October 1, 2018 0



Join us for the next Ask SepiSolar Anything with Jigar Shah, co-founder of Generate Capital and co-host of Greentech Media’s Energy Gang podcast. 

As with all Ask SepiSolar Anything’s, Jigar will join us live via a web meeting and answer any question you might have about solar finance, solar business models, solar entrepreneurship, pitching VCs, energy storage, or … anything.

If you’re not familiar with his solar and clean energy advocacy career, Jigar Shah is well known for pioneering the first solar power purchase agreement (PPA) when he co-founded SunEdison in 2003. After SunEdison was acquired in 2008, Jigar co-founded Generate Capital, a specialty finance company that partners with project developers and technology manufacturers to finance clean energy, water, food, and other critical resources. He’s also the author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy and was the first CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Carbon War Room, co-founded by Sir Richard Branson.

SepiSolar’s CEO Josh Weiner will start off the questioning and then hand over the web microphone to you! To ask Jigar Shah your questions, mark your calendar and register here for the webinar link info.

When: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 11am-12pm Pacific, 2pm-3pm ET

Where: Online. Please register to get the web link and reminders:



September 1, 2018 0


Wouldn’t it be nice if all energy storage permitting requirements were the same? Sadly, we all know that energy storage permitting requirements vary greatly across the U.S.

In fact, as solar and battery prices decline, many authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) are seeing storage projects and a variety of battery technologies come across their desks for the first time. Likewise, many solar contractors are submitting their designs to their local jurisdictions for the first time.

In our latest edition of Ask SepiSolar Anything, SepiSolar’s CEO Josh Weiner and Chief Electrical Engineer Richard Dobbins, PE, will answer any of your questions about energy storage permitting requirements and best practices for getting your energy storage designs approved. Join us!

What: Ask SepiSolar Anything: Energy Storage Permitting Requirements

When: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 11am PST, 2pm EST

Where: Sign up and get reminders and a link to the webinar. (Also, if you miss the episode, you’ll get an email with a link to the recording.)


August 22, 2018 0


“How do you sell C&I solar+storage?” Some might answer, “the same way you sell solar,” but it’s not that simple. In fact, if you’ve tried to sell solar with residential or C&I (commercial & industrial) energy storage, you’ve probably found that nothing about storage is “Plug & Play.”

As Josh stated in this Ask SepiSolar Anything episode, “Energy storage is a dream project–or product– for engineers. It’s a dream product because it’s a financial problem, it’s a technical problem, and it’s also a sales problem on how to articulate these systems to the private sector. It can be extremely complex and difficult.”

It’s because of this complexity that we have our monthly Ask SepiSolar Anything webinars. While SepiSolar does do NABCEP training about solar+storage, we realize that contractors and developers have specific questions about the technical and financial modeling aspects of selling C&I (and residential) storage.

14 C&I Solar + Storage Questions and Tips

Below is a run-down of the audience questions with a time code. Click on the time code and you’ll jump to a new tab with the answers from SepiSolar’s CEO Josh Weiner and Systems Engineer John Henley. (We had some intermittent technical issues with the visuals, but you should be able to hear everything.)

  1. 00:00 Josh shares his experience selling C&I storage with Green Charge Networks
  2. 08:34 What’s the minimum size of storage required to offset to perform demand reduction?
  3. 11:27 We’re a small solar installer, mostly residential, but people are starting to ask us about storage. Any beginner’s advice?
  4. 19:39 Does the solar system size make a difference on whether or not you use an AC or DC-coupled storage system?
  5. 21:33 Are you limited to the size of the solar system on the site with storage? Or does solar change or limit of the size of a storage system?
  6. 23:20 I’ve been trying to find information to do a return on investments for doing peek shaving for one of my clients. They use about 2 MWhs per year. Is there a financial modeling service out there or any calculators that I can use?
  7. 24:53 Do you use the algorithms from the different storage manufacturers in your calculations?
  8. 27:58 Are you seeing developers returning to their customer to add energy storage to the original solar generation assets?
  9. 31:44 I’m doing some work for an irrigation district. Is there a way to store energy for their big pumping times? They have 400 horsepower wells.
  10. 34:28 Does SepiSolar handle off-grid projects, for example, microgrid projects with solar plus storage, plus a generator, as well as only grid-tied?
  11. 36:43 When do you think the commercial customer needs a microgrid, as opposed to just solar plus storage? Is there some way to define that?
  12. 41:22 Josh offers some more C&I selling tips, including his perspective on Time of Use (TOU) arbitrage.
  13. 44:15 We have a few customers who don’t have historical usage data because they’ve been off grid marijuana growers. Can we model their usage, or would you recommend that they wait until they’re up and running for at least a year?
  14. 47:00 Josh offers some more C&I market insights on where storage is needed and tells you about SepiSolar Academy, our new NABCEP SepiSolar Training for PV and Storage.

Join us for the next Ask SepiSolar Anything

We asked what you’d like to see for the next Ask SepiSolar Anything topic, and the winner is… Energy Storage Permitting requirements. Josh and the team will be fielding your questions on the best practices for getting your residential and commercial energy storage projects approved.

This episode will take place on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern.

Of course, if you have any questions before then, please always feel free to contact us!


July 26, 2018 0

“Where are we on the energy storage adoption curve?” That’s one of the questions a participant asked at our latest monthly Ask SepiSolar Anything “Car Talk for Solar” webinar series. It’s the only place on the web where solar professionals can ask SepiSolar’s solar+storage engineer experts anything about a particular renewable energy topic.

For July, our topic was to Ask SepiSolar Anything… about battery storage technologies. That is, about the technical aspects of different battery chemistries on the market today.

To offer a broad view than the typical Lithium-ion energy storage landscape, SepiSolar’s CEO Josh Weiner invited Matt Harper, the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Avalon Battery, a Vanadium flow battery company based in Fremont, California.

Together, Josh and Matt tag-teamed on the answers, offering various perspectives and case study examples of their years of experience in developing and modeling energy storage for various applications.

From the live audience at Intersolar and on the web, we received the following questions. Jump to the topic that most interests you in the time stamp at the end of the question:

  • Overview of Energy Storage Technology Landscape 00:01
  • Matt Harper briefly describes Avalon Battery and its Vanadium flow battery technology 01:40
  • Question 1: Please give a concrete example of a project that has integrated electric vehicles with solar and storage in some kind of a project or a use case 07:00
  • Question 2: There are a lot of flow battery technologies out there. Zinc Iron, Zinc Bromide, Iron-Iron, etc. Why Vanadium? What makes it so special? 12:48
  • Question 3: If you have a grid-tied inverter already installed, how would you integrate a battery into that, perhaps aftermarket? 17:55
  • Question 4: What are the HVAC requirements for Avalon and other flow batteries? 21:27
  • Question 5: Does the efficiency level of Vanadium Batteries change at cold temperatures? 27:30
  • Question 6: I have an existing PV array that uses SMA inverters, two strings with a total of 6kW. Can it work with a flow battery? 29:20
  • Question 7: Where are we on the energy storage adoption curve? i.e., Utility vs DG projections? 45:51
  • Question 8: When will batteries—of all kinds—be cheap enough and available enough to combine with solar, wind, etc and replace a baseload natural gas plant. That is when will utilities have a choice between a baseload natural gas plant and a solar+storage plant? 47:04

Have a question about selling solar+storage for commercial projects? Then tune in next month for Ask SepiSolar Anything about Selling C&I Energy Storage. Click the button below to sign up!

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