The CEO Report - Feb 2017

It’s been quite the month for solar between torrential downpours in much of California and snow storms across the East Coast. But the outlook for 2017 for residential solar remains extremely strong. All data indicates that growth in 2017 will come considerably amongst the thousands of business Soligent serves: you.  Our warehouses across the country have consistently maintained a near 100% picking accuracy to get the right product to you, far above the industry average. We’ve taken major measures to increase long-term availability of our core product offering and for our team to work consistently with yours to help plan each project. Our 6 financing lines provide virtually unlimited credit lines on your financed projects.

We’re the leading experts in Solar and have been for 38 years since our early Solar Depot days. Yes, we know we can win on price - we’re also here to free up your working capital in your business, to help you size your systems, build designs, talk about different products and plan with you, discuss how to train your team, partner with our manufacturers, and close deals together. No project is too big or too small. I warmly invite you to personally email me at jdoochin@soligent.net to share your feedback on how we’re doing, and your business opportunities. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of.

The Enphase Home Energy Solution - Coming Soon!

The Enphase Home Energy Solution provides your homeowners with solar, storage, and powerful monitoring software, all from one company. It tracks production and consumption with continuous, seamless communication, for a fully integrated system that maximizes savings.

With over 13 million Microinverters installed in more than 540,000 systems around the world, Enphase makes up over 80 percent of the global microinverter market. The Enphase Home Energy Solution includes the Enphase Microinverter System. The latest generation of the Enphase Microinverter, called the IQ System, will be available at the end of Q1. The Enphase Storage System enables homeowners to get the greatest return from their PV install by storing excess power for when they need it most. The Envoy is a networked device that manages Enphase system communications and feeds data to the Enlighten software to provide an easy-to-use view of how the Enphase Home Energy Solution system is performing.

This video provides an overview. 

Want to learn more? Join us for a webinar with Enphase on their AC Battery - Feb 22nd at 11am PST. Click here to register!

ProSolar - Featured Product of the Month

ProSolar is one of the solar industry’s best kept secrets. It’s racking consistently beats out leading brands on price while meeting the highest quality standards and low labor setup time. Here’s a look at how ProSolar is better:

  • High quality; 100% U.S. made; 28 years in solar manufacturing
  • Black Rail at the same low price as Clear Anodized Rail
  • Faster install times = Reduced labor costs: No need for Weeb PMC or Bonding Jumper Splice
  • Faster driving Spax screws/lags included with the FastJacks: Drive more fasteners per battery charge and reduce install time
  • Pre-assembled Mid-Clamps & ergonomically sized, reclosable boxes for easy roof deployment
  • Rooftrac Rail/Clamping Systems designed for all mounting applications, including: Flush mount on Tile and Asphalt shingles, Flat Roof mounts with SolarWedge, and Ground Mounts with GroundTrac. Check them all out here.

Check out Soligent’s ProSolar Product Line or watch ProSolar’s 1 min assembly videos here!

5 Things You Should Know About Solar

U.S. Solar Jobs Increased 25% to 260k in 2016 vs 1.45% for U.S. Economy;  1 Out of Every 50 New Jobs Came From Solar.  Read more. 

2017 Growth Rates in Utility & Commercial Scale Solar Likely to Decline in 2017, While Growth in Residential Solar Tail End that Soligent Serves is Likely to Accelerate. Read More.

Morgan Stanley Projects Very Rosy Outlook for Battery Storage Market, Bets on Tesla & LG Chem. Read More.

Arizona Regulators Ended Retail Rate Net Metering Last Month, Siding with Utilities. Read More.

China To Launch Nationwide tradeable Renewable Energy Certificate Program in July. Read More.

New SMA 40 Series

SMA is transitioning from the popular TL-22 line of inverters to the new -40 series in the 3.0 to 7.7kW range.

The 5.0 to 7.7kW inverters now have 3 MPPT channels (3.0 and 3.8kW, 2 MPPT channels), Secure Power Supply potential output upped from 1500 to 2000 watts.

Grid connections can be 240 split phase or 240/208 Wye or Delta 3 phase, for balanced 3 phase inputs multiples of 3 inverters to be used.

All units now have integrated DC disconnects and LAN/WLAN Webconnect modules, no need to purchase additional monitoring components

SMA Rapid Shutdown System, consisting of a RSD Box and a RSD Controller. RSD Box can handle up to 4 string inputs with 2 MPPT channel outputs, up to 16 RSD Boxes can be triggered by 1 RSD Controller. Rapid Shutdown will only occur when the RSD Controller button is initiated, so the Secure Power Supply will function, assuming the sun is out, in the event of a grid outage.

