You need a way to define winning solar projects fast, while eliminating all doubt that you’ve selected the most optimum configuration. And it’s frustrating to commit to a design strategy knowing that if you had the time or data, you could find something better. Furthermore, in the current procurement process, constrained by module availability, trade concerns and interconnection timelines, the need to modify project configuration is an increasing concern to keep these projects on-time. 

Today’s Tactical Tuesday conversation should help with that. I don’t often give such an overt (and free) endorsement of a specific design tool, but when I discovered the Solar Instant Feasibility Tool, I knew it was something I needed to share w/the community.  Today’s guest will tell us about a product he created to solve his pain as a project development engineer. And I think you’ll find it could help you make better decisions as well.

Ashton Vandemark is the business unit manager for the Solar Instant Feasibility Tool (SIFT) at Terrasmart, a provider of ground-mount solar racking technology primarily used for solar projects. SIFT — a design, performance and financial modeling solution — is Ashton’s baby. 

In today’s podcast, Ashton shares his experiences from graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from The Ohio State University through relocation to China and ultimately founding the company where he developed SIFT.

He founded that company, Sunfig, in 2017, which he sold in January 2021 to Gibraltar, a provider of solar racking technologies, electrical balance-of-system products, and installation services. Gibraltar concurrently acquired TerraSmart in a significant expansion of its solar portfolio, and rebranded the portfolio of companies Terrasmart earlier this year.

While Ashton’s role has changed, he still proudly promotes the early-stage feasibility tool he developed “to help clients gain confidence in their decisions, maximize margins, and submit winning bids with a competitive edge.” He says SIFT can Increase a project’s internal rate of return (IRR) by 5% to 15% and speed up the development cycle.

Want to know how? Give today’s Tactical Tuesday a listen.