RKB Energy, a greenfield, utility-scale solar development company, has been making significant strides in the renewable energy sector with a focus on the West and Southwestern regions of the U.S. Over the past five years, RKB Energy has successfully undertaken projects ranging from 10 megawatts to over 200 megawatts, solidifying their position in the renewable energy landscape.
Amidst their impressive growth, RKB Energy encountered unique supply chain challenges, particularly in managing solar panel manufacturing and transportation lead times, which could span over 12 months. Additionally, securing permits and approvals at the local level introduced unpredictability into their project timelines.
In their latest project in Parachute, Colorado, delays in the permitting process led to a construction start date postponement, leaving RKB Energy with a substantial inventory of solar panels with nowhere to go after arriving at the Port of Los Angeles / Long Beach.
To address these supply chain challenges, RKB Energy sought a strategic logistics partner with expertise in handling oversized, high-value products. They turned to Warehouse Specialists (WSI), one of the largest private 3PLs in the United States, with an extensive network of warehousing facilities.
WSI recommended a solution to store the solar panel inventory at one of their facilities near the port to ensure secure and cost-effective storage until construction could commence. Managing the drayage of the products and handling the relationship with port operators, WSI effectively minimized costs for RKB Energy, and established a plan for truck-load transportation to the construction site at the appropriate time.
Maria Madrigal, Director of Operations at WSI, emphasized the meticulous care taken during the unloading and storage of the solar panels. The entire inventory underwent a thorough inspection to maintain the highest safety and quality standards.
RKB Energy expressed their satisfaction with WSI’s partnership and collaborative approach. WSI’s expertise and support enabled RKB Energy to navigate the supply chain challenges seamlessly. Peter Schleider, Co-Founder of RKB Energy, praised WSI’s role in managing the entire project timeline, allowing RKB Energy to focus on their core expertise in developing state-of-the-art solar power projects.
“They stayed on top of the timeline and helped us manage the whole project. I am not a supply chain guy, but WSI made it easy.” – Peter Schleider, Co-Founder, RKB Energy
This strategic partnership between WSI and RKB Energy exemplifies the power of collaboration in supply chain management. With the solar panels securely stored and significant cost savings realized, RKB Energy continues to focus on what they do best: managing the development of state-of-the-art solar power projects.