OMCO Solar makes two key additions to sales, engineering teams

omco solar

OMCO Solar, a division of OMCO Holdings, has announced key additions to its leadership teams to support the continued growth of the Field Fast Fixed tilt solar racking system and in preparation for its factory-direct single axis tracker product release in late 2019. OMCO Solar has now deployed 25 Field Fast projects in 13 states with a growing pipeline in place.

Jason Burkett joins OMCO to lead Solar Racking Business Development efforts and Keith Beisner will head up OMCO’s Field Services and Geotechnical Engineering efforts.

jason burkettBurkett has extensive experience in operations, sales and management with companies involved in a variety of fields including commercial construction, manufacturing and department of transportation work. While his 25 plus year career started in the construction and manufacturing industries, he has successfully applied his knowledge of construction and sales to the solar industry for the past 11 years.

Serving as the VP of Operations for an EPC firm, he has overseen the development, procurement and construction activities of solar projects throughout the U.S. Burkett has spent the last seven years developing and leading sales efforts for both fixed tilt and tracker systems throughout North America.

Beisner brings 10 years of leadership in solar racking Field Services support, including gigawatts of experience in solar foundation testing and design, mechanical installations, and site management across commercial- and utility-scale projects throughout North America. He helped develop industry standards in on-site foundation testing, interpretation of site conditions for practical system design, and construction best practices for solar installations.

keith beisnerBeisner obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Structural Geology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science Degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Utah. He brought his experience with foundations and soil stability to the solar industry, where he continues to develop and adapt solar field services to constantly changing design and installation solutions

“We are excited about the addition of Jason and Keith to our team during this exciting time in our history and are confident that their experience and proven track record of results will help take us to the next level,” said Eric Goodwin, Director of Solar Business Development for OMCO Solar.
About OMCO Solar:

OMCO Holdings renewable division, OMCO Solar, was launched in 2007 and produces custom solar mounting structures for the solar industry. OMCO has become one of the racking leaders in the industry with 8GW of installed product.

— Solar Builder magazine

On the Origin of EPCs: How the EPC-supplier relationship influences the evolution of solar development

origin of epc illustration

The evolution of EPCs in the solar industry is truly that — an evolution — and not in the cliché business-speak way. For starters, large-scale solar construction is a cut-throat, survival-of-the-fittest environment. Over the years, risky business models failed and bad technology sunk, while successful concepts adapted to the volatile environment.

This process of natural selection has led to all sorts of creatures. Large EPCs that moved into ownership. Racking manufacturers handling more construction responsibilities. Roll formers sending factory-direct systems to the field. And so on. Successful companies redefining the rules as new advantages were discovered and new opportunities emerged.

With this article, we wanted to explore more of those in-between spaces — the adaptations that have been influential in the onward and upward trajectory of the solar industry’s expansion across the United States.

Learning to communicate

If you take out your microscope and examine the elements integral to the broader success of solar today, what you see is a lot of close connections, shared relationships and complementary services.

“Our best suppliers understand that we are in a long-term partnership,” says Chris Perron, SVP of EPC for Nexamp. “When they are supportive of us, we often will standardize on their equipment for efficiency, and good partners will get the bulk of our business.”

Developing relationships and complementary services is no small feat in this high stress, high stakes world of large-scale solar development. On the supplier end for example, consider how often a racking manufacturer provides a front-end design for a winning RFP bid only to lose the actual purchase order and construction to another supplier. On the EPC side, any experience standing around in a field waiting on a missing bolt or overbooked equipment to arrive will drain margins along with good will.

Executing the perfect solar project development starts with accepting that such a concept doesn’t exist. Solar projects are all going to have their obstacles, and the best EPCs are the ones most adept at working through the issues that inevitably do arise. Eric Millard, chief commercial officer at Conti Solar, says Conti contributes part of its success to developing strong supplier relationships to navigate the countless challenges they regularly face.

“Being able to work through any issues that arise is vital,” he says. “Each side of the equation needs to understand what is trying to be accomplished and work together to find the best solution.”

