Harness the Sun – Solar Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic (PV) panels can be added to roofs or ground mounted to reduce energy costs, increasing overall property value. At the beginning of the process you will need a solar analysis to verify how much solar power your site can generate, and confirmation that your roof is structurally able to handle the load of the panels. Our  in-house team can perform a solar analysis, and our structural engineers can determine if your roof is viable and what upgrade repairs may be required to make it structurally sound for the panels. We can assist in design and construction administration to provide needed roof repairs to get your roof mounted PV ready.

Allana Buick & Bers provides a comprehensive service to assist you with choosing the right photovoltaic solution for your building including:

    • Development and design of a comprehensive energy program.
    • Analysis of the financial performance of your system.
    • Selection of the best solar technology and the right roof technology.
    • Monitor construction to oversee proper installation.

Over the past decade the United States has seen tremendous growth and associated environmental benefits from the energy produced by Solar Photovoltaics driven systems. The integration of Solar Photovoltaics into utility specific grids has become increasingly cost effective through the steady reduction of solar panel prices over the past few years. Combined with current Federal and State government incentive programs and mandates, both utilities and consumers are looking at Solar PV as an investment proposition. Through the third quarter of 2011 more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of grid-connected Solar PV had been installed surpassing the entire 2010 total of 887 MW. The cumulative grid-connected Solar PV in the United States now stands at greater than 3 GW which is ten times the size of the U.S. solar capacity in 2005.

From vision to realization

Allana Buick & Bers can execute projects from vision to realization. All projects are staffed with experienced project managers, engineers, and construction managers to assist with the following:

Financial Feasibility Assessment –

We will conduct a financial assessment of your energy usage and determine the economic viability of solar. We review your energy bills including your current usage and current rate plans. We also review your building location, size and layout to determine which technology will deliver the lowest cost solution for the maximum solar power production

Financing Solutions –

We help you evaluate and obtain the right financing and assist you through the financing and tax credit and rebate administration. We evaluate, negotiate and help structure available financing options on your behalf, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) for commercial customers, or debt financing through a direct lease or equipment loan.

Solar Technology Selection –

We have researched many solar technologies, photovoltaic manufacturers and solar contractors in order to provide customer-centric energy optimization solutions focused on a balanced and broad view of both the supply and demand sides of the energy business. We can evaluate the different offerings of many suppliers and select the best solar technology for your project. We can facilitate the best available cost reduction methodologies to bring energy-related savings directly to your bottom line.

Roofing and Building Envelope Integration –

When considering a solar solution for your property it is important that you take into account the structural integrity of your building and roofing integration. If your roofing system prematurely fails due to water intrusion or because solar panels were not properly integrated, your panels are going to need to be removed, the roof fixed or repaired, and the panels reinstalled; this will severely reduce your return on investment.

Construction Administration and Management –

After we assess your solar project we will select up to two to three solar contractors to submit design bids for a photovoltaic power system that utilizes the best technology for your building and location. We oversee the entire construction installation process including construction monitoring for quality assurance and the utility interconnect process.

Commissioning Services –

Our independent commissioning service validates that your energy installation meets the design objectives, manufacturer standards, and contractual obligations. It is a thorough, detailed evaluation completed by systems integration specialists, technicians and engineers.  Non-compliance is reported and may be used to enforce contractor conformance, warranty compliance, cost reduction, and safety requirement implementation.

Operations and Maintenance –

For your solar PV system to remain economically viable, a maintenance program is recommended to keep the system in best operating condition for  optimal energy production. Solar PV systems require regular cleaning, as well as other maintenance details to meet financial pro-forma stated pre-installation and to support warranty terms and conditions. A combination of in-house professionals and partners can provide cleaning, operations and maintenance, and asset management.

Development Services –

In the development stage of an energy project Allana Buick & Bers provides direction and assistance with project assessments; planning and permitting; utility interconnection applications; negotiation of power/energy sale agreements; and environmental permits and studies. Due diligence is required to establish project development, technical, and economic feasibility.

Energy projects face unique obstacles from evolving regulatory policies, permitting considerations, engineering challenges, and market condition uncertainties. Allana Buick & Bers provides development services to handle collaboration and negotiations with governing agencies, land owners, communities, and the client.

Building Envelope and Site Integration Experience –

Allana Buick & Bers addresses the integration of energy efficiency building envelope improvements and renewable technologies onto buildings and sites in a way that no other vendor does and designs all projects to stand the test of time. We believe there is no substitute for our 30 years of firsthand experience and engineering acumen, which has helped us become experts in understanding how to make buildings and physical site infrastructure last longer and cost less over their life cycle. We believe that having all our professional, in-house engineering disciplines (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Structural) and architectural and LEED professionals working together and in harmony and not blind to each other’s interest is the very best way to mitigate risks for our clients, and make your energy solutions sustainable.

