GAF installs its first fully integrated solar roofing system DecoTech

GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, announced that Bay Valley Contractors completed a fully integrated residential solar panel installation. The 5.1 kW DecoTech Solar Roofing System was installed on a home in Concord, Calif. This location follows several successful installations on test sites throughout the U.S.

Decotech install

Simple installation and attractive design

DecoTech Solar Roofing System is the sleek, low-profile, integrated solar roof system that GAF offers at an affordable price. The system provides a seamless aesthetic and is installed directly to the roof deck – unlike rack-mounted solar panel systems that sit above the roof and require multiple points of entry. Its unique fastening mechanism and flashed perimeter maintain the integrity of the roof and help protect against moisture and leaks.

“Building on the GAF expertise in roofing and solar, we designed DecoTech to be intuitive for roofing contractors to install and affordable for homeowners to choose,” said Tommy Rodrigues, research scientist and head of solar product design and development at GAF. “Our high-output panels use best-in-class technology, allowing consumers to harness maximum solar energy.”

“The DecoTech design simplifies the installation process,” said Ryan Diaz, vice president at Bay Valley Contractors, the company that completed the installation. “Other solar panel systems require contractors to drill into the roof to locate rafters, but DecoTech has an interlocking system that fastens directly to the roof deck, which helps cut down on installation time.”

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Heritage in roofing and solar

GAF has a 130-year history in roofing and decades of experience in solar, including several patents on solar roofing products, a Solar Elite Contractor certification program, and proprietary solar financing relationships that have given the company a unique perspective on the market. The DecoTech Solar Roofing System, which is available for purchase and installation across the U.S., is the latest product in the growing GAF solar portfolio.

“We are seeing accelerated interest in DecoTech among consumers seeking to lower energy costs and find sustainable solutions. GAF is proud to offer an elegant solution with exceptional warranty protections for homeowners,” said Patrick Brokaw, GAF senior residential solar program territory manager for the Western region. “DecoTech’s aesthetic appeal and ease of installation make it unique to anything on the market today, and we are committed to continued growth and innovation in solar.”

GAF has multiple DecoTech Solar Roofing System installations scheduled across the country through-out the coming weeks and continues to introduce its offerings to leading roofing and solar contractors.

DecoTech is the proprietary GAF Solar Roofing System. With a low-profile, sleek design and mono-chromatic Deco Black gloss finish, the high-output solar panels offer a seamless aesthetic. Its concealed wires, metal frame, and waterproofing elements provide durability and allow the panels to shed water just like shingles. The interlocking system, which fastens directly to the roof deck, is de-signed for simple and fast installation by GAF factory-certified roofing contractors.

— Solar Builder magazine

IKEA reveals plans for PV system atop Jacksonville location

ikea solar project

IKEA announced plans to install solar panels atop its future Jacksonville store opening Fall 2017. Panel installation will begin this summer, with completion expected in early Fall for what will be the fifth IKEA solar array in the State of Florida.

The Jacksonville store’s 251,206-square-foot solar array will consist of a 1.89 MW system, built with 5,472 panels, and will produce approximately 2,753,070 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent of reducing 2,133 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

For the development, design and installation of the new store’s solar power system, IKEA selected REC Solar, a national leader in solar electric design and installation with more than 600 systems built across the U.S. Marcobay Construction is building the store that will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.

“We are excited about furthering our sustainability commitment and contributing to a low-carbon society with solar atop our future Jacksonville store,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “We have a mission to create a better everyday life for the many, and IKEA Jacksonville can add to this goal and keep us Florida’s largest non-utility private solar owner.”

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This installation will represent the 49th solar project for IKEA in the United States, contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of more than 42 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2020, reinforcing its confidence and investment in solar photovoltaic technology. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns approximately 300 wind turbines, including 104 in the U.S.

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can do good business while minimizing impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, and selling only LED bulbs. IKEA has installed electric vehicle charging stations at 15 stores, with more locations planned.

The 290,000-square-foot future IKEA Jacksonville and its 950 parking spaces will be built on 25 acres along the northwestern corner of Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway, approximately 10 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville. Until the future IKEA Jacksonville opens in Fall 2017, customers can shop at IKEA Orlando and IKEA Tampa or online at IKEA-USA.com. Two other IKEA stores are located in the South Florida cities of Sunrise and Sweetwater.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 390 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 43 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked among “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in two years. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

— Solar Builder magazine

Younicos delivers MW-scale storage system to Austin Energy

younicos

Younicos has signed an agreement to deliver a megawatt-scale battery storage system to Austin Energy, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded initiative known as the Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) project.

Younicos will collaborate with the project’s prime contractor, Doosan GridTech, to install the 1.75 MW / 3.2 MWh system using the company’s innovative Y.Cube systems. They will be managed by Younicos’s Y.Q software platform, communicating with the Doosan GridTech Intelligent Controller using the MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture) open standard. The seven Y.Cubes and Y.Converters represent the company’s largest Y.Cube deployment in the U.S. to date.

