jobs was to try to fix the title. All the title issues on one of these wind projects where all of these turbines had been individually owned. And so the starting premise was go out, find all these people that we hadn’t found and get them to sign a release to terminate their interest. We were trying to clear the land to do a repower. Luckily, all that evolved, fortunately for us and in the business to where, you know, we now just have a single owner on these projects. But it’s hard to imagine the complexity in those days.

Nico Johnson Who was the founder of Sea West? I Was looking for any sort of remnant of information, and I can’t find any.

Kimberlee Centera [00:09:42] That was Chuck Davenport. Charles Davenport, yes. That early education, I think being in that environment where there was a, you know, definitely a pioneer attitude and a small company in those days. We also did our own contracting work what you now call ABC, we would do our own construction. It was financed, of course, but it was fun because from sitting in the developer seat, we got to experience not only the financing part but the actual construction of the projects and what goes into that. So, you know, again, a lot of that formulated my my later experience.

Nico Johnson I’m finding them now because I was searching the letter C, C West instead of S.E.A. Sea West

Kimberlee Centera [00:10:27] And it actually started out, I guess as the letter C and then West, but it evolved seaover time into SEA WEST, so a little bit of history there. But you know, we had several offices and controlled a lot of projects, which was really fun.

Nico Johnson] You know, one of. The things that I found looking across is early on when we were talking turn of the century 2001.

Kimberlee Centera [00:10:56] Thank you!

Nico Johnson [00:10:58] You know, renewable energy world at that time was one of the only companies highlighting the work that was being done in renewables. And I found an article here, this is Oil Giant Enters Market for U.S. Wind Energy. You remember that? Shell and Energy. Right? I mean, it’s it’s fascinating to me. Nothing is new under the sun. You know, all these people who are talking about, you know, both BP and Shell and all their investments in renewables, it’s it’s literally the same playbook from 20 years ago.

Kimberlee Centera [00:11:28] I think that’s the beauty of this business. And we were just talking about it yesterday with my team. You can sit down and have a conversation and within pretty short order, you’re going to find out that, you know, the same people work on the same project. Yeah, it’s it’s a very small industry and it’s really always stayed that way. It’s really been very small from the very beginning.

Nico Johnson [00:11:50] Yeah. It is increasingly becoming a more crowded space and that is just so much more opportunity for folks like you who have such a depth of experience to to be a sage, to be a guide and help folks find the right path, because there’s so many folks who do think they’ve got to start from scratch and you simply, simply don’t. Right. So the evolution of kind of if you look at your LinkedIn, nobody nobody would know anything about Sea West, which is one of the reasons I wanted to bring that story out. Thank you for sharing that. But Sea West was acquired by AES and that’s where the story for Kimberlee Centera really takes a turn. And we’re were able to look at the juxtaposition of, I call it small developer relative to the large scale oil and gas industry. Right. Small developer versus IBP, independent power producer, like a yes, which had most of their assets in reciprocating engines and fossil fuels at that time. Can you talk about the process of going from this relatively small startup feeling company developing wind assets to now being a part of it? Yes.

Kimberlee Centera [00:12:51] You know, it was it was such a huge change. I like to tell people that I really became an expert at financing because it was a necessity. You know, when we were Sea West, you know, all of our money came from external third parties. So when you know that you’re dependent upon something, you’re going to get really good at making sure that you understand going into the transaction that you can get a deal closed when we became. Yes, it was such a huge shift because suddenly we could ask the question, well, is this balance sheet, you know, are we going to bring in external financing in this sequence? Is most of our construction, you know, we never started to turn dirt until we had our financing in place because we have to issue title insurance. And there’s all kinds of issues associated with, you know, starting construction prior to having your debt closed and on record. And so it was a very interesting position to then be in where we suddenly had lots of options. Also, I think the magnitude of our projects, we went from, you know, developing 15 megawatt projects to developing 250 megawatt projects. So it had a whole different effect on, you know, the kinds of projects, the size, how we played in the market. You know, when you’re when you’re a smaller company, you know, you’re you’re reaching out to everyone. And then when you’re a larger company, you know, they’re reaching out to you. So there was a lot of factors that changed that I think worked to our benefit. I think there was also challenges too, in that at the time that we were a smaller company, all the hierarchy was local, so decisions could be made more easily and more straightforward. And so obviously with the larger companies, things take a little longer. But it became a really compelling part of my story because I think it really helps me to help my clients know the kinds of questions to ask, how we’re going to set up for that risk, right? Dependent upon what our players in the market and how we set.

Nico Johnson [00:15:05] You know, one thing that’s interesting to me is when at the time of acquisition I see what was billed as the top wind developer. Yeah. Your perspective having sort of come in to see us not really knowing much about the renewables industry, but being sort of trained in law and in real estate, you got to kind of ride that rocket ship. And even as becoming its own rocket ship, how did you perceive that the market responded to the small developer world of Southwest versus the large type of. Yes, beyond just the financing.

Kimberlee Centera [00:15:36] I think it demonstrated their commitment to the renewable market and their commitment to bringing in the best team, you know, at that time. And I still today, Nico, in all the clients that I’ve talked to and all the development teams that I’ve had the pleasure and the opportunity to work with, I still think back to the brain trust that we had that comprised that team and I’ve not seen it replicated in the market. And so it was such a blessing to work with, you know, a team that we had worked together for a long time and we had really a great, I would call it, a camaraderie. We had an understanding of each of our individual skill sets and what it made sense. And by the time we got to AES and we had the opportunity then to start developing these very large scale projects, we were able to bring all of that experience and that collaboration to those projects. And it became really important because, you know, concurrently developing phase projects and all of that, there’s a lot of things that you need to anticipate. And back in our day, we were fortunate to be able to develop what became one of the most profitable projects for eight years at the time. And I attribute that to our team and the way that we knew how to think about all the different objectives, you know, all the different pieces, right, and how we want to put all that together.