Interconnection Planning Experience –

For new generating capacity coming online from solar power to wind to geothermal power it is critical to understand interconnection requirements, which vary greatly by utility and region and technology type. Oftentimes interconnection mitigation measures can be required, and these can be significant adversely impact the economics of a project. Allana Buick & Bers’ team has significant expertise dealing with the some of the most restrictive regulatory regimes in the country, planning for interconnection, designing cost effective and reliable interconnection mitigation measures, and interconnecting successfully to restricted and congested transmission and distribution grids. We understand all aspects of system design as it relates to interconnection planning.

Site Optimization/Analysis Experience –

Allana Buick & Bers has developed proprietary in-house tools to perform site optimization, and uses this technology at every client site for multiple energy technologies (both conservation and generation).

Site Civil and Environmental Assessment –

Allana Buick & Bers manages and oversees site assessment services, specifically including discovery and documentation of potential environmental conditions, planning and strategies for mitigation, and the ability to coordinate with multiple regulatory agencies. Allana Buick & Bers has experience with the conflicting and/or overlapping roles and requirements from multiple different levels of government and military agencies, and how to work within this regulatory framework, based on ongoing utility scale solar PV development project experience.

Site Meteorological and Climate Assessment –

Allana Buick & Bers reviews available site meteorological and climate data, including Direct Normal Incidence and climate conditions that may negatively impact production estimates and/or cause high degrees of short term production variability. The company typically relies on TMY3 meteorological data for simulation modeling, but other approaches are possible including where necessary, Allana Buick & Bers can install one or more site weather stations for creation of a site specific meteorological file.

Site Production Modeling and Production Forecasting –

Allana Buick & Bers utilizes a combination of proprietary modeling tools and PVSyst 5.54 – the industry standard solar PV production modeling tool, developed at the University of Geneva, to model the energy production of all of our solar systems. The factors going into a solar system evaluation can be complex but these models help us take into consideration some of the following parameters: location, orientation, tilt and weather data, monthly and annual soiling losses relative to expected climate conditions and scheduled panel washings, DC and AC line and efficiency losses, thermal losses adjusted for expected wind speed and mounting type, inter-row shading losses, horizon shadings (if any).

Solar PV Technology Assessment and Selection –

Allana Buick & Bers uses an engineering approach in selecting appropriate technology and materials for each particular site. Once physical site assessments are performed, we move through a matrix of decisions based on expected climate and soil conditions and our understanding of the project’s required lifespan. Engineering economic and lifecycle cost analysis models are developed, and close coordination is maintained with our financial structuring professionals to ensure that all maintenance costs are considered. Last, Allana Buick & Bers assembles a decision matrix from the collected, calculated and researched data, and defines the appropriate technology types.

Solar PV Module Selection –

Allana Buick & Bers’ technical approach to module selection includes module semiconductor material review (crystalline mono-Si or poly-Si; thin film aSi, CIGS, CdTe; hybrid crystal-thin film) for performance under the expected climate conditions, and any climate-specific performance degradation expected; semiconductor and module efficiency rating; module construction and assembly methodology, module materials review and assessment including corrosion and weather resistance for all exposed parts and component assemblies such as exposed metal framing and fasteners, and module laminate layer types and method of attachment. Allana Buick & Bers runs many benchmarking simulations of competing types of modules in PVSyst based on the selected climate and weather model, to determine the relative performance of the module.

Solar PV Inverter Selection –

Allana Buick & Bers’ technical approach to inverter selection includes both electrical and enclosure review and engineering assessment. Allana Buick & Bers selects only inverter enclosures that have the minimum required NEMA rating that it has determined. Allana Buick & Bers’ screening criteria for inverters is extensive, including manufacturer experience and history with this class and family of inverters specifically, performance in similar locations around the world, maintenance requirements, operating condition requirements, and manufacturer strength and reputation in power island electronics, as well as overall. Allana Buick & Bers specifically examines minimum DC voltage thresholds which is particularly important for tracker-based systems, Maximum Power Point Tracking voltage ranges, system start-up and shutdown procedures, documented up-time performance based on other commercial and deployments. Allana Buick & Bers’ electrical engineering review includes many modeling simulations of the inverter under a range of situations, including degraded power output from the array. 1000vDC capacity is typically a requirement for all Allana Buick & Bers utility-scale projects.

Racking Assessment –

Allana Buick & Bers has extensive experience in the built environment and understands how different types of metal frame assemblies react in harsh and corrosive climate conditions. This expertise enables the company to evaluate the various facets of these assemblies from a holistic perspective and understand the long term affects of climate and thermal movement on metals, metal coatings, fasteners, and sealants and adhesives.

Foundation Assessment –

Allana Buick & Bers’ site assessments includes analysis of soil components and conditions. This guides Allana Buick & Bers’ structural engineering team in determining the requirements for foundation specifications and design, from piles or other driven or drilled footers, to concrete footings and piers, to crew anchors, among others.