The Value of Solar Under a Buck
Earlier this year CivicSolar launched a promotion entitled Solar Under a Buck to much fan fair. It has a tongue and cheek description of our new commercial solar offering, a complete solar package with engineering for less than a dollar a watt. It’s a fun bend on an extremely compelling commercial solar offering.
Solar Under a Buck is a well-crafted solution designed to address an untapped market opportunity. It’s our goal to level the playing field and empower our customers to not just bid, but win commercial solar projects of any size. Solar Under a Buck puts the power in the hands of the installer by leveraging our purchasing power to create a low cost solution. The Solar Under a Buck solution enables installers to expand business into new market segments and compete for commercial solar projects. We believe that most local contractors can leverage existing building owner relationships when pitching commercial solar and thus have a leg up in the bidding process.
The soft costs of solar (non-hardware cost) represent 64% of the installed cost of a solar system, as laid out by the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Sunshot initiative in 2014 (see below). Of these costs 23% come from supply chain and installation labor costs. The Solar Under A Buck program was designed to reduce the soft costs of solar. By offering an all encompassing solution with vetted products, CivicSolar is working to minimize supply chain, labor and transaction costs that installers face when bidding a project.
Solar Under A Buck starts with the panel offering. JinkoSolar is one of the largest and most reliable producers in the solar industry. An industry leader in commercial solar systems, they are the 2nd largest producer of solar modules in the world. With four global manufacturing facilities and 4.3GW of global capacity they have the vertical integration and scale to reduce their costs.
For the power systems, we selected Huawei string inverters for Solar Under a Buck. With over $60 Billion in global sales, they are one of the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers worldwide and have successfully moved into solar. Today they are a top 3 inverter manufacturer globally. Huawei uses their expertise and in-house manufacturing excellence to provide best in class equipment to solar installers.
We round out our offering with Aerocompact solar racking. In 2015 alone over 100 MW of this low-ballast solar solution was installed. It is the simplest and fastest way to install Solar on a commercial rooftop. With just three major components and pre‐assembled building protection pads, Aerocompact sports industry leading installation times. The straightforward installation process of the Aerocompact system saves time and reduces labor cost.
Finally, the Solar Under a Buck package is completed with CivicSolar design and engineering from our team of experts. We deliver a complete design including panel layout, 1-line diagram, wire and overcurrent protection (OCP) calculations, 3-line diagram, balance of system (BOS) components needed and electrical package ready to be stamped and permitted. For a nominal fee, we can also then take the next step and provide stamped engineering for the project.
We are very excited to offer this complete package at unmatched pricing in order to enable our customers to win commercial solar projects of any size. CivicSolar’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of solar power through our role as the most efficient and responsive distributor in the solar industry. We continuously strive to empower our solar installer partners by leveraging our strategic position and purchasing power to enable their success.