Nico Johnson [00:17:10] You know, I feel that story for you and that contributed thereafter to not only AES, but stories. And the way the opportunities you had was the ability to learn to scale these projects. I know that for those who are unfamiliar Silver Ridge you can tell a story in Silver Ridge, which is itself a fascinating story. But I want to pull a thread here through the time at AES roughly ended around 2005 and the time between that in 2012 where you were working on projects as an independent contractor with Silver Ridge an AES joint venture. And then I have a question for you around the 2012, sort of in your opinion for you paint a picture for me of that decade of work between the AES acquisition and then that’s really no longer working for either AES or Silver Ridge.

Kimberlee Centera [00:18:06] We had an opportunity to have a really aggressive expansion across the U.S. We were looking in many different markets. I did some work in South America. We had a lot of opportunities that we were able to move forward and that was really exciting. There was a commitment on the part of AES to, you know, be a very significant contributor to the renewables market, which I think, again, they had demonstrated by bringing in this top development team that they knew could execute because it’s, you know, our business is is about being able to execute on projects. That’s really where the rubber hits the road. And all these projects are difficult. Every single one, it’s not easy. I think people are sometimes surprised when they hear that renewable projects are so difficult. It’s like, Well, you guys are green, you know, you should be the good guys. It should be easy. And it takes a lot of fortitude and perseverance to get these projects through. It’s one barrier after another. So I think those years were an opportunity to really hone that skill. And then also at that time, we were starting to go into solar, you know, very early days, you know, 2006, 2007. We were really starting to look at solar. They brought a team in and I had a chance to start working on solar in around 2007, 2008, start to look at agreements and, you know, the issues and what are we going to deal with? So I think there was that opportunity too, there was a lot of commitment to that growth and expansion.

Nico Johnson [00:19:49] For those of us who were sort of chugging along in the industry at the time, you know, Kimberlee was on a team that was building projects that at the time were unparallel projects like Mount Signal. One of the early sort of landmark projects, a lot of projects, the Inland Empire, a lot of stuff that you guys did outside of California as well. But Imperial Solar was another huge project that you had with Tenaska, and it really did set the stage for you and the team that you surround yourself with over that time from AES to Silver Ridge to be, as I said at the outset, Risk Mitigation Experts. And I get the sense that there’s kind of two core areas that embodies it’s getting the land, which is kind of the core requirement for one of these projects you have to have the land. Right. And that’s where you are a particular expert on real estate, getting that right and then getting the ability through that to finance the deal. Right. And like you said before, understanding the financing. So here you are. It’s 2012’ish timeframe and you have a decision to make. Can you take me to the room where you have an opportunity to really decide where you want your career path to go? I’d love to hear from you the moment where you make the decision; do I step out on my own and really trust that I’ve built the kind of skills that make an entrepreneur go. Take one of the many job offers I’m sure you get. If I if I move on with my career, continue to be an employee, how do you discuss that out?

Kimberlee Centera [00:21:22] You know, it was a very interesting time because I had built a long career and was, you know, in the capacity of being an employee. And that was it was a comfortable you know, it was it was a known position. Right. It was understood. And the year following 2012, as I was assessing my options and I was actually in negotiations on a couple of different opportunities, and the idea behind those opportunities was that I would go help these entities build their renewable division, I would use my project experience and contacts and all that. And and as I really thought more and more about going and pursuing that kind of opportunity, I started to ask myself some questions What if I did this for me? And what would it look like if I created something where it was an opportunity just for me to take those steps? I, I was starting to form a vision of what I thought the future might look like. And despite a lot of what I was being told, there was a part of me that had doubts. And I thought, if I really want to create this vision, this future, then what if I take a chance on myself? And that really became the avenue that I really pursued. And I think especially as a woman, as a woman, you know, you don’t necessarily have a lot of role models to look at in renewables and say, okay, she’s done a great job over there. She’s done a great job over there. You know, I want to replicate what she did. I think I you know, I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now that I had to really be willing to just, you know, take that first step, take the leap, just kind of walk off the cliff and trust. So but I think it’s important, especially for women and anyone considering a career is, you know, you don’t have all the answers and you’re not going to have all the answers. But I think if you’re willing to take those steps and I think this is where my focus and learning became so important because I found that the first thing I wanted to do was to reach out to my network, which is so many wonderful people that I’ve worked with through the years, and start to say, Could you see me doing this? What if I do? You know, what do you think? Here, here’s what I’m thinking. I’ve I’ve put together this material and I had people I found were so willing. I really have to call out Howard Sussman, who was at Stoel, and just so wonderful and just was always willing. And unfortunately, he’s no longer with us, but he was always willing to give his time. And and I said, would you be with me? And, you know, give me some you know, let me just strategize with you a little bit. And so I think that was another lesson, again, kind of coming back to that, being willing to learn. I remember one month in particular, I had 30 meetings in like a Month. And I had breakfast meetings and I had lunch meetings. I had, you know, dinners, whatever people were willing to do to meet with me, just to pull in a sense, my network and just check in with people. From that, I ended up getting some business, but I also ended up getting a lot of good ideas and suggestions, and I think that helped to propel me forward is being willing to ask questions and realize that there was a lot of people and people are willing and able they’re excited to help you. I found that too, that they wanted me to succeed. That was a wonderful piece of information to have that, you know, we don’t often get the opportunity to reach out to people and give them a chance to help us. If that makes sense.

