Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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6 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 8 Solar Builder (ISSN 2166-5362) is published bimonthly by Benjamin Media Inc., 10050 Brecksville Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141 USA. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. One year subscription rates: complimentary in the United States and Canada. Single copy rate: $10. Subscriptions and classified advertising should be addressed to the Brecksville office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Solar Builder, 10050 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, OH 44141 USA CANADIAN SUBSCRIPTIONS: Canada Post Agreement Number 40830553. Send change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: KML Logistics Group Inc., 118 Herald Ave., Oakville, ON L6K 1S2 Canada. TM PUBLISHER Robert D. Krzys robk@benjaminmedia.com EDITORIAL Associate Publisher Keith Gribbins kgribbins@benjaminmedia.com Managing Editor Chris Crowell ccrowell@benjaminmedia.com SALES+MARKETING Marketing Director Kelly Dadich kdadich@benjaminmedia.com Brand Sales Manager Hannah Schiffman hschiffman@benjaminmedia.com Conferences Sales Coordinator Brittany Cline bcline@benjaminmedia.com PRODUCTION+FULFILLMENT Production Manager Chris Slogar cslogar@benjaminmedia.com Graphic Artist Sarah Haughawout shaughawout@benjaminmedia.com Director of Web/Audience Development Mark Gorman mgorman@benjaminmedia.com Audience Development/Sustainability Coordinator Cayla Poteete cpoteete@benjaminmedia.com REPRINTS Wright's Media (877) 652-5295 • Fax: (281) 419-5712 Chief Executive Officer Bernard P. Krzys bkrzys@benjaminmedia.com President Robert D. Krzys robk@benjaminmedia.com Controller Marianne Saykes msaykes@benjaminmedia.com 10050 Brecksville Rd. Brecksville, OH 44141 USA (330) 467-7588 • Fax: (330) 468-2289 info@benjaminmedia.com I n a recent white paper, the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum (CRES Forum) outlined five recommendations for Congress to expand the economy and modernize the U.S. electric power grid by investing in new energy resources. These ideas include: ■ Streamline federal permitting for advanced energy projects ■ Encourage grid planners to consider alternatives to transmission investment ■ Allow energy storage and energy efficiency to compete with additional generation ■ Allow large customers to choose their electricity sources ■ Allow utilities and consumers to benefit from cloud computing software Those are all solid ideas, but shouldn't all of this be happening by default? Tony Seba, the key- note speaker at Intersolar, made a pretty reasonable case, based on the technology and prices as they exist today, that solar + storage is superior to any other form of generation. Not in five years, but right now. That's our lead news item on page 8. A tidbit that didn't make the article but illustrates the point: Storage alone is an argument against peakers — generating facilities that are one-third of the grid and are only used for a few hours every year (6 percent of the time). That inefficiency is easily wiped out by storage. NREL says that, today, 25 percent of businesses could save money just by adding a battery to reduce their bills, to the point that some companies have started offering storage as a service — no technology risk to the building owner. Just pay for the service and split the bill savings with the provider. The existence of efficient, renewable, independent energy generation on that scale should be the biggest news ever. Governments and utilities should be working around the clock to lead a transi- tion to a new era. Instead, in our cover story (page 24), we come back to reality and see how many stumbling blocks remain in the way. Many of them are just little things, like outdated permitting processes, but they add up to (rather silently) hold back the true market — rules for a game that don't fit the new talent on the field. Speaking of that new talent, there will be a lot of it on display this year at Solar Power International, and we have your path through the show mapped out, starting on page 42. Hopefully no one trips you on the way there. Chris Crowell, Managing Editor ccrowell@benjaminmedia.com FROM THE EDITOR The future is here if grid planners embrace it

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