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P4P Energy
P4P Energy's Solar Carport Project in Sacramento wins $1 Million SunShot Award

Aug 7, 2017

P4P Energy, a solar suspension technology company offering the solar market new, cost-effective and attractive panel-suspension solutions, announced that it was selected to receive a $1,000,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.

P4P has developed a patented, lightweight PV panel suspension technology utilizing tensioned steel cables, which markedly improves the economics of PV suspension systems and opens the door for entirely new solar applications. This technology has the potential to greatly expand solar deployments, particularly in market segments where structure costs have been a barrier.

The SunShot award enables P4P to refine its design, manufacturing and assembly processes to reduce solar parking canopy costs that will substantially accelerate the over-parking solar market in the US and create a world-leading technology.

P4P Energy plans to construct a solar parking canopy at the Louise Perez Resource Center in Sacramento, in partnership with the Community Resource Project (CRP) and with support from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

The solar parking canopy project will support the Monterey Trails/Franklin Boulevard community strategy of developing grassroots community solar projects which provide job training as well as community capacity development. The project also supports the Urban Heat Island Reduction program developed by the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative. CRP is a Steering Committee member of the Climate Readiness Collaborative and a well-established, experienced manager of weatherization and solar projects in low-income communities.

SMUD staff will provide technical support and assistance to the project team during project design, construction and interconnection. SMUD is the nation's sixth-largest, community-owned electric service provider, delivering low-cost, reliable power for 70 years. SMUD is an award-winning industry leader for its innovative energy efficiency and renewable power programs, including community solar.

"We believe that P4P's cable suspension solar PV system could be a ground-breaking cost reduction strategy and inspire projects that are not currently economically feasible," said Arlen Orchard, CEO of SMUD. "These systems could provide the community new sources of renewable power and cooling shade that can also serve as social gathering spots for festivals or markets."

"We are pleased to be working with SMUD and are excited by the potential of this project to galvanize additional focus and investment in an economically challenged community while demonstrating a new, solar infrastructure technology" added Peter Stricker, P4P's CEO.

As the final stage of the SunShot program, P4P will design, engineer, and build a commercial-scale version of its over-parking canopy system in Sacramento to validate performance and its target cost-savings compared to the current solar carport market. Weight reduction, lower supply chain costs, and efficient construction methods are expected to result in a significant structure cost reduction, thus directly addressing the single largest impediment to the wide-scale adoption of over-parking solar.

SMUD staff members have worked with P4P Energy for almost two years, exploring opportunities to apply their innovative technology to reduce the cost of solar installations and open up new locations for community scale solar projects. CRP will participate in the demonstration of this technology from the ground-up, allowing them to work with SMUD to develop a new, local-ownership community solar model that could be replicated in many other neighborhoods.

P4P Energy was selected as a part of the SunShot Initiative's Technology to Market 3 funding program, which accelerates the research and development of next generation solar power technologies. To maintain its exponential growth, the solar industry needs a variety of products and services that can increase system values while reducing costs, facilitate grid integration, and increase consumer access to solar. This research enables entrepreneurs to prove the feasibility of their product and ready it for private sector follow-on support.

"The SunShot grant and the opportunity to work with leading community groups in Sacramento allow P4P to innovate and demonstrate technology at a community level that is capable of being deployed at very large scale," says P4P CEO Peter Stricker. "That's a win for everybody."

About P4P Energy

Based in Carbondale, Colorado, P4P Energy was founded in 2010 by Steven Conger and Mary Catherine Conger. For Steven, an architect and protégé of Buckminster Fuller, the creation of P4P aligned with the mission "Bucky" granted him, "to build structures that support humanity." Steven formed P4P to realize his innovation of highly-efficient tensile structure design applied to solar PV at a global scale. Today P4P is a product-focused company offering the solar market new, cost-effective and attractive panel suspension solutions. P4P's current product line includes tensile solar products for over-parking, over-water and tough ground-mount applications.

About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. SunShot aims to make solar energy a low cost electricity source for all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private partners. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.

Peter Stricker
P4P Energy

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P4P Energy


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