Solvari nets CalSEED grant for automated solar module assembly process – Solar Builder Magazine

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Photo courtesy of Solvari

Solvari SR is an all-in-one solar panel that ships with everything needed to install on asphalt shingle roofs: racking, flashing, deck screws, inverter, cabling, and cable management are all included. According to the company, installation time is 2 minutes per module, including lift-to-the-roof. It is a compelling pitch — at least the California Energy Commission (CEC) thinks so. CEC awarded Solvari a $500k grant to advance its automated module assembly process and decrease the cost of its panels.

Solvari entered the CalSEED program in the fall of 2022 with 240 other companies and was one of twenty teams awarded $150k to further develop their technologies. Of the final twenty, six were chosen to participate in the $500k grant program.

As part of the second round of the CalSEED competition for the $500k grant, companies had to compete in the CleanTech Open, an incubator program for startups. In that program, Solvari and the 19 other CalSEED teams competed against 180 other companies from across the country. Solvari was chosen to be one of six national semifinalists.

Solvari believes, with CalSEED’s help, they can drive down the cost of residential solar in California by 30% or more.

Solvari solar panel

The Solvari system installation is easy. Just pull the release sheets from the flashing tape on the mounts, lift the panel to the roof, screw it down, and then electrically connect it to the next module. Fasteners come preloaded so there are no components to lose. And there is extra cable length for: skipping modules, jumping between rows, passing around skylights, and transition across roof faces Solvari SR modules come prewired from the Solvari factory, they virtually eliminate wire management on the roof.

By completing both programs, Solvari has demonstrated that both their technology and the team are not only ready, but will likely be successful in bringing Solvari SR to market. The combined CalSEED/CleanTech Open program helped Solvari advance not only its technology but also the company’s business.

“By competing, we learned where our gaps were and were able to focus on closing them to produce a solid foundation for the company moving forward,” company leadership says.

What is CalSEED? CalSEED administers California’s EPIC program which invests $130M annually in technologies that can accelerate and transform the electricity sector to meet the state’s energy and climate goals.

Both the CalSEED and CleanTech Open programs are highly competitive. The CalSEED program evaluates a company’s ability to advance and commercialize new technologies. The CleanTech Open program prepares those companies to fundraise which helps ensure private investment is available to complete development and transition the company to commercialization.

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