After accepting that risk, everyone agrees communication is a big factor in establishing trust, but what does that communication look like? At Nexamp, Perron says proactive communication with suppliers involves regular calls to lock in on delivery timelines and have the right equipment on site to load or unload as needed. Some of the biggest problems they see in the field are the wrong material being delivered, material not arriving on site when needed, suppliers not being on site to confirm accuracy and unload the product when it does arrive and not having the right equipment on site to complete delivery.

“These issues create confusion and unnecessary slowdowns that impact the overall progress of the project, which ultimately affect our bottom line,” Perron says. “With that good communication, detailed receiving becomes a breeze, which enables greater efficiency in the field and a reduction of shrinkage as a whole across all our inventory. Good communication also means that general management of the hundreds of POs we place becomes easier administratively for both of us because we know how each other thinks.”

The onus is on the supplier to engage and get this process started and have a rolling action plan and process.

“Suppliers who don’t respond to calls or emails in a timely fashion, or who don’t alert us to potential availability or delivery problems ahead of time make it harder for us to stay on track,” Perron says. “Likewise, suppliers who do not take responsibility for their mistakes and try to push the expediting costs onto us, or fail to consult us on order modifications, won’t keep our business for long. We understand that not everything goes according to plan — suppliers just need to provide real-time updates so we can come up with contingency plans to overcome obstacles.”

Nexamp changed its ordering practices over the years to standardize equipment orders as much as possible, which in turn reduced the possibility of human error on both sides. This helps suppliers by streamlining the process and lets everyone focus more on other potential challenges.

“Another area where we have improved is in jobsite delivery. We now try to arrange just-in-time delivery as much as possible so we can keep things moving and suppliers don’t have to deal with a backup of stock or materials,” Perron says.

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Hunter-gatherers

The concept of suppliers providing more than just a product has gone from novelty to expectation. Perron points to greater visibility into the supply chain as a huge new supplier development. “This makes it easier for us to plan accordingly and anticipate any obstacles before they become a serious setback,” he says.

Other positive changes Perron has seen include more generous terms and conditions, expediting options, an ability to maintain higher levels of inventory for individual companies that warrant it based on volume and, in some cases, preferential pricing.

This expectation was driven by innovations and consolidations throughout the supply chain. Consider OMCO Solar, a roll former that has been a supplier and contract manufacturer for just about every racking and tracker company you know. Over time, OMCO realized it could also provide its own factory-direct, branded racking solution, which yielded additional customer benefits.

“Companies that are able to collaborate and leverage partnerships and co-market them will drive more commitment from their customer because of that deeper level of partnership,” says Eric Goodwin, director of solar business development with OMCO Solar.

Goodwin is an advocate for business relationships that are more than transactional. One way OMCO does this is by leveraging its supply chain capabilities, such as provide a monthly index of steel pricing versus location for established customers. This is in addition to regular communication, going over cost roadmaps and collaborating on R&D and problem-solving.

“It’s good to hear from each other when it’s not just a problem,” Goodwin says. “The customers we like to grow with are the ones we can communicate with and always have each other’s back. When you have project execution issues and change orders on contracts, most of those things are impacted by not having a good kick off process or handling of expectations.”

OMCO recently implemented an internal process aimed to enhance customer touchpoints. A purchase order coming in kicks off a cadence of actions and scheduling of activities internally to keep everyone on the same page during each project. “There’s at least one communication planned each week leading up to delivery. Once we start deliveries, we have someone on site to assess everything so nothing is missed.”

OMCO is unique in that it’s also an OEM and can check everything before shipping instead of having to coordinate parts from several different locations. The delightful adage of there being fewer throats to choke.

“There will be issues in the field, but if you don’t respond and pile drivers are sitting there … we can’t let that ever happen,” Goodwin says. “Suppliers need to show root cause corrective action. When suppliers are not doing that and/or have too many balls in the air, it can impact the project or an EPC’s financials.”

