Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Solar FlexRack to Attend Solar Power Northeast Conference on February 5-6th in Boston




Youngstown, OH, January 29th, 2019 – Solar FlexRack™, a division of Northern States Metals and an innovative leader in photovoltaic mounting and solar tracker solutions, will attend the Solar Power Northeast Conference being held at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts from February 5th to the 6th. The solar industry event is presented by SEIA and SEPA.

Solar FlexRack will join over 1,500 attendees at Solar Power Northeast, which is the largest forum in the Northeast for the solar and energy storage industries to come together and learn about sustainable energy trends. This year’s event will feature three tracks of education plus multiple networking opportunities.  Solar Power Northeast will feature multiple speakers, including keynote speaker Mary Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power.

“S&P Global Market Intelligence reports the US utility-scale solar project pipeline through 2022 is expanding to almost 34 GW. We are living in an incredibly exciting time for solar energy”, said Steve Daniel, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Solar FlexRack. “We’re looking forward to getting updates at the Northeast Conference and sharing with participating developers and EPCs how Solar FlexRack can reduce their project risks with our solar trackers, racking and highly-experienced project services teams.”

Solar FlexRack is an industry-leading company delivering best-in-class engineered racking and solar tracker solutions that safeguard solar projects by providing custom engineering, site design and installation services tailor-made for their customer's sites and projects. Representatives from Solar FlexRack will be available to discuss their innovative approach and their customers’ successes with individuals interested in learning more. Please schedule a meeting in advance to meet with the Solar FlexRack team onsite.


About Solar FlexRack
Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracker systems in the commercial and utility scale solar mounting industry. Solar FlexRack also offers full turnkey packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout testing, field, layout, and installation services, to address the actual site conditions of an installation, providing a full scope of services from design to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed more than 1.7 GW of solar racking installations in 40 states across America and five countries globally. For more information, go to www.solarflexrack.com and follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Conti Solar Wins Award for Outstanding Safety Record

Edison, NJ, January 22, 2019 - Conti Solar, a national solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), O&M and energy storage development company, has earned the Division of Public Safety Certificate – Citation of Merit from the State of New Jersey, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, for its accomplishments in the prevention of workplace injury and illness.  
Conti Solar has gone four years without a recordable injury to an employee, an achievement only possible for companies with strong leadership, rigorous standards, and a long history of construction management expertise.
“We’re extremely proud of our impeccable safety record,” said Matthew Skidmore, CEO of Conti Solar. “The health and well-being of our employees is a top priority of Conti Solar, and it’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts.”
Safety is a critical item for all solar construction projects for multiple reasons, including protecting the welfare of employees, providing a safe work environment, and controlling project costs. A dedicated commitment to safety by both the EPC and their contractors helps ensure project success and can impact the bottom line considerably. Contractor safety also saves money in the long run, because a better-than-average safety record qualifies a company for lower insurance rates and also avoids the expense of lost time, work and other potential costs resulting from work injuries.
A construction firm’s safety record is typically measured by the amount of employee injuries and lost time due to injuries, and is monitored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a Total Recordable Incident Rate. (TRIR). The industry average TRIR is 2.8 for Power and Communication line and related structures construction*. Conti Solar’s TRIR is 0.00. 
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb4732.pdf
About Conti Solar
Conti Solar is a national EPC, O&M, and energy storage company. Our attention to detail, flawless execution and collaborative culture has enabled us to successfully develop and install over 650 MW of solar projects since our early initiatives in 2004. We leverage established partnerships with solar developers, IPPs, utilities, off-takers, suppliers and landowners to streamline project development, design, construction and operations, driving down project costs and creating value across all project stakeholders. Majority-owned by Ares EIF with a minority position retained by the Conti Group, Conti Solar is well positioned with a diversified network of industry experts and the financial resources to be a trusted, long-term partner. Learn more at www.contisolar.com.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Conti Solar, National EPC Services Firm, Closes 2018 With 650 MW of Solar Projects Completed or Underway

