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Employee Spotlight Series: Arthur Dougherty, Project Manager

The interest and need for energy storage have continued to grow throughout the last few years, increasing demand for battery energy storage systems. At Energy Toolbase, our Operations Team is essential in helping to guide developers through the process of installing an energy storage system, from the pre-commissioning stage, all the way to end-user education. The team has helped developers install energy storage projects across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South and Central America.  

Arthur Dougherty is Energy Toolbase’s Project Manager based in Asheville, North Carolina. He has been with Energy Toolbase for nearly two years and has an impressive career in the solar industry, with over 20 years of experience ranging from teaching to field operations, and more. Arthur shares with us the details of what it looks like to be a Project Manager within our Operation team, some exciting projects coming up in the future, and how we set ourselves apart in the energy storage space. 

Q: What is your role at Energy Toolbase, specifically within the Operations team? 

A: My role is to manage EPCs in their installation of the energy storage system assets that resell. This is a high-touch process that is about guiding installers through the process. I consult on applications to utilities and other AHJs to help them better understand the implications of the options they choose. I review the installation documents prior to the beginning of construction to identify potential issues or items that could cause delays. I connect with the personnel in the field during installation to make their job as smooth as possible, as well as ensure that our process of final commissioning requires no extra truck rolls by them. At the end of the project, I try to have clear timelines so that the end client’s expectations are appropriate, and we can underpromise and over-deliver. I want all parties to be willing to rinse and repeat!  

Q: Tell us about your job responsibilities as Project Manager? 

A: I touch many portions of the process. For the sales team, I help potential installers understand the challenges and make them feel comfortable with taking on a project that most have never attempted before. As a project manager in Operations, I guide EPCs that have committed to a project through the installation process – from the beginning with documentation for AHJs, to the end, with how to complete installation documentation for manufacturers. I also impact the software by working with the engineering team to report bugs and other issues involved in keeping these assets running optimally in the field.  

Q: What are some exciting things you’re working on and working towards at Energy Toolbase? 

A: After 14 months, I finally got Energy Toolbase approved as a Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) data provider!  The process was absolutely byzantine, but I was able to keep moving the process forward, and it ultimately resulted in success! This is really exciting in that the value for the SGIP credit was often much larger than the economic savings our software delivers.  Getting these installers their SGIP rebates was critical to maintaining our reputation in the industry. I am super proud to have been the person to get this done! I look forward to the next step, which our VP of Product Quinn Laudenslager, is working on to automate the submission process. 

Q: What is something that sets Energy Toolbase apart when it comes to deploying energy storage projects with Acumen EMS?  

A: I get much feedback from the handful of EPCs working with other providers. The high points are: 

  • We care about the success of these projects: from the sale to helping installers, to post-installation service, people can tell that we care! 

  • Our vetting of manufacturers that we resell so that other stakeholders feel confident in the projects. 

  • Our postsale commitment to keeping the systems working as optimally as possible. 

  • The transparency of ETB, modeling in developer, and seeing the results in Monitor, seems to help the EPCs sell us to their clients. 

Q: What has been your favorite project to work on in your time at Energy Toolbase 

A: I have really enjoyed going to the sites in the field to see them in operation, see them commissioned or get them back onlineOur VP of Operations Kevin Mulvey and I recently went to a site in Atlanta, which was a used electric car dealership. The site had been experiencing issues and hadn’t had luck with getting the hardware vendor out to address them. We rolled up, and in an afternoon, we were able to troubleshoot all the installation mistakes, correct them, and get it back onlineIt felt like a huge win to get the asset back into service. The owner was so appreciative as he recognized it was outside of our responsibility as the Energy Management System (EMS) provider. If anyone wants a used electric car, drop the Energy Toolbase name and I bet he would give you the friends and family pricing! 

Q: How have you seen the energy storage industry grow in the last few years?  

A: I have been in the solar industry for the majority of my working career. When I started in 1999, I did almost all off-grid systems for residential usersTo see that come full circle, with resiliency projects on the commercial scale, is both exciting and scaryIt is exciting that technology has finally gotten enough investment to mature into a real industry, not just a fringe movement. It is scary that climate change and underinvestment in utility grids have made these systems desired in such a short period of timeWhat we do as a company is so important to the continued health of our society and of our planetWe are honing the tools needed for the future that is almost upon us. 

Q: What is something about the solar and/or energy storage industry that excites you? 

A: When I went Intersolar this last spring, it renewed my hope for the futureIn 1999 I had a booth at my first solar expoIt was a regional one, and I was there with two installers, some goat soap manufacturers, a fuel oil company hawking oil-fired water heaters, and a few back-to-the-lander folks offering massagesThe Long Beach Expo showcase was filled with so many intelligent people putting all their brain power and real money into solutionsThe concept that money can be made finding solutions to the big, seemingly intractable problems facing us today is mainstreamThat was before the IRA passed through Congress. Look out, world, solutions are coming, and ETB is part of that spearhead! 


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