Q1 2016 PV Newsletter


Q1 2016 PV Newsletter

2015 in Review: A Year of Milestones

SCADA Case Study

We kick off this newsletter with a recap of our busy year in 2015, as well as an introduction to our new company headquarters facility in Boulder, CO. In SCADA news, check out a profile of the unique control system we engineered for a carport project in Toledo, OH. We are happy to announce that Schneider Electric has selected AlsoEnergy as the preferred monitoring provider to work with their Conext CL series power inverters. We also have an article devoted to our contract renewal process, which will be helpful for all clients who purchased PowerTrack or DECK Monitoring systems in 2011. Finally, check out the AlsoEnergy tradeshow calendar for Spring 2016.

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2015 in Review: A Year of Milestones

2015 in Review

As our industry continues to leap forward each year, solar power companies find that growth is not only an opportunity in a developing market; growth is an absolute necessity for survival. At AlsoEnergy, we have become accustomed to the pace. 2015 was a year of growth milestones for AlsoEnergy, and a time for us to focus on issues related to sustainable company growth.

In terms of milestones, 2015 saw AlsoEnergy surpass 5GW total monitored power in our company portfolio (at over 14,000 independent sites worldwide). 2015 was AlsoEnergy’s biggest year ever for international sales, with significant new project pipelines in China, India, and Thailand.

AlsoEnergy continues to show robust 40% growth year-over-year in terms of sales and volume shipped. And we continue to expand our operations to meet this growing demand: 2015 saw many new hires, and we are already adding new personnel in 2016. We also moved our company headquarters to a new 6,800 square foot facility in Boulder, Colorado. This move has enabled us to double our traditional daily output while cutting our cycle times to historic lows (more information here). These changes all add up to a dramatically increased capacity to meet customer demand in 2016 and beyone.

In 2015 AlsoEnergy continued its focus on addressing needs in the utility solar marketplace, including deployment of AlsoEnergy SCADA solutions as well as third party SCADA integrations. Our largest install of the year was an 84 MW system located in Georgia.

The AlsoEnergy software development team introduced new features last year, including our specialized portal for community “solar garden” projects. Our development team also began a large-scale project to ensure that our software platforms remain compatible with evolving web technology.

As we move into 2015, we are grateful to all our monitoring and controls clients for another record-setting year of growth at AlsoEnergy. Our expanding list of loyal customers is a reflection of our superior technology products, along with our devotion to customer service and support.

At AlsoEnergy it is our goal to continue to lead this marketplace as an independent provider. We are uniquely enabled to accommodate a wide range of project needs, and to respond quickly in an evolving industry. We look forward to another exciting year of growth and development.

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New AlsoEnergy Corporate Headquarters

New AlsoEnergy Headquarters

AlsoEnergy has relocated our headquarters to a spacious new 6,800 square foot facility. We are now located at 5425 Airport Blvd, Suite 100 in Boulder, Colorado.

The new building offers plenty of room to expand our production operations. Since moving into the new facility AlsoEnergy has posted 2 consecutive months of record setting volume for shipped DAS enclosures, and daily production output for November and December was double our traditional norms. With nearly 3x the square footage of our former production facility, AlsoEnergy is now well positioned to meet customer demand for the foreseeable future.

More room to work also means more efficient work. We logged our highest rated months for on-time delivery in November and December 2015. Additionally, the number of man-hours that go into each of our builds is now at an all-time low.

Our new headquarters facility will help us continue to meet growing demand in 2016 and beyond.

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Tune Up for Top Performance

Contract Renewals

As you prepare your game plan for 2016, don’t overlook optimizing or upgrading your monitoring platform!

Aging solar PV systems require careful attention to maintenance in order to continue delivering baseline generation and ROI. Properly configured, your AlsoEnergy monitoring solution helps you make informed decisions about maintenance, so you can maximize production while still controlling costs.

AlsoEnergy has devoted staff to help with professional services, upgrades, and contract renewals. We can make these changes to your system with no interruption in your data collection, agency reporting, and other critical monitoring services.

To help our customers maximize the usefulness of their monitoring systems, we have created a Software Services group to help clients with upgrades and custom configurations. As always, basic set up of our software products is free of charge. Configuration for advanced software features is available for a fee; that includes advanced set up, automated reports, advanced analytics, and customizations.

Our Software Services group can help you achieve the full spectrum of benefits in our industry-leading monitoring solution. A fine-tuned monitoring system enables O&M providers to deliver increased yield and reduced costs, plus save time and money on administrative jobs such as reports and oversight.

As our clients reach the end of their current monitoring contracts, they may expect to be contacted by our Contract Renewals group. As part of the renewals process, we will do a PowerCheck survey on your monitoring system to ensure that device reporting alerts and other basic software features are active and properly configured. If your company has multiple systems needing renewals in the coming year, we will work with you to establish a calendar for all necessary renewals and updates.

Additionally, clients who purchased DECK Monitoring systems will have the opportunity to update with the current “PowerDECK” application. Unlike the historical DECK Monitoring platform, which is built using Flash animation, “PowerDECK” is built using universal HTML5 technology. This means that users who switch to “PowerDECK” will be able to access their system data on virtually any computer or mobile device.

As always, thanks from AlsoEnergy for choosing PowerTrack and DECK Monitoring!

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SCADA Case Study: Customized Automated Curtailment Manages Solar Production, Keeps Power Contained On-Site

Here is an interesting SCADA system that AlsoEnergy has just completed. This project demonstrates that not all SCADA jobs involve solar farms and utility companies.

The job in question is a SCADA-plus-monitoring package deployed for a corporate headquarters facility in Toledo, OH. This 2.43 MW carport array, owned and operated by Constellation, includes 79 SMA string inverters. Constellation, an Exelon company, is a leading competitive energy company providing power, natural gas, renewable energy and energy management products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States:  www.constellation.com.)

Constellation brought the project to AlsoEnergy with a unique request:  automated curtailment controls to keep power contained on-site. This zero-export project required demand metering to allow the SCADA system to continuously manage power output under variable load conditions.

To address this need, AlsoEnergy utilized our own fully integrated site controller.  An algorithm was developed to automatically recalibrate maximum set points for each of the 79 inverters. Control commands are sent to the inverters every 2 seconds, adjusting solar production based on real-time demand. A minimum grid demand level was established to ensure that power would never feed into the grid.

“AlsoEnergy performed a considerable amount of custom engineering in order to deliver this SCADA solution and meet our client’s specifications” says Constellation Senior Project Engineer Seth Kagan. “As always, we appreciate the flexibility and expertise of the AlsoEnergy team to take on unconventional jobs and address needs across our full solar power portfolio.”

Contact one of our Account Executives to get more information about SCADA + Monitoring solutions from AlsoEnergy, or visit the SCADA section on our website.

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See AlsoEnergy at the Spring Tradeshows

Spring Tradeshows

AlsoEnergy will be exhibiting at two industry events this Spring: PV Conference & Expo, and Solar Asset Management North America. Our CEO Robert Schaefer will join a panel discussion about Community Solar projects at Solar Asset Management North America.

Solar PV Conference & Expo 2016 (formerly PV America East)

Solar Asset Management North America 2016

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Schneider Electric Selects AlsoEnergy as Preferred Monitoring Provider with Conext CL Series Inverters

AlsoEnergy plus Schneider Conext CL

Schneider Electric™, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has designated AlsoEnergy as the preferred monitoring provider to pair with their Conext™ CL series of three-phase string inverters. AlsoEnergy has been selected for their ability to deliver the best user experience with these inverters: seamless integration of technologies, along with proven results for overall system design, deployment, and Operations and Maintenance (O&M).

Schneider Electric relies on strong and competent partners to deliver top performance for integrated power systems. “As a global specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric understands customers choosing Conext CL series inverters expect reliable, high efficiency performance and increased ROI” says David Norman, Director of Business Development for Solar Business, North America. “Recognizing the importance of a robust monitoring solution to achieve our customers’ goals, we confidently recommend AlsoEnergy as our trusted partner to provide superior technology, support, and solar expertise.”

AlsoEnergy solutions are a perfect fit for the large decentralized systems that will choose the Conext CL Series. Together these technologies will help customers optimize yield and reduce maintenance costs, so projects can achieve increased ROI. “We are honored to be named as a preferred partner by a major industry player such as Schneider Electric” says AlsoEnergy CEO Robert Schaefer. “We are particularly pleased to work with Conext CL tier I inverters, a product line that is optimized for today’s decentralized solar power projects.”

Schneider Electric has leveraged 180 years of energy management experience to create the Conext CL Series. Built for decentralized architecture, Conext CL inverters are the ideal solution for commercial buildings, carports, and decentralized power plants. Optimized modular design enables faster installations and easy scaling for systems of all sizes. Users benefit from minimal system downtime due to short replacement lead time and ease of servicing. This line of inverters offers full grid support features and all the system capabilities of the Schneider Electric product line. The Conext CL Series is now available in 18 kW and 20 kW for North America.