December 18th, 2018, Edison, NJ - Conti Solar, a national solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), O&M and energy storage company, announced today it has 650 MW of solar projects in over 10 states underway or completed. Closing out a banner year, the growing company has an impressive list of milestone solar projects across market segments (utility-scale, community solar, landfill solar, carport solar, distributed generation, commercial and industrial) working with some of the most recognized utilities and Fortune 500 companies across the United States.
Conti Solar completed the largest landfill solar project in Ohio (4 MW DC), the largest solar project in Rhode Island (21.3 MW DC) and has been selected to build the largest community solar project portfolio in New York (55 MW DC). The company has also completed 15 solar projects (44.5 MW DC) for Eversource Energy, the number one ranked utility in the nation for energy efficiency.
The company was awarded the 2018 Solar Project of the Year for the Cuyahoga (Ohio) landfill solar project and continues to fine tune their team’s expertise and expand the organization.
“At Conti Solar, we emphasize customer relations throughout the company. We nurture a culture of communication and attention-to-detail across our organization. We’re proud of our accomplishments and will continue to focus on first-class execution and outstanding customer service as we grow,” commented Matthew Skidmore, CEO of Conti Solar.
About Conti Solar Conti Solar is a national EPC, O&M, and energy storage company. Our attention to detail, flawless execution and collaborative culture has enabled us to successfully develop and install over 650 MW of solar projects since our early initiatives in 2004. We leverage established partnerships with solar developers, IPPs, utilities, off-takers, suppliers and landowners to streamline project development, design, construction and operations, driving down project costs and creating value across all project stakeholders. Majority-owned by Ares EIF with a minority position retained by the Conti Group, Conti Solar is well positioned with a diversified network of industry experts and the financial resources to be a trusted, long-term partner. Learn more at www.contisolar.com.

Friday, December 14, 2018

SDC Energy Lets Apartment Owners Profit from California's New Solar Mandate

San Jose, CA, December 12, 2018 - SDC Energy, a leading provider of commercial solar financing, today launches its Powering Title 24 Program with partners Baja Construction and Grid Technologies. California is the first state in the country to require solar energy on all new residential properties under three stories by 2020. Unique in the solar industry, Powering Title 24 combines solar carports, virtual net-metering software and tax-enabled financing to help apartment builders and owners convert Title 24 mandates into long-term benefits.
“Powering Title 24 turns compliance into profits,” says Charles Schaffer, CEO of SDC Energy. “Solar carports generate tax credits and accelerated depreciation benefits that offset all of their construction costs. Working with our partners, we can build PV-powered carports essentially for free while creating a new revenue stream for multi-tenant property owners.” 
Multifamily properties will see even more changes in 2019. AB 802, which will take effect in June, requires all California multi-family building owners to disclose their properties’ energy usage to reveal their level of Title 24 compliance. Leveraging solar energy will be a critical component in compliance strategies. 
Powering Title 24 is a trio of services that leverages parking structures into solar generating carports, combining intelligent software that monitors the electricity produced and integrates billing systems to enable the sale of solar power to tenants. The linchpin of the program is custom financing that provides secure, flexible terms for solar installers and their customers while enabling private investors to cut their tax bills with PV incentives.
“California’s solar mandate shines new light on the value of building green communities,” says Brandon Morford, CEO of Baja Construction. “Because Baja Construction supplies 70% of all multi-family carports in California and is one of the leading carport design-engineers, and installers in the solar industry, we can quickly supply builders with a very cost-effective solution.”
After installation, Powering Title 24 makes sure that the project’s electricity is distributed efficiently. “Our energy monitoring system leverages ‘virtual’ net metering to create a passive revenue stream for building owners,” explains Dover Janis, co-founder and CEO of Grid Technologies. “Owners gain from the sale of solar while tenants save 5% to 10% on their utility bills. Plus, adding solar boosts property values up to two and a half times the cost of the installation.” 
A survey of 2,800 apartment residents -- three in five of them under the age of 34 -- found that 84% of tenants say that living in an eco-friendly building is important to them, and nearly two-thirds would pay more to live in a green community. Powering Title 24’s PV carports create energy-efficient properties that command higher revenues and longer leases while reducing construction costs.
SDC Energy
SDC Energy is the leader in commercial solar financing, connecting private investors and installers to fund projects that create significant tax benefits and cost-effective renewable energy. Since 2009, SDC Energy has helped American businesses finance over 52 gigawatt hours of clean solar power. www.sdc-energy.com

Baja Construction
Baja Carports’ provides multifamily property owners/developers with solar carport installations that are in-house designed/engineered site-specific, pre-fabricated bolted connections; result in seamless on-site assembly. Baja Carports’ increase tenant retention, lot safety, security and overall lot efficiency. www.bajacarports.com

Grid Technologies
Grid Tech offers the only platform that seamlessly converts solar energy into billable revenue for owners of multi-tenant structures while simplifying multi-meter solutions for HOAs. The founding team is on a mission to help one million California tenants go solar over the next five years. www.gogrid.tech 
*Photo Courtesy of Baja Construction

