Demand for renewable energy is at an all-time high, and with this growth, it’s increasingly important that specified and installed systems live up to their promise if the industry will continue to succeed.
To ensure high-quality and consistent residential solar projects and build confidence among potential solar customers, regulators, investors, rating agencies, and other stakeholders, industry best practices are ever-evolving to keep up with innovations and technologies.
Richard Lawrence, IBTS Director Energy, Sustainability, & Resilience and Rudy Saporite, IBTS Program Manager, Energy Services, were recently involved in the development of the new SEIA Installation Best Practices Guide – Residential Portfolios.
Working as part of the Solar Quality Assurance Working Group (QAWG) that seeks to evaluate, develop and encourage adoption of industry best practices in solar asset design, production estimate, installation, commissioning and O&M, and contractor qualification, the new guidelines were designed to update installation best practices originally developed by the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group organized by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and is intended to be updated as proper protocol dictates.
The concept that residential solar systems are a valuable home improvement, a consistent and long-term electric generating resource, and credit-worthy investment asset class is a key driver behind the guidelines, which cover areas such as:
- Site Data
- Solar Resource Measurement
- Production and Savings Estimates
- System Design
- Equipment Requirements
- Defined Installation Best Practices
- PV Ground Mount (Pilings)
- System Documentation
- Finance Provider Best Practices
- Defined Quality Management Plan
- System Documentation (system data points, photos, etc.)
- Third-party Inspection and Verification (sampling rate, scoring, etc.)
- Fleet Monitoring
“With this document, the industry has developed consensus guidelines applicable to all parties involved in the residential PV system finance and installation chain needed to ensure quality, reliability, and financial transparency,” says Lawrence, who also co-chairs the QAWG.
Click here to download a PDF version of the guidelines.