Sunrun Awarded $1.6M from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to Develop Industry’s First Fully Automated Project Platform
Project’s Principal Investigators include former CIO of Autodesk and the creator of the industry’s first solar design automation system
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sunrun, the nation’s leading home solar company, was awarded a $1.6 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative. The award, announced today as part of the SunShot Initiative’s Incubator program, supports the further development and implementation of the solar industry’s first end-to-end workflow automation system.
Similar to the platform that allows FedEx to deliver millions of packages daily, Sunrun’s platform will dramatically streamline the design, workflow, processing, pricing, and project management of home solar projects. The first stage of the project – the development of an automatic design generation tool called Lightmile – was completed in 2012 and has already generated more than 100,000 designs.
“Sunrun saw an opportunity to create a standardized solar platform and has the technical expertise to do for the solar industry what AutoCAD did for design automation,” said Billy Hinners, VP of Technology at Sunrun. “Historically the solar industry has followed conventional construction practices, but with Lightmile and our end-to-end workflow automation system, we’re able to marry solar with high technology for greater efficiency.” As Autodesk’s Senior Director of AutoCAD Engineering, Mr. Hinners led the design, development, testing and publication teams that created and maintained Autodesk’s flagship AutoCAD line of products. He later served as the company’s CIO for 3 years where he managed the re-engineering of many of Autodesk’s global enterprise business systems. Mr. Hinners created Lightmile with Gary Wayne, former Vice President of Business Development at PowerLight and Senior Director of Strategic Projects at SunPower, and the creator of the solar industry’s first design automation system.
Lightmile, a cloud-based solar project design tool, allows users to create optimized designs interactively and without specialized training. The system generates shade analysis, energy simulations, bills-of-material, system costs, proposals and contracts. Unlike existing tools in the industry, Lightmile automatically generates engineered and optimized designs continuously throughout the development cycle in response to changing conditions.
“We’re honored that the DOE’s SunShot Initiative chose Sunrun as an award recipient through its highly competitive selection process,” said Lynn Jurich, co-founder and co-CEO of Sunrun. “The SunShot Initiative has been a catalyst in creating many of the solar industry’s most successful innovations. We believe our platform will be an industry standard helping accelerate the adoption of home solar by millions of Americans.”
Sunrun created the solar service model in 2007, and it is now the preferred way to go solar in the nation’s top solar markets. The Company owns, insures, monitors, and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof. Families don’t need to buy the panels or worry about maintenance; they simply pay a fixed rate for the clean energy they use, often at a rate lower than what they’re currently paying their local utility.
About the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, DOE supports efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. Learn more at http://www.energy.gov/sunshot.
Sunrun is the nation’s leading home solar company and invented solar power service, a way for homeowners to go solar without high upfront costs. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof, while families pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years. Since Sunrun introduced solar power service in 2007, it has become the preferred way for consumers to go solar in the nation’s top solar markets. More than 40,000 homeowners in 11 states have chosen Sunrun, and the Company partners with over 30 leading local solar companies who together employ more than 3,000 workers. Sunrun has attracted enough capital to support the purchase of more than $2 billion in solar systems and has raised $145 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Foundation Capital, and Madrone Capital Partners. For more information visit: www.sunrun.com.
Victoria Krammen, 415-848-7178
Released October 22, 2013