Ten more solar installers added to Premium ranks of Panasonic Residential Solar Installer Program

panasonic

Panasonic Solar Group announced its cross-country expansion of the Panasonic Residential Solar Installer program with the addition of 10 Premium installers located across Panasonic’s three main regions. Over the past six months, Panasonic has promoted more than 16 installers across the country to premium status, enabling more homeowners access to the Panasonic Solar Modules HIT portfolio.

Launched in the U.S. in 2016, the Panasonic Solar Premium Installer program provides value-added benefits and business opportunities to partners who meet Panasonic’s high standard of excellence. The program has seen impressive growth in the last two years, now with 36 Premium installers and more than 150 Authorized Installers.

Companies joining the Premium Installer program in Panasonic’s Western Territory include:

  • Alternate Energy Inc.: Honolulu, HI
  • Solar Optimum: Glendale, CA
  • Sol-Up USA: Las Vegas, NV
  • Sunbright Solar LLC: Tucson, AZ

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“The Western region has been a catalyst for the solar industry in the United States, supportive renewable energy policies and consumer popularity continue to drive further growth in the region,” said David Lopez, Group Sales Manager Solar & Storage, Western Territory, Panasonic USA. “Expanding our Premium Installer partners in the West allows homeowners increased access to Panasonic’s industry-leading technology and warranty.”

Panasonic’s Central Territory will also see an expansion with six new Premium Installers joining the network:

  • Advance Solar & Energy: Fort Myers, FL
  • Energy Consultants Group: Anamosa, IA
  • Good Faith Energy: Houston, TX
  • Whole Sun Design: Bloomington, IN
  • Kapital Electric Company: Bensenville, IL
  • South Texas Solar Systems: San Antonio, TX

“Demand for solar energy is rapidly increasing among homeowners in FL, TX and in the Midwest,” said Jack O’Donohue, Sales and Business Development Manager, Panasonic USA. “The addition of new Premium Installers for the Central Region recognizes these installers’ success in offering Panasonic Solar and Storage solutions to meet the demands of homeowners who value quality, efficiency, and long-term commitment to performance as covered by Panasonic’s Triple Guard 25-year warranty.”

More on the Panasonic Solar Installer program

The Panasonic Solar Installer program is comprised of “Authorized” and “Premium” Installers, and Premium installers are involved in continuous efforts with Panasonic to promote the HIT brand. These installers receive leads generated from Panasonic’s website as well as from the new educational blog “Green Living”.

In addition, Premium Installers are the beneficiaries of cooperative marketing funds provided by Panasonic and are also provided access to Panasonic’s robust Installer Portal that offers additional benefits such as a library of tailored marketing materials and training programs designed to help installers enhance communication with consumers, and ultimately grow their businesses.

“Installers want the best products and tools to give their customers exactly what they need,” said Yessica Castillo, National Marketing Manager at Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “That’s why we’re working with installers who align with Panasonic’s customer-first values and commitment to taking solar to the next level, one installation at a time.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Ten more solar installers added to Premium ranks of Panasonic Residential Solar Installer Program

panasonic

Panasonic Solar Group announced its cross-country expansion of the Panasonic Residential Solar Installer program with the addition of 10 Premium installers located across Panasonic’s three main regions. Over the past six months, Panasonic has promoted more than 16 installers across the country to premium status, enabling more homeowners access to the Panasonic Solar Modules HIT portfolio.

Launched in the U.S. in 2016, the Panasonic Solar Premium Installer program provides value-added benefits and business opportunities to partners who meet Panasonic’s high standard of excellence. The program has seen impressive growth in the last two years, now with 36 Premium installers and more than 150 Authorized Installers.

Companies joining the Premium Installer program in Panasonic’s Western Territory include:

  • Alternate Energy Inc.: Honolulu, HI
  • Solar Optimum: Glendale, CA
  • Sol-Up USA: Las Vegas, NV
  • Sunbright Solar LLC: Tucson, AZ

Don’t miss our Solar Installer Issue in March — subscribe to Solar Builder magazine (print or digital) for FREE today

“The Western region has been a catalyst for the solar industry in the United States, supportive renewable energy policies and consumer popularity continue to drive further growth in the region,” said David Lopez, Group Sales Manager Solar & Storage, Western Territory, Panasonic USA. “Expanding our Premium Installer partners in the West allows homeowners increased access to Panasonic’s industry-leading technology and warranty.”