Don’t Dread New Title 24 Solar Mandates; Profit from Them

If you believe building code mandates always end up costing you more money, you’ve got a pleasant surprise coming with California’s new solar requirements for multi-family homes.
These mandates could end up putting more money in both your and your tenants’ pockets.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, all new residential buildings in the state under three stories tall must include solar panels. New updates to Title 24 of the state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards were approved in May as part of California’s effort to achieve net-zero-energy. This means new homes must produce more energy than they use by 2020; new commercial buildings must become net-zero by 2030.
Multifamily properties will see even more changes in 2019.  AB 802, which will take effect in June, requires all California multi-family building owners to disclose their properties’ energy usage to reveal their level of Title 24 compliance. Leveraging solar energy will be a critical component in compliance strategies.
While that initially may sound like an expensive proposition, SDC Energy and its partners has developed a turn-key solution that meets the state’s requirements without adding to your construction budget. In fact, you may end up saving money while increasing your project’s net operating income for years to come.
Rather than building standard shade structures, we’ll install solar-enabled carports that help protect your tenants’ most valuable possessions – their cars – while generating clean energy to reduce their utility bills and creating a new revenue stream for you.
Research has shown that constructing buildings with more efficient systems in place can lead to higher revenues, longer leases, and significant construction cost savings. A survey of 2,800 apartment residents -- three in five of them under the age of 34 -- found that 84% of tenants say that living in a sustainable or eco-friendly building is very important or moderately important to them. And nearly two-thirds said they would pay more to live in a green community.
Partnership Powers New Projects
Unique in the solar industry, Powering Title 24 is a new program that combines solar carports, virtual net-metering software and tax-enabled financing to help apartment builders and owners convert Title 24 mandates into long-term benefits.
Together, SDC Energy and its partners can heat up your solar benefits:
✓ Baja Construction supplies 70% of all multi-family carports in California and is the leading carport manufacturer for the solar industry. Baja installed a 12-MW carport project for the Long Island Power Authority -- the largest in the U.S. -- and currently builds 32 MWs annually throughout North America.
✓ Grid Technologies offers a virtual metering system called Ivy that monitors solar energy generation and distribution, incorporates solar electricity sales into a single tenant bill, and creates a passive revenue stream.
✓ SDC Energy brings all the pieces together through managing solar projects from origin to operations, while providing custom tax-enabled financial solutions through our private investor network.
Whether you’re a builder, property owner or lender, Powering Title 24 converts the potential headache of California’s new solar mandate into a long-term benefit for everyone.
Carports Capturing the Sun 
Why carports? There are several reasons, notes Bob Hayworth, owner of Baja Construction:
✓ Putting photovoltaic panels over parking areas means you’re building a solar racking system, not just a carport. Unlike stand-alone shade structures, solar carports generate tax credits and accelerated depreciation benefits that offset all of the construction costs.
✓ Unlike roofs, carports aren’t expected to be waterproof. Installing solar panels on a building’s rooftop involves complex engineering that isn’t required for a carport -- streamlining the cost and eliminating risk. 
✓ Installing solar carports does not impact the building’s aesthetics or design; instead they often compliment the project’s appearance.
✓ Solar improvements are exempt from property tax valuations. Carports without solar panels drive up tax assessments. PV carport systems don’t. 
Ivy Weaving a New Grid 
Once the solar system is installed, there are technical challenges to making the most of it. That’s where Ivy comes in.
Until recently, solar power generated for multi-family buildings in California could only be used in common areas, such as lights in a hallway or lobby. And because solar panels often generate more power than is needed during the day, a billing mechanism called net metering sells unused solar power back to the local utility.
Now, however, the state has approved using “virtual” net metering at multi-family properties, allowing individual tenants to capture benefits both from the solar power generated on-site and from the credits of selling excess power back to the utility. In addition, California legislators in 2015 approved AB 1236 requiring municipalities with fewer than 200,000 residents to create expedited permitting processes for electric vehicle charging stations. The Electric Power Research Institute has found that 80% of all EV charging takes place at home. Although more than one-third of California’s homes are in multi-unit dwellings, less than 5% of home-based EV charging occurs in residential complexes. Our solar canopies will change that.
Grid Technologies offers Ivy, an energy monitoring database that collects tenant usage information through sub-metering. Ivy’s algorithms keep track of each tenant’s solar usage, generate a solar usage charge to add to the tenant’s rent bill, and monitor the system’s overall performance.
Tenants generally save between 5% and 10% on their utility bills. EV charging stations can also be added to the solar project providing tenants with a way to conveniently charge their growing number of electric cars. Overall, tenants are very pleased to encourage clean energy generation.
After a demo of Ivy, a building owner asked his tenants whether they wanted solar, says Dover Janis, co-founder and CEO of Grid Technologies. “All the tenants were very eager to support going green,” Janis says. “That made the decision a no-brainer!”
What’s more, adding solar boosts property values up to two and a half times the cost of the installation. Solar’s ongoing revenue stream appeals to lenders, too, because the net operating income from solar increases a property’s overall revenue stream.
Financing Pulling It All Together
As the value propositions compound and build on each other, the financial benefits make SDC Energy’s job easier, too.
“Installing a solar project for the common areas has been a decent value proposition so far for property owners, but now solar can be a key feature for the entire project,” says Charles Schaffer, president of SDC Energy. “With virtual metering allowing everyone to benefit from the solar installation, we’re seeing a net positive across the board. Plus, if you have the only property on the block with solar, that’s a competitive advantage for keeping occupancy rates up.”
SDC Energy's tailor-made financing matches each project with the right investor. This direct approach to commercial PV financing means asset owners can benefit from the most flexible terms and reap remarkable value from their solar investment, he says.
Final Title 24 compliance requirements haven’t yet been released, he notes. But the unified approach offered through SDC, Baja and Grid is making financial sense to builders right now, well in advance of the 2020 mandate.
Solar projects can be scaled up or down to fit each property’s needs, or as Title 24 rules become more clear. However, including solar now future-proofs a building against increasing government -- and tenant -- demand for renewable energy. 
“It’s more efficient to install solar at the time of construction than going in and retrofitting afterward,” Schaffer says. “Our experience doing custom projects tailored to individual sites means we have a proven track record that the multi-family construction market can count on.”
*Photo Courtsey of Baja Construction

