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Chicago Innovation Award Winner

SoCore Energy

Winner in: 2010
Winning Product: SunLock
Winner Category: Chicago Innovation Award
Industry: industrial_manufacturing

The SunLock is a ballasted and portable solar mounting solution designed for flat-roof commercial buildings. The tool-less approach of the SunLock makes installation easy and cost effective. Solar panels and micro-inverters are pre-assembled, tested and approved by an engineer before they arrive at a customer’s facility. Assembled SunLock units stack up for convenient shipping and transport. Integrating micro-inverter technology at the panel-level allows for unprecedented system flexibility not seen before in the solar industry, allowing roof access for cleaning or repairs without shutting down an entire array. If for any reason disassembly or reconfiguration of a portion of an installation is needed, the SunLock can be stacked up and transported with ease. The SunLock also reduces the need for roughly 30% of the labor expense commonly associated with a commercial solar installation.

Coupled with the SunLock, SoCore Energy introduced a process whereby commercial customers could rent solar energy installations for the first time. Typical financing structures in the energy industry allow companies to pay down an asset over 20 years, but this lengthy duration is not realistic for many companies who only have eight years remaining on a lease or ten years remaining on a roof warranty. Combining SoCore’s proprietary and portable installation system, the SunLock, with a financial mechanism specifically created to allow for optimal system flexibility, companies can now rent solar for the first time ever with terms that are less than 10 years. Many Fortune 500 companies have already adopted SoCore’s Solar Rental Service, including well known retailers Walgreens and JC Penney. The popularity of the SunLock led SoCore Energy to jump to $30 million in revenue in a very short amount of time.

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