The Y.Cube systems will provide storage capabilities as part of a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) that will maintain grid reliability while also enabling energy loads to be delivered at the lowest possible cost with high penetration levels of distributed PV generation. The platform, called DG-DERO™, also provided by Doosan GridTech, will use multiple advanced control methodologies that will be demonstrated and evaluated using a fleet of diverse DER assets deployed at various locations among Austin Energy’s customers.

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In addition to optimizing battery performance in combination with solar PV, a key requirement of the project is compliance with strict safety standards. The battery system will be located in a neighborhood in East Austin, coexisting near both residential and commercial buildings. The Y.Cube, which has been optimized for use in commercial and industrial battery storage applications, is a plug-and-play system that also contains multiple thermal management subsystems for maximum safety.

“We’re keeping Austin weird – and energized,” said Stephen L. Prince, CEO of Younicos. “The SHINES project is the perfect showcase for an alternative, distributed energy system with resources like energy storage providing resiliency and security. Our Y.Cube is ideal for this application – offering the best in battery storage, intelligent control, system performance and safety in a compact form factor. We’re very pleased to partner with Austin Energy and Doosan GridTech on this innovative project.”

“Integrating energy storage with solar is becoming essential as we achieve our utility’s goal of 55% renewable energy by 2025,” says Karl Popham, Austin SHINES Principal Investigator and Manager of Emerging Technologies at Austin Energy. “The Austin SHINES program is more than a technical pilot; it is phase one of a larger rollout to maximize the value of distributed energy resources for our customers and the utility. Ultimately, it’s about clean energy being even more affordable and reliable.”

Daejin Choi, CEO of Doosan GridTech commented, “We are pleased to be working with Younicos on this breakthrough project. The Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) open standard provides the software architecture that allows us each to bring our innovation to Austin Energy without a lot of custom engineering to fit the pieces together. Austin preserves choice in their system moving forward and we each get to focus on our core competencies.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Coldwell Solar to install 14-MW of Solar FlexRack trackers across 12 locations

Solar FlexRack announced its solar pipeline agreement of 14 MW to install their TDP™ Turnkey Solar Trackers in 12  installations in California for Coldwell Solar.

Solar FlexRack TDP Solar Trackers Installed in Coldwell Solar Agricultural Sites in California

Steve Daniel, EVP of Solar FlexRack said, “Coldwell Solar’s in-depth experience and proven track record has made them the top solar provider serving the agricultural market. Solar FlexRack is pleased to be selected as the supply partner for these solar projects.”

Agricultural operations benefit from distributed solar energy generation that can significantly reduce their electricity costs, stabilize rates and support energy independence. Solar FlexRack’s TDP Turnkey Tracker is an ideal solution for these types of projects. The TDP solar trackers include a full suite of project services and support ensuring projects avoid installation pitfalls. The TDP Tracker bundle ensures systems are constructed for long-term performance and reliability ultimately saving costs on solar project budgets.

“Coldwell Solar performs a thorough inspection of a property to determine the most appropriate, site-specific, solar solution that maximizes cost savings. Solar FlexRack’s TDP Turnkey Solar Trackers were the optimal solution for these agricultural installations ensuring successful projects”, said David Hood, CEO, Coldwell Solar.

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— Solar Builder magazine

Consumers Energy, SunPower team up on Michigan solar pilot program

michigan solar

In a state expected to grow its solar installations by more than 500 percent this year, Consumers Energy and SunPower are collaborating to offer a full-service home solar solution to 100 Michiganders from 32 counties statewide. As part of the Solar Distributed Generation (DG) Pilot Program, SunPower will provide participating homeowners interested in solar with a no-cost site assessment, customized system design, quality installation, industry-leading warranty, long-term financing options and more.

“At Consumers Energy, we’re rolling out new programs for Michigan residents as we all do our part for the environment,” said Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy’s vice president of enterprise project management, engineering and services. “We are pleased to respond to the growing interest we see from Michigan residents in generating their own solar energy.”

Each SunPower solar energy system will be designed and sized to best meet each consumer’s needs. Any excess solar energy generated by the system but not used onsite will result in a credit on the homeowner’s monthly energy bill under the state’s Net Metering program. Homeowners may choose to own their system through a cash purchase or loan, allowing eligible customers to take advantage of federal and state incentives while likely increasing their property value. All systems come complete with the industry’s best 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty.

“We look forward to supporting a sustainable energy future in Michigan through this program which combines SunPower’s 30 years of experience delivering high-performance solar solutions with Consumers Energy’s 130-year history of providing reliable electricity to Michigan homeowners,” said Martin DeBono, SunPower executive vice president. “SunPower offers record-breaking solar technology that generates 60 percent more energy in the same space over the first 25 years compared to conventional panels, while looking superb on any roof.”

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— Solar Builder magazine