SolarArt - Business Plan


  • Executive Summary
    SolarArt is a movement in the fields of ecology, graphic design and electricity production years ahead
    of its time. Company founder Aaron Smith aims to do to solar panels what Henry Ford did for cars.
    SolarArt will form as a limited liability company as a design source and manufacturing base in the
    production of designer solar panels. A revolutionary product and business model guarantees a strong
    competitive edge across multiple industries of alternative energy and artistic endeavors. As a
    company local to Michigan, the local talent pool and real estate market will be utilized to full effect
    in its establishment. Using machinery from Spire Corporation, and photovoltaic screen-printing
    developed at the Fraunhofer Institute, SolarArt will produce a product that satisfies the electrical
    needs and aesthetic taste of its customers. Initial product selection will be modular to fit commercial,
    residential and industrial markets. Our goal is to take an industrial application and transform it to
    something that cannot be described as any less than a work of art.

    It is well known that the current energy model of fossil fuel consumption has no future in the world
    of tomorrow. Enormous trends in sustainability will be seen in the coming years, and eventually out
    of necessity. SolarArt is committed to the advancement of sustainable energy as a whole, and will
    adopt a policy of substantial research and development to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic
    power and stay competitive in a changing world. If the ambitions of SolarArt are realized, then soon
    we will see that the worlds electrical infrastructure is forever changed.

    Concept
    Solar panels are a wave of the future. Our sun is an excellent source of clean energy, and its role in
    the generation of our electricity will become all the more vital as technology catches up with the
    concept, leading to a more efficient conversion rate and a far more common device.
    The earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour, then the entire world uses in one year.
    This is a technology that all of mankind will be dependent on in the future. Imagine renewable
    energy being generated from every pliable industrial surface.
    And that's just the problem; the solar panel as it is today is an industrial device. Its integration with
    residential and commercial infrastructure is a very costly endeavor. Worse yet, some communities
    view solar panels as eye sores. Community groups have demanded the removal of expensive home
    solar power systems because they can be viewed from the road.
    Now what if we could take the same photovoltaic device, and turn it into an art form? It could be a
    means to express artistic taste and individuality. Then we would see these "designer solar panels"
    everywhere, not just on roofs and as industrial equipment. They would adorn the sides of buildings,
    the sun roofs of cars, window shades and even outdoor decorations.
    Company Description/Analysis

    SolarArt will be established as a Limited Liability Company to benefit from the hybrid business model
    and flexibility that such enterprises benefit from. Company management will seek human resource
    proponents to diversify the skill sets of its ownership. It will be a necessity to draw heavily from the
    experience of contributors and affiliates with experience in the fields of design, manufacturing,
    ecology, electricity, and business. Owners will benefit from inherent lack of liability, while
    administration will stay streamlined by the freedom of cumbersome corporate formalities. This will
    also keep the door open if the decision is ever made to take the company within the public domain.
    Solar Panels made in the quantity required to be profitable are typically not a garage level operation.
    Full advantage will be taken of the real estate market in the Detroit Michigan area to find an
    industrial space large enough to fit our needs at a relatively inexpensive cost. The facility of a former
    print shop would be ideal to establish production. Machinery that might be available with the
    property has the potential to be re-configured to what would be needed for the production and/or
    assembly of the product.

    SolarArt will value the potential of all of its employees and contributors. All design and production
    will be done in house, or with constant contact through technological means to ensure consistent
    collaboration between company management and its most creative minds. This cooperation between
    members of the company will give the advantage of creating a more unique and diversified product.
    Attempts will be made to maintain this kind of workflow even as the company expands.
    It will become a company policy to re-invest a significant portion of business revenue into research
    and development. The past has shown that an investment in technology yields strong dividends in
    the product. This can be seen from companies such as Toyota with their production of the Prius. With
    an emphasis on research and development, SolarArt will pioneer Photovoltaic technology with a
    much higher energy conversion rate, as well as well as a product with a more dynamic variety of uses
    and customer applications.

    Product and Service
    SolarArt will design and manufacture photovoltaic structures for all kinds of industrial, commercial
    and residential needs. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems International
    Research Organization developed a process of screen printing images onto solar panels by applying
    an organic dye directly onto the photovoltaic cells. The Fraunhofer Institutes website does not
    indicate any form of patent or trademark.
    The product will be initially produced in a manner similar to the one described above, until more
    elaborate sophisticated or sustainable methods can be found through research and development.
    Production may initially need to be limited to the designs, rather than the shapes of the panels
    themselves until a greater variety of production implementations can be developed to suit the
    desires of the consumer.
    The nature of the finished product leaves it self contained between two panes of glass to prevent
    deterioration of the reactive substances inside. If produced correctly, this means an easy integration
    into the windows of buildings and the sun roofs of cars. This would give a beautiful stained glass
    mosaic effect while simultaneously producing electricity to power the building or automobile. This
    could also be a popular or even an iconic fixture to some community centers or electric car brands.
    The actual cost of solar cells and their components is low given the economy of scale in which they
    are produced. The primary expense comes in the assembly phase in the construction of the panels,
    including the wiring required to connect all the individual cells. This cost can grow quite
    cumbersome, especially considering the hundreds or thousands of cells that can be contained in each
    panel depending on its size. However, future research and development as well as enhanced
    production automation and controls will inevitably reduce this cost.
    Although the designs are what will give SolarArt the competitive edge, a selection of modular panels
    will be sold in a variety of sizes where electrical generation is a higher priority. Modular Sizes will
    include:
    ● 2x4 - for smaller tighter spaces such as residential structures
    ● 4x8 - for medium commercial structures such as storefronts
    ● 8x16 - for heavy industrial use such as the rooftops of factories

