GAF Energy Announces Promotions Within Leadership Team

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar solutions in North America, announced several promotions within its leadership team. Jason Barrett has been named Vice President of Residential & Commercial Sales, taking on additional responsibilities after many successful years leading commercial tax equity efforts at GAF and GAF Energy for large scale renewables projects. Keally DeWitt has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing & Public Policy, directing communications, demand generation, channel marketing, content and brand, and state and federal public policy engagement. Reynolds Holmes has been named Senior Director of Services & Product Management, overseeing software, services, hardware development, design, and customer operations. 

 “GAF Energy is constantly working to become a stronger and better company and these three promotions are important steps,” said Martin DeBono, President of GAF Energy. “Jason has been an important part of our tax equity team from the start and will add depth, experience, and skill as head of our residential and commercial sales efforts. Keally has done a fantastic job leading our marketing and public policy work and positioning GAF Energy as the industry leader. Reynolds has demonstrated strong leadership in system design, services, hardware oversight, and customer operations since joining the team last year. They are all key players and bring their wisdom, knowledge, and determination to the best team in solar.” 

Jason Barrett, Vice President, Residential & Commercial Sales

Jason Barrett joined GAF in 2015 as VP of Renewable Energy, Structured Finance, and Investments (a team incorporated into GAF Energy in 2019). Prior to GAF, he served as Chief Commercial Officer of Sol-Wind and a founding partner of Paladin Strategic Partners. He has held senior positions at Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Fannie Mae, and Morgan Stanley. He has a BBA in Finance and International Business from Howard University and an MBA from Cornell University, where he was a Robert Toigo Fellow. 

Keally DeWitt,Vice President, Marketing & Public Policy

Prior to joining GAF Energy, Keally DeWitt worked in marketing and public policy leadership roles at Sunrun and SunPower. As the National Organizing Director of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), Fortune magazine described the netroots work she pioneered as “radically changing” political advocacy through digital technology. She also served as Head of Marketing at Mosaic. She has a BA from Brown University. 

Reynolds Holmes, Senior Director, Services & Product Management

Prior to joining GAF Energy, Reynolds Holmes held senior leadership positions at both SolarCity and Tesla, where he led launches of new energy products, services, and experiences designed for scale. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale University and is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Oregon.  

For more information, visit www.gaf.energy

Installing Tubular Skylights on Cement and Clay Tile Roofs

Elite Solar Systems installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans, incorporating them into the existing tile roof of this 3,900-square-foot Gilbert home. Photos: Elite Solar Systems

Installing tubular skylights, or solar tubes, can add a profit niche for any roofing company and provide a lifestyle enhancement for existing and new clients.

“Tubular skylights allow natural light in to brighten rooms and offices during the day without the need for an electrical light source,” explains Jovane Estrada, general manager for Elite Solar Lighting & Fans, based in Chandler, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. “They can be retrofitted into any existing roof system and placed where windows or traditional skylights are not options.”

In the desert Southwest, cement or clay tiles on pitched rooftops are a popular choice by owners of upscale homes. Recently, Estrada’s team installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans on a 3,900-square-foot two-story home built in 2009 with cement tiles in Gilbert, Arizona.

In 2001, the company began offering high-quality residential and commercial tubular skylights, solar-powered attic fans and garage exhaust fans. The parent manufacturing company, Southwest Metal Spinning, was founded 26 years ago by Estrada’s father, Saul, and brother, Juan. The components for the Elite product are made in the same location.

Typical tubular skylight components include a high-impact acrylic dome, which locks into a ring on the 1100-O aluminum flashing; this seals to a flat or pitched rooftop, protecting against rain and cracking. Beneath this, an acrylic diffusing lens connects to highly reflective anodized tubing leading to the ceiling, where it fits into a three-glazed polycarbonate diffuser.

