‘Safe Harbor’ from RPCS helps solar developers benefit from this year’s ITC rate next year

RPCS ITC Schedule

RP Constructions Services announced this week a Safe Harbor strategy that will allow project developers, financiers and owners to benefit from this year’s Investment Tax Credit (ITC) rate for projects built in the coming years. Customers can realize savings by both purchasing solar tracker materials from RPCS and storing them safely and cost effectively in RPCS’s two tracker storage facilities, located in California and Texas, to serve projects nationwide.

RPCS’s strategy offers complete flexibility to future projects by selecting components that are universal product parts and aren’t module or project specific. RPCS has the experience of engineering solar tracker projects in-house to give project owners and developers a competitive edge when it comes to planning and purchasing projects in advance in order to obtain the highest value of the ITC.

“One comment that has been made universally among people we’re engaged with on the Safe Harbor opportunity is that, financially, it makes too much sense not to pursue,” says RPCS CSO, Alex Smith. “The question is how to keep as few strings attached to the materials in Safe Harbor as possible so that everyone can maintain their flexibility and take advantage of future shifts in technology or project design that aren’t yet known. We’re able to show how the components we recommend accomplish both things: they ensure a successful Safe Harbor program and also keep the project costs down later at the time of NTP. We’re already designing, stocking, and shipping out projects using these components in our two facilities so it’s natural for us to help companies looking to Safe Harbor materials for projects starting in 2020 and beyond.”

RPCS Safe Harbor

By implementing their Safe Harbor strategy, RPCS helps customers secure the highest tax credit rate while minimizing risks from project or technology changes. RPCS has the experience and capabilities to guide this purchasing decision toward components that will not lose their value or become barriers to other BOS selections when the projects are ready to proceed.

As Array Technology’s trusted partner for over ten years, RPCS focuses solely on designing and building solar tracker projects using the DuraTrack HZ v3 to deliver the highest returns through long-term asset performance. RPCS’s Safe Harbor strategy complements their growing suite of turnkey services, including site layout optimization, ancillary engineering, foundation post and tracker procurement, mechanical installation, and tracker commissioning. With over 360 projects and nearly 1 GW completed throughout the US, RPCS’s deep history and product knowledge provides customers with a trusted choice for turnkey execution of single axis tracker projects.

— Solar Builder magazine

Kansas community college adds solar to curriculum and campus via RP Construction Services

RPCS cloud county community college

As part of Kansas’ Cloud County Community College’s Solar Energy Technology program, new solar energy courses — spurred by the installation of a new on-campus solar site — will train students for high-tech, high-wage jobs in the exciting, emerging solar industry through innovative teaching and educational partnerships.

The site will service the campus’s energy needs, and will be installed by students enrolled in the program. Historically focusing on wind energy, solar was a natural transition. The program is centered around hands-on training for solar projects, including construction and electrical training for both residential and commercial solar.

“The curriculum blends on-campus, on-line and distance learning, land-lab, and field training opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students,” the college’s website states. This educational program will produce a qualified workforce to serve the emerging solar industry throughout Kansas and the nation.

Founded in 1965, Cloud County Community College is dedicated to delivering high quality, innovative, and accessible educational opportunities and services that prepare a diverse population to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners who can meet the challenges of an ever-changing global community.

Students, faculty, and staff of the college formed an active, volunteer-based group that has named itself the “Go Green Committee,” which has distinguished itself on campus with numerous environmentally-friendly efforts. The college earned a Green Power Partnership, awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a voluntary program encouraging organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use.

The 200-kW site features LONGi 340W solar panels on Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis solar trackers. Array’s mounting technology keeps the modules following the sun on its course throughout the day, ensuring up to a 20 to 25% increase in energy production over fixed-tilt systems. RP Construction Services Inc. (RPCS), California-based solar construction contractor and Array Technologies’ trusted partner, helped supply the project

Andrew Clark, Cloud County Community College Renewable Energy Technology instructor and also the project’s construction manager, used his experience as a local solar installer to help students with the installation process and guide them in overcoming challenges posed by snowy weather.

“It was my dream when I started teaching at Cloud to introduce solar to the program offerings,” says Clark. “Once I found out that was possible, I decided the program needed a solar project, so I imagined a small solar array to get their feet wet. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we were going to be able to secure funding for the project and finish it the very next year. It really has blown my mind all that we were able to accomplish in a short amount of time. I have to thank everyone who was involved; they helped make it possible.”

The program hopes to complete the project in a few weeks, celebrating with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

— Solar Builder magazine

MCE Solar One, Bay Area’s largest publicly owned solar project, now complete

MCE Solar One Array trackers

Project not pictured. Just a lovely shot of a bridge in Richmond, Calif.

Built on an old refinery, MCE Solar One is a new 60-acre, 10.5 MW ground mount solar farm in Richmond, Calif., brought to life by Cenergy Power and sPower.

The project deployed approximately 80,000 ground mounted modules using both a fixed tilt rack as well as single axis trackers, with RPCS supplying and installing the Array Technologies DuraTrack HZ v3 tracker for the SAT portion. Pre-development costs were covered in part by customers participating in MCE’s Deep Green 100 percentrenewable energy service. Once completed, MCE Solar One will generate renewable energy to power 3,417 homes per year.

