Labcon North America

Solar Buyer/Investor Representation

There are many good reasons to invest in solar. In addition to being a clean, renewable source of energy, the cost barrier to entry is becoming less formidable as solar technology costs decrease, installation becomes more efficient, and more options for financing become available. Rebates, tax credits and production incentives can also be key drivers in the decision to buy/invest, as well as the ability to lock in electricity rates to hedge against future increases, resulting in a substantial return on investment over time.

However, the process of purchasing and installing a solar system can be complex and intimidating. There are many pitfalls and hazards a potential buyer may face due to a lack of solar knowledge. Among these are project optimization, including evaluating technology options, system design and specification, qualifying vendors and accurately comparing bids. But by far the most important factor in a buyer’s decision about whether or not to invest in solar is an accurate valuation of the system in terms of performance and projected revenues. Confusion over the valuation of a system is probably the most common reason companies do not invest in solar.

Having a representative who is knowledgeable about solar can help buyers/investors avoid these problems by helping them make informed decisions resulting in greater system performance, significant cost savings and more accurate valuation. VeriSol is able to draw upon 25 years of solar industry experience when acting as your representative in purchasing or investing in a solar system, saving you time and money and giving you the confidence you need to know you’ve made a sound investment.

Labcon North America Goes Solar

With its headquarters located in Petaluma, California, Labcon North America is one of the oldest manufacturers of laboratory disposables in the world. It was also the first manufacturer to recognize the importance of sustainability in disposable lab-ware products. Long before others in the industry began talking about their commitment to the environment and green credentials, Labcon had already embraced sustainability. In 1994 it was the first to introduce cardboard fiber as an alternative to Styrofoam for 15ml and 50 ml tube racks.

Since then Labcon has continued to be a leading innovator in developing sustainable products and processes, and in 2004 won an energy efficiency award from PGE for its reduction of energy consumed in manufacturing. So it seemed only natural when in 2009, CEO Jim Happ decided to take the next step of installing solar at Labcon’s manufacturing facility.

After spending almost a year researching the best possible solution for a solar energy system at his business, Jim began receiving quotes from various solar vendors. That’s when the confusion began. It was difficult to understand the different approaches being offered, and there seemed to be a lot of conflicting information. Some proposals also seemed too good to be true, while others lacked obvious details. Meanwhile, Labcon’s Texas-based parent company was skeptical as to the financial value of installing solar. It would be one of the biggest investments in company history, and Jim was under pressure to produce hard numbers that would justify the expense.  His vision of installing solar at Labcon was in danger of collapse.

“I spent the better part of a year researching the best possible solution for a solar energy system at my business… I found VeriSol to be extremely knowledgeable and professional…. They helped educate me in both technical and economic details… I highly recommend John as a solar energy consultant.”

Jim Happ, CEO, LabCon North America

At the suggestion of a vendor bidding on the project, Jim decided to call VeriSol. Drawing on extensive industry knowledge, VeriSol was able to clearly explain the different approaches being offered and guide Labcon through the vendor qualification and selection process, successfully negotiating a great price for the system. Using sophisticated system performance and financial modeling tools, VeriSol was also able to reliably and accurately value the system.  This analysis showed that it was ultimately a good investment, and gave both Labcon and its parent company the confidence they needed to move forward with the project. In the end, Labcon was not only able to purchase a solar system. It was able to buy a high-performance system that produced more energy, resulting in greater long term savings.

In mid-2011 the 800 kW system at Labcon was commissioned.  It now provides about 30% of the energy needed to produce Labcon products. Today, Labcon products carry the “Made with Solar Power™” trademark. Thanks in part to VeriSol, Jim Happ’s vision of installing solar at Labcon became a reality.