Nico Johnson [00:25:42] It does make sense, you know. I remember I think I’ve told this story before, and I love Marco Garcia for the role he’s played in my career. He was a guest 3 of the podcast, or guest 2 is the second episode. I mean, we had done a lot of work in Latin America, but I’m using this to enunciate of underscore what you just said about how people just rise up to give you a sense of confidence that you’re in the right direction. I think he’d gotten wind that I’ve been laid off from a job that I had been trying really hard to succeed it, and through no fault of our own, they closed the division. I just was kind of ready. I was trying to figure out what’s next. I already started the podcast and sort of started consulting. They sent me a picture and it’s a very simple picture. I knew it and immediately what it sort of intimated and it was, you know, sort of a folded over piece of paper, like a name card. And they had Nico Johnson on it, right? And it was sitting at a desk and that desk, was it next record in the offices? Right. And I think that oftentimes we missed the macro message the universe sending us. And what I took from that moment and I texted Marco and I said, Hey, man, I love you. I don’t think you want me to work for you. I’m unemployable. We are friends and we probably would not remain that. I might be successful at working for you, but we wouldn’t stay friends. I value your friendship, so thank you for giving me the freedom to know that I’ve got a backstop. Right? Right. It’s interesting. Did like a really, really deep interview with Andy Klump this morning on episode 500 bringing up a lot. I share that because clearly what I hear in the conversations that you had with mentors like I was having these conversations with Marco an affirmation from them at all these opportunities, what’s the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that you have to go take one of these amazing job offers and you get to bank on yourself and believe in yourself. Amazing opportunity and freedom for you and kudos to you for seeing that the path forward was not a zero sum game of I have to choose this opportunity and not lose the option to do these other things and that you’ve reached out to your network and asked for help. I’m going to come back to that in another part of the interview, because I think that the asking for help often is the confusing if you don’t know what to ask. So we’ll come back to that later in the interview. And I want to pin it because you also are kind of a deal junkie and it’s evident in the way you run your business because you’re so actively involved in client engagement, as is Dan Shugar at Nextracker, as are so many of the great CEOs in our industry. What did you love about those early days of development that you carry with you now as a CEO who helps other developers really navigate and mitigate risk in their projects?

Kimberlee Centera [00:28:27] It was really about, for me, really in a lot of respects it’s been about the people and it’s been about being able to go into communities and just have a, you know, a grassroots effect of, you know, understanding the concerns, hearing what the issues were, and then really being able to respond to that. And I’ve lived through the years. I’ve had so many great conversations with so many people. You know, I rode shotgun out in Wyoming when we were previewing a lot of our property for our five foot creek projects. And one of the landowners out there, Cliff, you know, his grandmother had shot a bear and in the front yard and she had a house. She just he had these crazy stories. You know, I spent time up in Oregon, you know, again, walking the land, a lot of time really walking the land. And for me, it really became personal. And I really felt like there was a difference that we that we could make in terms of building that connection. And I feel so strongly that renewables is about communities. It’s really about communities. And I think sometimes we I don’t know that we do a good enough job in renewables of, you know, really making it personal for people. I think we can do a better job of that, of how I’ve seen just for communities change in and out of Texas, Abilene, you know, in the early days what the city looked like and how it really evolved. That to me has always really been really compelling. And, you know, just so many of these, I had one landowner and she called me for 25 years whenever she had questions, and we had long since sold the projects and moved on. And and eventually I was dealing with her daughter and then I was dealing with her granddaughter. And she’s unfortunately now passed away. But, you know, it’s just been those relationships. And and and I think that was really the part that was always really compelling for me.

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Nico Johnson [00:32:36] If someone tuning in hasn’t figured it out by now, you really are land expert. You your first job at AES was basically taking care of title and real estate for the project and you have added on a tremendous amount of additional skill sets as you pointed to financing. As you took that step out, you know, encouraged by the likes of Howard Sussman to start your own business, deciding that one of the ways you could add value was ensuring that project developers really had realized that in its cost around the reality of picking the right land and knowing that it was secure. How do you think about distinguishing yourself from the competition?

Kimberlee Centera [00:33:19] You know, it’s a great question, and we think about that a lot. One of the things that we found is if we can get the phone call and we can project talk, then people understand and know that we know a lot and that there’s a lot of ways that we can help them be smarter. You know, this is a tough business. It’s tough to have projects, you know, succeed. And you’ve really got to be smart about how you approach things. And there’s always things that are going to come out of the blue. You know, there’s going to be those conscious. But as many as as you know, we can identify early on and address early on, it’s it’s really about helping our clients, you know, leveraging what they already know. Let’s not make those same mistakes. I’ve already made them. And how can we leverage that to be a lot smarter? And, you know, we’re all working in markets all across the U.S. We’ve seen a lot. I’m an expert witness in a very large case right now that happens to involve minerals, severance. And so, you know, I’ve seen a lot. And so I really want to help our clients and especially our developers. A lot of our developers are you mentioned, you know, there’s a lot of people coming into renewables. We’re working with a lot of those people and how can we help them?

Nico Johnson [00:34:49] Are they finding use through referrals or how they’re finding?

Kimberlee Centera [00:34:52] They find us through referrals. We find them sometimes. You know, we’re always reaching out to people. A lot of people will come in through a website. I’m doing some speaking. I’m speaking at as planned on risk management. I love it when people come in as a referral because then somebody has already said, you have this issue you need to call care pro, you need to call Cam or you need to call Jen or whoever because they’re the right ones to help you understand it and sort it out.

Nico Johnson [00:35:22] Help me unpack that then, because in my conversations with you, it seems like you’re kind of the fixers you get called when folks are either trapped like last mile, they come up with a problem that you’ve definitely saw them or seen and resolved in some aspect. Help me understand the the things that maybe look packages this way from your experience. Maybe we can sort of create a meeting list for those who are listening that would be thinking, well, why would I need to reach out to Kim or what I learned from Kim? What do you think developers really need to understand about Land Permit as it pertains to the impact they can have on the success of these large utility scale projects?

Kimberlee Centera [00:36:05] Thinking about, you know, one of the most important leverage pieces I think we have this time. We can either use time to our advantage or it’s going to be used against us on these deals as we get close to the closing. So if we’re thinking about, you know, that litany of what’s going to be coming out, there’s there’s a series of best practices that we want to look at. And again, with our market experience, we a lot of times we’re helping our clients address, you know, portfolios, issues. How do you want to plan? You know, if I’m sitting down, I’m talking to you, Nico, about your projects, then I’m going to want to say, when is your NTP, when are you planning COD, you know, backing up from those timeframes. And I think for us, maybe one of the things that really is important is not necessarily looking at something in isolation as just a lease or looking at something as a project. I know this is a whole project that you’re going to move forward that’s going to have to have all these different components, all these different pieces. It’s going to need to have, you know, our in our transmission and all of that.