For the Gilbert home, Elite installed a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight with a bathroom exhaust fan kit and light kit; a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight through the garage into a downstairs bathroom where the skylight was installed on a wall; four 13-inch-diamter tubular skylights with synchronized dimmers, which open and close the solar lights at the same time and position; two solar-powered attic fans; and a solar-powered garage exhaust fan.

“Experienced professionals can install a tubular skylight with any roof penetration,” Estrada says. “If they can cut and seal roof flashing on the tile roof, they should know or learn how to install the tubular skylight fairly easily, and your clients can enjoy new light and the peace of mind knowing the job has been done right.”

Cement Tile Challenges

The tools required for a cement or clay tile installation are minimal: safety googles; gloves; stud finder; measuring tape; pencil; drill gun; ladder; reciprocating saw to cut wood deck; grinder to cut roof tiles; caulk gun for sealant; drywall saw; tin snips; utility knife; and plumb bob/laser.

Of course, installing tubular skylights through cement tiles requires following the basic steps for any roof breach.

To avoid damage to clay tiles, unless a roofer has a great deal of experience walking on them, Estrada recommends that the tiles be removed from walk areas on the roof up to where the tubular skylight will be installed.

“Make sure the install is possible — and sometimes it isn’t, at least exactly where the client wants it — and have the appropriate tools and materials available,” Estrada says.

Next, mark where the tubular skylight is to be placed and check in the attic or crawl space for plumbing pipes and vents, wires, trusses, HVAC heat pumps and ductwork, water pipes and roof valleys that might be obstructive. “If there is an obstacle, the challenge is determining if using tubular skylight adjustable elbows will allow the install to be completed,” he says.

With the attic inspection and cuts done, an aluminum tile skirt and pitched flashing must be installed properly to the deck. “Most roofers do not use a tile skirt for tile roofs, and later a leak can damage the paper underneath the tiles,” Estrada says. He recommends applying a premium flexible sealant (supplied) to the flashing.

In this home, the central challenge was installing the tubular skylight on the roof through and into the first-floor bathroom, without disturbing the second floor just above it. “We knew we had to go through the side wall of the bathroom, but we had to make sure we had the room in the attic and inside the adjacent garage to install the tube on the sidewall,” he explains.

To do this, the 90-degree adjustable elbows were needed to be able to make the turn from having the tube travel straight down into the inside of the garage and then shift direction into the bathroom, Estrada says.

“This kind of installation requires more effort and time,” Estrada says, “but the result is that a lower level, even a basement, can be enhanced with more natural light.”

All Ups, No Downs, for Roofers, Clients

For the roofer and the homeowner, the best time to install a tubular skylight (other than at construction) is during a roof replacement or repair. The attic space and roof are open and accessible and can be sealed along with the new roof or repair. But as this case study shows, most retrofits can be easily completed, too.

“It’s an extra income stream and an incentive for customers to choose your company,” Estrada says. For example, one of Elite’s roofer clients offers a free 10-inch tubular skylight with each signed re-roofing contract.

With these, home- and business-owners light up their homes, garages, offices, hallways, bathrooms and warehouses. And, tubular skylights also offer lifestyle benefits for pets, plants and people, Estrada says. “They’ve been reported to improve a person’s mood, and the owner of this home in Gilbert told us they’ve simply changed his life.”

About the author: David M. Brown has been writing books and articles for newspapers, magazines, ezines, websites and businesses for many years. A graduate of LaSalle University and Temple University in native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the father of two grown children, Shaun and Sheena, who live near him in the Phoenix area.

TEAM

Tubular Skylight Installer: Elite Solar Systems, Chandler, Arizona, www.elitesolarsystems.com

MATERIALS

Tubular Skylights: 10-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, 13-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, Elite Solar Systems

Attic Fans: 20-Watt Elite Solar Attic Fan

Tips for Tubular Skylights

Once the vertical pitched flashing is sealed and fastened properly on the roof deck, place the aluminum tile flashing over the pitched flashing, with the EPDM rubber facing down toward flashing. Fold the sides of the aluminum tile flashing and make sure flashing goes over the bottom tiles.