Monday, December 3, 2018

Conti Solar Donates $40k Worth of Goods to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore

Conti’s Fresno staff also participated in Habitat’s ‘Acts of Kindness’ Project

Edison, NJ, December 3rd, 2018 - Conti Solar, a national solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), O&M and energy storage development company, announced that Conti Solar has donated approximately $40,000 worth of plywood to Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Restore, Fresno Branch. The donated plywood had formerly been utilized on Conti Solar’s rooftop solar project.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. The Habitat ReStores use proceeds to help bring strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter to local communities and around the world.

The Conti Solar Fresno branch also participated in Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Acts of Kindness’ project. This project works with local people to support neighborhood revitalization and restitution. The crew worked on painting the trim and different rooms of the community center, including the Veterans room - one day after Veteran’s Day. The Hinton Community Center is a gathering place for locals in Fresno named after Cecil C. Hinton.

“Fortunately, on the day I was there, one of the long-time volunteers who’s family lives in sub-standard conditions was awarded a house from the proceeds of Habitat ReStore’s Fresno Branch,” said Ryan Kemp, an Assistant Project Manager at Conti Solar.

Pictured above are, Mike Sanchez (Tradesman International), Stuart Goggins (Conti Solar), Tifany Oqueli (Conti Solar), Ryan Kemp (Conti Solar) and Torin Blount (ReStore Director – HFH Fresno).

About Conti Solar
Conti Solar is a national EPC, O&M, and energy storage company. Our attention to detail, flawless execution and collaborative culture has enabled us to successfully develop and install over 500 MW of solar projects since our early initiatives in 2004. We leverage established partnerships with solar developers, IPPs, utilities, off-takers, suppliers and landowners to streamline project development, design, construction and operations, driving down project costs and creating value across all project stakeholders. Majority-owned by Ares EIF with a minority position retained by the Conti Group, Conti Solar is well positioned with a diversified network of industry experts and the financial resources to be a trusted, long-term partner. Learn more at www.contisolar.com.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Solar FlexRack Installed in the 2018 Silver Project of the Year Winner: Annapolis Solar Park



Youngstown, OH, Nov. 6, 2018 – Solar FlexRack™, a division of Northern States Metals and an innovative leader in photovoltaic mounting and solar tracker solutions, announced today the Annapolis Solar Project, installed with its ballasted mounting technology, has won 2018 Silver Project of the Year. Awarded by Solar Builder Magazine, the project winner is the largest landfill solar project in North America. It is located in Maryland and is owned by Building Energy.

