Amicus Solar Cooperative, a member-owned purchasing cooperative, announced today that is has been awarded $358k from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to found a new cooperative that will serve the solar operations and maintenance (O&M) marketplace in the United States. Applying the cooperative business model to this market sector will address current market gaps by providing streamlined, cost-effective O&M services to ensure that commercial- and utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems fulfill their performance expectations over the short and long term.
Today, little consistency exists in the scopes of work, training, pricing, and agreements of O&M providers, creating a major challenge for solar asset owners. Using the inherent benefits of a cooperative framework, member-companies will provide a uniform level of service with standardized legal documents, consistent reporting, and lower O&M costs for solar asset owners across the entire United States. In turn, the cooperative members will provide each other with qualified maintenance labor, service level agreements, training, and an online library of best practices.
“The U.S. Department of Energy clearly recognizes the need for more maturity in this market sector, and we are honored that it supports our unique approach to advancing solar O&M in the U.S.” said Stephen Irvin, CEO of the Amicus Solar Cooperative. “This investment will further the advancement of quality service, consistent standards, and better-performing solar assets through a model of collaboration and peer support.”
The cooperative will be a for-profit corporation, equally owned by member-companies throughout the United States that provide O&M services for commercial- and utility-scale solar PV systems. The new Amicus O&M Cooperative will function in parallel with its sister organization, the Amicus Solar Cooperative. Amicus Solar will work alongside its member-companies Namasté Solar and Radiance Solar on the SunShot Technology to Market 2 award.
About Amicus Solar Cooperative:
Founded in 2011, Amicus Solar Cooperative (“Amicus”) is the first purchasing cooperative in the U.S. solar industry, made up of 38 member-owners, each operating under their own brand in 27 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Amicus is equally owned and democratically governed by its membership of independent solar photovoltaic (PV) installation companies. Through the cooperative, member-companies pool their purchasing power to obtain lower pricing on both the products they sell (solar PV modules, inverters, racking, etc.) and the services they utilize (marketing, payroll, office supplies, etc.). www.amicussolar.com
About the SunShot Initiative:
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.