1. Follow the step-by-step instruction manual, supplied with the tubular skylight. Call the manufacturer and ask questions, if necessary.

2. Use all of the parts included with the tubular skylight kit. “Typically, when a part is left out, it is because the installer or roofer does not know its function,” Estrada says. “Leaving out a part can cause condensation issues, dust or bugs to enter the unit, a rainbow (distracting prism) effect on the interior of the home or other issues down the line.”

3. Quality and safety are paramount: Tested and certified products ensure your clients that the units will last through the harshest weather. Check products for certification by the International Code Council (ICC). Secondly, quality products offer UV-protection plastic, which inhibits fading of interiors. And, for installers, find out if the tubular skylights adhere to OSHA fall-protection standards.

The roof install is complete, with the tiles back in place. Notice that you can see the aluminum tile flashing toward the bottom of the tiles. Both the flashing and the aluminum tile flashing can be painted to blend in with roof.

4. For condensation control, the skylight must breathe, so don’t place sealant between the dome assembly and the roof flashing. This will cause condensation buildup.

5. For condensation, dust and bug issues, seal any gaps between the ceiling kit and the light tube as well as the light tube and the flashing with tape or spray-foam insulation, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

6. Offer no-leak guarantees to fully back your work for your customers. As a respected roofing company, you offer warrantied materials and installation. Look for that, too, in the tubular skylights you install.

Redesigned Roof-Integrated Solar Kit Is Easier to Install

GAF Energy launches an upgraded version of its solar roof product, DecoTech 2.0. According to the company, the redesigned product will deliver the same homeowner value and give installers a fast, easy, durable solar solution for customers. DecoTech 2.0 will maintain the same excellent aesthetic appeal of all GAF Energy’s products, while simplifying the installation process for installers. The upgraded system features wiring improvements for durability and safety. It also boasts fewer points of attachment and new fastener hardware for quicker and simpler installation.

“GAF Energy offers homeowners highly efficient roof-integrated solar in North America, now with an even more streamlined installation system. We need to be improving and innovating in this moment more than ever, and our new DecoTech 2.0 system delivers on that. Not only does our redesigned system simplify the installation process, but it can reduce costs and save our local roofing contractors time,” said Martin DeBono, President of GAF Energy. “The goal is to provide a product to roofers that is as simple and easy to install as a non-solar roof, while delivering superior value.”

GAF Energy empowers roofing contractors across the United States with a comprehensive and economical approach to solar installations. Designed to provide a good-looking, low-profile alternative to typical rack-mounted solar panels — which are typically drilled through the roof’s shingles — GAF Energy solar integrates directly with the roofing system and is part of the primary water-shedding layer. New super high-efficiency solar panels optimize power output and maximize aesthetic appeal, combined with robust flashing and a sleek black perimeter shield to help reduce the risk of leaks and animal intrusion.

Homeowners interested in a new solar roof can find out more at: https://www.gaf.energy/homeowners/

Roofing contractors interested in installing GAF Energy products can find out more at: https://www.gaf.energy/roofers/

For more information, visit www.gaf.energy.

Rooftop Attachment Anchor Compatible With All Commercial Roofing Systems

OMG Roofing Products introduces PowerGrip Universal 7 (PGU-7), a rooftop attachment anchor for mounting solar racking systems and other products to virtually any commercial roof. PGU-7 units are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for ballast in solar racking systems, so there’s less weight, material handling and labor on the roof. 

Designed with wind performance in mind, PGU-7units offer up to 2,051 lbf. (9.12 kN) of tensile strength, 1,581 lbf. (7.03 kN) of shear strength, and up to 2,214 lbf. (9.84 kN) of compressive load strength, making it one of the strongest roof anchors on the market today.

