Designing for Next-Generation Technologies: Utility-Scale Trends

Join Solar Power World and Top Solar Contractors as we have a roundtable discussion on the best business practices the installation community has adopted for the utility-scale market.

The utility-scale solar market may seem like an assembly line of tried-and-true installation methods, but most of the industry’s technology advances first arrive on our largest projects. Large-format and bifacial solar modules are tested on new trackers and hooked up to more powerful inverters every day. Utility-scale contractors will talk about how they keep abreast on the latest technology designs while building successful projects with a shrinking ITC.

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Live roundtable
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT


Melody Callander, Manager of Preliminary Design and Developmental Engineering, Inovateus Solar
Melody graduated from Hanover College in 1993 with a degree in History and later graduated from IADT in 2006 with a degree in Design. She has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, most recently with the Commodore Corporation in Goshen, Indiana as a Group Lead of Drafting and Design for the company plant in PA.  Melody has designed interiors for Disney, Navy Federal Credit Union, The University of Central Florida, and Hemmingway’s Restaurant.  She has also designed millwork, cabinetry, and kitchens in high-end vacation homes and resorts located in Breckenridge, Vail, and Steamboat, Colorado. Melody’s passion and unique skillsets are a great asset to Inovateus. Her knowledge and energy bring a driving force to the Inovateus design team.

Eb Russell, founder and president, RPCS
A former Suntech employee, Eb Russell visited Array Technologies in New Mexico about a possible Suntech acquisition. The plan fell through, but Russell left the visit impressed with Array’s trackers, and he eventually came on board as Array’s sole salesperson. As VP of sales, he guided Array through the utility-scale explosion of the early 2010s, selling more than 3 GW of trackers in five years. In 2014, Array Technologies wanted to address the small project market that needed more installation assistance, so Russell formed RP Construction Services as an Array installation arm.

Brenda Byers, preconstruction director of the renewable energy group, McCarthy Building Companies
Brenda Byers has been with McCarthy since 2016 and continues to be an instrumental piece in the expansion of the company’s renewable energy group, based in Phoenix, after a decade of experience in renewable energy construction with a focus in solar. Over the course of her career, Brenda has helped develop over 2 gigawatts of solar, and currently oversees plant designs, collaborating with trade partners, and working closely with the project teams to maximize preconstruction planning for solar projects. Brenda works closely with the developers and clients to better understand their vision and provide industry solutions.

Tim Matus, CEO, Renu Robotics
Renu Robotics is the industry leader in autonomous vegetation management systems. The company, based in San Antonio, Texas, is currently specializing in utility-scale solar plants and there’s nothing on the autonomous market today that compares with our technical capabilities. Renu’s Generation 3.0 autonomous all-electric tractor – the Renubot – has multiple innovative features and its Recharge Pod is unique in how it charges and provides protection in all climates.  Mission Control continuously monitors and updates tractors out in the field.  Asset owners and O&M providers can access specific screens for information about performance, location and maintenance, even with tablets and cell phones.

Moderator: Billy Ludt, associate editor, Solar Power World
Billy was hired at Solar Power World in 2018 to cover mounting and business issues for the publication, as well as writing project case studies. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter at newspapers in Northeast Ohio. With more than two years of stories under his belt, Billy is looking forward to finding new ways to tell stories about the technology, projects and installers that make up the solar industry.


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