Adaptation

Rough Brothers Inc. was founded in 1932 and built its name constructing greenhouses. As that segment started to slow in the 21st century, the company thought its steel roll forming expertise could be a fit in the fledgling solar industry. That move to diversify its product portfolio led to what is now RBI Solar, a leading racking supplier in the 500 kW to 2 MW solar space that can hop in at the very beginning of a project or just show up and build. The company recently acquired SolarBOS as well, which may yield even more purchasing and installation efficiency.

“We recognize how important solar mounting installation is to meet overall project deadlines, which is why we take single-point responsibility for the entire project starting from the initial design to complete mechanical installation of solar modules,” says Kevin Ward, marketing manager for RBI Solar.

CEO Matthew Skidmore says Conti Solar is a frequent customer of RBI Solar for these reasons.

“The leadership of a company sets the pace and the character of an organization. If an environment of collaboration for quality is set at the top, then that rolls through the company,” Skidmore says. “At Conti Solar, we’re striving for excellence and that is what keeps clients coming back. We’re looking for suppliers like us — ready to go above and beyond for customers.”

The RBI story is illustrative of the broader downstream streamlining trend of turnkey solutions influencing solar’s evolution. There’s also the example of Solar FlexRack, growing from Youngstown, Ohio-based aluminum extrusion fabrication company Northern States Metals, to a provider of in-house branded racking systems and turnkey services. They can handle everything from initial engineering, pull testing and foundation design to the final installation of posts, racks and modules. Its TDP Turnkey Solar Tracker even embeds the service component into the product’s identity, an indicator that it’s not just selling a tracker system but a full solution for reducing installation time and cutting operations and maintenance costs.

Conti says these days it expects companies to continue to adapt and deliver more diverse options in current product lines, expand fabrication and install services and develop more real-time material tracking.

Being able to pick and choose from a menu of services not only mitigates dependence on third-party subcontractors, but also frees up EPCs to expand and bid more jobs. This is, of course, if that supplier has earned the trust to function as an extended arm of the EPC.

plug n play

The Plug-N-Play tracker from RPCS combines Array Technologies’ tracker with eBOS suppliers Shoals,
CAB Products and Hellerman Tyton for a full solution.

Better tools

Tracker systems are abundant now, and many of your favorite racking manufacturers that don’t have one (or aren’t yet promoting one) likely will be in the coming year. This is a combination of tracker prices dropping and suppliers working to address the needs of their customers. Meanwhile, the long-established racking and tracker systems on the market have integrated new layers of installation and cost efficiencies.

RP Construction Services Inc. (RPCS), a turnkey construction company that works with Array Technologies, is promoting the Plug-N-Play Solar Tracker system, for example. In addition to the installation advantages gained from its familiarity with Array Technologies DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis tracker, the Plug-N-Play tracker brings in eBOS suppliers Shoals, CAB Products and Hellerman Tyton for a full solution that saves thousands of feet of trench and conduit while preventing all trench-related schedule delays.

“We are coordinating directly with these various manufacturers to bring products together to form a singular solution,” says Adam Larner, VP of projects for RPCS. “Recently we saw a 28-MW project convert from trenching to above-ground Plug-n-Play halfway through the project as they analyzed and then recognized significant savings by making the switch, even midstream.”

RPCS says this new partnership has simplified its tracker project installations by reducing trenching by 50 percent (eliminating 900 to 1,100 ft of trench per MWdc), utilizing less specialized labor (for string-level electrical connections) and requiring less time (all crimping, labels, wire testing and cutting are completed in the factory). What’s more, the Plug-N-Play Tracker approach also allows for more solar panels per string and fewer combiner boxes per site, cutting cost and solar electrical complications. In all, RPCS has shown $3,000 to $5,000 in savings per MWdc for DG projects. Eben Russell, founder, president and CEO, puts it like this:

“Allowing more of the system to be built in the factory prior to mobilization drastically impacts schedules, keeps the quality level high and consistent across all sites and allows us to manage the work with fewer asset managers. Lastly, building portfolios of projects with identical and uniform high-quality leads to higher ROIs, less transactional cost per project, better control over schedules and higher asset resale value after the full tax benefits are realized.”

