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Solar FlexRack Breaks Through ‘Penny Per Watt’ Cost Barrier for PV Ground Mount Labor Costs

At a time when the solar industry is looking for verifiable and ‘bankable’ savings to lower costs, Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, today announces the results of an independent time study performed by Industrial Timestudy Institute, Inc. The study results reinforce that Solar FlexRack has achieved the highest labor cost savings to date in the industry for ground mount racking systems for utility-scale PV solar installations.

“Installation efficiencies and cost savings are fueling growth in the PV solar market for mounting systems, and we can now confirm that the FlexRack Series G3L breaks the ‘penny per watt’ barrier for installation labor costs,” noted Solar FlexRack CEO Tom Meola. “When we apply Industrial Timestudy Institute, Inc.’s study results to a typical 1MW site installation, with average labor costs, the cost per watt for post, tilt bracket and rack installation with modules actually comes down to less than one cent per watt,” added Meola.

The company reduces on-site labor costs through a high level of preassembly in its factories, moving labor from the “field” into the factory where quality and costs can be controlled more effectively. The G3L, like all Solar FlexRack products, are manufactured following proprietary manufacturing processes that are certified to the latest ISO 9001 standards. The vertical and horizontal rails of the all steel FlexRack Series G3L ground mount system ships to the job site as one completely pre-assembled unit, reducing the amount of loose hardware and components, and can be unfolded and set up in a matter of minutes. The FlexRack Series G3L offers flexible module mounting solutions, which also adds to labor efficiency. Depending upon customer preference, modules can be secured with either a direct bolt attachment, with patented bonding clips or with a combination of both methods on the same rack. The FlexRack Series G3L is compatible with any string size and provides an integrated wire management system.

Industrial Timestudy Institute, Inc., a consulting engineering & training firm founded in 1956 and based in Akron, Ohio, performs independent time studies for a variety of clients ranging from the traditional manufacturing segments, to distribution and warehousing operations, to retail and service companies.

“The Industrial Timestudy Institute, Inc. time study results represent a significant opportunity for our EPC and installer partners,” added Steve Daniel, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Now they can be even more competitive and incorporate these important labor savings into their project cost analysis and not just compete on components alone. These labor savings will become even more critical for the entire industry with the anticipated increase in the cost of solar when the ITC tariffs step down to 10% in 2017. There will be a positive impact for all stakeholders across the board—from increased shareholder value to higher margins for EPCs and installers.”

About Solar FlexRack

As a division of Northern States Metals, Solar FlexRack has a heritage of innovation in the design and manufacture of complex metal parts and sub-assemblies and applies this knowledge in the development of solar mounting products. An established leader in the PV industry, Solar FlexRack offers ground, roof, and tracking systems; along with a number of engineering and field support services. The company has over 750 MW of solar racking installations in place in twenty-seven states across America and four countries globally. To learn more visit

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