I am going to start this article a little off topic and provide you with this exciting news from Bloomberg Business Week: First Solar Inc. the largest builder of solar power plants in the U.S., agreed to construct a 250-megawatt plant in California for NextEra Energy Inc.
The McCoy project will be built on about 2,300 acres of mostly federal land in Riverside County and is near the Desert Sunlight solar farm, another project being built by Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar. Construction is expected to begin late in 2015 and be completed by late 2016. The plant’s output will be supplied to Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility under a long-term contract said Florida-based NextEra.
And now for the top ten installers in California in 2013. This up-to-the-minute information was taken from Solar Power World which is the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news for all things solar. The contractors were ranked according to influence in the residential, commercial and utility solar-installation markets.
Number One: SolarCity – San Mateo
SolarCity was founded in July 2006 by brothers Peter and Lyndon Rive, based on a suggestion for a solar company concept from their cousin, Elon Musk, who is the chairman and helped start the company. SolarCity has been the leading provider of residential solar power in California since 2007, its first full year of operation, according to the database kept by the California Solar Initiative and was the number one residential solar installer in the U.S. in 2011, according to Greentech Media Research.
Over 68,000 homeowners have signed up with SolarCity who continually monitors their solar power systems to ensure everything’s running smoothly and cover maintenance, repairs and insurance at no added cost in the rare event problems arise. This makes SolarCity a national leader in clean energy services. Their approach is to install systems to the highest engineering standards while making the switch simple for new customers. They have revolutionized the way energy is delivered by giving customers a cleaner, more affordable alternative to their monthly utility bill. Among its primary services, the company designs, finances and installs solar energy systems, performs energy efficiency audits and retrofits and builds charging stations for electric vehicles. The company has more than 2,500 employees.
Number Two: E Light Wind and Solar – San Diego
E Light Wind and Solar, Inc. was founded in October 1998. They have established excellent relationships and are superior in customer satisfaction. They have completed projects for the government, commercial businesses, utility companies and residential. They utilize thorough prefabrication to support Lean Construction practices and pass the savings on to their customers. This award-winning company is licensed nationwide.
Number Three: Swinerton Renewable Energy – San Diego
Swinerton Renewable Energy offers turnkey utility-scale solar power solutions. With a photovoltaic project portfolio totaling over 200 MW and an additional 400 MW under construction, they partner with major utilities across North America to generate reliable clean power for many years to come using a cradle-to-cradle perspective that eliminate wastes, drives down cost, and enhances power production with improved certainty.
Number Four: CSI Electrical Contractors – Santa Fe Springs
CSI Electrical Contractors is a full-service firm founded in 1990 with additional offices in Los Angeles, Palmdale and San Jose. Their growth in solar has been guided by building on the success of a top-notch electrical construction company that blends the analytic rigor of a consultancy with top-notch engineering and project management capabilities coupled with the talents of true craftsmen. Although CSI Electrical Contractors are well recognized for their expertise in electrical construction their service includes renewable energy and technology solutions.
Number Five: REC Solar – San Luis Obispo
REC Solar is an installer of solar electric systems in the United States. The company is focused on providing products and services to support residential, commercial, government and utility scale photovoltaic (PV) installations.
Started in 1997 by Judy Ledford and Fred Sisson in San Luis Obispo County, California, REC Solar has grown to serve California, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado and New Jersey through thirteen local offices. Its photovoltaic array installations are designed and installed by in-house engineers who are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
REC Solar, Inc. specializes in grid-tied solar electric design and installation, offering the latest technology, state of the art equipment, and financing opportunities for all commercial and residential customers.
Included among recent projects, REC Solar installed solar arrays on four campuses of the Poway Unified School District, located in the San Diego, California metro area. School officials believe these systems will supply about 60% of electricity needs and achieve payback in about 15 years under current energy price assumptions. These renewable energy systems are expected to last years beyond that payback date, with on-going energy production at very low cost.
Number Six: Hanwha Q Cells USA – Santa Clara
Hanwha Q CELLS USA designs, builds and manages financially sustainable solar photovoltaic solutions. The company brings a decade of global leadership in solar PV to North America, combining best-of-world technology, processes and partnerships to deliver utility-grade solar PV solutions customized for local energy markets. Hanwha Q CELLS USA offers the full spectrum of PV solutions – from the core technology of cells and modules to power plant development, design, construction, operations and maintenance. With proven capabilities across the solar value chain, Hanwha Q CELLS USA minimizes uncertainty and risk, and helps customers achieve a higher return on their investment in solar energy.
Number Seven: Arraycon – Sacramento
For over a decade, the members of Arraycon have been dedicated to improving the methods used in construction of solar energy plants around the world. With over 120 MW of installation in the USA and Canada, Arraycon has proudly built up unparalleled experience with driven-pile foundations, electrical and mechanical installations, and construction management of large-scale solar farms. Arraycon founder, Rick Lavezzo, is an industry leader that has led the evolution of the solar industry with his experience totaling over 600 MW of installation around the world. Beginning in the late 90’s as the CEO of Team Solar, he later merged with SunEdison and built the first large scale utility plant before leading the expansion of SE into construction in Europe. Today, Arraycon continues to find new and inventive ways to enhance the solar industry.
Number Eight: One Roof Energy – San Diego
OneRoof Energy is a technology-rich solar finance provider that has quickly become one of the nation’s leading sources of affordable solar leasing. OneRoof Energy believes that solar electricity should be affordable to everyone. Through the SolarSelect financing program, homeowners can convert to clean, affordable solar electricity for little or no money down.
The key to their success is undeniably powerful financing and a seasoned executive team of industry experts who bring more than 120 years of collective experience leading successful start-up, entrepreneurial-based companies. The OneRoof Energy team has a proven track record in renewable energy and expertise in project finance and structuring. The company mission is to bring homeowner’s solar the way they like it – with fully warrantied, high-performance equipment and premium solar services all without the high, out-of-pocket costs.
Number Nine: Your Energy Source – Rancho Cordova
Founded in 1989 Your Energy Source has been a leader in solar thermal (pool and water), solar electric, and home performance products and service.
Number Ten: Rosendin Electric – La Palma
In 1919, Moses Rosendin began Rosendin Electric Motor Works. The company serviced the Santa Clara/San Jose agricultural community by wiring homes and shops, rewinding motors for wells and pumps and extending pole line facilities for utility companies. The company expanded its business to Central California through the ’20’s, the Depression and World War II.
The end of World War II brought rapid commercial and industrial growth to the Santa Clara Valley and enormously expanded work for Rosendin. The company grew from eight employees in the late 30’s to ninety employees in the 1950’s. It was at this time, in 1953, that Rosendin Electric was incorporated as an Electrical Contractor in the State of California.
In 2000, the Rosendin Electric employee’s completed their buyout of the Rosendin family to become the largest employee owned electrical contractor. As an ESOP company, Rosendin’s employee owners are motivated to achieve extraordinary results. By providing the highest levels of productivity, exceptional customer service and a quality product, they take pride in knowing their work will represent them for years to come. These skills are what have allowed Rosendin Electric to expand to become a national contractor and leader in the solar industry.
See You Next Time! Dr. Stripling