    In addition to the standard packages, SolarArt will stand ready for the distribution of emergency
    relief packages, able to be shipped and installed easily in areas suffering from natural disaster.
    Following events such as tornados, hurricanes and floods, the company will immediately dispatch
    portable units to where electricity is needed. In effect, they will become portable electric generators
    for powering devices used communication, water purification, etc. where they are needed with hours
    of notice. This will form an important part of our advertizing, public relations and branding strategy.
    Market/Key Customer/Industry Analysis

    The most attractive selling point for this type of product and service will be the unique designs that
    adorn the product. Customers will have the option to have panel designs custom made for their own
    tastes. A huge potential kind of clientele would be companies seeking to literally give their brand an
    alternative look. Companies would have the option of purchasing the product with their own logo
    and brand name in them.

    Currently the large majority of all the energy produced in the world is in the hands of a large
    corporation or government. The Monopoly currently seen has left room open for competition to grow
    by people thinking outside the box. The aesthetic aspects of the product, along with unique
    marketing strategy and promotional implications will consume a large quantity of future market
    share as it grows.

    A great potential market for SolarArt panels are at public fuel stations. With the inevitable
    prevalence of electric cars in the coming years, the demand for inexpensive on site electricity will
    increase as well. Wouldn't it be nice if an emissions free car could be re-charged from an emissions
    free energy source? Just another way SolarArt will help Americans move towards netzero lives.
    Marketing Strategy and Implementation

    Designer Solar Panels are a product targeting organizations and individuals interested in
    environmental preservation, long term investments and with appreciation for artwork. A variety of
    low cost marketing tactics will be employed, including an attempt at getting articles in popular news
    organizations. A Federal Energy Tax Credit will be applied for that identifies the product with an
    energy star label. The category for solar energy systems qualifies customers for a 30% tax credit with
    no upper limit, aiding the marketing cause greatly and opening up all sorts of avenues for free
    advertisement and product exposure.

    To capitalize on the nature of the product, SolarArt will hold a "grand product reveal" to garner as
    much publicity as possible. The company will submit stories about our innovation to local and
    national news networks, print outlets and radio stations such as ABC News, The New York Times,
    Detroit Free Press and National Public Radio. SolarArt will establish a website and begin advertizing
    across a variety of other websites and social networks to draw traffic. Targets of advertisement will
    include websites of construction companies for potential customers to think about having a home
    built with solar panels rather than added on later, and websites like facebook to keep the product
    and brand in context with popular culture.

    SolarArt will also attempt to purchase rights to have panels adorned with the company logo installed
    in proximity to popular public places such as parks, malls and community centers. Once again, the
    nature of the product itself proves to be some of the best advertizing.
    Operations/Design and Development Plans

    SolarArt will first focus on producing a modular graphical product, and then after enough substantial
    growth, expand to architectural applications. Modular panels will allow for a smoother integration
    into a traditional product model. Investment will begin with an adaptation of the Spire Solar
    Automated 100 megawatt per year production line.

    Once the company is better established in the modular market, an architectural branch will be
    opened up for greater opportunities for the products medium. SolarArt will have the capability to not
    only create fine photovoltaic artwork as special projects, but in mass as well. This means we will have
    the capability to put solar fountains in every park, solar sundials outside every community center,
    and solar trees at every street corner.

    A key feature of SolarArt as a whole will be its commitment to the research and development of
    photovoltaic technology to advance the industry, and the world's electrical needs as a whole. A more
    efficient solar panel enhances the monetary benefits of choosing solar as a sustainable source of
    power, and give it a greater impact on the rate of greenhouse gas emissions across the grid. SolarArt
    panels could be everywhere once Photovoltaic's are seen as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

    Financial Plan/Analysis
    Initial startup cost will cover the rent/purchase of a location, advertizing and insurance. SolarArt will
    initially begin with 5 design stations, being 5 Mac Pro's each equipped with Adobe CS5 Design
    Premium. Legal Fees will include the establishment of the LLC as well as copyright and trademarks.
    Solar Manufacturing equipment quoted from Spire Solar includes six modules; Test and Sort, Tab and
    String, Cells Alignment and Transfer, Inspect and Laminate, Complete Module Assembly, Test
    Module Performance. Quoted price will also cover the cost of the Solar Cell Screen Printer.