Made of heavy-duty cast aluminum, PGU-7 units include a base ring that is secured through the roofing assembly and into the structural roof deck, as well as a waterproof cover plate to prevent water from infiltrating the system. 

“Commercial rooftop solar has continued to grow at a steady pace,” said Kevin Kervick, solar business manager for OMG Roofing Products. “In addition, the prevalence of damaging storms has increased dramatically over the past few years, which has reinforced the market need for stronger roof anchor systems, such as PGU-7s, which are easy-to-install. With our full family of PowerGrip products, OMG Roofing Products can provide appropriate anchors for virtually any rooftop solar installation.”

PGU-7 units transfer wind uplift loads to the structural roof deck for maximum strength and effectiveness. The system does not require any membrane welding, and PGU-7 units are typically installed in less than five minutes, saving both time and labor when compared to alternative options. 

In addition to ballast and rail-based solar racking systems, PGU-7s can be used for many other roof mounted items such as pipe supports, step crossovers, raceways, satellite dishes, small antennas and HVAC applications.

For more information, visit www.OutofTheStoneAge.com or www.OMGroofing.com

S-5! Wins Metal Construction Association Chairman’s Award in Residential Category

S-5! Metal Roof Innovations announced it has been awarded the Metal Construction Association (MCA) Chairman’s Awardfor metal construction projects of 2019 in the residential category.

Each year the MCA recognizes outstanding metal construction projects in North America. The chairman’s award goes to exceptional buildings involving MCA member companies. The criteria include overall appearance, significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal and the role of metal in achieving project objectives.  

S-5! was recognized at the MCA annual Winter Meeting Awards Dinner in Palm Springs, California, for its metal roof attachment solutions utilized in the Keller Court Commons project in Petaluma, Californiaa tight-knit ”pocket neighborhood” of eight houses with a central grassy courtyard and a small common building. 

Keller Court Commons Developer Jim Soules worked together with Principal, Chris Lynch of MAD Architecture to design a neighborhood that draws on the historic agricultural influences of its surrounding area―delivering a low-maintenance, sustainable community demonstrated in the standing seam metal roofing, corrugated metal wall panels, solar arrays and brilliant color palette.

Since sustainability was a major consideration and metal building components are a significant contributor to the durability, maintenance requirements and sustainability of the community, they chose metal roofing. MAD Architecture selected S-5! attachment solutions to attach the solar panels to the standing seams, including its S-5-N clampswhich featurean angled setscrew and an innovative clamp insert to ensure a superior fit whether placed on older profiles or new and wider nail strip profiles. 

“We chose S-5!’s attachment solutions for the Keller Court Commons project because we liked the idea of eliminating multiple penetrations through the roof to install the PV racks, and we knew S-5!’s zero-penetration clamps, designed to last the life of the roof, would not violate the roof integrity,” said Lynch.  “We are very happy with the results and expect to use S-5! attachment technology again on future projects.” 

The Keller Court Commons project team includes: land developer: Soules Co.; architect: MAD Architecture; general contractor/metal panel installer: Jacobs Classic Construction; metal roof installer: Crandall Roofing; solar panel installer: Suntegrity Solar; solar panels: Enphase Energy Inc.; accessory supplier, roof clamps: S-5! Metal Roof Innovations; and metal roof/wall panel manufacturer: Metal Sales Manufacturing.

Award recipients were chosen from projects submitted by MCA members and presented in the following six categories: Overall Excellence and Commercial/Industrial, Education: Colleges & Universities, Institutional, Municipal, Roofing and Residential. This year’s panel of judges included architects: James Theimer, principal architect, Trilogy Architecture; Mark Roddy, lecturer in the department of design, California State University; and Erik Mehlman, partner and design lead at BuildSense | Architecture + Construction.

Accepting on behalf of the S-5! team was CEO and FounderRob Haddock. Haddock, a well-known metal roof consultant, author, speaker and inventor of the non-invasive clamps for fastening accessories to standing seam metal roofs has worked in various aspects of metal roofing for almost five decades. 

