HelioVolta wins American-Made Solar Prize for software innovation


SolarGrade, developed by HelioVolta, is a cloud-based platform that standardizes and automates solar and storage fieldwork with and desktop applications.

The software is akin to having an expert at the project site, the company says, because it helps streamline on-site operations and supports workforce development. With installed solar capacity in the U.S. projected to grow nearly threefold by 2027 under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, SolarGrade is designed help address workforce challenges with its pre-built and customizable workflows that standardize on-site processes and procedures so that field teams can quickly identify problems. The pre-written issue descriptions improve documentation in the field and automate reporting.  Geo-referenced issue-tracking helps reduce future service calls, thus saving time spent on the site.

“SolarGrade was selected as a winner for the fifth round of the American-Made Solar Prize because it meets an increasingly urgent need for solar-specific O&M and fieldwork tools,” commented Debbie Brodt-Giles, lead prize administrator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Solar Prize is designed to energize U.S. solar innovation through a series of contests that reduces the time involved in the entrepreneurial process from years to months.

“We built SolarGrade to empower solar professionals like ourselves, who have high standards for quality, safety and performance but are under immense pressure to reduce costs and save time in a fiercely competitive market,” commented David Penalva, co-founder of HelioVolta.

HelioVolta will use the prize money to expand its team and accelerate software development efforts. The company hopes to quadruple the existing SolarGrade user base by 2024 by expanding its value proposition and implementing new features that support fieldwork across the full solar project lifecycle.

“In just a few months, we have already experienced benefits from implementing SolarGrade in our project development, construction and operational asset activities,” commented Armando Solis, senior director of engineering in the Americas for Lightsource bp. “We plan to continue utilizing the platform as it evolves and improves over time.”

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