Nico Johnson [00:37:19] Yeah. Some of the things related to transmission that you’ve you’ve taught me things like curative documentation, crossing matrices like subordination, all these things, they tend to be confusing. Can you help unpack some of that for us?

Kimberlee Centera [00:37:31] I like to think of the idea. You mentioned land real estate of of site control, initial site control, and you’ve got to have site control for your project. Site control means that you’ve got some kind of an executed document and that you’ve recorded evidence of that document. And there’s a lot of parameters as far as names of owners, projects, company, all of that. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to contract some kind of lease that you’ve accrued evidence. The next step in that process is what I like to refer to as perfected site control. So that’s where we start to look at all the different elements surrounding that agreement. Do you have the right project company, do you have the right landowners, you have the right land. It’s surprising how often we’ll look at a portfolio of projects overall, doing some M&A work or review work. And and you know, we’ll start out with, okay, where is the list that you have? So we can compare that and make sure that you’re getting what you think you’re getting, because a lot of times those things don’t necessarily align for a lot of different reasons.

Nico Johnson [00:38:47] Yeah.

Kimberlee Centera [00:38:47] Most of the times we can fix those issues, but that perfected site control is what is then going to take you into financing. And so you start to talk about these ideas of subordination and probate documentation and affidavits. And there’s a very long list of things that are going to be needed for a financing.

Nico Johnson [00:39:09] I find that one of the biggest issues that developers coming into the space, maybe coming from real estate or other non energy related projects don’t initially understand and you must run into a fair amount of I would bet is the rights of way we dealt with this a lot in Latin America where the developers should have like a parcel of land and they were going to interconnect some kilometers away and they had not done any real work on can that on the right the rights of way the actual access to interconnection point. How common is that now? I mean, it feels like that was definitely common in the in the in the immature early cowboy days of renewables. But is that still an issue? And what other items like that come up when you’re thinking about will this project work?

Kimberlee Centera [00:39:53] I think it’s absolutely paramount, you know, for transmission. And it does get overlooked. We have one client recently who was surprised to learn that, you know, the access to transmission all has to be part of the survey, all has to be part of the title insurance know everything has to be button down, you know, all the same curative work has to be done that that’s going to be the expectation. So, you know, those particular pieces are going to be as critical as where the improvements are going to be for the project. So it all becomes part of the same part of the same financing package and the security. And we’ve actually one of the trends that we’ve seen in our business is sort of right away review work know because it can get very detailed and there can be projects. We looked at a 30 mile transmission line that had probably every kind of ownership you could have from state lands to tribal lands to federal lands, you know, public agencies, private individuals. And so there’s. A very complex strategy that needs to go into acquiring that and then perfecting it. And, of course, you know, just tracking a lot of the transmission work that’s being done now, there’s two or 300 mile lines in some cases that are going to be installed. And in our business, typically, you know, we don’t have the power of a domain, eminent domain like the utilities have. So it becomes a matter of, you know, we’ve got to figure out a way to work with a party. And if we can’t, then we may have to look at some costly alternatives.

Nico Johnson [00:41:43] I think this is one of those areas where people tend to undervalue your work in the overall process because they still understand it and they don’t know, that they don’t know. Can you give me some examples of why, for example, I should care about subordination?

Kimberlee Centera [00:41:59] We have lots of cases, you know, subordination and know curative work. I like to say it’s just not that sexy, but, you know, it’s it’s and it’s something that a lot of people don’t care about unless you and sitting in a transaction a closing and you know you’re trying to put a value on, you know, what happens if we lose this piece of property in the middle of our project because the lender forecloses and you know, people question well how important that it really be. And we have some really interesting examples. Even in our business, we have one wind project where it took a long time to get the subordination, the bank had a specific process. They are not in a hurry just because we’re in a hurry and they try to be sympathetic to our closing time schedules. But sometimes that doesn’t always happen. And we we actually had this bank tell our our developer that they were actually in the process of of starting construction. In fact, they had started construction and they told them if they started construction on this particular piece of property, would put the landowner in default. And if you’re sitting in the EPC seat, you know, a lot of these projects, obviously we know we’ve got deadlines for utilities, we’ve got deliverables, we have all kinds of penalties and different things have kick in. And so it’s not easy to just move a construction team to a whole nother, you know, wind turbine. They’re following a set plan. And so, you know, if you’ve got to decommission and then move out or not decommission, but, you know, move a team that can easily cost, you know, 250, $300,000. So suddenly this mortgage, in a lot of cases, it could be $100,000 mortgage. But, you know, these lenders, you’ve got to play by their rules.

Nico Johnson [00:44:09] You know, I think one of the things I’m learning is that a lot of the work that you do helps position clients to make decisions around timelines. And your deep understanding of what’s required to keep the financing train on track is, I would imagine, what keeps clients coming back and keeps them referring folks to you over the decades of experience that you’ve developed. But also imagine that you felt some sort of IP, either trade secrets or otherwise around how you do that. Is it true? How have you sort of synthesized the information in a way that gives you some sort of intellectual property that helps your team scale and helps your clients succeed?

