Pre-construction, engineering and installation cost of utility-scale module installations - part 2

Published: February 1, 2011

By Angiolo Laviziano, CEO, REC Solar; Josh Price, Vice President and General Manager, Residential and Light Commercial, REC Solar; Ethan Miller, Vice President of Operations, REC Solar

PV industry module and component manufacturers have brought down costs significantly over the last four years. This trend is clearly evident as most publicly traded companies continue to grow revenue despite falling module and component prices. However, it is far less clear how downstream system integrators are handling the drop in system prices and contributing to value creation. System prices are generally higher in the U.S. than in Europe despite lower module prices in the U.S. This disparity often raises questions on the part of European PV professionals where these costs come from, and secondly, what have U.S. system integrators done to reduce costs. This article is the second of a two-part series shedding light on how U.S. integrators contribute to a decreasing installed-PV-system cost roadmap by championing value creation in the downstream segment. Focusing on the residential market segment, Part I delved into activity cost savings through innovation in engineering and construction [1]. Part II illustrates how changes in marketing and sales, rebates, interconnection, supply chain management and customer support have evolved considerably over the last several years to result in reduced costs.

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