“It is an honor to be recognized for our attachment technology utilized on every metal roof in this innovative community and a privilege to be part of a project that values the long-term sustainability of metal building components in construction,” said Haddock.  

For more information, visit www.S-5.com

Roofers Can Bring About the Solar Revolution in ‘Sunshine’ States and Beyond

Photos: GAF Energy

Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida are not often the first states that come to mind when discussing the future of solar energy. Many would think of California, the Golden State, with its sunny weather, mild climate, and new regulation mandating solar on all new construction starting in 2020. But at GAF Energy, a remarkable 50 percent of our growing sales opportunities currently come from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida. While these states lag behind the likes of California, New York, and Arizona in installed solar capacity, they — and states like them —could stand to be some of the most critical players in the next growth phase of solar adoption.

California currently boasts over six million solar homes, demonstrating that there is a clear market for residential rooftop solar in the United States. California’s success serves as a harbinger for other states, even ones not known for their sunshine or progressive energy policies. It comes down to pure economics: the price of solar panels has dropped 99 percent in the last four decades. As solar energy becomes more and more affordable, more and more homeowners across the country are considering the financial and social benefits it can provide. Even residents of the South and Midwest — where electricity is cheap and solar rooftops are few and far between — are starting to show signs of embracing solar as a viable energy source for homes and businesses.

The state of Illinois, for example, is setting some aggressive renewable energy standards to boost solar adoption. More than 40 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal today. The state plans to sunset many coal plants over the next two to five years, in many cases turning to solar instead. In 2017 the state implemented the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which infused $230 million into solar power and mandated that 25 percent of electric power come from renewable sources by 2025.

By including solar as an offering, roofing contractors can increase customer satisfaction as they boost their bottom line.

In Pennsylvania, solar power is up 47-fold in the past decade, and wind energy has increased by more than 230 percent in that same time frame. And there are now more than 90,000 clean energy jobs across the state, up 60 percent in just five years. Moreover, a two-year planning process called “Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future” is just getting off the ground and aims to shift 10 percent of the state’s energy from non-renewables to in-state solar by 2030. Pennsylvania also ranked as one of the locations that offered the highest solar premiums when you are ready to sell your home, increasing the median home value 4.9 percent, or $8,589, when you compare a home with solar to one without. 

Finally, Florida is a prime solar environment: it is the “Sunshine State,” after all. As hardware costs have plummeted, financial tools that have helped grow solar in California and Arizona, like solar leases and power purchase agreements, have been prohibited under a law that forbids entities other than a utility from selling power in the state. Last year, however, the Public Service Commission approved the use of residential solar leases in the state on a limited basis, signaling that Florida homeowners could more readily and affordably elect to install solar on their rooftops. Florida locations like Miami have started to more seriously consider the need for climate mitigation and adaptation; renewable energy increasingly seems like a better idea as the city finds itself spending more and more money to battle sea-level rise each year.

Bring in the Roofers

Despite all this great growth in the industry, at the end of the day, no one really needs to put solar on their rooftop, unless, say, they live far off the grid. You can easily and painlessly get power from the grid via your electric company. Humans are creatures of inertia and habit; even many of those inclined to do the right thing and/or save money with solar will put it off indefinitely.

However, every homeowner will need to replace their roof at some point. Turns out, the best time to install rooftop solar is when you are replacing your roof. If you have a roofer install the solar, it becomes one project, one crew, one warranty — and the solar can even help pay for itself, and the roof, over time. How? Homeowners can save money on electric bills by generating clean, renewable energy on their roof. Any excess electricity produced is sent back into the electrical grid for a bill credit, meaning solar can be even more financially rewarding in states with net metering policies. Given all of these benefits, going solar during a re-roofing project just makes sense.

