The Solar Heist, or How I Got into the Solar Business, Part 1: The Proposal


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In this first episode of Probably True Solar Stories, two neighbors meet unexpectedly at an Oakland, California coffee shop that specializes in dark, rich coffee. Mazz owns a trucking business by day and is a thief at night. Charlie is a solar project builder by day and a guy with an international solar problem that can only be solved by Mazz. Will they come to a deal? Or will their neighborly relationship become... awkward?
All Probably True Solar Stories are fiction. If this episode sounds familiar to your experience in the solar industry, get help.
True solar takeaways:

  • The solar installation industry is made up of residential, commercial, and utility-scale installers. They're very different.
  • Many high-quality solar panels are imported from China. Some are made ethically, and others are made with forced labor. There's a law against importing solar panels made with forced labor.
  • Some solar developers hire quality assurance companies to monitor the supply chains and factories.
  • All solar installations, regardless of size, can now receive a U.S. 30% tax credit. That's just the start. Big developers can also receive other tax incentives.
  • Chinese solar panels still have import tariffs, as of 2022.
  • "Procurement" means sourcing, purchasing, and delivering equipment.
  • Generally, large solar asset owners hire an experienced solar developer to take care of building the product. The solar developer may in turn hire an "EPC," which stands for engineering, procurement, and construction.
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