Powerful Solar Success! Line-Up Reveals Essentials of PV Profitability for Contractors and Other Small Businesses

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80-20 Philosophy Provides New Revenue Potential for Those Hardest Hit In Current Recession

Hands-on training with time and money-saving technology innovations from solar industry powerhouses like Conergy, Sanyo, SMA, Fronius, Quick-Mount PV and Unirac are integral to Solar Success!

Selling solar isn’t the same as quoting roofing, electrical, HVAC and related jobs

The keys to business prosperity and sustainable new revenue streams are within reach for thousands of struggling small business owners across the U.S. They are manifested in the rich array of incentives associated with solar energy – and the insights and hands-on technical training available at North America’s largest non-profit professional solar training and business development event – Solar Success!™.

Presented by the non-profit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and produced by the global solar energy experts at Conergy, Solar Success! features a powerful line-up of the industry’s most knowledgeable financial and technology experts offering winning business practices, product advances and state-of-the art technical training aligned with NABCEP* learning and certification objectives. As a not-for-profit training event, its cost may be a tax deductible business or training expense. Solar Success! is slated for May 17-22, 2010 in Phoenix, at the Arizona Convention Center.

With unemployment numbers as high as 24.6%**, the construction and extraction trades have been heavily affected by the current economic downturn, while solar is growing at a clip of around 30% per year. And with rich tax incentives, cash grants and related market stimulants, growth rates are projected to continue over the next few years. Industry growth means immense promise for those looking to diversify and build their businesses – or parlay their expertise into rewarding career opportunities.

“Contractors, builders, electricians, roofers, engineers and others feeling the pain of this economy’s ‘construction obstruction’ often possess about 80% of the knowledge and capabilities needed to succeed in solar,” said Solar Success! producer and underwriter Jyl Safier, Marketing Director for Conergy. “Conergy and its partners have the expertise, suppliers, logistics infrastructure and financial services network to give those wishing to diversify into solar the additional 20% they need to succeed,” Safier noted.

Electrical contractor-turned-solar-installer Phil Undercuffler, who now serves as a Product Manager for Conergy, puts it this way, “A handful of years ago it was rare for most installers to participate in a 100 kW solar energy system. It was for some a once in a life opportunity,” he said. “The growth we’re now seeing in terms of system size is encouraging. And these systems need to be installed by somebody. It is the smart contractor who fine-tunes his knowledge and capabilities with training such as this who is going to be better equipped to win that business.”

At the heart of most successful solar proposals is its economics. Sharing insights that help contractors achieve new revenue gains in today’s growing solar marketplace is renowned solar financial analyst Andy Black, CEO of OnGrid Solar. He’s considered the best in the business.
“Selling solar isn’t the same as quoting roofing, electrical, HVAC and related jobs,” notes Black. “With traditional contracting jobs, customers are not trying to decide if, but from whom they’ll receive a service. Solar, on the other hand, is usually optional.” he says. “Knowing how to make a strong case on the economics of solar is the key to winning most jobs, whether residential or commercial.”

Solar Success! offers a flexible menu of over 30 interactive sessions for entrepreneurs in two, four or six-day tracks. This year, organizers have included an array of valuable educational incentives for those looking to break into the business. And they have supersized this year’s Pro-Track sessions to help the most experienced installers keep pace with growing project sizes. The range of Solar Success! tracks includes:

  •     Solar Success! for Start-ups (May 17-20),
  •     Solar Success! Pro-Track: Advanced Technical Topics (May 17-20),
  •     Solar Success! Pro-Track: Business (May 17-20), and
  •     Solar Success! Fast Track (May 19-20), for those with limited time or who need to get up to speed with a product refresher in a hurry.
  •     All Access Pass (May 17-22), for access to Solar Success! and ASES 2010 floor and events.

“Solar Success! for Start-ups provides the keys to a new revenue vehicle for contractors -- and a free tank of gas,” said Safier. This year’s track includes a complimentary Solar Energy International (SEI) Solar PV Design and Installation Manual and access to SEI’s self-paced, online training course, PV 101 PREP, a 12-hour curriculum to help those new to the industry bone up on industry and solar energy basics.

In an industry first, the much-respected team at SolarPro magazine is taking its subject matter expertise into the classroom. “We've hand-picked a slate of the country's premiere PV instructors and developed custom content for experienced PV designers, project managers, engineers and field technicians seeking to advance their skills in system design and installation , particularly in the growing 100 kW to 1 MW project range,” said SolarPro Editor and Publisher Joe Schwartz.
Solar Success! also offers the latest from industry manufacturing giants like SANYO, Fronius, Quick Mount PV, S-5!, Power Battery Company, Schneider, Unirac and SMA Solar Technology, a leading manufacturer of inverters and monitoring systems.

Solar Success! is co-located with SOLAR 2010, ASES’ annual conference and trade show, SOLAR 2010, now in its 39th year. After training, participants have access to the entire SOLAR 2010 trade show floor to take deeper dives into key subject matter with manufacturers, installers, engineers, investors, analysts and public officials.

For more information on SOLAR 2010 costs and accommodations -- and to register for Solar Success! and learn about Early Bird Discounts -- visit http://www.solar2010.org.

*NABCEP is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2, 2010, Table A-13.

About ASES:
For more than 50 years the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has been leading national efforts to promote education, public outreach, and research about solar energy and other sustainable technologies. Please visit http://www.ases.org for more information.

About CONERGY: In North America, Conergy supplies, manufactures, finances, designs and installs quality solar photovoltaic solutions for major commercial sectors, public agencies, businesses and homeowners through two distinct channels. Conergy's Distribution Group serves a national network of installers, developers and dealers in the grid-tied and off-grid residential realm, while also addressing the needs of small commercial markets. Conergy's Projects Group focuses on custom solutions for large-scale, energy-intensive enterprises. With operations in 15 countries over 4 continents, Conergy has successfully deployed projects totaling over 1.25 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity around the world. Learn more at http://www.conergy.us.

Terri Steele
(858) 220-3317

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Terri Steele

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