    Star up Expenses:
    Location: $115'000
    Industrial Machinery: $857'000
    Hardware - Mac Pro X5: $12'495
    Software - Design Premium X5: $9'495
    Legal - Establishment of Copyright/Trade Marks: $4'000
    Website: $500
    Other: $15'000
    Start Up Total: $1'013'490
    Recommended Initial Investment: $3'000'000
    Revenue Model is based on the Corporate Profile of Spire Corporation, which has had company
    revenue ranging from $20.1 million to $69.8 million in the past 5 years.

    Year 1 Projected Balance:
    Revenue $200'000
    Wages: $65'000
    Maintenance: $17'500
    Advertizing: $25'000
    Insurance: $12'000
    Utilities: $9'000
    Tax - MBT and Property: $14'500
    First Year Projected total: -$956'490

    Year 2 Projected Balance:
    Revenue $450'000
    Wages: $75'000
    Maintenance: $20'000
    Advertizing: $35'000
    Insurance: $14'000
    Utilities: $12'000
    Tax - MBT and Property: $16'500
    Second Year Projected total: -$678'990

    Year 3 Projected Balance:
    Revenue $775'000
    Wages: $95'000
    Maintenance: $25'000
    Advertizing: $50'000
    Insurance: $16'000
    Utilities: $14'000
    Tax - MBT and Property: $18'500
    Third Year Projected total: -$122'490

    Year 4 Projected Balance:
    Revenue $1'025'000
    Expansion: $225'000
    Wages: $115'000
    Maintenance: $32'000
    Advertizing: $75'000
    Insurance: $19'000
    Utilities: $17'000
    Tax - MBT and Property: $22'500
    Fourth Year Projected total: $519'500

    Year 5 Projected Balance:
    Revenue $1'725'000
    Expansion: $325'000
    Research and Development: $150'000
    Wages: $162'000
    Maintenance: $46'000
    Advertizing: $95'000
    Insurance: $29'000
    Utilities: $19'000
    Tax - MBT and Property: $21'500
    Fifth Year Projected total: $877'500

    Future Projection
    The Date is February 8th 2019, SolarArt LLC. is a company that designs, manufactures and sells
    custom solar panels, photovoltaic surfaces, and other environmentally friendly infrastructure.
    Founded in 2014 to humanize the industry of photovoltaic power, our goal is to continue producing a
    means of clean, renewable energy through a medium that cannot be described as any less than a
    work of art. SolArt has developed a method of "Photovoltaic Screen Printing" (PVSC) that actually
    allows the panels to absorb light on a greater range of the light spectrum. The result is a hybrid
    product that serves to beautify the area of its placement as well as generate a greater output of
    power. SolarArt panels are rapidly becoming commonplace for commercial as well as residential
    implications.

    SolarArt now has its world headquarters in the renovated old Michigan Central Station Building.
    Having such a large central location allows all the facets of our company to better work in tandem to
    provide a superior work environment and produce a better quality product. This is a company that
    values the contributions of all of its staff and designers.
    Through the vigilance and determination of many talented people, the world is keeping up with the
    growing energy demands, artwork and design have been integrated into people's lives, and the
    infrastructure of the world is forever changed.
    Sources

    ● Energy Matters.com
    http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-energy/solar-wind-trivia.php
    ● U.S. Energy Information Administration:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/solarphotv/solarpv.html
    ● Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems International Research Organization
    http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/
    ● Design Flute.com
    http://www.design-flute.com/2008/02/02/designer-solar-panels/
    ● Thermoelectrics: Direct Solar Thermal Energy conversion
    Terry M. Tritt (Clemson University, USA), Harald Böttner (Fraunhofer Institut für Physikalische
    Mebtechnik, Germany), and Lidong Chen (China Academy of Sciences, China)
    ● solarpowerengineering.com
    http://solarpowerengineering.com/category/solar-power-design/photovoltaic/
    ● How to make Solar Panels
    http://www.make-solar-panels.org/
    ● High efficiency concentrator solar cells and moduls
    http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010/05/concentrator-solar-cells.jsp
    ● Probing Solar Panel Design Systems - Alexander C. De Feo
    ● Michigan Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency
    http://www.wholesalesolar.com/states/Michigansolarpanels.html
    ● Spire Solar Manufacturing Equipment Michigan Taxes
    http://www.spirecorp.com/spire-solar/solar-manufacturing-equipment/index.php
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUO3MDH_4Qo&feature=player_embedded
    http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=76421&p=irol-irhome
    ● Michigan Taxes Website
    http://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,1607,7-238-46621---,00.html