Kimberlee Centera [00:44:50] We spent a lot of time thinking about tools and creating tools that are really easy because our world in real estate and title has its own language. And you know, I think you said it earlier as far as understanding value and the value that we bring, you know, people don’t understand it. They don’t even know the questions to ask. And so a lot of our work revolves around taking some material, taking information and being able to synthesize it in a way that we can present it to our clients. And a lot of times today quickly make decisions. And so a lot of times people deliver material in many different forms to be able to give them a lot of different ways to be able to look at it and understand it. We’re always looking for new tools. We created a very specific product for one of our clients recently who wanted to do some early stage assessment on projects and understand a lot of details around title. And so we said, you know, share with us your portfolio of projects. We’ll take a look at the market structure in. And then we ended up creating some. Reports and some different deliverables that they can then take as project teams and review that and make decisions. Kim When should we start certain entities? When do we want B If we’ve got the COD or in NTP that’s going to be in 2024 or whenever it’s going to be. Tell us when are our milestone dates. When do we need to be thinking about things? And so a lot of times what we do is, you know, we can interface and just make it a very manageable, easy language. But, you know, honestly, a lot of times is, you know, we we jokingly say, you know, our clients are just, you know, tell us when it’s done. Just tell us when it’s ready. Just tell us that that you’ve got it. You know, we find we’ve become kind of a part of the development team in that respect. You know, we just kind of get brought in and we’re working alongside with the design team, with the surveyors, with the title company, with the engineers. You asked earlier about what separates us from our competition. And I think it’s that that desire and ability on our part to be able to really become part of that team. And really a lot of times just make sure that the the right conversations are happening, the right information is being exchanged. I get asked a lot to go in and present. You know, I was just asked recently to give a mineral presentation to a development team because they said, look, we know minerals is a hot topic right now. We know we need to be concerned about it. How do we want to approach that? Can you help us? Help us to help our development team think about it, the right way. And I love when people ask those kinds of questions because, you know, there’s an opportunity for us to, again, leverage what we know to help our developers make better decisions. And that’s what we want to do at the end of the day.

Nico Johnson [00:48:09] I want to borrow a question that I heard on a recent podcast that you that you did. And I got to give a hat tip to the folks in Conscious Curiosity down in San Diego. I thought it was a fantastic interview for what it’s worth, the host ask question. I’m going to just repeat here and I’d like to hear your answer in today’s version of it, at least, and that is, what was your higher purpose for creating TerraPro Solutions? When you think about being an entrepreneur creating funding ground to support other people as employees and to help clients, if you think about with regards to that higher purpose?

Kimberlee Centera [00:48:43] One of the things that has been really gratifying for me and really compelling for me is to, you know, when I started in renewables, I had a lot of great mentors who were men. Who afforded me the opportunity. When I said, I want to try this, they said, yes, try it. You know, go ahead. And that in a lot of respects was how I ended up really doing what I’m doing. That’s what I feel like through my business, I am able to create that same environment of nurturing people, supporting people, understanding, learning what their strengths are and providing them with those opportunities. And most of the people who work for me never worked in renewables before. They had no idea what renewables was. They had maybe some basic knowledge or a desire. You know, we met and I said, Hey, do you want to come in and work with me? We’re doing this renewable thing and I think you’ve got a skills that we could really use. And so we’ve really seen people evolve and seen their talent evolve. And I love that about our business. I love that we get to, you know, hire. We happen to have a lot of great women on our team. You know, it’s not a bias. It’s just it’s just worked out that way because they were a lot of the really smart people in the room. But I think I love that environment. I love that we get to come together and figure out what our strengths are. And someone will come to me and say, you know, I want to try this. And so everyone that works for me started doing something and has evolved into something else. And I love that there is no one telling me you can’t do that. And it is in a lot of respects my way of paying it forward. I will target pretty much anyone, but I love talking to young women that are trying to carve out a career in renewables. I love to encourage them. I love to connect them to people that I know. It’s really exciting.  And I think even as an entrepreneur, to be able to look ahead with that vision and see these opportunities and think, you know, we have the opportunity to explore it, we can take a look at it. So I think that’s something I really love about what I’m doing.

Nico Johnson [00:51:07] You know, kind of hanging on to what you’re saying. I heard earlier you mentioned how you leveraged mentors like Howard Sussman in your life to make early decisions and now you get to pay it forward. Or as one of my mentors says send the elevator backdown for others. I’d like to hear what were some of the key questions that you asked in those conversations in coffee meetings with Howard that you encourage people to ask when you’re helping the females that you’re mentoring?

Kimberlee Centera [00:51:34] Well, first of all, I think people need to ask. You just need to ask ask for the meeting. You know, a lot of times, especially for in the you know, early in our careers, you were a little apprehensive. They feel like they’re too busy. They’re not going to respond. Or they don’t have time for me, whatever it might be. And I learned to ask. I learned that people want to help you. They want you to succeed. I think also, besides asking, you have to be willing to receive have to be willing to listen and receive. So go to that meeting with questions, but be willing to receive, be willing to listen. I met with a young woman recently and she said, you know, when I was new in this role, I spent a lot of time just listening, you know, just sitting in meetings and listening to learn and understand. I thought that was great, but I think we have to be willing to receive that ask you know, be willing to ask. When I meet women, I ask them. I say, we need you in renewables. You know, we need you in women’s groups like WRISE and some of these other groups that are working to create great careers for women so come and work with us. Bring your ideas, sit with us around the table and help us create that future. And I think it’s a kind of works both ways, but those are things that really stand out for me.

 

Nico Johnson [00:53:09] You mentioned WRISE. What resources do you recommend for folks that are trying to get into the industry? You have done a great job of bringing people in and creating a net positive, not just in humans from outside of the industry, but females from outside the industry coming to work in the clean energy sector. So what resources do you give to your team and recommend to others?

Kimberlee Centera [00:53:29] We work hard to, first of all, leverage our internal experience of the team that we have and we have an awesome team and we’ve really hand picked and cultivated our team and our culture. And you know, if you listen to some of my other podcasts, I, you know, our values are super important to me and we’ve worked really hard to create that culture. And it is hard work as a leader every day. I think being willing to reach out to people, there’s there’s great organizations like Women in Cleantech and Sustainability. As I mentioned, there’s WRISE, Women In Renewables and Sustainability. There’s a lot of good groups out there. I think also, you know, finding mentors, finding mentors within your own environment and even outside of your environment. I’m preparing to reach out to a mentor that I just heard speak recently because I loved his talk of culture. And so I’m a I’m kind of in that place of feeling a little apprehensive and like, I know it’s busy, easy going to make time for me.

