Solar Builder

JAN-FEB 2019

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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Page 24 of 51

SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 25 How the EPC-supplier relationship influences the evolution of solar development By Chris Crowell Developing relationships and complementary services is no small feat in this high stress, high stakes world of large-scale solar develop- ment. On the supplier end for example, consider how often a racking manufacturer provides a front-end design for a winning RFP bid only to lose the actual purchase order and construction to another supplier. On the EPC side, any experience standing around in a field waiting on a missing bolt or overbooked equipment to arrive will drain margins along with good will. Executing the perfect solar project development starts with accepting that such a concept doesn't exist. Solar projects are all going to have their obstacles, and the best EPCs are the ones most adept at working through the issues that inevitably do arise. Eric Millard, chief commercial officer at Conti Solar, says Conti con- tributes part of its success to developing strong supplier relation- ships to navigate the countless challenges they regularly face. "Being able to work through any issues that arise is vital," he says. "Each side of the equation needs to understand what is trying to be accomplished and work together to find the best solution." After accepting that risk, everyone agrees communication is a big factor in establishing trust, but what does that communication look like? At Nexamp, Perron says proactive communication with sup- pliers involves regular calls to lock in on delivery timelines and have the right equipment on site to load or unload as needed. Some of the biggest problems they see in the field are the wrong material being delivered, material not arriving on site when needed, suppli- ers not being on site to confirm accuracy and unload the product of EPCs

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