Tapping into Small Commercial Solar

25 April 2016 -By IronRidge -

Solar is growing, and there’s no downtrend expected anytime soon.

According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from SEIA, the U.S. installed 7,260 megawatts of solar in 2015, bringing up total installed capacity to 27.4 gigawatts.

But despite impressive overall growth, the fact remains that the commercial sector – particularly when it comes to small and mid-sized projects – is stagnating.

The Residential Model

Why this disparity?

On the residential side, the process has become streamlined. Installers are faced with straightforward customer economics and standardized engineering and permitting. Moreover, there’s a familiar procurement and installation process. These efficiencies have allowed the residential solar sector to take off, because its practices can be applied quickly and are easily replicable across projects.

The Trouble with Commercial

In contrast, Greentech Media notes that “…commercial projects are not easily replicable. Onerous site-specific requirements for distinct rooftop and ground-mount projects spur lumpy, unpredictable installation timelines.”

Commercial projects come with a complex web of stakeholders, and involve more variability in structural capacity and roof layout – which often necessitates additional engineering and more complex designs. These complications may be worthwhile for a megawatt installation, but can be perceived as “too many problems per watt” for a smaller project.

A Huge Opportunity

But in passing over smaller commercial projects, installers miss out on a huge portion of the market. Seventy-five percent of the 5.6 million commercial buildings in the U.S. are 10,000 square feet or less.

IronRidge’s approach to flat roofs empowers installers to minimize transaction costs and capture more of these opportunities. The IronRidge Tilt Mount System combines a highly configurable set of components with free design software and pre-stamped engineering letters to eliminate many of the hours and hassles associated with designing commercial solar projects.

To learn more about how you can leverage the IronRidge approach and tap into the small commercial market, join Dan Felix for Building a Big Business in Small Commercial Solar. Wednesday, May 4th, 9:30-10:00 a.m., Cambridge Boardroom.