Solar Roof Dynamics Announces Management Additions

Solar Roof Dynamics (SRD) of Davis, Calif., has announced two new additions to their executive management team, Debbie Schrider as its new vice president of sales and Nick Lowrie as its director of operations.

Schrider joins SRD bringing with her 25 years of sales and management experience, most of which was based in residential new construction and the solar industry. With almost 10 years of experience in solar, she had held leadership positions at SolarCity and SunEdison, where she focused on customer acquisition, and One Block Off the Grid, where she helped pioneer remote-based solar sales.

Lowrie comes to SRD with solar operations and design experience and a track record of building high performance operations teams. Most notably, Lowrie spent eight years building the Northern California operations for SolarCity.

“I am elated to bring Debbie Schrider and Nick Lowrie onto our team during a time of growth,” CEO Aaron Nitzkin states. “Their wealth of experience and innovative spirit will bring great results for Solar Roof Dynamics and our Signature Dealer Network.”

Flat-roof Solar Mounting Solution Is Twice as Fast to Install

SolarCity's ZS Peak

SolarCity’s ZS Peak

SolarCity unveiled a new product in its Zep Solar line of solar products—a flat roof solar mounting solution that is twice as fast to install and can generate significantly more solar electricity from each rooftop than alternatives for the commercial market. ZS Peak makes it possible for far more businesses, schools and other organizations to install solar power on their buildings and immediately pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power, and will significantly expand the addressable market for commercial solar.

Like the revolutionary Zep residential solar systems, ZS Peak provides an innovative snap-together system to simplify and accelerate installation. SolarCity estimates that ZS Peak can increase generation capacity on flat roof buildings by 20-50 percent per building and do so without requiring any penetrations. The system’s dense, east-west layout structure will allow SolarCity to fit up to 20 percent more solar panels on standard roofs and up to 50 percent more panels on lightweight roofs, such as those commonly found on warehouses. The increase in panels per roof is particularly valuable in the commercial market, as conventional flat-roof solar systems typically power less than half of a commercial building’s load.

ZS Peak’s east-west orientation not only allows installers to fit more solar panels on each roof than standard south-facing systems, it also captures peak power production throughout a longer period of the day. By lengthening power production time and eliminating the typical mid-day spike of standard solar systems, SolarCity can also make more efficient use of solar inverters to further reduce costs for customers. ZS Peak has so significantly improved on the aerodynamics of conventional systems that it can be installed as a lightweight, non-penetrating system on many roofs that would otherwise require the solar panels to be bolted down.

SolarCity is currently installing its first project with ZS Peak and expects to begin installing the product in volume in January 2015. Businesses and other organizations interested in SolarCity’s services can contact the company directly at (888) 765-2489 for a free, no-obligation solar consultation or visit SolarCity online.

Web-based Platform Allows Individuals and Organizations to Support Clean-energy Development

SolarCity is transforming energy delivery by making solar power more accessible and affordable than previously possible. Now the company wants to provide a new avenue for individuals and institutions from around the world to participate in and benefit from that transformation. SolarCity has announced plans to launch a new, Web-based investment platform through which it intends to allow a broad range of investors, including individuals and organizations of all sizes, to participate directly in solar investments that have previously only been available to large financial institutions.

“People want to support clean energy development. Customers are seeing the benefits of getting solar for their homes but they would like to participate in other ways as well,” says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “Previously, only institutional investors could participate in the financing of most solar assets. With our investment platform, we’re hoping to allow far more individuals and smaller organizations to participate in the transformation to a cleaner, more distributed infrastructure.”

SolarCity has acquired a privately held financial technology company, Common Assets LLC, which developed the investment platform SolarCity will use to distribute its investment products. Tim Newell, the president and chief executive officer of Common Assets, and John Witchel, Common Assets’ chief architect, have joined SolarCity as part of the transaction. Newell, who will serve as SolarCity’s vice president of financial products, brings more than 25 years of investment, technology and government experience, including roles as senior advisor to private equity firm US Renewables Group; managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s clean technology affiliate fund; managing director and head of investment banking for E*Trade’s investment banking affiliate, E*Offering; and head of investment bank Robertson Stephen’s financial technology group.

Witchel, who will serve as SolarCity’s senior technology architect for financial products, is an experienced technology executive and successful entrepreneur with experience in large-scale financial innovation. Notably, Witchel was co-founder and chief technology officer of Prosper Marketplace, where he oversaw design and development of the first person-to-person online lending marketplace in the U.S. Common Assets was backed by U.S. Renewables Group (USRG), a private equity firm that specializes in renewable energy investments, and Jim McDermott, managing partner of USRG, served as chairman of Common Assets prior to the acquisition.

“SolarCity’s financial products will provide an exciting new opportunity for people to make an impact—both for their own financial future and our global future—by investing in the shift to solar energy,” says Newell. “Unlike crowdfunding and community solar approaches that typically aggregate investors to provide loans for individual projects, SolarCity plans to offer debt investments backed by diversified portfolios of solar assets.”