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June 2, 2016

The Importance of DART Analysis in Solar Vendor Selection

By Edison Energy

As we continue to meet with commercial and industrial companies around the country, we are increasingly seeing a new participant on the customer’s team engaging in those discussions — a representative from the risk mitigation department. Solar is becoming a growing part of a company’s energy strategy, and risk mitigation teams are reading about potential issues and rightfully inserting themselves into the due diligence phase of projects. While this awareness has increased, what we have not yet seen is a scoring system in RFPs that accounts for the importance of risk mitigation. In this blog, we focus on DART incidents.

DART stands for Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers and is a measurement of the relative safety of a project site. DART measures the number of injuries and/or illnesses that occur at a project site that are severe enough for workers to miss work days. Developing a culture of safety is something that OSHA and companies involved in manufacturing and construction take very seriously and DART rates are a measure of how well companies are doing to achieve their safety goals.

Renewable energy projects such as rooftop portfolios or ground-mounted solar installation involves multiple contractors and dozens of workers at the project site. Ensuring the site is safe not only benefits the workers themselves, but also contributes to achieving the cost targets of the project. SoCore Energy, an Edison Energy company and a large national solar installer, knows how important achieving low DART rates are to the overall cost of a large solar installation.

SoCore performs detailed due diligence, via a third party, of every subcontractor that works on any of its projects. This helps to not only keep their workers safe at the work site, but also ensures that the project is delivered on time and on budget. This process has actually resulted in increased safety records for each of SoCore’s electrical subcontractors, and on several recent projects SoCore contractors achieved zero DART incident rates. Rob Federighi, SoCore’s SVP of Sales explains, “Safety is an integral part of the Edison Energy culture. It acts as an insurance policy for our customers, helping to ensure that their projects are executed without incident.”

Invite your Risk Mitigation department into the procurement process. Price is an essential element to selecting partners. Consider how you might integrate a scoring system in your RFP that places a value on the historical track record of your partner as it relates to safety. While saving money and “going green” are key motivators to the decision to engage in solar, we all agree that getting our men and women home safely at the end of each work day is just as essential.

For more details on SoCore’s efforts around the goal of eliminating DART incidents through proactive safety protocol, contact Russ Young today.