Solar Power World’s Most Forward-Thinking Contractor brings tech-first approach to customer service and sales

Gigawatts of photovoltaic solar are coming online in the United States annually, but the technology is still some years from becoming the standard for domestic energy production. To account for growing pains in solar, contractors are taking extra steps to make the process simpler for customers — contractors like South Carolina’s Palmetto Solar, which developed a digital platform that accounts for every step in solar installation, from sales pitch to permission to operate.

Design and sales software are commonly used by solar installers. What differentiates Palmetto’s platform is its proprietary offerings. The company describes itself as “tech-first,” keeping the solar support for customers, sales and enterprise partners and installers completely digital, with efforts outside day-to-day processes to anticipate an expanding solar market.

One of Palmetto’s developments beyond basic sales and design was software that mapped the solar potential for 84% of the buildings in the United States. Using proprietary energy intelligence data and MIT-licensed algorithms, Palmetto developers were able to model buildings and determine their solar friendliness.

Another digital offering from the contractor is GLIDE (Geospatial Local Intelligence Data Engine), which is a database containing applicable information on regions, utilities, jurisdictions, service territories and supply and distribution centers. GLIDE is available to Palmetto’s residential installer network to assist in the sales process. Then, to make navigating GLIDE simpler, Palmetto developed Atlas, which harnesses that data and presents it to users geographically.

These programs on the Palmetto platform are offered to consumers and installation, sales and enterprise partners. Through its sales platform, design software and network of financing resources, the company is aiming for transparency in project cost and construction timelines and wants to drive down costs for consumers trying to go solar.