Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — SolarNexus, a provider of software solutions that streamline the installation of solar power systems, has been awarded $312,000 from the California Solar Initiative’s Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (CSI RD&D) program. The grant, which totals almost $1 million for the entire project, enables SolarNexus, in partnership with SaveEnergy123 and kW Engineering, to develop a working framework and protocol to solve market inefficiencies.
Dubbed the Integrated Energy Project Model, its goal is to shorten solar energy project times and improve customer experience through better collaboration and communication, by providing a standard method for software applications to share critical information about customers and their energy-related projects.
“We are honored to be selected by the CSI RD&D committee for this award,” said Eric Alderman, SolarNexus CEO. “The solar energy industry is at a critical inflection point requiring greater productivity to meet its potential. SolarNexus is committed to developing the technology and tools to help solar businesses grow. Participating in research and development projects under the California Solar Initiative, and partnering with leading vendors like SaveEnergy123 and kW Engineering, will be a benefit to SolarNexus’ business and will accelerate the success of solar and energy efficiency programs in California.”
The IEP Model project team is already well underway. Work has started on identifying and interviewing industry stakeholders, documenting existing standards in the field, and beginning to define the scope of the eventual software standard. A website has been launched at http://www.IEPModel.net to document the project’s progress and conduct outreach with the stakeholder community.
Ad-hoc approaches are not working The growth of the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries has spawned an assortment of websites, online services, and software tools to help solar system buyers (homeowners and businesses), service providers, and suppliers select and install solar power systems. These tools and services address different, specific tasks that make up the entire project cycle to identify and deliver products and services. However, there are currently no established standards by which all of these websites and tools can readily share information about customers, projects, products and services. Consequently, service providers and buyers are often bogged down in redundant, time-consuming tasks that complicate the completion of solar energy installations.
What is IEP? The IEP Model will introduce a common language for use by any software application involved in the specification and management of a solar-energy system. It will provide a comprehensive, standardized definition of a project and associated data, as well as a framework that facilitates communication among parties involved on a project. The IEP model aims to simplify and streamline processes, reduce time and costs for both the consumer and contractors, produce a better ROI for both, and remove key market barriers to the adoption of both energy efficiency measures and solar energy.
The California Solar Initiative (CSI), overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, offers solar incentives to energy users (except new homes) in investor-owned utility territories in California. The CSI Program has a goal to install 1,940 MW of new solar by 2017. To help achieve California’s goal of creating a vibrant solar industry, the state legislature created the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program. This program will invest $50 million to fund solar research and demonstration projects that will measurably reduce the cost and accelerate the installation of solar and other distributed technologies that could employ solar for the generation and storage of electricity, or that could reduce the use of natural gas.
About SolarNexus SolarNexus Inc. develops software solutions that eliminate market inefficiencies and improve profitability for participants in the solar deployment value chain, including manufacturers, distributors, integrators, financing providers, installers, and customers. Its applications remove barriers between buyers and sellers, enable information sharing across the solar deployment chain and streamline back-office processes. See http://www.solarnexus.com for more information.