For a roofer, including a solar offering with every new roof will create opportunities to capture a wider set of clients, even in states where solar hasn’t traditionally flourished. By offering solar to those who may have been shopping only for solar but could benefit from a bundled offer, roofers introduce an attractive financial concept to the homeowner, on that also benefits communities and the planet to boot. Furthermore, not only will a roofer make their customers happier by including solar as an offering, but they can also boost their bottom line. A solar attachment rate of just one in four new roofing jobs could increase a roofer’s top and bottom lines by 20-25 percent.

Roofing and solar are at a convergence point: roofers are now able to offer a comprehensive solar roofing product and are the best equipped to sell and install it on a home. By bringing roofers into the equation now, we’re ensuring the same person already on the roof to install shingles is the one installing solar, genuinely protecting what matters most inside the home.

Changing the conversation between roofer and homeowner about what a re-roof means requires changing the entire game, and the impacts have the potential to be immense. Roofers will future-proof their businesses by adding an in-demand product that saves their customers money. The benefits of solar should be front and center in any sales appointment — one project, where roofing installation experts are the ones helping customers save money.

Energy From Every Roof

Solar economics and policy are changing across the country, opening new markets and expanding business opportunities, and the roofing industry must correspondingly adapt. Rooftop solar should be a roofer’s domain. By growing with the solar market and offering bundled re-roof plus solar packages, roofers can bring the benefits of solar to homeowners in states that not only have solar mandates, such as California, but also nontraditional states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Roof replacement is the perfect time to go solar, and now is the perfect time to start integrating solar with roof replacements. By seizing this opportunity, roofers can begin powering homes across the country, one roof at a time. 

About the author: Martin DeBono is the President of GAF Energy. He previously headed SunPower’s residential North American business and global commercial business and served as President of SunPower Capital. He has held sales and marketing positions at various high technology companies including Cisco, Siebel, Insightful and Pure Networks. DeBono is a decorated naval submarine officer and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina (BS) and Harvard University (MBA).

OMG Roofing Products Names Solar Business Manager

OMG Roofing Products has hired Kevin Kervick as solar products business manager, reporting to Adam Cincotta, director of the company’s Adhesives/Solar Business Unit.

In his new role, Kevin is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan for the company’s solar business, as well as for managing solar sales, product development and profitability.

For the past four years, Kevin has been a sales and marketing consultant, most recently working with the Spencer Brewery, a start-up venture. Earlier he was owner and chief marketing officer for the Bassette Company, a commercial printing and marketing company based in Springfield, Mass. 

Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Babson College.

For more information, visit OMGRoofing.com.

A Talented Team and the Right Products Secure Massive 1.32 MW Solar Array

Replacements, Ltd.’s facility in in Greensboro, North Carolina, is topped by a 200,000-square-foot array of photovoltaic panels. Photos: S-5!

Replacements Ltd., based in Greensboro, North Carolina, touts itself as the world’s largest retailer of china, crystal and silver. The company specializes in locating and supplying hard-to-find and discontinued patterns. Their flagship location houses approximately 12 million items from around 450,000 patterns, and their arena-sized warehouse spans eight football fields.

Always proponents of sustainability, Replacements Ltd. is also an avid practitioner of recycling throughout the facility. The company’s very business model, after all, is predicated on locating and preserving difficult-to-procure fine china and collectibles. Taking this green approach one step further, Replacements Ltd. embraced renewable energy by embarking on a solar panel project for the facility’s rooftop.

Replacements Ltd. had long considered solar power, so when the company expanded into a larger facility, the standing seam metal roof was designed to sustain the additional weight of solar panels.

The Solar Installer and the Distributor

Hoping to offset more than 30 percent of the facility’s total energy use, Replacements Ltd. sought out a company that specialized in large-scale rooftop PV array installation. Such an undertaking meant many qualified companies would be vying for the project. Ultimately though, the competition could not match the stellar reputation, high recommendations, and overall value of Yes Solar Solutions (YSS). The company won the contract.

