Sunrun launches quality assurance program with SolarBuyer

Quality is a major issue for solar components and residential solar lease provider Sunrun has recognized the need for quality assurance on an ongoing basis, in a new program announced today. The company will enlist the services of SolarBuyer to provide qualification and ongoing quality monitoring services, for Sunrun suppliers.

The program will apply to both modules and inverters and the companies say that it will exceed international standards.

“We build and service thousands of solar systems a month and are devoted to… installing only high quality equipment from world-class manufacturers who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to quality and consistency," said Paul Winnowski, Sunrun’s CEO. He said that quality will play an increasing role in customer referrals.

SolarBuyer’s program includes assessing design, material and manufacturing quality through factory audits and testing. Interestingly, the SolarBuyer quality program will be carried out on a quarterly and annual basis, meaning consistency in production will also be tested across batches and time.

“The program developed for Sunrun was based on a clear understanding of their needs and tailoring a solution to fit their goals," said Ian Gregory, managing director for SolarBuyer. “We have demonstrated a consistent track record by performing more than 140 factory audits on more than 65 different mainstream suppliers and independently inspecting thousands of solar components a year."

There has been some criticism of certification processes within the global solar industry as they do not carry out ongoing, spot or market testing. While developers of large PV power plants can afford to carry out testing on modules for quality, that is seldom the case for residential or commercial installers. The purchasing power and the advantage of scale that some leasing providers such as Sunrun has is evidenced in this new program.