New stuff from Tigo: three Duo covers, partnership with SMA

Tigo, a pioneer of the smart modular Flex MLPE platform, is always announcing new products and partnerships. Here are the latest:

Three new Duo covers

Tigo MLPE

These three new “Duo” covers are  add-on / retrofit solutions for its TS4 platform:

  • TS4-R-O-Duo (Optimization),
  • TS4-R-S-Duo (Safety), and
  • TS4-R-M-Duo (Monitoring).

The TS4-R-X-Duo brings smart module functionality to standard PV modules, adds smart features to new PV installations and upgrades underperforming PV assets. With UHD-Core technology and expanded specifications, the Duo supports two PV modules connected in series with a combined power of up to 700W and a combined voltage of up to 90V.

With a universal base and a range of covers containing flexible module-level power electronics (Flex MLPE), Tigo’s Duo increases freedom of choice when selecting features for a particular project and budget. All three Duo covers work with any inverter and any module within its electrical specifications.

Partnership with SMA

Tigo and SMA are joining forces to deliver total compliance with the newly released SunSpec Alliance specifications regarding Rapid Shutdown adoption for PV plants. SunSpec Alliance, certifier of PV components and communication standards, has defined the specifications of the powerline-based PV transmitter signal covering varying installation types and regions.

Tigo and SMA’s partnership brings the first transmitter and receiver offering that represents interoperability between the inverter and the PV module’s MLPE. SMA’s full line of US string inverters will be supporting the new SunSpec standard to fulfill the tightened module-level requirements in National Electric Code (NEC) 2017, becoming mandatory in January 2019. Tigo will expand its current offering to include a SunSpec Rapid Shutdown and add this capability to its TS4 Flex MLPE product line. The new addition is 100% compatible and certified by about 40 PV module suppliers currently using the TS4 platform – including Trina Solar, Itek, and Sunpreme. The new offering is also available for add-on or retrofit applications.

2017 Solar Inverter Buyer’s Guide

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Vivint Solar signs deal with ChargePoint to offer EV charging solution

Vivint Solar announced a strategic agreement with ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, to offer ChargePoint Home charging solutions and custom installations directly to residential customers. This is only a few months after Vivint’s deal with Mercedes-Benz.

Vivint Solar will work with ChargePoint and other strategic collaborators to provide Fully Integrated Solar, the industry’s most comprehensive residential product suite featuring a solar energy system, EV charger, home battery and smart home technology for intelligent energy management. By leveraging best-in-class energy technologies, Fully Integrated Solar from Vivint Solar enables consumers to build their own clean-energy ecosystems at home.

Vivint solar

Vivint Solar is making a move to be the national residential solar provider that offers rooftop solar customers a one-stop shop. Compatible with any EV, ChargePoint Home brings innovation to the home garage, offering the smartest, smallest and most advanced home charging solution for EV drivers. The first and only home charger with ENERGY STAR certification, ChargePoint Home charges EVs up to six times faster than a standard 110V outlet, delivering up to 25 miles of Range Per Hour and using 40 percent less energy than a standard EV charger when not charging. ChargePoint Home features a compact, slim design and is easy to manage with an app that enables drivers to schedule charging, start charging remotely and track energy usage and all charging in one place.

When EV drivers need to charge away from home, they can count on more than 40,000 ChargePoint charging spots across North America. ChargePoint is the only charging company that offers a suite of solutions to serve EV drivers everywhere they go: at home, at work, around town and on a trip.

 

Vivint Solar will offer the ChargePoint EV solution directly to homeowners in select markets in California. Customers will be able to buy the complete home solar solution – or customize a package based on their needs – through Vivint Solar’s personal sales representatives.

— Solar Builder magazine

Soltec supplies 13 MW of solar trackers to PV plant in Oregon

Soltec

Soltec is supplying complete tracker equipment to the 13-MW Eagle Point solar PV plant located in the state of Oregon by leading project developer Cypress Creek Renewables.

“Our trackers require the fewest piles per megawatt and keep earth grading operations to a minimum, preserving the site’s wetlands and fragile ecosystem,” reported José María Lozano, Engineering Global Director at Soltec. “Our independent-row, short tracker site-fill advantages allowed the plant to be designed with the trackers arranged diagonally, rather than in a straight line, to make the most of the available land.”

The 491 complete solar trackers manufactured by Soltec present a market-leading cost advantage. The trackers will be produced and shipped in less than 40 days to the project site on the outskirts of Medford, near the Rogue Valley International Airport.