Panasonic’s Central Territory will also see an expansion with six new Premium Installers joining the network:

  • Advance Solar & Energy: Fort Myers, FL
  • Energy Consultants Group: Anamosa, IA
  • Good Faith Energy: Houston, TX
  • Whole Sun Design: Bloomington, IN
  • Kapital Electric Company: Bensenville, IL
  • South Texas Solar Systems: San Antonio, TX

“Demand for solar energy is rapidly increasing among homeowners in FL, TX and in the Midwest,” said Jack O’Donohue, Sales and Business Development Manager, Panasonic USA. “The addition of new Premium Installers for the Central Region recognizes these installers’ success in offering Panasonic Solar and Storage solutions to meet the demands of homeowners who value quality, efficiency, and long-term commitment to performance as covered by Panasonic’s Triple Guard 25-year warranty.”

More on the Panasonic Solar Installer program

The Panasonic Solar Installer program is comprised of “Authorized” and “Premium” Installers, and Premium installers are involved in continuous efforts with Panasonic to promote the HIT brand. These installers receive leads generated from Panasonic’s website as well as from the new educational blog “Green Living”.

In addition, Premium Installers are the beneficiaries of cooperative marketing funds provided by Panasonic and are also provided access to Panasonic’s robust Installer Portal that offers additional benefits such as a library of tailored marketing materials and training programs designed to help installers enhance communication with consumers, and ultimately grow their businesses.

“Installers want the best products and tools to give their customers exactly what they need,” said Yessica Castillo, National Marketing Manager at Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “That’s why we’re working with installers who align with Panasonic’s customer-first values and commitment to taking solar to the next level, one installation at a time.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Sol-Up USA named Panasonic’s Fastest Growing Installer for 2018

Sol-up

Panasonic ended a great year by holding their inaugural end of the year awards ceremony. Sol-Up USA was nominated by Panasonic and named the Fastest Growing Installer for 2018, installing more kilowatts year over year than any other Panasonic Authorized Solar Installers.

Sol-Up was founded seven years ago in Las Vegas by Frank Rieger. The company distinguishes itself from other companies because it offers more than simple installations. Sol-Up is the only solar power company in the area to have a showroom where potential clients can come and see solar panels and technologies up close to learn about their potential benefits.

Sol-Up firmly believes that their partners must exceed all of the industry standards so that Sol-Up customers receive the best on the market.

— Solar Builder magazine

Six more installers added to Panasonic Solar Premium Installer program

Panasonic solar solutions

Panasonic Eco Solutions of North America announced a cross-country expansion of its Residential Solar Installer program, adding six Premium installers located across three regions, enabling more homeowners access to the Panasonic Solar Modules HIT portfolio.

Launched in the U.S. in 2016, the Panasonic Solar Premium Installer program provides value-added benefits and business opportunities to partners who meet Panasonic’s high standard of excellence. The program has seen impressive growth in the last two years, now with 24 Premium installers and more than 150 Authorized installers.

“The Panasonic Solar installer program is growing at a rapid pace, as demonstrated by today’s announcement and program expansion,” said Jack O’Donohue, sales and business development manager, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “This group of installers are leaders in their region, and we look forward to working together to help more Americans across the country make the transition to solar technology.”

The new installers include…

In the western side of Panasonic’s Central Region, Atlasta Solar and NM Solar Group bring residential solar solutions to Colorado and New Mexico, respectively. Atlasta Solar has been serving the Western Slope of Colorado for almost 40 years and is the longest operating solar company on the Western Slope. NM Solar Group is a full-service, New Mexico-based installer offering customers a complete range of services including consultation, design, financing and panel installation and aftercare.

Panasonic’s Midwest expansion includes All Energy Solar out of Minnesota, Rethink Electric of Illinois and Jefferson Electric of Indiana. The All Energy Solar team prides itself on being experts in all aspects of the solar energy field, offering clients initial energy analysis and concepts, engineering and design, construction and monitoring. Rethink Electric has put together a team dedicated to rethinking the way electrical power is delivered. They complete projects of any scope, resulting in a solar installation that is engineered to exceed client expectations. Jefferson Electric is locally owned and operated in Indianapolis and provides full service design and installation of solar energy systems.