Nico Johnson [00:54:37] What’s one way that you think you can open the door? Like give us a peek inside of the of the brilliance of that networking that you’ve honed over years? And how do you anticipate that you’ll be able to get him to respond to an email? Give me an example.

Kimberlee Centera [00:54:48] First of all, I think referrals are wonderful. So find someone that knows that person that can introduce you. And I see this because I talk to so many women, so I mention women just because I talk to so many. But, and I made this mistake. I, you know, I felt when I was working and I had a job, I didn’t need to build a network. I didn’t learn until I had my own business, the power of really having that network, you know, it used to be the power of the Rolodex. And of course, now it’s evolved. But, you know, having starting to build that network, just take the first step, reach out to that person. Everyone knows someone that they look up to think, if, you know, I like something, you know, find something about what that person is doing that speaks to you, that’s compelling to you, and then be willing to ask questions. I tell a story when I’m speaking about being at a conference. And, you know, these conferences, renewable conferences, it’s still a sea of men in black and blue suits. And so they had a luncheon and I was a little bit late getting to the luncheon. It was a buffet. And then you had to go find a seat at a table. So I walked in the room and there’s all these tables with all these men. And so it’s like, okay, can you have to pick a table? So do you take the safe table where there was several seats that were open and probably look like there was some young people maybe new to the business? I figured that probably would be the safe one. Or do I pick the table where all the men are seated and maybe there’s an open chair? So I really challenged myself to go up to the table where it was all the men, and they were in a conversation said, Hey, you mind if I join you? Do you mind if I sit down there? Like, Oh, sure. You know, men are wonderful and they make a place. Sure, sit down and introduce themselves, made me feel welcome. And so I think that’s what we have to do. You know, we have to be willing to take that step and and, you know, be a little uncomfortable, you know, challenge yourself. There is that. There’s the safe, right. And then even me, you know, and this was not that long ago where I was in that position of feeling okay. But the great thing and I think the other thing that I did is I asked questions I perceived next to a great person, super friendly, and I said, you know, what’s top of the mind for you? You know, what books are you reading right now? And a great recommendation for a book came back, ordered it, read it. I, I try to always I have so many books at home because somebody will recommend a great book is like, I can add it to my library. It’s not rocket science, you know, but a lot of it is just and again, as I said, I didn’t necessarily do these things. And so I think that’s why I try to reach out a lot. And I think also in our Role as leaders, we have an obligation to make ourselves available. When a young person reaches out to me and I may reach out to them to I will make it a point to make myself available. I’ll schedule the lunch, right? I feel like as leaders in our role, I feel it’s a reciprocal obligation. We have to ask people to make the ask. You know, we need to instruct them, make the ask. But then I think we need to reciprocate by making ourselves available.

Nico Johnson [00:58:31] It’s true. Yeah. I make the offer I hear on the podcast. If anybody wants to book a player and he calls me, it’s really easy to do so on the on our on our website. And I get folks all the time who will reach out on LinkedIn and on I on the podcast and book 15 minutes, put me in and I have this appropriately scheduled so that it makes sense in my calendar. But I always try to prioritize them because I like to, as you sense in the elevator backdown, I like to help folks and give them a hand up. I struggled with mentorship in my life and did not come from a place where mentorship was particularly valued or viewed as a thing that I should seek. And it wasn’t. I was a model or demonstrated for me, and I saw all the people around me who had an unfair leg up, an unfair advantage because of the mentorship they received early in their life. Whether they knew they were getting it or not is relevant. And I just want to commend you for taking that step and taking that perspective as a leader. I have one more question before I ask another important question that I think some of your folks as well, and that is, given that we’ve got a bunch of trade shows upon us right now and it’s just evergreen. So help is useful for even if you’re listening to this and you’re going into the New Year, whats one good conversation starter. Yes. So you mentioned a top of mind or a book you’re reading, but what’s a good conversation starter that you’ve found from a cold start tends to work.

Kimberlee Centera [00:59:55] Well, you know. A lot of the conversations just start with small questions, right? Small, sincere questions. And so, you know, I think, you know, being sincere when I’m approaching someone, you know, I usually just start with a small talk and and just say, oh, you know, what do you think about, you know, the conference? I love to hear, you know, what are you thinking about? What what’s top of the mind for you? Sometimes we make a mistake, especially if we don’t feel real confident about talking about ourselves. But I think probably the most important thing that we can do that really opens up any good conversation and an opportunity for a conversation is to be asking the other person, Right, what are you interested in? You know, what are you thinking about the conference? How how is this for you? And really asking those questions. And then, you know, that power of really, you know, being present and listening. And, really sharing with the other person saying, I think those are some of the most important things we can do today. You know, so that’s in fact, it’s something I’m working on right now. I need to ask more questions.

Nico Johnson [01:01:16] I know that I’m a professional question asker so I’ll drop one in here for you, that I find always works really well. There’s some iteration or some version of What are you working on lately? It’s got you excited, right? So and an easy one if you just don’t know the person you’re in a really random scenario is, Hey, what’s your story? Right. And that’s a it’s like three words that have so much power and give you the freedom to not say anything else. Right. And and they have to respond, right? They have to either clarify or whatever. I think a good one. If you just are so nervous, you can’t get three words out. What’s your story? And it’s unassuming. It doesn’t say, what job do you do? I hate what you do or who do you work for. What is the worst conversation? But another one, if you want. If you don’t like what’s your story? And you maybe know the person a little bit and you maybe it’s somebody that you’re reconnecting with after COVID, right. What was what was the highlight of your day today at a conference or the highlight of your week this week? Like people, always, it gives them a bright spot to point to. And if they don’t have one, guess what, your conversation is going to get really interesting.

Kimberlee Centera [01:02:22] I love that. I mean, that’s the highlight of your day. That’s awesome.

