News Releases

Today we're chatting with James Coombes, manager of American Renewable Capital. James has over twenty years of financial advisory experience, and has been developing & financing solar energy projects since 2008. For the four years prior to the formation of ARC, James was responsible for commercial project financing for SunPower Corporation (SPWR), a leading solar panel manufacturer & project developer. From 2008 to 2011, he was responsible for commercial, municipal and residential financing at REC Solar (now acquired by SunRun and Duke Energy) read more...
Spoiler alert: You make money installing solar in the Midwest the same way you do anywhere else. Bummer, huh? So why did we put together this 22-page report? Well, identifying those opportunities and executing them in a less mature market requires a different approach. In this FREE downloadable special report, sponsored by Solar FlexRack, we talk to a few solar companies that have done this already. read more...
The C&I solar sector is maturing and with it, third-party ownership is on the rise. A critical component to design and diligence of a third party owned commercial solar system is the avoided cost analysis (ACA). In order to discern a fair and beneficial PPA rate for the off-taker and estimate customer savings, the ACA must be accurate and dependable.It would to be easy if customers were charged a flat fee per kilowatt-hour for their electricity usage. As long as the PPA rate was read more...
Energy Toolbase packed the demo stage with attendees who wanted to hear more about its new energy storage software. Energy Toolbase might be the most robust tool out there for behind the meter data and PV system modeling and proposal generation, and its new energy storage component is going to be just as robust. We will have more coverage on this posted soon. read more...
Many sophisticated distributed energy (DER) developers use Energy Toolbase to perform complex and layered analysis. Granular data can be leveraged for many types of advanced use-cases, like optimizing the solar or energy storage system size based on a customer's unique load profile and utility rate-switching options, determining exported energy in new Net Energy Metering (NEM 2.0) scenarios, or ethically simulating the reduction of demand charges from solar photovoltaics. read more...
The many PV design solutions on the market today go beyond simply taking the guesswork out of laying out a photovoltaic system or solar plant. Many have similar features, such as taking shade into account in energy production modeling. Yet others provide more robust designs and reports such as those including bankability details, full sales proposals, a complete bill of materials. Today it’s common for software to be cloud-based, and many come with a free trial period. read more...
Few people have been more outspoken as advocates of the U.S. solar industry than Yann Brandt. This includes being one of the early voices calling for a campaign to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit, which ultimately succeeded at the end of 2015. But in addition to his advocacy and role as a solar executive at multiple companies, Brandt is also a media entrepreneur, including publishing the highly influential solar newsletter SolarWakeup. read more...
This week I spent time with John Gurski, the young and hungry CEO of Energy Toolbase. While I was familiar with Energy Toolbase COO, Adam Gerza, I had not met John yet and was surprised to find out he was based in South Florida. So I made the drive to join him and some of his team at their offices. read more...
With energy storage installations growing at breakneck speeds (100% growth in US installed capacity in 2016), solar installers far and wide are exploring how to best incorporate energy storage in their service offering. Because the product and installation costs are dropping steadily for energy storage many industry experts feel it will follow solar’s rapid growth. National installers such as SunPower, Tesla (SolarCity), and SunRun sell energy storage solutions read more...
In the digital age, companies are continually seeking innovative solutions to boost profits, increase systems efficiency, and achieve greater customer outreach. With heightened public awareness around renewable energy and stricter environmental regulations, solar energy is increasing both in value and demand. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association®, solar energy has experienced a compound annual growth rate of more than 60% in the last decade, largely due to the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). read more...
Energy Toolbase announces today that they have gone live on their integration with HelioScope by Folsom Labs, the industry-leading solar photovoltaic (PV) system design tool that integrates system layout and performance modeling to simplify the process of engineering and selling solar projects. This integration allows users to fully leverage both best-in-class software tools in conjunction with one another, for their solar project development activities. read more...
It’s been almost a month since the Arizona Corporation Commission concluded their investigation into the value and cost of distributed generation by voting 4–1 to end net metering as we know it. The simple policy of one-to-one credit of net metering will be replaced with a scheme that includes no banking of energy credits, and a steadily-dropping compensation for any energy that homeowners send back to the grid. read more...
It’s inevitable that energy storage will be a huge market opportunity in the future. Knowing the numerous benefits storage can deliver, it’s easy to envision how batteries will ultimately transform the grid as we know it today. But the market has not yet come to fruition, and it’s fair to say most predictions have been overly optimistic as to when it will really take off. Arguably, a few things must happen for the storage market to scale up, and how to know when we’ve truly hit read more...
