Pivot Energy is a solar project developer focusing on community solar and medium-to-large commercial and industrial projects. While they contract out the construction work, they are a full-service development firm involved in every stage of PV system installation.
Pivot Energy is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with additional offices in St. Louis, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois. “We find a customer and a site, and then we work with communities, local city councils, school districts, and utilities, doing what it takes to get everybody in a community to support a solar project,” said Paul Grignon, Director of EPC Services. Pivot Energy is involved in all project stages, from customer acquisition and site feasibility studies all the way to project installation, interconnection, and ongoing system operations and maintenance.
Pivot Energy’s full-time workforce is a mix of policy advocates, project managers, engineers, project developers, sales consultants, financial analysts, and general office workers such as accountants and HR specialists. The construction phase is handled by Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractors, which include material handlers, electricians, commissioning and testing specialists, and operations and maintenance specialists. On average about half the workforce is in-state but that varies widely from project to project. Pivot Energy values hiring local EPC contractors for their construction work, but often find it difficult to hire local contractors in remote locations with significant solar experience. In locations where it has ongoing projects, such as the Denver and Chicago area, Pivot Energy has built partnerships with local contractors to hire them for multiple projects.
The biggest challenge Pivot Energy faces is navigating the widely varied local regulations for solar development. “Working in so many counties and cities, we encounter many different policies and permits. Having a streamlined process of permitting and zoning would be much easier,” said Chad Schubert, Director of Internal Operations. The disparate regulations and requirements across jurisdictions make estimating project budgets more challenging. For example, the same project could have very different costs in two neighboring counties as a result of differing regulations and interconnection issues.
Pivot Energy expects to hire more engineers, project managers, policy advocates, and developers in the near future. Additionally, the company foresees the need for solar+storage professionals as the technology improves and customers begin seeking storage options. Moreover, the company expects its operations and maintenance services to grow exponentially as it becomes increasingly necessary to ensure solar system performance.