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Renewable Energy Magazine
Robin Whitlock, Reporter, Renewable Energy Magazine
May 06, 2015

The rapid growth in solar has meant that onsite energy managers are finding it difficult to manage their expanding onsite solar fleets, which often involve different types of equipment, installers, geographies, inverters and monitoring software. Collecting data from such diverse sources and translating it into actionable operations and management (O&M) commands can be time-consuming and expensive for even the most experienced facilities management teams.

The rapid growth of solar installations has resulted in data sets that are much bigger and more complicated – as well as more actionable – than in the past, making data management a big business. Furthermore, since solar systems have a life cycle of 20 to 25 years or more, data is accumulating over time as well. Locus Energy is helping to solve these challenges by working with managers of residential, commercial and industrial and utility-scale solar fleets to analyze on-site energy production data in order to better understand the reasons for underperformance.

REM talked to Adrian De Luca at Locus Energy to find out more.

PV Insider
PV Insider
April 28, 2015

The US East Coast saw up to 5% less sunlight than average in 2014, while the West Coast enjoyed up to 10% more sun, according to a study published by Vaisala in April that highlights the volatile supply conditions faced by PV plant developers and operators.

Understanding the irradiance levels helps asset managers determine if a system’s lack of output is due to malfunction or weather variation. This could help to save on operations & maintenance (O&M) costs by reducing unnecessary truck rolls and labor expenses, according to Michael Herzig, president and founder of Locus Energy, a solar monitoring and data analytics platform provider.

Locus Energy saw this as a market opportunity and conducted research into how irradiance could be estimated using a variety of different data sources. The culmination of this research is Virtual Irradiance (VI), the company’s software that can generate highly accurate estimates of solar irradiance across the US without the need for a physical sensor.

ZD Net
Lyndsey Gilpin, Reporter, ZD Net
April 01, 2015

When the team at Locus Energy started their company, their primary mission was to monitor the core components of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to provide better insights into kilowatt hours, equipment, and maintenance. Solar technology was just starting to emerge, and they wanted to serve their clients, who were mostly solar providers.

But as the solar industry has grown, so has the potential for Locus Energy's services. By utilizing cloud technology and building a more intelligent solar monitoring and analytics platform, the company expanded their reach and started providing insights into PV systems that were incredibly beneficial to the many players involved in the process -- from investors to installers to leasors.

"The cloud is allowing us to repurpose and communicate with a much broader set of constituencies than in a non-cloud world," said Dan Loflin, VP of business development for Locus Energy.

Clean Technica
Jake Richardson, Reporter, Clean Technica
March 30, 2015

Locus Energy makes software and analytics for the management of large solar power systems. What follows is an interview with CEO and founder Michael Herzig.

TechRepublic
Lindsey Gilpin, TechRepublic
March 19, 2015

Cloud technology and all that it can enable was the theme of the 2015 Cleantech Forum in San Francisco. From farming to water to food supply chains to energy access, startups offering cleantech solutions and services showed off in pitch competitions, discussions, and panels at the conference. The cleantech sector is rapidly growing, and the interest from investors and the funds behind them are growing with it.

Locus Energy is a big data solar company, providing analytics and monitoring of data for solar companies and organizations with solar deployments. The company wants to reduce the complexity of solar monitoring for both large and small arrays around the country. It can also tell users why a certain array isn't performing up to par, which has been lacking until now.

Electric Light & Power
Nathan Morrill, Extra Space Storage & Michael Herzig, Locus Energy
February 11, 2015

Efficiently managing a growing fleet of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems challenges many businesses — not just those in the energy industry. With the cost of traditional grid-tied electricity on the rise and the dramatic decrease in the cost of solar energy, many businesses, as well as building owners and operators, are looking to solar as key pieces of their energy management programs.

With a rapidly growing solar fleet that already takes in more than 150 of the company’s 1,052 self-storage properties, or about 14 percent, ESS needed a tool that would help its energy managers better manage their solar assets and reduce O&M costs. Through a partnership with Locus Energy, an independent solar monitoring and analytics platform provider, ESS deployed Virtual Irradiance (VI).

Soon, Locus will be able to help fleet operators like ESS use analytics to remotely determine the causes of a solar PV system’s failure to meet performance expectations with its Waterfall report, which includes detail on loss factors such as weather uncertainty, snow downtime, shading, equipment downtime, equipment degradation and inverter problems. The prescriptive analysis provided by Waterfall will enable fleet operators a specific, detailed understanding of which factors are most affecting the performance of a solar PV system and how the causes of that underperformance can be addressed best.

Solar Industry Magazine
Michael Puttre, Reporter, Solar Industry Magazine
January 19, 2015

Software developed for grid operators, asset managers, and customer service can integrate solar more effectively.

Locus, which develops data analytics software, is turning its attention to how to use its capabilities to enable better implementation of variable generation renewables – particularly solar photovoltaics – onto a stable and cost-effective grid infrastructure. According to Herzig, the success of these efforts in large part depends on the size of maturity of individual energy market segments.

“To be frank, a lot of this depends on the utilities’ receptiveness to using this information,” he says.

Forbes Logo
Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Contributer, Forbes
December 19, 2014

Solar energy continues making huge strides in the United States. Recent numbers from the Solar Industry Energy Association indicate that a rooftop unit is being installed somewhere every 3.2 minutes, with over half a million installations in the U.S. to date.

That’s where companies like Locus Energy enter the game. The company has created a platform to monitor the output of distributed photovoltaic assets, with accompanying data analytics capabilities. Locus Energy aggregates and makes sense of enormous amounts of solar performance data. Its customers are solar installers, owners, and operators with systems in residential, commercial, and utility sectors.

President Michael Herzig, who founded the company in 2007, commented, "As we were starting out, we realized this was a generational change in infrastructure. We asked ‘what can we do that looks like selling pickaxes and shovels’? It was creating the infrastructure for something that was growing very fast and that is now part of that fabric of infrastructure. Without good data and the ability to understand it, this industry would have difficulty developing quickly."

Center for Data Innovation
Joshua New, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation
December 08, 2014

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Michael Herzig, founder and CEO of Locus Energy. Herzig discussed how Locus’ innovative use of data analytics for solar photovoltaic systems helps solar PV fleet owners and managers increase performance and decrease costs.

Nasa Logo
Bob Silberg, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
December 04, 2014

You’ve gone solar! Thousands of dollars worth of photovoltaic panels sit atop your roof, harnessing the sun’s energy to power your lights and devices. But has your investment been paying off as richly as it should? A pair of satellites orbiting Earth at about a 10th of the distance to the moon can help you find out.

“You just don’t know how efficiently the system was performing unless you know how much sunlight actually hit that location,” said Adrian De Luca, marketing head for Locus Energy. His company enables solar-panel users to evaluate the performance of their systems.

For those customers, Locus Energy offers reports based on information from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system, a collaboration between NASA and NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to De Luca, Locus Energy’s software can provide reports tailored to any location within the continental U.S. or Hawaii, to a resolution of one square kilometer (less than half a square mile).

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