It's My Job: Matthew Addis - Sugar Hollow SolarSep 28, 2023 09:33AM ● By Randee Brown
As technological innovations continue to make their way into the green energy movement, Purchasing and Warehouse Manager at Sugar Hollow Solar Matthew Addis sees an incredible potential for new possibilities for moving away from using fossil fuels.
Addis said his daily tasks involve receiving and managing warehouse inventory, preparing job-specific equipment for installation crews, and scheduling long-term modular purchasing.
Solar installation projects are completed in phases. The project manager meets with the client to determine their energy usage, they come up with a proposal and a map of solar arrays. Each project is custom-designed according to the amount of energy needed, then Addis organizes the equipment from the warehouse in order for the installations team to have exactly what they need available.
Sugar Hollow’s calendar is typically booked anywhere from three to eight months out, according to Addis. He said a variety of businesses and organizations like churches, coffee shops, breweries, farms, warehouses, and other commercial accounts are becoming more popular, and he must schedule some product purchases up to 18 months ahead of time.
“We were recently accepted into a purchase cooperative called Amicus Solar,” Addis said. “There are more than 70 members that are solar companies, and through this cooperative, we are able to purchase directly from the manufacturer instead of from vendors. It’s a really awesome opportunity to meet directly with executives at big companies that we’ve been purchasing from indirectly for years.”
Building relationships and facilitating connections is another aspect of Addis’s position. He builds relationships with different product manufacturing companies and will work with them to try out new products. The company’s tech committee looks at new products and technologies as they come out and perform case studies. Sugar Hollow has a strict standard of who they purchase from as well as how long they wait to use brand new technology in the field.
“There are many new major players in battery energy storage,” Addis said. “There used to only be a few options and now there are 15. We will plug them in here at the shop and see how well they work. There are high warranty standards but we haven’t run into anything major yet; the high standards help a lot.”
Engineers at Sugar Hollow and the manufacturing companies have meetings to discuss the details of new batteries like composition, components, and software. While Addis facilitates the meetings, the engineers are the ones who ask all the questions, and he said he loves listening to engineers talk.
“I really like the big picture aspect of the job, imagining all the possibilities for our customers here,” Addis said. “There is always something great coming up that will help solar companies become ubiquitous across the landscape. There are local and global challenges, and exploring new products and new combinations and the solutions the industry comes up with is really fascinating.”
Just like technologies are often evolving, legislation is also ever-changing, according to Addis. He said while relationships with local, state, and federal governments as well as traditional power companies are mostly good, it can be a challenge to constantly adapt and shift to meet shifting tax breaks, power company rules, and mandates.
“We sometimes call it the ‘solar coaster’ because it can be very fluid,” Addis said. “There is lots of the same stuff, but constant change.”
Big-picture thinking is where Addis excels the most. Enjoying long-term planning, he said thinking six to 12 months ahead is pretty typical for him in this position. Even doing the ordinary little things every day is a piece of something larger that’s hopefully changing the world and how people think about energy and its sources and consumption.
Addis said anyone can earn a paycheck at any job, but this one offers an opportunity to set people on a new path. More opportunities for energy creation that rely on means other than fossil fuels helps everyone.
“It’s an industry that leads itself to dreaming,” Addis said. “The green energy industry allows you to imagine a better future. Even on hard days here, the days are still filled with hope. Hopefully I’ll be here for a long time.”
Matthew Addis is the Purchasing and Warehouse Manager at Sugar Hollow Solar. Learn more at SugarHollowSolar.com.