S-5-H clamps from S-5! were used to support the racking system components and conduit lines on the rail system. The design of the non-penetrating clamp allows it to be installed anywhere along the length of the rib.

Kathy Miller, co-founder and CEO of Yes Solar Solutions in Cary, North Carolina, was enthusiastic about Replacements Ltd.’s plans for solar expansion. To Kathy and her husband Stew, this PV project was yet another opportunity for them to achieve what led them into this business in the first place: “preparing the next generation for a sustainable future.” It was also an opportunity to work side-by-side with a company as dedicated to the environment as they are. YSS fully understands the positive impact solar add-ons can have on companies and on their bottom line.

Never having worked with Replacements Ltd. before was no barrier to efficient operations. The team at Yes Solar includes experts in logistics, industry standards, and sourcing the highest quality materials and equipment. To ensure a smooth project timeline, Yes Solar enlisted the services of a distributor the company had successfully worked with on a number of prior occasions.

Design in hand, Yes Solar Solutions went to a trusted source for material acquisition. CivicSolar, with offices in California, Massachusetts, and Texas, offers a full selection of module, inverters, racking, and storage equipment for solar installation. Having partnered on other projects since 2016, Yes Solar’s director of operations, Rob Smith, reached out to CivicSolar looking for racking solutions for an extensive 1.32 MW rooftop project they had in the works. A solar project of this magnitude would require some logistics magic. Yes Solar arranged for all materials to ship directly to the jobsite. Mary Jane Gilliland, Account Manager from CivicSolar, worked closely with Yes Solar to ensure smooth shipments and consistent timelines.

Mounting the Solar Panels

Yes Solar Solutions provided a bill of materials for the project utilizing the IronRidge rail system and S-5! clamps. In order to provide the most advantageous quote for YSS, CivicSolar cooperated with S-5! and IronRidge to produce a pricing and logistical plan that steered Yes Solar towards success.

CivicSolar supplied all necessary metal roof attachment clamps to secure all racking system components and conduit lines for the rail system. During the installation, a plywood walkway was installed to protect the metal roof.

Coordinating lead times for large material quantities, Civic and Yes Solar Solutions worked closely to ensure smooth and predictable timelines on all deliveries involved in the project. All materials were shipped and delivered according to the anticipated timeline and the project was successfully installed on time. According to Stew Miller, co-founder and president of Yes Solar Solutions, “This project was a result of industry support, as the referral came from a utility scaled solar company. When we got the contract, there was a sudden shortage of solar modules, and another solar company helped us source the materials. It was a good example of how solar companies can work together to the benefit of a customer and the industry.”

The solar array on the Replacements Ltd. building needed an attachment solution that would not only ease installation, but also be low cost and lightweight. S-5! non-penetrating clamps achieved these requirements building a strong foundation of savings across the board for the entire project.

During clamp installation, a plywood walkway was also installed to help with crew safety as well as installation efficiency. By facilitating navigation, crews could inspect the roof, perform maintenance, and protect the existing metal roof.

S-5! clamps were selected because they met the demanding specs required by installation, and they have the rigorous testing data to back them up. The racking system components and conduit lines on the rail system are supported with S-5-H clamps. The clamps accommodate metal roof panels with a horizontal seam and do not penetrate the roof. The design of the clamp features two pieces, making it a perfect choice for this project, as it can be installed anywhere along the length of the rib.

Long-Term Outlook

The final result of Replacements Ltd. rooftop solar array project is a sight to see. Spanning three-quarters of the entire surface of the arena-sized shopping facility, or 200,000 square feet, the PV system will help the company save around $100,000 per year in electricity costs. The array is divided into four separate systems, all on the same roof. It is also the largest net-metered project in North Carolina, and excess power can be returned to the grid for credit.

