Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH), a global energy technology company and the world’s leading supplier of solar microinverters, today announced that ProSolar Systems, a US Virgin Islands-based solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm, has used seventh-generation Enphase microinverters to restore and upgrade the commercial solar system at the historic Bluebeard’s Castle resort in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Bluebeard’s Castle resort solar system was initially commissioned in January 2014 with a rated capacity of 500 kW. Before the resort property and solar system were severely damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the system was composed of 1,887 solar modules and Enphase M250™ microinverters, spanning 18 resort buildings and four ground-mounted arrays. The upgraded solar system features nearly 250 fewer solar modules, with 1,640 Enphase microinverters, but yields an upgraded system rating of 524 kW and projected annual energy savings of more than $350,000.
“One of the most powerful aspects of using Enphase microinverters at Bluebeard’s Castle is that this complicated solar system is on a single, easy-to-use monitoring platform, which is a major help for long-term operations and maintenance work,” said Ashley Edwards, project manager at ProSolar Systems. “We were able to realize significant savings because the original Enphase M250 microinverters, cables, and other balance-of-system components linked right up with the new Enphase IQ 7™ microinverters on a single platform. It was even possible to redeploy Enphase microinverters once attached to modules that had been mangled by the storm in a single, 90-module ground-mounted array. The Enphase Enlighten™ monitoring platform recognized and displayed that array alongside the new IQ 7 microinverters without missing a beat.”
“I worked for the company that originally installed the solar system at Bluebeard’s Castle in late 2013, at which time it was the largest privately-owned commercial solar system in the Caribbean,” said Dan Chrisman, lead solar installer at ProSolar Systems. “Enphase was the right choice for this complex project because it gave us a lot of design flexibility, while also offering ease of installation and simple commissioning. I am proud of how the new system for Bluebeard’s Castle has come together and appreciate the support Enphase has provided on some of the technical challenges inherent to the property.”
The Enphase IQ 7 microinverter leverages Enphase’s 55 nm custom ASIC for higher reliability and better economies of scale. This high-performance microinverter is based on the unique, software-defined architecture from Enphase and features built-in support for Rapid Shutdown. Enphase microinverters are subjected to a rigorous reliability and quality testing regiment with over one million cumulative hours of test cycles in heat, high humidity, salty air, and extreme cold. Enphase IQ 7 microinverters are designed to be long-lived energy assets and do not contain complicated moving parts or easily breakable components, such as fans, and are backed by a 25-year warranty.
“With the Bluebeard’s Castle project, the team at ProSolar has demonstrated it is one of the leaders in exploiting the full capabilities of the Enphase IQ™ system, and I commend them for this accomplishment,” said Dave Ranhoff, chief commercial officer at Enphase Energy. “Before Enphase releases a new product, we subject our microinverters to intense quality testing to ensure they are durable enough to survive extreme climate conditions, and it’s great to see ProSolar and its customers benefiting from this practice.”