The 18 MW (DC) solar project represents one of the most difficult solar projects to install, not only because it is a landfill project, but also from the perspective of its sheer size. Constructed on a sensitive environmental cap, the landfill site requires special expertise and deep solar technical knowledge to complete the complicated work. BQ Energy selected both EDF Renewables for the EPC work and Solar FlexRack for the ballasted foundation and fixed tilt racking. Both companies have exceptional track records in services.

“Solar FlexRack’s ballasted mounting is an ideal fit for landfill solar projects and the added support of their project services team delivers peace of mind for both the project owner and developer,” said Jaime Resor, CEO, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions.

“We are proud to be a part of this landmark project. Both BQ Energy and EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions demonstrated meticulous care in the development and construction of the landfill solar project,” said Steve Daniel, EVP, Solar FlexRack.

Recon Corporation executed the installation and worked closely with teams onsite to stay on schedule. “Recon has installed many ballasted systems with Solar FlexRack and is honored to be a part of this monumental project. Recon overcame many challenges with the site’s terrain and the weather. The Solar FlexRack ballasted solution has one of the greatest tolerances in the industry and was able to overcome the terrain challenges,” said Scott Walker, President, Recon Corporation.

Solar FlexRack’s B3P-X ballasted foundation was selected for its unique technology that reduces foundation weight, product components and offers flexibility in array design and profile. The B3P-X is rapidly becoming the most sought after mounting solution for landfill solar projects. To learn more about this award-winning project, watch the Annapolis video at http://solarflexrack.com/videos/.


About Solar FlexRack
Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracker systems in the commercial and utility scale solar mounting industry. Solar FlexRack also offers full turnkey packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout testing, field, layout, and installation services, to address the actual site conditions of an installation, providing a full scope of services from design to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed 1.8 GW of solar racking installations in 40 states across America and five countries globally. For more information, go to www.solarflexrack.com and follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Conti Solar Provides Turnkey EPC Services for 2018 Solar Project of the Year Winner, Cuyahoga County Landfill Solar Plant



Solar Builder Magazine Awards Largest Landfill Solar Project in Ohio - Project of the Year

Edison, NJ, Nov. 6, 2018 - Conti Solar, a national solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), O&M and energy storage company, announced today that it provided full EPC services for the 4.0 MW (DC) landfill solar project located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio recently named 2018 Gold Project of the Year by Solar Builder Magazine. The project is also the largest landfill solar project in Ohio. In addition to landfill, Conti Solar’s industry expertise spans across the market segments of large-scale solar projects.

Conti Solar worked with IGS Solar, the project developer and completed the project in July of this year. While landfill projects introduce more complexities in the design and construction of the solar system, they also bring great rewards. Building solar on landfills converts the unproductive area to a carbon-free solar power generation plant. Cuyahoga County gained jobs; lower-cost energy; retail, lease and tax revenues; and a healthier environment for the community.

“Conti Solar is pleased the Cuyahoga County Landfill Solar Project has been honored with this award. This project signifies the will of the county to work through challenges and add low-cost, renewable energy to their portfolio. Congratulations on this major accomplishment. We hope more will follow,” said Eric Millard, Chief Commercial Officer of Conti Solar.
  
“With a reputation of extensive experience and reliable execution, Conti Solar delivered on this project working with impeccable execution,” commented Mike Foley, Director of Sustainability, Cuyahoga County.

The Cuyahoga Landfill Solar Project is installed with 35,520 solar modules, 1,976 posts, 988 ballast blocks, 26 rows of racks and two central inverters. The project took four months to complete and the power generation is contracted with the county via a 10-year power purchase agreement with an option for another 10 years and the opportunity to purchase the system after six years. Watch the Conti Solar Cuyahoga Project Video at https://youtu.be/CLA2x_jtHkk.


About Conti Solar
Conti Solar is a national EPC, O&M, and energy storage company. Our attention to detail, flawless execution and collaborative culture has enabled us to successfully develop and install over 500 MW of solar projects since our early initiatives in 2004. We leverage established partnerships with solar developers, IPPs, utilities, off-takers, suppliers and landowners to streamline project development, design, construction and operations, driving down project costs and creating value across all project stakeholders. Majority-owned by Ares EIF with a minority position retained by the Conti Group, Conti Solar is well positioned with a diversified network of industry experts and the financial resources to be a trusted, long-term partner. Learn more at www.contisolar.com.