Solect Energy Development
- Written by: Kadie Jepsen
- Produced by: Kyle Gahm
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Solect Energy Development (Solect) was founded in 2009 by Kenneth Driscoll, James Dumas and Craig Huntley; Solect is now Massachusetts’ leading commercial solar developer and installer. Kristen Brandt, director of marketing, believes that the rapid success of Solect comes from the experienced team the company has assembled over the years.
“We really have a great team of people who bring extensive solar and financial expertise,” Brandt says proudly. Brandt goes on to explain that Solect is very focused on its customers, the community and employees, as well. Solect identifies quality solar energy sites that meet solar optimization, local zoning and economical standards for owners, investors and off-takers alike.
People, planet and profit
Following a triple bottom line philosophy allows Solect to be economically successful while remaining socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable.
People: Solect is committed to the people the company works with: employees, clients and community. Solect establishes long-term partnerships and supports several local nonprofits and charities by donating solar energy systems, goods and services.
Planet: Solect is dedicated to helping create a more sustainable planet by developing clean, renewable solar energy systems, which offer an environmentally friendly, reliable alternative to fossil fuels.
Profit: Solect develops smart solar solutions that help their clients significantly reduce or even eliminate electric bills and profit from solar energy investment.
The rapid success that Solect has achieved over the years may be attributed to the company’s focus on the commercial sector. “There are a lot of companies that develop and install residential, commercial and utility scale projects,” Brandt details. “We focus on commercial projects ranging from 50 kW and above, and have become experts in this space.”
Brandt goes on to explain that once the panels are installed, Solect maintains a partnership with each client for the 25-plus year life of the system. Additionally, Solect provides continual maintenance and management of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) for all of the company’s clients.
“All of our systems are hooked up to live monitoring so the company will receive an alert if there is an issue with production or if there is any sort of malfunction,” Brandt continues.
One of Solect’s largest projects is the 2.7 Mw system at Stonehill College. Installing the solar panels will save the school more than $3 million over a 15-year PPA agreement. The entire project used 9,132 panels and is ranked No. 11 in regards to being the largest solar array on a college campus in the United States.
Solect is also working on community solar projects, which are larger scale, ground-mounted systems. The systems require that half of the energy produced is distributed to two entities with the remaining power being distributed to others in the community. Community solar is a great way for residential or commercial buildings that are not suitable a solar installation to get the benefits of solar energy.
Solar system design is customized for each client and equipment and technology varies from project to project. Brandt explains that system design depends on the roof tilt and material; being either flat or pitched and constructed of metal rubber, shingles or stone.
“That tells us what equipment we might use for each installation,” she explains. “The panels may be tilted or pitched a certain way in order to achieve optimum efficiency. Solar exposure, azimuth, and shading are taken into consideration when installing a solar system. When we model our projections we take these elements into account and design the array accordingly to provide optimal system output and cost. We factor that into our production and financial estimates.”
In 2014 Solect was ranked No. 77 by Inc. 500/5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America. In 2014 Solect was also ranked No. 90 in Solar Power World Top 400 Solar Contractors. With over 90 projects completed, Solect is leading the way in the commercial solar energy market. “We completed the most commercial scale installs in Massachusetts in 2012 through 2013,” Brandt details.
Solect has acquired a dynamic and skilled set of employees to ensure that the customer and the community receive all that the company has to offer. Brandt looks forward to the future and what it will bring for the company. “We continue to grow and see more and more companies interested in going solar,” she continues. “That is truly a testament to how effective solar energy can be and what a great investment it is.” Knowing the importance of people, planet and profit makes Solect Energy Development one to remember.
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