Perron says integration like this is the future in the supplier space, bringing more “pre-built” assemblies to the site, which leads to faster, higher quality builds.

“We try to have the suppliers do more product integration in their factories rather than us integrating in the field, leading to better quality installs,” Perron says. “Logically it makes sense. If you can integrate items in an environmentally controlled setting rather than in the field where you do not know what type of weather conditions you will face, it will always lead to higher levels of productivity and higher levels of quality.”

Product line evolution occurs in small ways too based on simple conversations. OMCO was contract manufacturing for First Solar, for example, and without being specifically asked they worked on a redesign idea for its module interface bracket to cut costs. Conversely, proactive customers will explain the pain points they see with designs. Leading up to the debut of its branded, Field-Fast racking system, Goodwin says OMCO made some tweaks to its wire management options and changed the design of its foot bracket to make it easier to package, ship and preassemble in the factory, all of which came directly from working with customers.

What’s next?

With the ITC scheduled to phase out over the next few years and the development pipeline more robust than ever, developers and independent power producers are pushing to get as many MWs installed as possible. Construction schedules will be compressed and competition will be fierce. None of that is new for the solar industry, but the context has changed. Due to the innovations and streamlined services that have emerged from EPC-supplier relationships, “the fittest” will be evolving the conditions in which solar development continues to thrive instead of merely survive.


Communication Keys

Upfront and clear expectations can help build relationships and smooth the processes of solar project construction. Conti Solar highlights these key areas for stepping up communication efforts:

Schedule
Being able to project the delivery of supplies is vital to the success of a project and staying on schedule.

Cost
Understanding the cost of the supplies up front allows developers to accurately model the total cost of the project early on. These projections are necessary for the developer to understand if the project is economically viable. You risk the project not being able to pencil if the supplier raises cost.

Issues
Mitigating risks and potential issues up front is the backbone of trusted EPCs. When issues arise, having a strong relationship with a supplier who is committed to working through a project’s success is a sought-after partner.

Engineering
Getting the right data up front to bid correctly with geotech, borings, etc., is another important element. It sounds simple, but there are myriad complexities to the equation.

Chris Crowell is the managing editor of Solar Builder.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar Builder 2018 Projects of the Year: Five projects win Editor’s Choice Awards

Solar Builder Editors Choice

Nominees for the Solar Builder Projects of the Year are submitted throughout the year by our readers, with the best submissions put up for an open online vote. The top three vote getters are named the Solar Builder Projects of the Year — Gold, Silver and Bronze. The remaining nominees are then eligible to be recognized as Solar Builder Editor’s Choice selection. The following five projects were the ones that stood out the most from the field.

Best Mission

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical School | Rochester, Mass. | 10 kW

Best Mission

All solar projects attached to schools are great, but they are even better when added as part of the school’s larger mission. OMCO Solar got together with Solar Frontier and Cypress Creek Renewables to create the Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School’s new Solar Training Program, in partnership with the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant. A renewed emphasis on vocational and technical schools is giving Massachusetts students the opportunity to prepare themselves for higher paying jobs in industries like solar, which is also a booming industry for the state. The opportunity to have access to current solar mounting systems and modules, along with guidance for the instructors from the professionals at OMCO, is vital for skills training.

Best Carport

Chaffey Community College District | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | 5.5 MW

Borrego solar carport

This 5.5-MW system is the largest solar carport project to date for a California community college. The energy produced by the three systems will meet 90 percent of the Chaffey Community College’s energy needs and is expected to save the district $28.5 million in energy costs over the life of the project. The system is comprised of solar carport structures on parking lots at Chaffey College and its campuses in Fontana and Chino, all in San Bernardino County. The project is expected to produce nearly 10 million kWh of energy in the first year, which is the equivalent to powering approximately 1,375 average homes in California annually.