TEAM

Owner: Replacements Ltd., Greensboro, North Carolina, www.replacements.com

Solar Installer: Yes Solar Solutions, Cary, North Carolina, https://yessolarsolutions.com

Distributor: CivicSolar, Boston, Massachusetts, www.civicsolar.com

MATERIALS

Clamps: S-5-H clamps, S-5!, www.s-5.com

Mounting System: IronRidge rail system, IronRidge, www.ironridge.com

Kopp Electric Company Joins Ranks of CertainTeed’s Master Solar Installer Program

Kopp Electric Company has received CertainTeed’s premier solar credential – Master Solar Installer. Master Solar Installers demonstrate the highest levels of solar knowledge as well as a commitment to quality and homeowner satisfaction.

Solar installers who achieve CertainTeed’s Master Solar Installer credential are able to offer customers a 25-year installation workmanship warranty on CertainTeed solar products, including the Solstice Solar System. Backed by CertainTeed, the warranty is among the strongest of its kind in the industry and includes end-to-end coverage for both the products and their professional installation.

“Our requirements for Master Solar Installers ensure a more knowledgeable installer and provide customers with the best experience possible, so everyone wins,” said Mark Stancroff, director of solar business for CertainTeed. “Kopp Electric Company has a quality reputation with their customers and community. We’re excited to work with them and provide homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their solar system will be protected for the lifetime of the product.”

Kopp Electric Company has served the New Jersey community for more than 25 years, providing residential and commercial energy solutions, including solar system installation. According to Kopp Electric Director Josh Kopp, all of the company’s work is performed in- house by long-term, experienced employees and craftsmen who value customers and take pride in their workmanship.

“At Kopp Electric, the customer comes first and we are always looking for ways to improve our services,” said Kopp. “We take pride in utilizing the best quality products and the most up-to- date technologies and are proud to have CertainTeed Master Installer status. CertainTeed’s brand, warranties and products have a strong reputation for quality, which further demonstrates our commitment to customers and our promise to deliver excellence.”

For more information about CertainTeed’s solar installer credentialing programs, visit www.certainteed.com/pro-center/education-credentials-master-solar-installer.

Seeing the Light

Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. What hurts the most is when we miss an obvious solution to a problem — when we look back at a difficult time and realize an option we didn’t take advantage of was staring us in the face all along. Picture Homer Simpson smacking his forehead and exclaiming, “D’oh!”

When we look back at this time in history, I think that’s how we’ll feel about adopting solar power. No matter what your opinion is about other forms of energy, including fossil fuels, nuclear power plants, and wind turbines, I think you’d have to admit that we aren’t making enough use of solar. There are a lot of reasons for that, but I think it’s obvious that in the rays of the sun, we have a tremendous renewable resource that is mostly going by the wayside.

I interviewed a plumbing contractor a few years ago who specialized in passive solar hot water systems. He said the inspiration came to him when he picked up a garden hose that had been out in the sun and the water nearly scalded his hand. “It was then I thought, ‘Why am I paying a utility to heat the water in my house?’” he said.

I was reminded of that conversation when I interviewed Martin DeBono of GAF Energy for this issue. Before entering the world of rooftop solar, DeBono had a background as a nuclear engineer and served as a submarine officer in the Navy. “I’ve always been fascinated by solar,” he said. “The sun provides the equivalent amount of energy in one hour as all of the world’s power plants produce in a whole year. You combine that with the fact that I am a huge outdoors person — I love the outdoors —and you can see some of the challenges the world faces by relying on fossil fuels.”

His job also allows him to tap into his love of building things. “Last week I built a mock-up roof in my driveway with a mock-up solar system to show some executives and some family and friends what we do,” DeBono said. “So, solar gives me the opportunity to build, to think, to advance technology and do something I believe in.”

DeBono believes in making the most of technology to harness the power of the sun. He also believes in another obvious point: the roof is the domain of the roofing contractor. “We firmly believe that roofers should be installing the system and ensuring the integrity of the roof,” he said. “You do not want anybody other than a roofing contractor working on your roof.”