by Mark Eversden

The Challenge

A large electric utility company was gearing up to launch a groundbreaking residential solar program, which provided a rooftop solar system to customers in exchange for control of the system and the resulting research data. The goal for the program was to help the client learn about and establish best practices for managing rooftop solar energy production concentrated on specific feeders, ensuring the utility can continue to deliver safe and reliable energy to customers.

As part of the program launch, the utility began with four workstreams, including planning and research, construction, customer selection and system integration. They quickly realized they needed help managing the program, including the selection of over 1,500 customers for the study, organizing and aligning internal stakeholders and external vendors, and driving the installation of the new roof-top solar systems within 24 months.

Project leadership brings order to planning and implementation

The utility contacted Point B for assistance based on prior experience with Point B’s program leadership expertise. Point B began with the development of an integrated program plan that included product evaluation and selection, engineering, design, construction, customer service and research teams with client and vendor team members.

Relationship management was another key factor in the program’s success. Point B worked with the client to design, plan, and facilitate advisory council meetings with representatives from the utility industry, regulators, academia and vendor partners to both shape the solution and share learnings.

Program exceeds goals, enabling research and data collection to proceed

The utility’s roof-top solar program has been a huge success, with the program being over-subscribed by 100%. Installations were completed on time, enabling research on the impacts of concentrated distributed generation to begin on schedule. The program was so successful it was recognized with an award during an annual utilities-related conference.