The biggest challenge to the solar industry is the cost of land and cost of transmission to the end user. This combined with the spike in additional demand due to the rapid increase in electrical vehicles will put a tremendous burden on solar solutions.
COVID-19 & looking ahead to 2021 and beyond, Insights from Baja Carports
Q&A with Bob Hayworth, CEO | Baja Carports
Tell us about yourself and your company.
I started building carports for my dad at age 17. I built carports for drive ins, car dealerships and apartment complex every summer until I graduated from college. At age 22 I started my first carport company. In 1981 I started Baja Construction building carports for multi-family projects. Graduating into ministorage buildings and RV canopies. In 2008 after the economy collapsed, I was asked if I was willing to pull solar on carports. I asked if they had money. They said yes, and I have been into solar ever since.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your company does business?
COVID has made our business a little bit more difficult. Since COVID our crews now use mask, shields, gloves and have hand sanitizer in all their trucks. It has definitely increased our per diem expense. It has quadrupled our hotel expenditure. Our office follows strict COVID guidelines. Fortunately, our offices are old, remodeled homes that we can leave the front door and back doors open on each floor for better air flow.
Have your growth and investment plans changed in the wake of COVID-19?
COVID has helped our business substantially. We are looking forward to our best year in 2021. We build a large number of RV Storage canopies nationwide, approximately 6,000,000 sq. ft. With the current RV & Boat Storage sales we are predicting a 100% surge in this time of projects.
During this pandemic share with us some of the new products and services your company has introduced and how you were able to continue to innovate under the circumstances.
Our newest product is our solar RV & Boat Storage canopy with sudden surge in RV sales and the greater requirement for RV & Boat Storage facilities, the opportunity for solar installations in megawatts have greatly improved. These projects vary in size from 40kW to offset facility usage to 3.5 megawatts PPA’s to local utilities. A perfect example of this kind of application is Oakley Executive RV & Boat Storage.
What are the biggest challenges facing the solar industry today?
The biggest challenge to the solar industry is the cost of land and cost of transmission to the end user. This combined with the spike in additional demand due to the rapid increase in electrical vehicles will put a tremendous burden on solar solutions. The perfect answer, solar carports. For existing parking lots, the land is free, the end user is on the property, so the transmission is minimal and easy to install EV chargers on. Problem solved.
What has you optimistic about Renewable Energy in 2021 and beyond?
This is going to be a great year for solar. The majority of populace, the government, the grid and mother earth all need solar. Electrical vehicles are the wave of the future. There is not enough electricity to charge them or places to charge them. They need that “free” solar power to offset that tremendous surge of power that will be needed to offset that increased consumption. Solar carports are the way to go.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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