Homeowners in Florida now have more options to purchase Panasonic solar products through Solar Source. Solar Source has completed more than 20,000 solar installations and is capable of designing, engineering, and installing solar systems of any size for customers.

— Solar Builder magazine

Six solar industry storylines to watch from Solar Power International 2018

Q Cells

Photo of a cool booth setup.

Your Solar Builder editor entered the whirlwind of news, numbers and handshaking that is Solar Power International and emerged with a notepad filled with gibberish. What language is this? What secrets does it hold? We sent it to a forensics lab, the archaeological department at Oxford and the guy with wild hair on Ancient Aliens for their interpretations. After this thorough analysis, we believe these are the top solar story lines in a post-SPI world …

1. Focus shifts from federal politics to local action

You get the sense that the solar industry has finally punted on trying to waste much more time inching the message boulder up the current administration’s hill and is now putting those resources into local efforts. This is likely the better route to go anyway, and the initiatives announced at SPI could do the trick if developed.

Just before SPI kicked off, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation unveiled the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative, which is the latest collective effort of the industry to streamline permitting. Reforms include: A safety and skills training and certification program that allows residential and small commercial solar and battery storage installers to attest that their projects are compliant with applicable codes, to eliminate traditional multi-step permitting processes; a standardized online platform provided to local governments at no cost, a list of established equipment standards and/or certified equipment for solar and storage projects installed through the proposed process and more.

There have been several attempts at this over the years, all of which fell short, but this one might have a shot because of the timing. The economic case for solar has never been better, and the technology and techniques are proven with copious examples to highlight.

Also, what local government would turn down the promise of a ton more jobs? To grow that base of skilled solar workers around the country, the Solar Training Network introduced AmericanSolarWorkforce.org, an online platform to help solar companies recruit qualified candidates; allow solar job seekers to find career and training opportunities; and help the entire industry build a strong and diverse solar workforce. Using this platform, which is free of charge, employers can post opportunities on a solar job board and connect with thousands of candidates looking for solar career opportunities. Employers can also create company profiles, review candidate applications, and communicate with potential hires.

2. Solar pros see the short-comings of the industry and are actively trying to address them.

Two key examples here. First is in grid services. Features for grid services are mentioned all of the time now, from inverter and optimizer products to the need for storage and other ancillary services. I take it as a sign that the relationship between utilities and solar companies is now evolving past an adversarial stage because there’s nothing left to prove about solar as viable generating asset. Now, solar has to prove how it will best integrate and play nice on a wide scale over the long-term. This was always the case, but it feels everyone is getting on the same page about pursuing solutions.

For example, of all the things bouncing around the mind of CJ Colavito, VP of Engineering at Standard Solar, these days, he most wants to find a way to sync third-party radar forecasts with smart inverters for advanced ramp rate control — to ramp down voltage slowly prior to cloud cover that will cause voltage flicker.

Solar Power International

SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper and SEPA CEO Julia Hamm discuss diversity as an important goal for their respective industries.

The second short-coming is a short-coming for most industries: diversity. Judging by comments during the opening session and the upcoming Solar Jobs Census, solar thought leaders realize the industry is in position to not just remake the grid, but the makeup of the American workforce – not just to be PC and nice but because there is value inherent in a diversified workforce with growth opportunities. Also, check out this initiative from SEIA to work with Historically Black Colleges.

3. The full solar life cycle needs more attention.

One area in the U.S. solar industry still in need of attention is the full sustainability of a solar project. For example, panel recycling is a fairly big can that keeps getting kicked down the road. A DNV GL report released at SPI listed stranded assets as a key question in its market mechanics. At some point we will run out of road and kick that can straight into a million tons of PV that needs to be put somewhere. This isn’t a crisis (at least not yet) because there are solutions, at least according to First Solar, which has developed a standard for doing so and been put its system in place. Solar is recycled fairly easily — and for a profit — in Europe and that model could be replicated here.

