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DroneBase’s North American Solar Scan brings transparency to U.S. solar market

In this pv magazine Webinar, we will provide more color on how market participants can easily see projects in need of repair, modifications, and repowering equipment opportunities including benefits extended from contractors/developers, utilities, and grid system operators to parties.


In 2023, the US solar market is projected to deploy more than 30 GW of installed capacity thanks to investment from the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act as part of the US Inflation Reduction Act. Combining aerial photos and video footage taken from crewed aircraft equipped with high-quality infrared sensors and RGB cameras, DroneBase has come out with a ratings system that shows the condition of solar projects of 1 MW and larger regardless of age.

In this pv magazine Webinar, we will provide more color on how market participants can easily see projects in need of repair, modifications, and repowering equipment opportunities. Benefits extend from contractors/developers, utilities, and grid system operators to parties such as investors, O&M providers, and PV panel cleaning and service providers, and more. Additionally, we will hear from DroneBase, the webinar partner, about the launch of its North American Solar Scan, its effort to scan, analyze, and rate every solar plant in the US sized at 1MW and larger.

Mark Culpepper, general manager of Solar at DroneBase, will present an overview of the North American Solar Scan , as well as which end users and state markets the system stands to benefit the most. We invited Mark to provide the company’s findings from its first six months of scanning operational solar projects.

Attendees will learn first-hand how users across the US solar market are using data to better understand the condition of solar asset portfolios captured by DroneBase.

pv magazine Webinar content:

  • Overview of data metrics sorted by operating condition, temperature and equipment characteristics, illustrating both projects in need and new deployment opportunities.
  • Common issues affecting the operations of utility-scale solar plants (1MW+)
  • How DroneBase data aggregation streamlines O&M functions and opens new opportunities for growth for repowering, transmission, and grid system upgrades.
  • Best case practices for achieving a triple-A solar asset rating and which states/regions are seeing the highest penetration of top-rated projects.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act’s impact on the pace of solar deployments and asset integrity.
  • Insights and hypotheses from DroneBase as it embarks on its first full year providing North American Solar Scan ratings.
  • Q&A

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Tristan Rayner, editor at pv magazine, and Michael Schoeck, associate editor at pv magazine USA, will be the co-moderators of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.


Mark Culpepper | General Manager of Solar, DroneBase

Mark Culpepper has extensive experience as a senior technology executive working in sectors ranging from general aviation to data communications and wireless technology to network security and distributed energy and has led companies through three technology commoditization cycles - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Solar Energy as a Service (SEaaS), and Drone Service Providers (DSPs). As CTO and GM of Global Services at SunEdison, Mark leveraged IoT technology to lead the development of the world’s first global service operations for distributed solar energy systems.

Jamie Mordarski | Director of Operations and Maintenance (O&M), SMA America

Jamie Mordarski is the Director of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for SMA America, the U.S.-based subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology, headquartered in Germany. In this role, he is responsible for all operations for SMA’s O&M and preventative maintenance contracts in the Americas, totaling more than 4 GW of projects in multiple countries. He is also responsible for the Asset Management as well as SMA’s Operations & Monitoring Center (OMC), a state-of-the art 24/7 NERC Compliant facility that provides advanced, real-time remote monitoring of commercial and utility-scale PV plants. Jamie has been with SMA for over 13 years and is located on the East Coast.


Tristan Rayner | Editor, pv magazine

After studying Electrical Engineering, Tristan Rayner turned his attention to editorial roles. Prior to joining pv magazine in 2020, he was managing editor and founding editor of culture, tech and sport publications in Australia, and later contributed to publications including Android Authority, AFP, ZDNet, and YouTube channel The Friday Checkout, among other roles.

Michael Schoeck | Associate Editor, pv magazine USA

Michael joined pv magazine USA in November 2022. He has been reporting on the U.S. solar, distributed energy, power and utility markets since 2014 and previously reported on M&A, private equity and energy technology start-up companies.

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