Specs:

  • 3 – 7.7kW

  • Replacing the TL-22 units

  • 240 split phase or 208/240 3 phase, Wye or Delta connection

  • 2 MPPT DC inputs on 3.0 and 3.8 inverters

  • 3 MPPT DC inputs on 5.0 – 7.7 inverters

  • SPS (Secure Power Supply) upped from 1500 to 2000 watts

  • LAN/WLAN built in

  • Integrated DC disconnect

  • Works with SMA RSD Box and RSD Controller

What a Trump Presidency Means for Solar in 2017

While President-elect Trump’s policies are still being formed, any attempt to roll back major existing solar incentives, including the ITC and state incentives, is likely out of reach. However, his cabinet picks indicate the long-term federal policy for solar may be less rosy. A couple weeks ago Trump picked a climate skeptic and renewables opponent, Scott Pruit, to head the EPA, handing fossil fuels a likely win. At risk is Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan which set goals states were required to hit to replace fossil fuels with renewable resources including solar. 

For U.S. solar this means that in the short term we likely won’t see much change, but in the long-term we could forego major state solar incentives that the EPA would otherwise have enforced to move states away from fossil fuels. Additionally, U.S. involvement in the International Paris Climate Agreement, COP21, an agreement between 175 nations to slow the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, may be in jeopardy. Trump is likely to scrap U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, instead boosting U.S. shale  oil and gas production, which are already highly incentivized.

This could mean foregoing additional incentives to solar and other renewables that could otherwise occur under the Paris Agreement and instead forcing the price of natural gas lower. Ultimately this could result in otherwise lower long-term demand for solar as more homeowners and businesses have a lower priced energy alternative: natural gas. Although cleaner than coal, which still powers most U.S. homes, natural gas doesn’t do enough to curb emissions. Solar is a major solution to our climate challenges. In 2017, however, the federal policy impacting solar will likely change little. Solar continues to have a bright future with large U.S. growth projected, and despite potential long-term solar policies impacted by any federal Administration, we in the U.S. solar community will continue to thrive and innovate, to provide jobs for thousands, grow our economy, and help turn the tide on climate change.

Major Wins for Soligent Dealers in 2016

From the CEO Report:

In 2016, Soligent significantly expanded its Solar Engine financing program to 7 programs (Ygrene, HERO, Sungage, Greensky and SolarEngine Loans), providing virtually unlimited credit for your projects and making it easy to get equipment, financing and design all under one roof! Take a look at our newest partnership with Ygrene, covering solar financing and building efficiency upgrades in CA & FL.  

Despite a tough year for the entire residential and commercial solar industry, 2016 has brought Soligent dealers major wins. Soligent signed hundreds of new dealers, expanded millions of dollars of credit to existing dealers to help them grow their businesses, released a new design service, implemented best-in-class inventory management modeling to have an edge on competitors, and partnered with our manufacturers to drop many panel prices by more than a third. We continue to have an experienced team of solar experts that can help you think through products, designs, stocking decisions and your business. 2016 was a strong year, and we’re excited about many projects that we are working on for 2017 that will benefit your business and help you succeed even when many of your competitors may not.

I want to take a moment and say a sincere thank you to you with my deepest appreciation for you choosing to work with us, support our business, and being our partner. It truly means the world to us. We take that trust very seriously, and appreciate that you help support our business and the positive impact that we together make in this world. Have a great holiday season and a happy new year!

5 Things You Should Know About Solar

Residential Solar Ownership (Cash & Loans) Will Surpass Leasing in 2017. 

  • 55% of residential solar is expected to be direct ownership in 2017, largely due to slowdown in SolarCity & Vivint and their PPAs.

  • In 2021, approximately 73% of all solar systems will be owned directly. See Soligent’s competitive loan financing!
     

Utility & State Solar Policy Changes Soared in Q3; 44 Utilities in 25 States Proposed Rate Hikes of at Least 10%. 

  • 117 policy actions considered in Q3 across 42 states. 44 utilities in 25 states proposed rate hikes of at least 10%.

  • Net metering changes were considered or enacted in 22 states.

  • Utilities were granted 53% of their requested increase in Q3.  Read More.
     

Global Module Prices Fell by 33.8% Since 1st Half of 2016 From $3.16 to $2.89 for Residential Systems

  • Average global system costs for residential fell from $3.16 to $2.89 and for commercial from $1.85 to $1.62. Read More.
     

Net Energy Metering (NEM) Version 2 Kicked Off in PG&E Territory on Dec. 16; Expected to Have Limited Impact on CA Commercial Solar Project Demand

  • 2409 MW Cap hit on 12/15

  • NEM Transition to v.2.0 is forecast to have limited impact on Commercial solar project demand in CA
     

Utah Awaits Major Net Metering Decision;  Solar Applications Surge in first half of December for Grandfathered In Rates

  • Rocky Mountain Power is considering rates hikes on solar customers that would take the average customer monthly bill from $55 to 74.

  • Solar applications surged as residents tried to get applications in by Dec. 9, the proposed date for grandfathering existing lower rates. Read More.