Coolest Design

IBEW 332 | San Francisco | 202.3 kW

Coolest concept

This project was cool for a number of reasons: 1. Every load in the building was turned electric from gas in order to become a net zero building — going from paying $140,000 in utilities a year to zero. 2. The solar panels on the roof spell out IBEW, which is short for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The building is in the flight path for San Jose’s International Airport, and the solar array is clearly visible to passengers when landing. An LED lighting system is wrapped around the IBEW panels so that it is illuminated at night too. 3. Energy storage was also included in this project so that the core systems will continue in case of an outage. Basically, they thought of everything, and then thought of a few more things.

Best Value

Harley-Davidson Rally Point at Sturgis Plaza | Sturgis, S.D. | 54.6 kW

Harley Davidson quest renewables

We already picked the best carport, but we had to select this cool carport at the Harley-Davidson Rally Point in the Sturgis Plaza too. So, we named it our Best Value for a few reasons. This space is used as a central gathering point during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and a few other public events during the year. Initially, the city was going to purchase fabric canopies to shade the plaza, but when they realized the fabric system would cost nearly as much as solar, they changed directions (not to mention that 40 percent of the building’s usage would be offset in the summer and 80 percent in the winter). The main challenge was Interconnection Systems out of Central City, Neb., had to bore a 600 ft-long tunnel from the plaza to city hall, but the system was still constructed and installed in just five days in June. And though not typical for the QuadPod solar canopy, the steel for the system was requested to be powder coated black and looks even cooler than usual.

Most Resourceful

Calif. Governor Brown’s Microgrid | Williams, Calif. | 14 kW

California Governor microgrid

California Governor Jerry Brown has a nice property that sits off on its own, except it’s five miles away from any utility power. A bunch of solar companies in the area were contacted to install a solution, but not a lot of companies do off-grid or battery-based projects. Eventually, after researching contractors on YouTube, Jason Andrade of West Coast Sustainables popped up, who has years of experience that proved valuable in this highly detailed off-grid / microgrid that now supplies autonomous power for the entire property. “We used components that could be easily expanded and incorporated the arrays to be functional shade structures,” Andrade said. The system consists of 24 kW of OutBack Radian inverters, 14-kW SolarWorld modules, 34-kWh Simpliphi Lithium-Iron batteries and a Kohler 24-kW propane backup inverter.

— Solar Builder magazine

Expand the growth of community solar with factory-direct systems

community solar

Hands Show Light Bulb Ideas Together Partnership

As of Q1 in 2018, there have been 1,023 MW of community solar projects installed across 26 of the 50 U.S. states, with another 3 GW of expansion projected over the coming years. One of the ways this gets easier is by helping Community Solar projects get off the ground faster, with simple installs and the best rate on factory-direct, BoS systems.

Supporting over 8 GW of utility-scale solar, OMCO is a leading, factory-direct mounting systems manufacturer across the U.S. Being a one-source, cost-effective OEM partner, OMCO Solar is changing the speed and cost of construction for community solar, empowering projects from 500 kW to 2,000 kW or more, with its Field-Fast system. Here’s how.

Simple assembly with fewer components

Most solar mounting structures arrive on-site with hundreds of parts to assemble, sometimes more, depending upon the size of the project. But OMCO Solar has taken this paradigm and solved the problem of time-intensive delivery, staging and set up by pre-assembling all the components for their Field-Fast racking system at the factory. What arrives on site is seven pre-assembled components per rack. No other BoS manufacturer can claim that.

It then takes a team of only two installers to assemble seven Field-Fast racks per hour – that’s nearly one completed mounting system assembled every nine minutes. What’s better is that there is no need for any heavy-lifting equipment and there is zero overhead lifting for the installation team. All assembly happens from the ground-level, including panel installation. The required tools have been consolidated too, so there is minimal gear required to aid construction.

