Please reference Desert Sun article at Palm Springs to save $25 million by going solar
Hello all...Vincent Battaglia of Renova Solar...wonderful article Sammy Roth and thank you...may I add a few points for the slew of folks who have contacted me today questioning these results from a City that is getting a lot of questioning these days. Those at the City of Palm Springs who lead the RFP set an unfortunate example for a "how to" run a solar project offering. They should have included the terrific group of Palm Springs City Planners and Inspectors that see the litany of solar projects both big and small that are permitted in that great city each and every day and know what to look for and who has performed year after year to the rigorous standards that they hold.
First of all, let's not be silly here...SolarCity is NOT a local company under any stretch or definition in the imagination. None of the revenue that enters this Third Party Operator's coffers goes to local benefit or to grow the local economy. And SunEdison? Couldn’t be a larger distance between their “local” intent and their “local” abilities.
In addition, neither of those companies are "Solar Companies" in any sense of the word. They DO NOT profit from the installation of solar systems. Period. They are Finance Companies pure and simple and neither is profitable in the solar installation space that they were hired into under this RFP offering. Their stock (SolarCity SCTY and SunEdison SUNE) will tell you the whole story.
The Palm Springs City folks in charge of vetting this large, important and permanent city project should have known this and taken it into consideration. How long do you expect these companies to be around while making promises, installing inferior solar panels from foreign companies and using ancillary materials from out of the area without a profit? Yes, their costs were on par with Renova’s but COST and / or PROJECT SAVINGS were explicitly not to be the determining factors since they can be manipulated and are only projections. What aggressive assumptions on electric rate increases were factored in? Renova provided accurate, conservative numbers that the city could realistically expect and exceed. Yes, there was a Third Party Consultant hired by the City to be involved...and that Consultant got the numbers wrong. I know...I submitted them.
One more thing that was not mentioned and that all interested should note - Renova Solar entered this competition in partnership with SunPower (SPWR). A profitable, California-based company that is a 30-year solar industry expert with over $2 billion dollars in annual revenue successfully manufacturing and developing solar systems around the world during their entire history. They manufacture the highest efficiency, most advanced solar panels in the world and right in North America. They have completed, commissioned and maintain more commercial solar projects than either SolarCity or SunEdison combined. They know their numbers…they don’t lose RFPs unless there is something else going on in the selection process. A compelling enough reason for me to add to Sammy’s great work.