Achieving a real widespread influx of commercial solar installations — from large companies, small companies and everyone in between — will likely require some new solutions and services from the industry. To that end, SunPower just launched its Helix platform, a fully-integrated commercial solar solution combining solar power production and energy management.
Helix is a pre-engineered, modular solution that is built to last and fast to install, enabling customers to scale their solar programs quickly with minimal business disruption. The Helix platform is standardized across rooftop, carport and ground installations. Features include:
- SunPower solar panels that produce 60 percent more energy from the same space over the first 25 years than conventional panels. These are the first and only solar panels in the world to receive the Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver designation.
- Mounting hardware that maximizes roof coverage, enabling Helix to achieve 72 percent more energy generated over 25 years when compared with conventional solar power systems.
- Plug-and-play power station. Eliminates the need to strip and land wires on site, reducing labor costs during installation and improving reliability.
- SunPower EnergyLink is a comprehensive, powerful energy intelligence software (EIS) for solar, which quantifies real time demand charge savings and identifies demand peaks and savings opportunities.
“With standardized Helix components, we have eliminated the inefficiencies and added costs of complex system design,” said Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower. “Helix makes the complex simple, allowing our commercial and public agency customers to easily and intelligently manage their energy use and costs and maximize solar power production over the long-term.”
Bed Bath & Beyond is one of SunPower’s first Helix customers’, with construction expected to begin on systems at eight stores early next year. The major retailer launched its solar program in 2006, and currently generates a total of 17.5 MW from SunPower systems on 26 facilities in four states.
“The cost savings we expect to see with the new SunPower Helix systems, such as plug-and-play power stations that greatly reduce installation time, will enable Bed Bath & Beyond to grow our solar program more quickly, delivering operational savings at more of our facilities,” said Robert Eckhardt, head of architecture and renewables development for Bed Bath & Beyond. “Minimizing the complexities of solar system installation is critical for keeping projects on schedule and meeting return on investment goals. Helix is designed to meet those challenges.”
With more than 20 MW of Helix systems sold to date, SunPower will begin installing Helix early next year.
— Solar Builder magazine