4 Steps to a Safe & Virtual Solar Evaluation for Your Business

Sabrina Lopez
April 17, 2020
3 min read

We are living in unprecedented times. While many businesses are experiencing unfortunate struggles in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, others are finding the motivation better to prepare their operations for the next unexpected disruption. In the face of uncertainty, commercial solar offers a proven model for lowering operating expenses while offering improved long-term stability.

Our business development team is still meeting with new customers and many existing customers who are exploring ways to expand their solar capabilities in light of our current environment. Regardless of where you are in your solar journey, we have all the virtual tools necessary to help you explore options from the comfort of your computer or telephone. We are not currently conducting face-to-face meetings inside offices. Still, if you prefer an in-person experience, we’re happy to meet in your parking lot, outdoor break area, or next to your outdoor electrical equipment (we'll need to see that anyway).

If you’re interested in exploring solar for your business, there are four main steps to get you from initial outreach to a finished proposal. While not all organizations are the same, most follow the process flow outlined below. If your organization is in a position to start thinking about what happens next and if preparedness fits into your short list of critical investments, read on and give us a ring when you’re ready.  


Step 1: Discovery

You can begin exploring solar by calling our office or filling out a “Request a Quote” form on our website.  Our initial consultation will be done entirely over the phone. We will focus on identifying your goals, answer any questions you may have about Sun Valley Solar Solutions, and generally discuss whether or not solar is a good fit for your organization. Suppose you decide to proceed to the next step. In that case, we will collect 12 months of utility history for deeper evaluation, or if you are building a non-facility, we will ask what your electrical engineer expects your annual electricity usage will be in kWh. 


Step 2: Evaluation

Once we have your electricity usage, we will examine the applicable utility rules that would apply to your situation. We will also look at your property's aerial imagery and may ask you to provide a few details about your service panels and meter location. Together, all this data gives us a clear understanding of how many solar panels you will need to hit your goal and how much we can fit on your roof, the ground, and/or parking area. We can also discuss financing options, including all available tax incentives.


Step 3: Site Inspection

If you choose to proceed to a final proposal that includes a buildable design and detailed price, a more comprehensive site inspection is required to verify critical variables like rooftop construction and condition and electrical equipment age, location, and condition. With COVID-19, our commercial team follows all recommended CDC social distancing and safety guidelines. In most instances, we do not need to enter office work areas, but if such access is required, our team carries masks and gloves to reduce risk. Our designers can also work with your staff to provide direction for photo acquisition or conduct a visual inspection using video conferencing tools.


Step 4: Detailed Solar Proposal

Once the site inspection is complete, the final step is for our in-house designers to work up a custom solution for your property that meets all local authority jurisdictions – fire, electric, and building codes. A detailed solar array design is sent for your approval. This clearly shows the panel layout, equipment selection, and locations. The final design proposal also provides project details, including timelines, installation procedures, safety protocols, estimated construction timeline, and the total cost with a breakdown of available incentives. Our team remains available to answer any remaining questions, and should you accept the proposal, a project manager will be assigned, and your solar project will be added to our construction schedule.