Energy Toolbase, the maker of an industry leading software platform for analyzing and proposing the economics of distributed energy projects, has joined the Green Button Alliance (GBA). The Green Button Alliance is an industry-led organization comprised of leading utilities, innovative third-party application providers, and other stakeholders that work to foster the development and wide-spread adoption of the Green Button energy-data usage standard. The Green Button standard read more...
Listen to an interview with John Gurski and Frank Andorka and learn more about Energy Toolbase. read more...
For many, solar power is a lot more than just a ray of hope. No question, there are legitimate benefits to installing solar power in your home. But does that necessarily mean it’s a great idea for one and all? KCAL9’s Jeff Vaughn sheds some light on solar: Who should get it? And how should you get it? One thing is certain, more people are getting it.
Energy Toolbase, an industry leading solar software platform, announced the release of a major software update today. The new version upgrades Energy Toolbase's software-as-a-service product, and is available immediately to all users. The new release has been in development for 16 months and is the company's biggest update, since debuting in 2014. read more...
Listen to Adam Gerza and Frank Andorka discuss issues surrounding rate design and how it effects solar markets. read more...
Utility rate design is officially a hot topic. Energy industry trade publications have published a countless number of articles, Op-Ed’s and whitepapers on the issue this year. And it’s pretty much a given that any energy conference these days will have a panel on the topic. Whatever the forum, the subject of rate design always seems to stir up debate. Utilities, ratepayers and renewable energy advocates read more...
Thousands of utilities run power grids across the country, and each has its own electricity rate structures and rules for customer-sited solar power generation. Regional and national solar developers, who already have their hands full with financing, permitting and construction issues, can be hard-pressed to understand utility rates and rules, too. read more...
While software is a luxury product for some solar companies, it is integral to the success of others. For example, many of the largest residential solar sales, financing or installation companies—such as SolarCity, Sungevity and Sunrun—use software tools to manage sales read more...
This tremendous growth has fed a swelling herd of solar unicorns populated by the likes of SolarCity, SunEdison, SunPower and more. Recently, the industry has been buffeted by a variety of tailwinds that should drive even faster expansion. The landmark Paris climate accord promises stronger regulatory support across the world read more...
Astute solar developers understand the value of interval meter data. They know that these data allow them to perform the highest level of utility rate analysis possible on behalf of their customers. One size does not fit all when it comes to the right sizing of a solar project. Raw meter data enable system analyses that are highly specific to individual customers and their unique load profiles. read more...
All eyes were on Paris for the at the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference. But what if solving the global climate crisis is less about political willpower and of technical know how? Peter Thiel declared the cleantech sector — solar panels, wind turbines, and more — a “disaster” in 2011. But today, the solar industry employs 174,000 people, more than Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter combined, and job growth is 20 times higher than the rest of the U.S. economy read more...
California residential solar installers may be using a flawed approach to calculating and presenting the economics of solar projects and not even know it. Earlier this year the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) finalized and approved the biggest reforms to residential electric rates in a decade. These structural changes to rate design change the value proposition of a solar project, but are not likely being accounted for in the modeling. read more...
Observers of the storage industry are noticing a steady and encouraging trend: the industry is growing quite rapidly –albeit from a relatively small base. The most recent numbers available show that in the second quarter of 2015, nearly 41 megawatts (MW) of storage were deployed in the U.S. Of this, about five MW were behind the meter at the customer site, an eleven-fold increase over Q2 of 2014 read more...
Solar energy in the United States has seen immense momentum throughout the years. When the Solar Energy Industries Association released its annual report in 2008, it concluded that U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached a total of 1.183 gigawatts — a stellar achievement at the time. Contrast that figure with today, and the number is dwarfed by the United States’ installed capacity of 21.3 gigawatts, enough energy to power 4.3 million homes. read more...
PACE Equity announced $200 million in new financing for commercial PACE projects, which provides property-assessed clean energy financing for commercial projects. It is also looking to expand its team into Texas, Michigan and more cities in California. PACE programs allow investments in water- and energy-efficiency retrofits and distributed renewable generation to be paid back through property taxes read more...
Sharp has chosen to integrate the Energy Toolbase software program into its operations as the company’s preference for those looking to determine the peak demand savings that they can expect via installation of Sharp’s energy storage systems. As a result of the integration, users will now be able to easily and accurately estimate the savings accompanying SmartStorage projects — whether standalone system projects or those integrated with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. read more...

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