Reporting for Residential Solar Energy Photovoltaic

SolarTech, a non-profit industry consortium with a mission to remove non-hardware, process-related cost-barriers to acceleration of U.S. solar markets, announced today the award of a development contract to SolarNexus for the implementation of SolarTech’s Solar Energy Estimate (SEE) report as an open web service in SolarNexus has been an active participant in SolarTech’s Performance Committee, and jointly worked with SolarTech and SolarPro Magazine in 2009 to introduce SolarHub. SolarHub is a freely available web-based data source for product specifications on thousands of solar products providing a cost-reducing resource to solar contractors consistent with SolarTech’s objectives.

“We are pleased to see our SEE report vision move from concept to implementation”

“We are pleased to see our SEE report vision move from concept to implementation,” said Tim Keating, SolarTech Performance Committee Chair and VP of Marketing and Field Operations at Skyline Solar. “The Solar Energy Estimate report takes a giant step forward in reducing consumer confusion in solar PV buying decisions for homeowners and small businesses.”

The SEE report is a proposed standard for presenting consumers with a uniform performance quote template modeled on the Department of Transportation’s MPG rating system for new car purchases that consumers have grown to rely upon. The SEE report uses standardized calculations combined with the installer’s site specific equipment design and local solar insolation estimates to provide the annual estimated energy production for the solar system. Just like the MPG rating, this estimate offers consumers a uniform, standardized approach for relative comparison between multiple installer designs for a solar system in a specific location. Most important, in addition to the underlying calculations (based on NREL’s PVWatts, v2 and California CSI EPBB derate factors), it offers a standardized report format (modeled on the MPG window sticker) enabling consumers to easily find the data of interest for comparing quotes and building consumer confidence.

“NREL estimates for customer acquisition costs for your typical 5kW system currently represent up to $0.20/Wp due to consumer confusion about system performance, difficulties in comparing multiple bids, and prolonged decision making,” said Doug Payne, Executive Director of SolarTech. “We have integrated our Performance and Finance Initiatives to reduce these costs 20% annually through standardized quotation templates, uniform financing contracts, and related checklists that support this goal. The combined Performance and Finance toolkits eliminate hidden expenses and risk through delays and lost sales due to a lack of clarity. Our vision is low risk, low cost, high speed PV process. This is a small but important first step that dovetails with our National Solar3.0 platform recently announced as part of the DOE SunShot grant initiative.”

Funding for this project was made possible from two significant sources: Pacific Gas & Electric Company as well as the California Energy Commission’s PIER grant program. PG&E has been a major supporter of SolarTech’s mission and an active participant in the Performance Committee. The Energy Commission recognized the significant rate-payer value to allocating a portion of SolarTech’s 2008 PIER grant award towards this project.

“We are pleased to be supporting SolarTech’s mission to lower Balance of System soft costs, as it is in direct alignment with the SolarNexus vision of leveraging software to streamline installers’ business operations,” said Eric Alderman, President and CEO of SolarNexus. “This project is a natural fit to SolarHub, which has built a reputation as a reliable industry resource. We fully expect to unveil a working prototype of the SEE Report in SolarHub in the next quarter.”

Operating at the intersection of industry, consumers, local governments, and utilities SolarTech provides the path to make solar happen through better tools enabling the industry to execute faster at lowest possible cost, accelerating the growth of solar energy at the state and local level. On behalf of our 120 members, Board, and partners, our mission is to develop, deploy and disseminate best practices and standards that make mass adoption of solar a reality through our core initiatives: workforce development, financing, performance, installation, permitting, and interconnection.

SolarNexus Inc. provides web-based solar business management software that makes it cheaper, faster and more profitable to sell, install and maintain solar systems. Designed specifically for the solar industry, the solution understands and automates the workflows and intricacies of solar projects, eliminating inefficiencies and facilitating collaboration among project team members and externally with the SolarNexus Supplier Network. SolarNexus is free to solar contractors for up to 10 users, and now offers a Professional edition for contractors who need more user licenses, more extensive automation, and greater customization.

Skyline Solar manufactures integrated concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems, incorporating industry-proven silicon cells, durable mirrors and single-axis tracking into easy-to-deploy energy solution. The Skyline Solar X14 System delivers a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) below ten cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), including incentives, in areas with high sun exposure. Built primarily out of commodity materials and assembled using globally available manufacturing processes, the Skyline X14 System offers customers excellent financial returns and outstanding scalability.

Skyline Solar was founded in 2007 and is led by veterans of the solar energy and high volume manufacturing industries. The company is funded by NEA and other investors, and has been awarded contracts by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Skyline Solar has seven patents to date on its CPV architecture.