Quest Renewables is a leader in solar canopy racking systems. Our award-winning systems are known for being aesthetically appealing and innovative, while being backed by best-in-class speed, quality, and reliability. The Quest Renewables team compiled the following information to help Engineering, Procurement, and Construction companies ensure their solar canopy projects are a success.
So, what defines a “successful canopy project?”
Successful canopy projects meet or exceed the customer/site owner’s requirements for usability and aesthetic appeal and exceed the electrical generation performance expectations agreed upon by stakeholders. In order to meet the expected return on investment, it is paramount that the system performs as expected and that appropriate steps are taken prior to construction to ensure the construction phase takes minimal time, and results in minimal disruption to the site. Finally, successful projects result in the EPC receiving quality services and products, at or below the quoted price and delivered on time.
Quest Renewables has nearly a decade delivering successful PV canopy systems to EPCs and Developers. While the following is not a comprehensive list, it is intended to highlight some of the important deliverables that are paramount to reducing delays and ensuring a smooth canopy project.
Design/Engineering Phase (at least 8-10 months in advance of construction)
Your canopy provider will need a number of items in order to provide an accurate and timely quote. When issuing a Request for Proposals, it is important to already have a number of documents on hand:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement, if necessary
- Project information and requirements such as: Site Address, Selected Panel and corresponding up-to-date panel spec sheet, and the production target for the array in KW
- Project-specific approvals such as crane location approval, staging area approval, customer’s approval of the panel spec sheet, and site construction constraint approval
- Site-Specific information such as ground level site plan (in .dwg or .pdf)
- Inverter mounting location and installation manual
- Site survey
- Customer and engineering feedback on permitting set
If you have a parking deck project, there are a few circumstantial needs:
- Confirmation of EOR for deck evaluation and capacity approval
- Parking Deck as-built drawings (.dwg or .pdf)
- If the as-built drawings are not available, a lidar scan will be necessary to get key dimensions
- GPR scan for rebar location in the connection detai
A few of these items are imperative to the design and engineering process and the project cannot move forward without them. They are as follows:
- Panel specification sheet
- Site information:
- Ground installation: site plan, site survey, and geotechnical survey
- Parking deck installation: deck as-builts and GPR scan
The above items will be requested at different times throughout the design and engineering phase, but the EPC should be aware of their necessity in the overall success of the project and timely completion. Gathering this data as soon as appropriate in the context of project milestones is a key responsibility of the EPC, but of course your canopy provider will be prepared to give any guidance necessary.
Pre-Construction (approximately 1-3 months in advance of construction)
The time and work you put in prior to construction will provide two-fold value once you get on site. The goal of pre-construction phase is to ensure that the team minimizes time onsite and reduces the amount of site disruption.
The following steps will need to be developed and checked prior to construction commencement:
- Develop construction plan, including
- Where construction materials should be staged
- Racking components
- Panels themselves
- Heavy machinery
- Order of truss installation (understanding which truss to install first)
- Crane placement
- Drive aisles outlined
- Where construction materials should be staged
- Determine and secure any site-specific support: additional laborers, construction companies, scaffolding, heavy machinery procurement, relevant tool acquisition
- Accommodations for all project staff
- Arrange for material delivery to site
- Deliver materials to site
- Provide accurate material inventory counts once on site
- Conduct material quality check once materials are delivered to-site: sizing, holes, component count, no rust or corrosion
If done properly, the majority of the work is done prior to arriving onsite, so that the construction teams can show up, follow the plans laid out before them, and deliver the project well in advance of the construction deadline.
If you are interested in learning more about how Quest Renewables can support and enhance your upcoming canopy installation, please reach out to us today at (404)536-5787 or firstname.lastname@example.org .