The next can soon to be kicked is in storage. Storage is basically the key to solar taking over the world, but storage is dirtier than solar on the clean energy scale. Cobalt is a safety hazard. Lithium needs to be mined and poses its own potential for fire. Lead-acid battery companies claim to have the most recyclable solution, but does it perform as well as the future needs? And also, it is comprised of lead and acid. This is stuff that needs to be fully considered within the grand plans.

4. So many storage solutions…

LG energy storage

The new LG energy storage system.

Speaking of storage, every turn on the trade show floor seemed to present a new energy storage system or bundle of products to solve all sorts of solar + storage equations, from simpler backup capabilities to time of use to peak shaving and on and on. Panasonic has a full solution pairing Pika’s islanding inverter with its batteries and modules. LG debuted its complete solar + storage system for the home. SimpliPhi has varied its case sizes and voltage range. Sonnen has gone full tilt into energy management + home automation – a long fantasized idea that is now real-life – that is more load shaping than load shifting.

It’s all very cool. The issue from installers we chatted with at the show is there’s no one software that can deftly handle all of the storage mathematics they need (those that are great for peak shaving can’t be used for resiliency, etc.). There’s more to figure out here, just like on the battery side, but each SPI feels closer and closer to the goal line.

5. Some cool C&I rooftop innovations.

The reigning champion for the “biggest solar opportunity with the biggest issues to solve,” the commercial and industrial rooftop, saw several big-time debuts to ease some of these headaches.

A ton of solar deals are off the table because of the commercial rooftop life cycle and price tag. The deals that do go through on a different timeline than the roof itself are going to be a huge headaches come roof replacement time. Headaches meaning stuff will for sure be broken when the solar system is removed, stored and put back on. Standard Solar and Carlisle Roofing teaming up to solve this at the outset with a bundled package — a new C&I silicone coating spray applied to the existing roof membrane (with optional insulating foam) that installed with the PV system. The deal is financed through a PPA agreement with Standard Solar, so the building owner is essentially paying for the new roof (good for 50+ years) during the 25-year PPA.

ESDEC rooftop solar mounting system

The ESDEC Flat-Fix

On the system side, available in the first time in the U.S., Holland-based ESDEC debuted its slick Flat-Fix commercial rooftop mounting system. The same lightweight design can be laid out in south-facing or east-west configurations and is built with one tool, keeping the SKUs at a minimum. The feet are adhered with glue (or a bolt if needed) and an optional ballast tray. The system is already proven but the team needed to make a few tweaks to launch in the U.S., mostly relating to cable management, all of which were cleverly designed like the rest of the system.

Remote C&I system design has never been easier thanks to Nearmap’s updates. Its digital surface and line of sight analysis produces a jaw-droppingly clear picture for 71 percent of the U.S. population that is updated 3 times per year. You can really tell the difference between obstruction or dirt, as well as accurately measure the pitch and dimensions of any surface. When combined with the newest version Aurora Solar’s software, Aurora estimates 10x performance upgrades for multi-megawatt, commercial-scale solar projects added with the ability to simulate the solar energy production of a PV system while designing, allowing real-time assessment of design choices and elimination of change orders. An enhanced “fill zone” functionality is also available to automatically optimize solar panel locations to maximize the number that fit within an available space.

6. The next big trend will emerge from the California solar mandate (and maybe it’s an old one?).

Consider a company like CertainTeed – been around for a long time, and didn’t have a lot new at its booth to discuss. Its solar products are focused mostly on roof-integrated options that are not as popular as traditional mounting + solar panels on an existing roof sold and installed by solar installers. But when all new homes in California are going to need to come with solar already on the roof, will builders and roofers favor something like this they can handle themselves? Or, consider SunFlare, a company with a flexible CIGs technology. In 2018 it seems like a niche product – can be installed on top of existing carports and other nontraditional areas, but it’s close to working with a high-end national homebuilder that liked its solar shingle because “it’s a roofing product, not a solar product,” thus allowing them to install new solar on a new house without contracting out. The president of ESDEC also mentioned that in Holland their mounting system is seen as so simple to install that HVAC companies are a big customer segment for them because they could easily add it to their service offering.

Will the mainstreaming of solar earlier in the building process end up cutting out companies and products that rule the day today? Maybe a wild thought, just remember to keep your hands and arms inside the solarcoaster at all times.

— Solar Builder magazine