With the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act and its new offerings in tax incentives for solar projects, contractor collaboration and value engineering have become critical components for creating or selling viable solar projects. M Bar C Construction specializes in solar carport installation across a range of applications and building types. Today, we’re joined by M Bar C’s VP of business development, Erik Krivokopich [Krih-vo-cah-pitch], and eastern division manager, Bobby Bonfanti, to discuss what the company offers as a partner to solar project developers and EPC contractors.
A written portion of this podcast is below but be sure to listen to the full episode on your favorite podcast service.
With the recent 1-year anniversary of the IRA incentives, how has that changed or shaped the carport industry for M Bar C and its clients?
Eric Krivokopich: The IRA was really a blessing and a curse all at the same time. It’s incredible that the government wants to subsidize solar, and it’s exciting for our industry, obviously. But it did put a put a stop to a lot of our projects that were currently in process and design. It froze everything so that we had to figure out how to qualify for these incentives with our clients. So, six, eight months of dead times, we figured out what did the government just do? It’s a great thing, but how do we figure out how to qualify for these incentives to make our clients projects pencil a lot better?
Bobby Bonfanti: With things like prevailing wage documents, I mean, just recently, what a day ago we get another grasp of changes to the requirements or more information. So, this is kind of an ever evolving and changing situations. We dig deep into the weeds of what does this mean for our business, what does this mean for our clients?
With an influx of new solar companies in different regions are you seeing challenges with early client engagement?
EK: What’s so cool is how huge the solar industry has become. I mean, in the last 10 years, it’s grown 25% and really, it’s going to quadruple in the next 10. There’s a huge opportunity for groups like ours to be an answer for our clients. But at the same time, there’s a lot of new people that go into the industry because there’s a lot of opportunity, and it creates its own set of challenges.
What does value engineering mean to M Bar C, and why should this be important to clients?
BB: Value engineering, it’s a team approach for us. It begins in the development phase of a project. We try and prioritize transparency in our bidding approach and our bidding assumptions. But then as it moves into the design phase, we really are trying to integrate materials, strategic methods of construction without sacrificing quality and safety. That’s really important for us. It’s some of our core values. So we collaborate with all team members, internal and external, and just make sure that we have the best construction approach on a project and the benefit is by helping reduce costs and streamline coordination and scheduling.
EK: It really comes down to how each person in that team take ownership of different challenges. From procurement to pre-construction, which a lot of these jobs win or die based on the pre-construction process and how well it was planned out. It’s really helped us through some challenging projects and the client can see some of the hurdles that we face as a subcontractor, but also, we can highlight some of the experience that we had for projects in the past.
This podcast is sponsored by M Bar C