The most critical step in any solar journey is first selecting a reputable partner. As this FAQ demonstrates, many variables can impact a commercial solar project’s success. A reputable solar installer will know exactly what to look out for while guiding you through the variables to a fully custom system that meets your project objectives.
Once you’ve decided to go solar, the process is generally broken into four phases. Timelines will vary depending on the complexity of the project and seasonal workload.
- Due Diligence – This is the pre-planning phase designed to ensure a smooth construction process from beginning to end. During due diligence, your solar partner will perform a physical evaluation (site audit) of the proposed site, including all utility interconnects.
- Engineering and Design – Initial concepts and plans are refined into formalized design drawings that are submitted for necessary permits and approvals. Once approved, these drawings are considered final, and construction begins.
- Construction & Commissioning – Construction generally lasts 5-12 weeks, but more complex projects can take longer. Careful planning ensures minimal disruptions to company operations. Once the utility confirms that the system was constructed according to plan and is operating within acceptable parameters, a permission to operate (PTO) is granted.
- Operations & Maintenance – During this final phase, any O&M parameters established during the planning phase are put into action. A solid O&M plan will ensure longevity and optimal performance.