Nico Johnson [01:02:27] Yeah. So I find that’s a really good coffee conversation starter because you just don’t know where to start. Right? So highlight of your week if its a morning thing and a day if it’s a if it’s like having beers with someone or a drink. You know, you see so far ahead of where everybody else is being in the industry. So I want to ask you a quick question around kind of trends as we are looking at closing out the year. I know that it’s always a game of, as you probably get called into these projects to fix things. And last minute often I can imagine that folks are calling on you to answer questions around getting projects across the finish line. So I wanted to ask, are there any trends that you’re seeing as we navigate this, you know, rising interest rates and uncertain delivery schedules for equipment? How do you see the developers managing and mitigating risk right now?

Kimberlee Centera [01:03:18] Yeah, I think it’s a good question because we’re in kind of an interesting market where we’ve seen a lot of pivots happen, especially recently, and we’re getting a lot of calls for sites of early stage work. What I would define as a lot of early stage work, as a lot of market work going on, a lot of people are excited about projects and trying to do early stage work to get projects under control and get them going. But I think the other thing that we’re seeing is, you know, somebody is going to call and say, look, can we we want to get this project over the finish line by the end of the year, right? So six months. And if you know this business trying to close financing and start construction in six months is pretty aggressive, right. Especially if you’re kind of starting at zero or maybe even 50. So I think in that case, we want to get real smart real fast. You know, what are some of the things that we can do? You know, and looking at that understanding, you know, where we are, what are our long lead time items, what do we need to be solving for, you know, right away? Those are going to be things that we’re going to be helping our our clients look at. I mean, I love a challenge and I love it when somebody says, you know, if we’re building projects, going dot closings and building projects. But I think that’s getting really smart, really fast and sitting down looking at the project or what do we have. So I think from a trends perspective. I think we’re going to see a lot of people depending upon where they fit in the market structure. I think we’re going to see a lot of deals being made. I think we’re seeing a lot of developers that maybe smaller and just call it smaller developers, maybe earlier stage developers that are bringing projects into the market. And I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in those projects. I heard recently on a call regarding financing in the banks that there’s a lot of there’s still a lot of money out there. There’s a lot of money to invest. It’s going to be conservative are going to be looking at a lot of different pieces. So I think, you know, don’t wait. Let’s get together now. Let’s talk now. And let’s take a look at the portfolio and understand where you are. What markets are you in and how we can help you think about what you have to prepare and have those milestones. Already have your teams be thinking about those milestones and have a good plan. I think those are some of the best things that we can be doing to move things forward.

Nico Johnson [01:06:01] Do you see anything right now with regards to module allocations or even problems with import delays that are causing an unanticipated project delays that folks should be concerned about?

Kimberlee Centera [01:06:14] I think it really varies. You know, we were talking to a developer the other day that has a lot of panels available. There they’re very bullish on on proceeding. You know, I always ask, are you a little worried about status on tariffs or where things are? And so I think it just really depends a lot on on the individual. You know, we saw recently there was a consortium of developers that got together and made a really huge investment in panels. I think one of them was AES. And so obviously I think what that indicates to me is that there’s a lot of people out there thinking about ways to make, you know, have the projects going forward to make sure that they have what they need. You know, you touched on this, and I think always the challenge for us is, is getting people to be thinking about the totality of the work, including, you know, your site control and all of that and moving that forward. It’s something that you want to plan earlier and not later. You know, when it comes to risk and risk management, we’ve seen a lot of things shift, too, in terms of the risk partners that we work with. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that title insurance, it’s not sexy, but, you know, they’re one of our risk mitigation partners and we can’t bring them in you know, 5 minutes before closing and get the same result that we need to get if we don’t bring them in early. So a lot of it is just having people understand and know what I know. And it’s a different language that we speak.

Nico Johnson [01:08:03] I told you I would circle back to this. And of course, we always do in our interviews ask about how is an infinite learner use stack books to help you. I believe that leaders are readers and believe that readers are leaders. It’s a consequence. I’d love to know what books have been particularly important or even indelible to you in the way that you’ve thought about creating the business or the life that gives you meaning. Is there any book that you particularly have fallen back to as to when you gift the most or the one that you read regularly because it means the most to you?

Kimberlee Centera [01:08:35] Well, I certainly read some great books and I read a book by Sallie Krawcheck and how you say your name, Own it. And I loved that book from the perspective of thinking about women and all the different subjects. She covers a whole series of subjects that women don’t often think about and talk about. And I and I think she’s also very optimistic and and her projections for women and, you know, control and management of finances. That was very interesting to me. But there were some books that were personal, and there was a couple that I read that I still think about today. I read John, I’m going to say to John Lewis’s book, that representative, I think she’s since passed away and his book about Building the Bridge. And he talks about working with Martin Luther King early on and the strategy that they set up for the civil rights movement. And I think it really gave me a perspective of view into the world from his from his eyes and realizing that there was a whole world going on that I wasn’t necessarily aware of. And I read it because I felt like that awareness, that understanding, and it was very compelling stories that are told. So that was a book that I really want to read. The other book that I read was a book written. It was called Three Mothers, and it was the story of the mothers of Martin Luther King. And I forget the two other men Right now, and I should remember. But it was the story of the women and their lives and their sons and the perspective that they gave and the things that they managed around, you know, to raise these men that became in each of these different sectors, you know, such influencers. And ultimately, you know, these women all sacrificed their sons in different ways. And I felt as a mother and as a leader, it was an interesting read. And again, a lot of these things stay. A lot of what I read bothered me and it stayed with me. It really impacted me and thinking about, you know, what our hopes and dreams are for the future.

Nico Johnson[01:11:20] The book that you. Just mentioned, by the way, it’s called The Three Mothers Are the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.

Kimberlee Centera [01:11:27] Yes. Thank you.

Nico Johnson [01:11:30] Your welcome.

Kimberlee Centera [01:11:30] I always remember just enough to be dangerous!

Nico Johnson [01:11:33] I’m the same. I have the power of the power of Google and Amazon at my disposal while you talk.

