Top 10 U.S. Commercial Solar Contractors
This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Energy Digital. To see the most recent issue, click here. To see the upcoming issue once it's live, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Solar Power World recently released its ranking of the top 400 solar contractors currently operating in the U.S. For this month’s Top 10, we look at the top 10 commercial contractors and what they do that sets them apart.
Nexamp is one of New England’s leading commercial solar installers with 42 MW of installed solar spanning some 200 projects. The company, founded in 2007, is fairly new, but is growing rapidly—18 of its 43 MW were installed in 2013. Some of its notable projects include the 4.5 MW Westford Solar Park in Westford, MA, and the 819 kW solar farm at the Barnstable Wastewater Treatment Plant in Barnstable, MA. The company works with property owners to develop renewable energy projects on their lands or buildings and offers full development services, including feasibility studies and design.
9. Wilson Electric
Wilson Electric is the oldest company in the top 10, having been founded in 1968, though its solar division is a more recent addition. Working mainly in the Southwest (specifically in Arizona and New Mexico), Wilson has installed a total of 61.519 MW, nearly a third of which was in 2013. The company offers full solar service and prides itself on its innovative and integrative installations, which are more aesthetically pleasing.
8. Cantsink Manufacturing
Construction firm Cantsink Manufacturing and installing helical piles for over 25 years. These piles are literally the foundation for solar projects. These piles are a preferred method of mounting in the solar world, as they’re cost efficient, easy to install, and recyclable. Cantsink is well-liked in the industry for being able to customize solutions for clients, as well as their commitment to sustainability and quick turnaround time. The life expectancy of their piles when properly installed is in the area of 100 years.
7. Resolute Performance Contracting
Resolute Performance Contracting is a relatively new company, founded only 2011. Its primary business is in structural steel and concrete. However, its work in the solar market is fairly extensive, ranging from ground mounted solar projects, to solar covered parking. The company has installed a total of 30.5 MW, with 20.4 of those in 2013. The company plans on expanding its solar operations in the near future.
6. Radiance Solar
Radiance Solar has been around since 2007 and operates in the residential, commercial, and institutional, and utility markets. They’re a small company, with less than 30 employees, though their installation efforts have been anything but. Its more than 140 completed projects run the gamut from the 20 MW Camilla Solar Park, to smaller, 1 MW parks. Radiance has expertise is all facets of the industry and aren’t afraid to tackle more challenging, complex projects.
5. Main Street Power Company
Main Street Power (MSP) owns and operates more than 50 MW of solar developments. Though the company was founded in 2009, more than half of its MW total was installed in 2013. The company is focused on making solar affordable and considers itself to have expert financial expertise at its disposal. The company was founded as a spin-off of the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology and is committed to furthering its mission.
4. Cenergy Power
Carlsbad’s Cenergy Power was founded in 2008 and has installed 68 MW of solar to date, nearly half of which was in 2013. The company works in the commercial market, but also in agricultural and utility markets as well. Cenergy believes that not only is an investment in their solar services a good value, but the start of a beneficial relationship. They’re looking to drive down the cost of solar and promote clean power.
3. Borrego Solar Systems
San Diego, California
Borrego Solar has been around for a while. Founded in 1980, the company has more than 30 years and 1,000 projects under its belt. It handles all aspects of solar installation, from the initial research to ongoing maintenance once the project is complete. The company has installed more than 100 MW of solar and is still rapidly growing. 2013 was a great year for the company, as it installed 37 MW. They believe installing solar should be simple and work to ensure they are easy to work with, using only one point-of-contact for a project. It’s a proven, effective strategy that will see the company into the future.
2. M Bar C Construction
San Marcos, California
M Bar C Construction was initially born from M Bar C Carports, which was founded in 1975. The construction wing was formed in 2005 and focuses on the design and construction of solar carports, ground mounts, and shade structures. 90 percent of its work was designed and built by M Bar C and its custom solutions for solar parking are widely sought after. The company also favors large-scale installations and has installed a total of 158 MW. It has worked on an impressive number of schools and government buildings and is continuing to expand.
1. Gehrlicher Solar America Corp.
Springfield, New Jersey
Gerlicher Solar has taken off in terms of solar installations. In 2013, the company installed 80 MW of solar, bringing it to a total of 115 since its inception in 2010. Gehrlicher is an M+W company and provides a full range of solar services. The company works mainly on the east coast, though it has expanded into the west and South America. The company has completed work for a number of clients, including a large rooftop installation for Ikea.
Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management.
As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient.
In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared.
“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner.
Establish a preparedness framework
Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.
Monitor the situation
It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.
Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out.
Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.
Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols
It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.
Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.
In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences.
Establish a communication programme
People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.
Review the impact on the operation
Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.
Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?
IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.
In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications.
Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response
Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.
Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.