OMCO-AD-DIGITAL-300-X-250-SolarBuilder_FINAL

Every Field-Fast rack comes with set-up training from OMCO Solar engineering and construction leads at one of their national manufacturing facilities. Can’t make it to the factory? That’s OK. OMCO Solar staff will talk you through via video chat to answer any questions and make sure your team understands everything they need to know to execute a surefire, correct install that will pass inspection. OMCO Solar customer service support is also available to customers during the entire lifetime of the system.

Factory-direct costs community solar projects less

Factory-direct, Field-Fast mounting systems reduce in every area that typically inflates racking costs. From reducing on-site labor size, cutting build-time and radically simplifying ease of installation, OMCO Solar costs community solar projects markedly less at every stage of construction. Plus, the Field-Fast mounting system is ISO-certified as a quality product. Fabricated from high-quality U.S. steel, Field-Fast is always at the ready for builds of any size, distributed straight to the project from OMCO’s closest factory for optimized logistics.

OMCO solar community project

Field-Fast is also fully NEC-compliant, UL 2701 ed. 1 certified, wind-tunnel tested and able to withstand a snow load of up to 90 PSF and winds of 180 mph. Plus, Field-Fast is compatible with any framed solar module, including First Solar Series 6 panels.

What about undulating terrain?

Field-Fast has the adjustability an in-field team will need, right out-of-the-box. Complete with pre-stamped slots allowing connections to adjust to changes in grade, without any extra parts or cutting of the rack, Field-Fast is fully adjustable for construction requiring elevation changes.

In summation

• 35% faster builds than average
• Lowest labor cost per watt in the industry
• Featuring OEM-direct material buys and total turnkey installation packages
• OMCO in-house design & engineering team to assist communitysolar projects

The solar engineering and fabrication experts at OMCO have leveraged over 8 GW of utility-scale experience and 60 years of custom roll-form manufacturing skills to develop Field-Fast. With a proven capacity to deliver for projects of any size, OMCO’s dedicated team knows each project front-to-back and provides technical knowledge that can’t be matched throughout construction, beginning on day one.

Get a higher-quality mounting system for less money for your next community solar project, no matter the program structure via on-bill crediting, utility-sponsored, special purpose entity (SPE) model, or the non-profit, buy a brick model.

Join OMCO Solar at Community Solar Power Summit 2018 in Minneapolis, July 18-19 at the Radisson Blu Downtown. Can’t attend the show? Visit OMCOsolar.com to schedule a call with an OMCO Community Solar Specialist today to learn more.

Jen Degtjarewsky is a guest editor for OMCO Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine

Pre-assembled mounting structures speed site installation by 35 percent

OMCO Solar site installation

By choosing a mounting structure with a nationwide manufacturing footprint, fuel costs and shipping are greatly reduced when product originates from the most strategic geographic location.

Delivery is everything in solar development. Delivery on-time or even ahead of schedule signals reliability to investors and paves the way for more builds, especially those needed at an accelerated pace due to impending, seasonal weather conditions or site takeovers when the original racking partner could not deliver the job. The sooner the plant comes online, the quicker investors recoup capital and the power of solar proves positive revenue.

The proof is in the numbers as a recent time study shows construction using pre-assembled components, such as factory-direct Field-Fast by OMCO Solar, saves both time and money while still leveraging a bankable, high-quality racking system.

How to reduce every area of typical racking costs

Manufacturing: In the current age of high-velocity, precision manufacturing, selecting a mounting structure that’s OEM-direct saves significantly, but don’t just look for a brand with a manufacturing line, look for one with deep experience, solar know-how and proven bankability.

OMCO Solar is part of OMCO Roll-Form, a 60-year industry leader with coast to coast locations. Also, OMCO Solar is now the largest manufacturer of utility-scale solar mounting structures in the United States. With in-house design and engineering teams, OMCO can quickly solve any site-based requirements right on the factory floor to provide build customization whenever needed. Plus, a partner that runs their own factories significantly reduces lead-time for projects that need to get off the ground fast.

