Lower costs making solar competitive energy alternative

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

Joe Tomlinson’s start as an environmental entrepreneur came with organic apparel, first T-shirts, then founding the Revel Seven company and into developing a denim-finishing process that didn’t involve caustic salts. But when the economy faded a few years ago, he decided the future was in renewable energy. So Tomlinson joined forces with old Aquidneck Island contacts at rTerra, the Middletown solar developer in the process of building out solar farms in the Ocean State. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



NEWSMAKERS

Lower costs making solar competitive energy alternative

COURTESY RTERRA PV SOLUTIONS
SHINE BRIGHT: Joe Tomlinson, founder of rTerra PV Solutions LLC, says that rTerra has a small, minority stake in PV Solutions, but that is the only direct link.

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 3/10/14

Joe Tomlinson’s start as an environmental entrepreneur came with organic apparel, first T-shirts, then founding the Revel Seven company and into developing a denim-finishing process that didn’t involve caustic salts. But when the economy faded a few years ago, he decided the future was in renewable energy. So Tomlinson joined forces with old Aquidneck Island contacts at rTerra, the Middletown solar developer in the process of building out solar farms in the Ocean State.

Once in the solar industry, Tomlinson developed a flexible plastic racking system for solar arrays that could be mounted on delicate locations, especially capped landfills, and founded rTerra PV Solutions LLC (soon to be renamed PV Solutions LLC) to commercialize it. This winter Tomlinson secured a $300,000 state Renewable Energy Fund loan and is in the process of building manufacturing capacity and finding customers.

PBN: How did PV Solutions come together and how is it related to rTerra?

TOMLINSON: During my time in the solar space, I had been introduced to folks at The Cooley Group in Pawtucket and in particular Jeff Flath, who is now at eNow. They were in the [landfill cap] membrane business and wanted to get into solar landfill projects. … I came up with the design that PV Solutions is based on. It allows us to design [a flexible mounting system for solar panels] for exposed membrane caps and connect without having to physically adhere to the cap. They can move independent of the underlying membrane. In doing that we were able to use higher-efficiency panels. We have a subsystem called T-Flex [which] mounts to the membrane and then panels mount to the T-Flex system. We put it on a pilot system on a Cooley-exposed membrane cap in southern Delaware.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday, October 3rd for applications for the 14th Annual Business Excellence Awards Program. And save the date for the Awards Dinner - November 12th at the Providence Marriott.
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement