#BetterCallPaul: Your Engineering Questions Answered (No. 4, May)

Better Call Paul

How does RPCS convert Safe Harbor into projects?

RPCS’s “Safe Harbor” system is a great new feature we offer that allows our customers to purchase the universal parts of the Array tracker and reserve them for a later project start date.

One of RPCS’s three stocking locations in the US, the Bakersfield, California, yard holds Safe Harbored materials for customers’ projects for construction in 2020 and subsequent years.

A customer may often find that they have some of their project details (like shape/location of their parcel, string size, and wind/snow load rating) well established before other details like their module brand/model or row spacing have been ironed out. In situations like this, the RPCS sales directors can help a customer identify what parts of the tracker can still be purchased in lieu of the missing details and come to an agreement about approximately how many they might want to put into a Safe Harbor purchase. This method can positively influence a project’s timeline flexibility and tax advantage.

The more project details that have been set in stone, the more material the customer can then pre-order with confidence. RPCS project analysts and sales directors can also help guide the customer towards advantageous purchase options with respect to their universality. After the project has gone through a few careful passes to assess what details will not change, the customer can then get set up with a special Safe Harbor contract, putting in writing what material has been ordered and the project details that were presumed at the time. After this has been done, RPCS orders the material and sets it aside in one of our three warehouse facilities located throughout the country, giving the customer ample time to consider their remaining project options.

When the time comes to begin construction on the fully fleshed-out project, RPCS will then pull the Safe Harbored material, adding any remaining materials needed, and prepare a shipment. Occasionally, project details may have changed since the time that the Safe Harbor took place. In situations like this, RPCS’s project analysts/designers can work to rectify the situation by reworking the purchased parts to be used in whatever way allows for the least unused material. Because some customers may choose to purchase more project-specific parts, the amount of material that can be retrofitted does vary according to the severity of the changes to the project details. This is why our team works especially hard with the customer to make sure that they won’t have any unforeseen problems down the road with the material that they have Safe Harbored.


Learn more about RPCS’s Safe Harbor strategy: https://www.rpcs.com/rpcs-safe-harbor-itc-stepdown/

Looking to take advantage of the current ITC rate and Safe Harbor your projects for 2020 or beyond? Get in touch with our experts!


Meet Paul Towber
RPCS Manager of Project Design

In RPCS’s #BetterCallPaul segment, Paul answers your frequently asked engineering-related questions while offering unique insights into RPCS’s project design challenges, solutions, and expertise.


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