“We are proud to be chosen once again by Cypress Creek Renewables,” said Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec. “Customer success comes from combining cost-effective, high-yield equipment offering high-tolerance installation features with Soltec’s proven reliability as a tracking partner.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

How Complete Solar doubled its revenue, installs in a year through partnerships

 

solar company revenue software

Stop thinking about Section 201 for a second and let’s celebrate a solar industry success story sent our way from Complete Solar.  The San Mateo, Calif.-based residential solar company says it has doubled its revenue and installations year-over-year after adopting a partner-based business model targeting the residential solar market and signing over 50 companies—including Guarantia Solar and Roof RX—that want to diversify their businesses and grow revenue.

The context

Growth in the residential solar sector has declined 8 percent compared to last year, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. One reason for this is that national solar companies are cutting back operations to reduce costs and focus on profits. Complete Solar is bucking that trend and experiencing record growth. Its quarterly revenue is now $10 million. With partner companies, it is now installing solar panels on nearly 200 homes per month, totaling an average installed capacity of between 3 and 4 megawatts per quarter.

“We saw what was happening in the industry and saw that the best way to keep growing was to offer our services and software to partners in a cloud-based portal. The interest and growth we are seeing demonstrates we’re changing how residential solar is sold and delivered,” said Will Anderson, founder and CEO of Complete Solar. “Our platform gives small businesses the same resources that bigger solar companies have and at a fraction of the cost. It decentralizes the sales, financing, and construction parts of the process and is what sets us apart.”

Details on the program

Complete Solar introduced its HelioPro Alliance Program in January 2016, making the platform available to companies looking to deliver lower-cost rooftop systems and more personalized customer service to homeowners. Partners use the platform to gain competitive advantage against larger companies with higher costs, longer wait times and often more expensive systems.

Complete Solar’s advanced software connects the efforts of companies specializing in sales, construction and finance with Complete Solar’s fulfillment services to provide rooftop solar panels to homeowners at a lower cost and to enhance the customer experience. The platform features a powerful, yet simple quoting and proposal process and multiple financing options for customers, while streamlining the back-end fulfillment and construction process. This results in installations being completed in record time. Installed customers are then managed by Complete Solar, which scores high for customer service.

In all, the platform manages every aspect of the customer experience—from origination, fulfillment, construction, finance, and customer care, to ongoing system monitoring and maintenance. Through this platform, Complete Solar partners with best-in-class companies that specialize in each link of the solar value chain such as sales, construction, and finance. The company currently serves the California, New Jersey, and Utah markets.

— Solar Builder magazine

Watch: Solar Optimum adds 780-kW SunPower system across Laguna Woods Village

SunPower Elite Dealer Solar Optimum is helping Orange County’s premier senior living community Laguna Woods Village embrace energy efficiency by installing an aggregate total of approximately 780 kW DC, producing 1,337,333 kWH, offsetting the common area load that the community was paying high Southern California Edison electricity bills for. This “Best in Class” project is the largest SunPower Helix project interconnected in the west coast in 2017.

The project consists of 12 buildings which were occupied while the work was performed and Solar Optimum used the SunPower Helix dual tilt PV solar system, which notably is the highest density solar system on the market today. The cutting-edge technology sped up the process and Solar Optimum’s rigorous safety measures made it possible to install while tenants occupied the facilities.

This was the most complicated virtual net metering project ever processed by Southern California Edison with over 550 benefiting meters offset by 800 kW on 12 sites. A typical virtual net metering project has a mere 10 to 20 meters with just one rather than 12 connection points. Southern California Edison requires meters to be lined up with parcels. “With such a large project, it was like a Rubik’s cube lining it all up. All sides are green now,” exclaims Gene Okun, Solar Optimum’s commercial project manager.

“Our goal was to get the project installed to meet the looming net metering 1.0 deadline, when rates on solar energy credit would rise and cost the community an additional $15,000 per month in meter fees,” says Gene Okun. “Solar Optimum and SunPower managed the deadline successfully, despite the size and complexity of the project. We are pleased with the results.”

The Solar Optimum team had to tackle the small sizes of the host buildings which made power density critical. “We were originally planning for 16 buildings as host sites, but the SunPower Helix system made it possible for us to get all that power in 12 buildings,” says Bill McNeese, director of business development at Solar Optimum. “This gave us the competitive advantage, reducing the number of roofs needing to be replaced by the community. When the cost-benefit analysis was complete, the board unanimously selected Solar Optimum and SunPower Helix.”

“We realized that Laguna Woods Village had other very competitive proposals but were confident in our ability to deliver the project within the tight timeframe despite its complexities and engineering challenges,” says Gene Okun. “With the success of Laguna Woods Village, we look forward to expanding our commercial portfolio and taking on new challenges in the Southern California market.”

— Solar Builder magazine