Kimberlee Centera [01:11:39]  Thank you, I’m glad because yeah, that’s always me. That’s why I have to surround myself with an awesome team because I always just, you know, let’s go chase that thing or create that new thing. And they all make me look good.

 

Nico Johnson [01:11:57] And I think because we do building a good team around you, is there anything particular in your nightstand that you’re reading now? Any fun or adventure?

Kimberlee Centera [01:12:04] Rediscovering joy. I’m reading that book, which is something that it’s it’s I think it’s joy Rediscovering Joy. And it’s Desmond Tutu and another pastor from South Africa. For me, that’s peace and joy, I think especially peace. You know, I have my personal values as well as our our company values and mine. Your courage, humility and wisdom. And so I’m always, you know, I want to bring my best self to my work, to my life. And that’s an evolution. Right? I think it takes our whole lives. And so I’m trying to be very purposeful about the person that I show up as every day. And I think being much more aware of how I influence. And we have this conversation with our team recently about how it starts at the top. You know, you can’t create a culture if it’s not truth, if it’s not really who you are.

Nico Johnson [01:13:14] Kimberlee, does this conversation for me has been so wonderful to be able to to soak in the wisdom of someone who has been there and done that and is still building a legacy for yourself, for your company, for your team. And I really appreciate the ability to tap into that wisdom where if folks are so inclined with you, with you, from where do you like to be found, where you prefer that folks reach out and connect with you? Is it Twitter, email? LinkedIn?

Kimberlee Centera [01:13:44] LinkedIn is great. You can find me on LinkedIn. Kimberlee Centera and TerraPro Solutions.

Nico Johnson [01:13:50] And I’ll spell that for those who maybe didn’t see it or didn’t pick it up. CENTERA. And the Kimberlee is dubble E on the end. We’ll link all this on our on our website as well. And the website again is.

Kimberlee Centera [01:14:01] TerraProSolutions.com

Nico Johnson [01:14:04] Kimberlee as we always do at the end with our final question, so what we call our bold prediction, what one thing do you see happening in the marketplace that maybe nobody else is tracking? What’s in your crystal ball looking out over the horizon of the rest of 22 and possibly even into next year?

Kimberlee Centera [01:14:19] Wow. I think we’re I think we’re going to see lots of deals, I think, based upon the early stage work that we see. There’s a lot of excitement in the market and people are planning to develop projects and wind, solar. It’s all happening and we’re really excited to be a part of it. So I think that’s the most exciting thing that I’m seeing is a lot of projects. And I think one of the things maybe we’re more proud of is working on one of the first. And projects in Mississippi. So I think the other thing and from my many years of wind projects, I remember hearing, you know, someday there’ll be wind in the south. So we had the opportunity to work on that, and I think it’s going to be a game changer. So I’m really excited to see what happens now that, you know, it just takes someone to do it for the first time. Right.

 

Nico Johnson [01:15:17] And there’s some interesting offshore stuff happening in the southeast, on the coast of North and South Carolina. And things are getting interesting for wind again.

Kimberlee Centera [01:15:25] Absolutely. That’s, you know, five years down the road, maybe longer. We’ll see offshore off California.

Nico Johnson [01:15:33] Wow. There you go. That’s a great little crystal ball for us. Kimberlee Centera is the founder and CEO of TerraPro Solutions. And Kimberlee, it has generally been my pleasure and honor to host you on SunCast today. Thank you. Hope that you come back and see us sometime.

Kimberlee Centera [01:15:47] Thank you, Niko. It’s been a lot of fun and I appreciate the time.

Nico Johnson [01:15:52] All right, Solar Warrior. Well. That was such a deep. Lovely conversation with Kimberlee and Darren. Thank you, Kimberlee, for taking time out of your day. Thanks, Vanessa, for helping coordinate everything. Thanks again to everybody Tim Montague for making the referral. You know, it’s one thing that I love about the renewable industry is that we are all one family and, you know, even this podcast. But it’s one of the cool things that we get to do is help one another out. So I’m super appreciative. I’m also appreciate that you made it all the way through to the end of this episode. And I’d love to know what you think I’d love to know how this impacted your personal and personal development and journey. Kimberlee shared a ton about networking. Was that the most valuable thing for you? We also basically got a Tactical Tuesday out of the content in terms of the checklist of things that can really upend your project and the land acquisition and procurement side of the business. She’s such a sharp and experienced professional in that realm, and I’m really grateful that I had an opportunity to get more time with Kimberlee. Kimberlee, thank you for that generous contribution to SunCast Tribe. Well, if you’re eager to keep learning and I know you are my fellow fellow, if you can find more resources and highlights from this discussion and all the other more than 500 discussions like it over at my SunCast.com. That’s also where we’ll link to. Kimberlee’s social media, her company and the books that she recommended. Man, those were some really great recommendations. Since I know you won’t be shopping online, there’s a couple of ways that you can continue to add value to the SunCast Tribe, as well as just say thank you to us for the content creating is in fact it resonated with you. I would definitely welcome and appreciate your enthusiastic five star review and rating of the show. It helps others find this content and we’ve made it easy for you. You can go to ratethispodcast.com/suncast ratethispodcast.com/suncast. If you would leave a review could mean the world to me the other way. If that’s too much to ask, I know you’re going to be on LinkedIn because you’re going to try to connect with Kimberlee there. So if you would take a look at the post that we created for Kimberlee and this podcast episode, just give it a like leave Kimberlee a little love in the comments about the wonderful ways that she impacted your life and your career as a result of this episode. I hope you’ll join us again next week, where we bring you tactical, practical advice on Tuesdays and deep insights from industry leaders like Kimberlee and these Executive Profiles on our long form Thursday conversations. Thanks once again to our sponsors who help make this content free to you. You can learn more about them as well as how you can partner with us to help the SunCast Tribe. Just go to my SunCast.com/sponsor. Remember, you are what you listen to. Thanks again for showing up solar warrior. It’s half the battle.

Giddy up solar warrior.

Post: SunCast Podcast – With CEO, Kimberlee Centera

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