MCE and the city of Richmond also committed to a 50 percent local hire requirement to build MCE Solar One, guaranteeing local benefits through clean energy job creation. In supporting this local hire requirement, MCE created over 300 jobs by partnering with RichmondBUILD, a program that focuses on developing skill in the high growth, high wage construction and renewable energy sectors. Eighty percent of graduates from RichmondBUILD’s programs are placed into well-paying jobs. MCE will train and hire skilled graduates of the RichmondBuild program as employees for the project.

Report by TÜV Rheinland explains how Array Technologies trackers drive O&M costs down 37 percent

“It’s great seeing an old refinery convert its property to a solar project. Overcoming site-specific environmental and property challenges on this site is proof that more of these projects are going to keep happening. It was a pleasure supporting MCE, sPower, and our long-term partners at Cenergy while providing opportunities for local workers through RichmondBUILD,” said RPCS Chief Sales Officer Alex Smith. “This project is a real achievement for everyone involved and a success for lots of people on lots of different levels. We’re very happy to have helped support MCE Solar One and to congratulate MCE, sPower, and Cenergy Power.”

Together, MCE, sPower, Cenergy, and RPCS are working toward increasing the use of renewable energy resources in an effort to help the state reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals, all while creating local jobs and clean power.

— Solar Builder magazine

DuraTrack goes down under: Array Technologies to support six new Australian solar projects

The DuraTrack HZ v3 from Array Technologies, the top supplier of centralized solar tracking systems, was selected for six new Australian solar projects. The projects, scheduled for commercial operation in 2018, total 586 MW of new solar power in Australia and will provide reliable, clean power to 238,000 homes across Queensland and Victoria.

Australia has one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world. A recent RenewEconomy report shows that the country’s solar capacity is on track for 12 GW of installed capacity by 2020, double the current total. Array’s trackers add value for Australian developers and EPCs with their streamlined installation, zero scheduled maintenance, and industry-leading reliability.

Array Technologies DuraTrack

Projects in this burgeoning solar tracker portfolio include:

• Ross River: A 148 MW solar installation close to the City of Townsville, Queensland. This project will power the equivalent of 54,000 Queensland homes and is currently under construction with completion expected in August of 2018.

• Gannawarra: The first large-scale solar farm in Victoria. This 60 MW facility, located in Northwest Victoria, will power the equivalent of 25,000 Victorian homes. The system is anticipated to be online in March of 2018.

• Whitsunday: A 69 MW solar farm located just outside of Collinsville in North Queensland. Whitsunday will bring power to the equivalent of 31,000 Queensland homes and is expected to commence commercial operation in March of 2018.

• Hamilton: Located in close proximity to Whitsunday in North Queensland, Hamilton is a 69 MW facility that will bring power the equivalent of 31,000 Queensland homes. The system is expected to commence commercial operation in March of 2018.

• Daydream: A 180 MW solar farm in North Queensland. Daydream will bring clean power to the equivalent of 73,000 Queensland homes and is expected to commence commercial operation in August of 2018.

• Hayman: A 60 MW facility also located in North Queensland. The Hayman solar farm will power the equivalent of 24,000 Queensland homes and is expected to commence commercial operation in August of 2018.

In addition to these six recent projects, Array is also providing trackers for three projects in New South Wales, Australia – Parkes (66 MW), Griffith (36 MW) and Dubbo (28 MW). Completion of all three installations is expected by the end of 2017.

“Australia is an important market for Array’s global business strategy,” said Ron Corio, Array Technologies’ founder and CEO. “Given the fast trajectory of this market, it is critical that in the design process, developers fully understand the long term cost and performance implications of their equipment selection. With over 28 years in the tracker business, we are confident that our product will meet the high standards of the Australian solar market.”

Report by TÜV Rheinland explains how Array Technologies trackers drive O&M costs down 37 percent

— Solar Builder magazine

RP Construction partners with Renesola Power Services on 7-site solar tracker portfolio

ATI Duratrack

RP Construction Services Inc. (RPCS) is kicking off of another portfolio of single-axis tracker projects for Array Technologies, partnering with Renesola Power Services. The partnership will include the tracker procurement and mechanical construction of 7 sites, all commencing simultaneously. RPCS is Array Technologies Inc.’s Value Added Reseller and leading installer for projects 10-MW and under.

Having completed multiple projects in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi, RPCS is excited to break ground in the North Carolina market. As the development of solar projects continues to grow throughout the Southeast, RPCS and Array offer a reliable solution with the industry’s lowest fielded cost while providing national EPCs a turnkey tracker solution.

RPCS designs and builds ground mount solar projects using the Array Technologies DuraTrack HZ v3 Single-Axis Tracker. With over 275 MW and over 150 projects completed or under construction throughout states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Indiana, and the southeastern states mentioned above, RPCS provides full turnkey service and support for the industry’s most bankable and reliable tracker.

Solar tracking system advancements: What’s the impact over the life of a PV plant?

RPCS provided customers attending last month’s Solar Power International (SPI) a live demo of Array’s DuraTrack HZ v3 system, optimized for both standard 72-cell and First Solar module applications. RPCS’s knowledge of Array Technologies’ trackers ensures expert-level turnkey project assistance, including site layout optimization, ancillary engineering services, tracker supply, foundation post procurement and complete mechanical installation.

— Solar Builder magazine