Articles by: Charles W. Thurston

Vertical Reach: Trina Solar is taking turn-key solar procurement to its furthest point yet

Vertical Reach: Trina Solar is taking turn-key solar procurement to its furthest point yet

October 15, 2019 at 8:00 am Comments are Disabled

Solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies have all too often been forced to choose solar components for projects as a function of what is available in a given timeframe rather than what is preferred. While cost may not be a great issue in these cases, making all the partsRead More

Stacks on Value Stacks: The large-scale solar plus storage market is coming together

Stacks on Value Stacks: The large-scale solar plus storage market is coming together

August 6, 2019 at 8:00 am Comments are Disabled

Large-scale solar + storage is on the drawing boards of a host of major EPCs, with the current round of demonstration plants leading to wholesale installations by 2020, say several industry players. “While we are early in the deployment cycle for large-scale solar + storage, we expect a ramping atRead More

Sustainable Planning: Inside McCarthy Building’s holistic approach to solar development

Sustainable Planning: Inside McCarthy Building’s holistic approach to solar development

June 4, 2019 at 8:00 am Comments are Disabled

When a $4.5 billion-a-year employee-owned solar EPC determined how to best maximize local trainee headcounts on projects, the solution not only made strong economic sense but also presented an unusual competitive edge. Indeed, McCarthy Building, based in St. Louis, has constructed a reputation of having one of the best workerRead More

Crossing Wires: Solar installers are connecting new services to spark new sources of business

Crossing Wires: Solar installers are connecting new services to spark new sources of business

April 2, 2019 at 8:00 am Comments are Disabled

More solar installers are adding products and services to their core offering, both to help customers fulfill their sustainable energy goals and to drive ancillary revenue. Products like battery storage, EV charging stations, Smart Home devices and electrical upgrades are natural add-ons for many customers. At the same time, moreRead More

A snow covered project completed by GP Joule in Lake Waconia, Minn.

Snowlar Builder: We look at the opportunity of solar development in Northern latitudes

February 5, 2019 at 8:06 am Comments are Disabled

Solar power is starting to bolster the energy capacity in northern climes, especially across Canada and Alaska where diesel generators take the cost of electricity sky high. Both fixed-tilt and tracker installations are expanding rapidly in this region, as advancing solar technology helps cope with bitter cold and erratic daylight.Read More

Clear and Present Data: Utility data is kept in the dark, but these providers are shedding some light

Clear and Present Data: Utility data is kept in the dark, but these providers are shedding some light

October 9, 2018 at 7:02 am 1 comment

Solar customer data is increasingly being used for quantifiable savings by solar installers, developers, energy arbitrators and utilities. The software companies specialized in gathering and aggregating this data on residential, commercial and industrial levels are also building more functional systems that will help to standardize energy efficiency and asset managementRead More

Shave and a rate cut: How solar + storage solutions are shaving peaks, saving big bucks

Shave and a rate cut: How solar + storage solutions are shaving peaks, saving big bucks

July 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm Comments are Disabled

Shaving the peaks off commercial and industrial (C&I) electric bills is the top revenue stream for energy storage systems, and given the trend in increasing utility charges for time-of-use consumption, peak shaving can pay for a system in as little as three years, system providers say. Just how high theRead More

Quick Mount PV’s Tile Replacement Mounts feature its patented Elevated Water Seal Technology for optimal waterproofing

The Replacements: These solar mounts for tile rooftops cut labor costs, avoid OSHA issues

May 31, 2018 at 9:00 am Comments are Disabled

It’s always reassuring when solar technology moves faster than a federal regulator, even if it is a well-intentioned agency like the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In this recent case, a new crop of solar tile replacements that support rooftop mounting systems are eliminating the needRead More

Solar Service 2.0: Identify new service, upsell opportunities with smart home technology

Solar Service 2.0: Identify new service, upsell opportunities with smart home technology

April 3, 2018 at 7:13 am Comments are Disabled

Solar inverter intelligence and monitoring has evolved mightily over the last few years, from silent rows of capacitors to today’s circuit-programmable, WiFi-enabled guardians of PV arrays. These systems sense minute changes in operation and advise system managers of options, in real time, for energy management and O&M (operations and maintenance).Read More

Battery chemistry matters: What to know before installing solar + storage systems

Battery chemistry matters: What to know before installing solar + storage systems

February 20, 2018 at 8:00 am 1 comment

The days when a residential or commercial solar installer did not need to know the difference in performance between lead-acid and lithium-based batteries are over. Battery storage has emerged as an unavoidable complement to solar, slashing peak charges and outwitting utility time-of-use charge games, not to mention saving microgrids fromRead More