Materials: The current state of the industry has largely been negatively impacted by the tariffs, making solar projects cost more. That’s why it’s vital to select an OEM mounting partner with stable materials-sourcing relationships, ideally using steel that’s sourced nationally.

OMCO solar

OMCO Solar has been exclusively using U.S. steel for over 60 years and has priority supply relationships in place. With the highest materials handling and stocking standards in the industry, OMCO is a partner who can be relied upon for mounting structures for any size project large or small, no matter what the tariffs bring.

Mounting structure flexibility: There is nothing that slows the rate of install more than having to make cuts to adjust racking in the field. When racking doesn’t have the ability to account for undulating terrain, get ready for a long and laborious build schedule.

OMCO Solar has built all the adjustability an in-field team will ever need, right into their Field-Fast mounting structure. With pre-stamped slots allowing for connections at any grade, without any extra parts or cutting of the rack, sites can be erected at a rate of seven structures per hour (10 panels and 300 Watts between two posts), by a team of two installers.

OMCO-AD-DIGITAL-300-X-250-SolarBuilder_FINAL

Logistics and freight: Freight costs add up quickly. By choosing a mounting structure with a nationwide manufacturing footprint, fuel costs and shipping are greatly reduced when product originates from the most strategic geographic location.

OMCO Solar has manufacturing facilities from coast to coast, each with the latest equipment and full capabilities to output as many Field-Fast mounting structures as required. Plus, all locations can customize if needed, with high-velocity, precision manufacturing techniques guided by on-site solar design and engineering expertise.

Unloading and staging: Site unloading and staging time can tie-up manpower and eat valuable time from the construction schedule when parts go missing or racking components need to be assembled in the field for staging.

OMCO Solar

By choosing a mounting structure consisting of pre-assembled components, there is no need to waste excessive manpower on part staging. Each Field-Fast mounting structure is comprised of only seven bill of materials items, with zero pre-assembly required in the field. No other BoS product can claim that. Plus, all hardware comes to the site marked, presorted and associated with each racking setup. Also, most of the hardware is pre-threaded for simple tool consolidation and ease of construction.

Labor and safety: Team size and safety during construction factor large in final project cost. That’s why mounting systems that allow smaller in-field teams without overhead lifting or the use of heavy-lifting equipment give solar developers a cost-saving edge.

OMCO Solar racking assembly

The Field-Fast mounting system can be constructed 100% from ground-level for increased site safety. Construction requires no overhead-lifting or heavy equipment and only two installers are required for complete assembly. Time studies in 2018 rank Field-Fast with a labor efficiency of 85 percent.

Modules: Module changes happen. Sometimes they even happen late in construction. Many mounting structures have panel-specific requirements, making module changes a potentially risky and costly endeavor.

OMCO’s Field-Fast mounting system is compatible with any framed module. Plus, as an official First Solar Ecosystem partner, the Field-Fast mounting system is compatible with Series 6 modules. With Field-Fast, module compatibility presents zero financial risks for solar investors. Best of all, when it comes to pure module installation, two installers can ready 300,000 watts per hour via 100 panels.

Pre-assembly: The time pre-assembly saves on build schedules is exponential and echoes throughout the cost of an entire project. Pre-assembly saves money on transport and logistics, staging and, of course, final in-field construction. It even aids permitting as pre-assembly ensures proper racking builds.

OMCO Solar’s ISO-certified, Field-Fast mounting structure is entirely built from seven, pre-assembled components, expertly fitted and packaged in an OMCO factory and ready for projects nationwide from 500 kW builds to multi-MW projects.

Get ready to build

OMCO Solar continues to help developers attack the tariffs through their high bankability, with the factory-direct Field-Fast mounting system and years of worldwide solar construction expertise. To date, OMCO Solar has leveraged over 8 GW of utility-scale experience and 60 years of custom roll-form manufacturing skills to develop the best solar racking structure on the market.

Learn more about OMCO Solar and their factory-direct Field-Fast mounting system here.

Jen Degtjarewsky is a guest editor for OMCO Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine