In recent years alternative sources of energy have come into their own. Solar-powered technology has steadily become less costly, according to a study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). An entire industry dedicated to design, installation, and management of solar technology has rapidly developed around this decrease in cost. Hundreds of new contractors specializing in solar contracting have appeared in the past two decades as a response to the growing demand of both residents and institutions for this technology.
The demand is being driven by a variety of factors, including increases in utility costs, tax incentives, a desire to reach independence from the mainstream energy infrastructure, and, in many cases, an increase in social consciousness. Solar power might be cheaper, but—as society becomes increasingly aware of the realities of global warming—it also makes people feel good about themselves.
You’re about to read about 25 of the best commercial solar contractors in the country. Firms on this list were gathered and ranked based on relevant awards, work history, and the overall ability of the firms to respond to the intricate needs of installing commercial solar arrays. If your company is looking to reduce its long-term utility liability and boost its profile as a socially-conscious company at the same time, you’ll find an energetic solution to the challenge here.
25) CB Solar
5425 Lower Beaver Rd., Des Moines, IA 50310
Iowa’s CB Solar is a turnkey solar contractor that provides residences, agricultural facilities, and commercial spaces the latest solar technology. The company is operated by a group of Iowa State University Industrial Engineering alumni. In six short years, Tyler Bacon and company steered the company to the success it holds today. CB has been ranked one of Top 500 Solar Contractors in the US by Solar Power World for four consecutive years, despite the fact that the company got its start in 2013.
CB takes extensive care with their solar projects. Although solar panels are estimated by the company to have a lifespan of 30-40 years, CB assures a 25-year power production warranty and a 10-year manufacturer parts warranty. One of the company’s largest projects is the Kinzler Construction Services’ Ankeny warehouse that has 201.6 kW solar system running through 622 solar panels. This system powers the entire warehouse.
24) Solar Impact
4509 NW 23rd Ave. Suite #20 Gainesville, FL 32614
Solar Impact is one of North Central Florida’s most experienced solar contractors, with over 600 homes assisted and $5 million worth of local manpower. Barry Jacobson leads the company with a doctorate in Biological and Agricultural Engineering and more than 15 years of experience in solar contracting. Solar Impact is now 100% employee-owned as a show of commitment to their employees and to a long term presence in their community.
Solar Impact has a solid track record in the commercial solar industry. The firm knows the intricacies of rooftop installations and it’s not a stranger to the large-scale demands of businesses, schools, and government institutions. Typical projects by Solar Impact range from $34,650 to $133,980, with an expected return of investment rate of 20.7% to 21.4%.
23) Standard Solar
21355 Piccard Dr. Suite #300, Rockville, MD 20850
Standard Solar is a full-service solar contractor that offers a wide range of services from design to completion. The company offers financial assistance to solar projects, construction services, and asset management. The company has been included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America list for four consecutive years. That feat is credited to Scott Wiater, president and CEO of the company. Wiater has a degree in Business Administration and Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Standard has worked on unique and massive scale projects in its 15-year history. Take the project featured as an example, where the company installed the solar utilities for DANAC headquarters. The project consists of solar panels in the parking garage canopy, carport, and rooftop. These installations have generated 868 Megawatt hours of energy in the first year, enough to replace an estimated 650,938 pounds of coal.
22) Advanced Green Technologies
100 NW 21st Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
Advanced Green Technologies is a commercial solar contractor that operates in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. The firm specializes in solar installations, solar farms, and solar carports. The firm has maintained a place on Sun Power World’s Top Solar Contractor list from 2012 to 2018 and earned Solar Builder Magazine’s Project of the Year Honorable Mention in 2014. In addition, Advanced Green Technologies is also a Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) professional by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).
The company credits its success to the advanced technology that the firm uses. The firm employs project management software and proprietary solar asset management to guide various teams on a variety of projects. These methods have allowed the firm to succeed in the high-wind zones of Florida and the Caribbean.
21) Solar Alternatives
2803 Saint Philip St., New Orleans, LA 70119
When founder Jeff Cantin used his Electrical Engineering degree and expertise in Semiconductors and Astronomy as the foundation for a business venture, a renewable energy firm was born. The company serves across the Gulf South, providing residential and commercial-grade solar projects.
Solar Alternatives offers a wide set of services to its clients and works hard to make sure they are satisfied with the standard-certified work the firm produces. Feasibility studies and consultation services are provided prior to operations. Then a meticulous, step-by-step procedure is carried out by a team composed of energy consultants, solar and electrical technicians, and electricians. In the featured project, the company completed a solar project mounted on the roof of the Sears building. These striking panels—molded in curved and cylindrical forms—conform to and accent the non-linear building shape.
20) NC Solar Now
2517 Atlantic Ave., Raleigh, NC 27604
North Carolina’s NC Solar Now is a solar technology provider with 17 years of operational experience. The company offers solar panel installations, solar storage, and project financing. NC Solar received stellar feedback from more than a hundred clients and was featured on the local television channel WNCN. On a national scale, the company charted in the Top 500 Solar Contractors by Solar Power World.
In the company’s relatively brief ten years of history, the work has mostly been residential. Recently they’ve turned to bigger scale commercial projects, and have done so with no little amount of success. NC Solar understands that businesses treat solar technology as an investment and approaches every project as such.
19) Independent Power Systems
2430 N 7th Ave. Suite #6 Bozeman, MT 59715
Tony Boniface’s Independent Power Systems is an extension of Boniface’s expertise in the solar business. Boniface is an Electrical Engineer from the University of Massachusetts, a former engineer with IBM, and a system design engineer for SunWize Energy Systems. He attended Solar Energy International for formal training on solar technologies in 1992.
Independent Power Systems serves Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana and various locations overseas. The firm has assembled multiple solar farms abroad, most notably a solar power grid in Diego Garcia, an atoll in the Indian Ocean. The grid is used by Camp Justice, a United States-United Kingdom joint military facility. This project is noteworthy not just because of the secluded location of the project but also because of the complexity of the tropical conditions of the South Pacific.
18) SolarCraft Clean Energy Solutions
285-d Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA 94949
SolarCraft Clean Energy Solutions has been serving Northern California for over 35 years. With more than 7,000 clients served and over $7.8 Million estimated to have been saved in utility costs annually, the company has established itself as an institution in solar technology in the golden state. SolarCraft has overwhelmingly positive feedback from previous customers. Most of the feedback directed towards the company’s strong communication from each project’s start to finish. The firm also received the Green Business Gold Medal by the North Bay Biz Magazine.
The company offers a wide range of solar contracting services from the design process to financing, storage, and maintenance and has helped power various solar projects in different businesses including vineyards, dental clinics, museums, market places, and country clubs. This wide-ranging portfolio illustrates SolarCraft’s reach throughout California and its proficiency in handling a range of projects.
17) Pfister Energy
57 Goffle Rd., Hawthorne, NJ 07506
With over 30 years of commercial, industrial, and utility experience, NJ based Pfister Energy performs work in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The company is ranked first by Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors list in 2018 and has been part of Inc. Magazine’s List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for eight consecutive years. The company is led by Wayne Pfisterer who has worked both in the commercial roofing and solar industries for many years. Pfister Energy has completed projects for clients such as Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, and T. Rowe Price.
Pfister Energy is a commercial solar turnkey design-build renewable energy solutions company providing innovative power solutions with an emphasis on energy efficiency and energy management. Providing holistic ‘stackable energy technologies’ utilizing solar, LED lighting, wind, daylighting and other energy efficiency systems combined with storage. At Pfizer’s corporate headquarters, the company used a thin-film solar system; the technology is a next-generation solar panel that uses thin sheets of solar cells encapsulated in glass, metal, or plastic shells. This technology was hailed by Time Magazine as one of The Best Inventions of the year.
16) TerraSol Energies
64 Watkin Ave., Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Family-owned and operated Terrasol Energies has been serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland since 2009. The company has been recognized by SunPower, a solar technology manufacturer, as the Commercial Regional Dealer of the Year in 2016.
Teaming up with SunPower has enabled TerraSol to deliver the highest efficiency and most reliable solar installations possible. The company is led by David Santoleri, a veteran of solar technology for over 25 years. Santoleri holds multiple patents in solar technology design, making him an expert in both design and contracting fields. Robert Santoleri, son of the founder, focuses on helping schools and universities, automobile dealers and small and medium size businesses understand the benefits of renewable energy from a financial and environmental perspective.
TerrraSol’s service is defined by the sole use of SunPower products, a service warranty that extends up to 25 years, and a cohesive family-led team effort. In its commercial projects, TerraSol has completed projects in various institutions such as universities, auto dealers, enterprises, and non-profit organizations.
15) Solect Energy
89 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton, MA 01748
Ken Driscoll’s Solect Energy is a powerhouse in solar technology. The company develops, constructs, and installs the most up-to-date solar systems in the New England area. Solect was named one of Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors in 2016 and 2018 and has been ranked one of the highest Massachusetts-based firms.
The company considers specialization with commercial projects its competitive edge. Solect has completed major projects with complex challenges and uncommon technical demands. A primary example is a ground mount solar project for Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor museum in New England. The village is a 200-acre land with 40 original buildings, including 1830s-inspired homes, mills, and trade shops. This project is composed of 5,400 solar panels and covers approximately 75% of the entire museum-cum-village.
14) A-C Solar
2921 Hangar Way, Bakersfield, CA 93308
Since 1945, A-C Electric Company has been providing California with top-notch electrical construction expertise. As the demands of the times continue to evolve, A-C has expanded its business to the alternative energy industry. A-C Solar’s success in this venture has led it to be ranked as the sixth commercial contractor in Solar Power World in 2017.
A-C Solar takes a consultative approach, offers permit processing, and employs an in-house engineering team at the core of its operations. A-C’s team of engineers, electricians, and consultants make sure that the projects are completed on time and under budget. With more than 70 years of experience, the company understands electrical demands inside and out. They’ve completed solar farms, carports, and roof-mounted panels, and have done so with single arrays and hundred-acre installations.
13) Radiance Solar
916 Joseph E Lowery Blvd. Suite #2, Atlanta, GA 30318
Atlanta’s Radiance Solar is a growing solar contractor and solar solutions provider. With over 300 sites across the United States and Mexico, the company has done accomplished a lot in just a little over 10 years of existence. Radiance Solar has been included in the first 100 of Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors for the past five years. Radiance has also been named one of Inc Magazine’s Inc 5000 twice, proving the company’s exceptional growth.
Radiance provides solar solutions for commercial and utility customers across the Southeast and has delivered more projects for electric municipal cooperatives (EMC’s) than any other EPC, including the project featured here for Walton EMC in Georgia.
384 Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Suite #230, Novato, CA 94949
Solar Power World’s three-time Top Solar Contractor charter and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Golden Gate Award recipient Sunstall is an all-around installer of solar systems around California and Oregon. Helge Biernath, an industry professional of over 20 years, heads the company. Biernath also has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration for Engineers from the University of Ludwigshafen in Rhine, Germany.
Hiring Sunstall means availing yourself of the company’s competitive pricing policy and lifetime support. On top of that, Sunstall uses pile driving methods to complete installations. This method uses hydraulic operated pile drivers to rack the delicate solar panels and steel beams. The company’s great leadership have enabled the company to work on projects that have difficult technical demands. Take a solar farm located on the Great Divide in Black Eagle, Montana. The project is especially challenging as the topography and soil characteristics were highly unpredictable. It took 12,155 hours of work for the company to complete the project.
11) Clark Bros Inc.
745 Broadway St., Fresno, CA 93721
Clark Bros is a full-service contracting firm with offices in California, Montana, and Texas, and with licenses in nineteen more states. The company offers heavy civil construction, water treatment, and renewable energy. The company’s history dates back 70 years ago and is now being continued by third generation descendant Lawrence Clark who has been the head of the company for about two decades.
In the solar energy field, the company has been recognized as 14th of the Top 500 Solar Contractors by Solar Power World in 2017. Clark Bros has also been featured on Bloomberg and other major business publications. The company’s renewable energy facet is defined by the accompaniment of heavy civil engineering in doing solar technology projects.
10) REC Solar
3450 Broad St. Suite #105 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
REC Solar is a solar contractor focusing on commercial solar systems, energy storage, and microgrids and has installed over 700 solar projects in its 20 year history. The company is part of Duke Energy Renewables, which builds and operates more than 3200 MW of renewable energy. REC solar specializes in solar financing, operations and maintenance, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) across the United States. The company is headed by Matthew Walz.
Pictured: An installation completed for KIUC Anahola, which generates enough clean energy to meet 5% of the island of Kauai, Hawaii’s annual needs.
REC is working with Fortune 1000 companies, schools, municipalities and utilities. It has completed projects for the United States Air Force, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dole, Federal Aviation Administration, IKEA, Nestle Purina, Safeway, Schneider Electric, Turtle Bay Resort, and Taylor Farms.
9) M Bar C Construction
674 Rancheros Dr., San Marcos, CA 92069
When it comes to solar carports, ground mounts, and shade structures, M Bar C Construction is one of the most respected firms in the United States. The company has built and installed over 400 megawatts of energy and over 5 million square feet of steel structures nationwide. In terms of commercial projects, solar shades and carports dominate the company portfolio. In the featured project, the company built a carport for Tesla, an electric car manufacturer. This solar paneled port provides shade and recharging for electric automobiles.
M Bar C had humble beginnings. Jason Ianni, company founder and principal, established the company in 2005 after receiving his bachelor’s degree and contractor’s license. In 2013, Ianni received the California Small Businessman of the Year Award. This award marks the vigor of Ianni’s leadership and M Bar C’s rise as one of the big names in the solar industry. The company ranked 34th on Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors in 2018.
8) Aurora Solar
9009 Mendenhall Ct. Suite E, Columbia, MD 21045
Since 1993 Aurora Solar has been providing Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC with superior engineering matched with complete maintenance and preparation services. The company is headed by Ghashang Navabi who has a master’s degree in Architecture from the Technical University of Berlin.
The strength of Aurora Solar is its range. Aurora has installed solar panels at the White House, NSA offices, and the Pentagon. Aurora has completed projects that deserve equal attention. And they have: the company won Maryland, DC, Delaware, and Virginia – Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Project of the Year awards in 2018. The SEIA award-winning project is a United Therapeutics building estimated to have a carbon sequestration equivalent of 1,003 acres of forest.
7) GenPro Energy Solutions
13261 Timberline Plaza Suite B, Piedmont, SD 57769
GenPro Energy Solutions is the product of founder Dwight Patterson’s more than 20 years of solar contracting. Patterson has been celebrated as both a businessman and power generation industry leader. He was named the Small Business Administration’s Exporter of the Year in South Dakota and Businessman of the Year by the Business Advisory Council. Working with Patterson is Jeremy Anderson, who serves as the master electrician in the design and implementation processes. Anderson is the first electrical contractor on the North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified in South Dakota. Aside from the awards garnered by the principals, GenPro was also named one of the Top 500 Solar Contractors by Solar World for five consecutive years.
6) Sunsense Solar
1629 Dolores Way Suite E, Carbondale, CO 81623
Colorado’s Sunsense Solar has been an institution since 1990. Sunsense provides residential, commercial, utility, and off-grid solar technology. This capacity to serve in different landscapes, up and down different scales projects, has enabled the company to win a variety of awards, including the Solar Power Generation USA Awards and the Intelegant Award for Excellence by SunPower, a solar technology manufacturer. This award is given by the manufacturer to exemplary residential and commercial installations and is open to more than 400 contractors that are supplied by SunPower. The company’s Intelegant Award-winning project in 2013 for a commercial project was the modernization project for the Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and US Courthouse. Sunsense was able to pack a large-scale solar panel system on the small roof area of the courthouse. Sunsense successfully met the aesthetic and technical requirements of the project, and the award granted was well-deserved.
5) Mortenson Company
700 Meadow Ln., N Minneapolis, MN 55422
Mortenson Company is a construction powerhouse that serves across the country and in several locations abroad. The company’s strong work history and impressive projects have not gone unnoticed by the media as the company has been featured several times in business publications such as Forbes and Bloomberg.
Mortenson may be famous for heavy civil engineering and real estate development but the firm’s ventures on solar technology and sustainable energy deserve equal attention. Mortenson has over 3,700 megawatts of solar projects under its belt and has ranked successfully on engineering and technology publications throughout the years. The company ranked second on Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s Top Solar Contractors list in 2018 and third on Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors of 2018.
The firm’s solar energy practice is defined by an optimized energy modeling policy and more than 60 years of engineering and contracting experience. The company prides its advisory service to be the foundation of its craft, paired with the outstanding zero casualty policy on safety.
880 Mabury Rd., San Jose, CA 95133
Celebrating its centenary in 2019, Rosendin is one of the longest-running firms on this list. The firm traces its roots to the Woodrow Wilson-era where the company serviced motor units for agricultural communities in the Santa Clara and San Jose area. The company gradually expanded its operations as the years went by. As a fitting response to the growing alternative energy scene, the company branched into the solar power industry. Rosendin’s new venture was met with positive response, and the company quickly secured a spot on the most recent Top 500 Solar Contractors List by Solar Power World.
Rosendin’s reach as a solar technology expert extends throughout the US, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The firm specializes in large-scale projects, specifically commercial, medical, and institutional solar projects. Take the Sunset Reservoir in San Francisco as an example. The project was composed of a 5-Megawatt photovoltaic system comprised of 24,000 modules and inverters on top of the reservoir. This project generates 6,300 Megawatt hours of annual energy production and is estimated to have abated 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. Another noteworthy project of Rosendin is the Saddleback Valley Unified School District project in Mission Viejo. This project won the 2016 National Entertainment Collectibles Association Orange County Chapter Award for Electrical Excellence.
3) O3 Energy
325 N St Paul St. Suite #4550 Dallas, TX 75201
With a nod to the ozone layer and the virtues of sustainability and environmental protection, O3 Energy was established in 2011. The company focuses on development, construction, and operations of alternative energy generation technology. O3 serves throughout North America and has worked with major corporations and non-profit organizations.
In eight short years, the company has been named one of Texas’ highest ranked commercial contractors in Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors in 2018. In addition to these accolades, the company has been featured in various local publications such as the Dallas Morning News,
Dallas Business Journal, Texas Wide Open For Business Magazine, and more.
The company seeks to make alternative energy more accessible and affordable. They even released the O3 Channel Partners Program nationwide in the Fall of 2017. O3 does not charge upfront costs in facility upgrades and uses the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or Energy Services Agreement (ESA) to finance energy projects.
2) Faith Technologies
225 Main St., Menasha, WI 54952
Faith Technologies is a full-service contractor licensed in more than three-quarters of the country. The company is known for being a comprehensive authority in electrical and energy services. Faith has ranked consistently on Solar Power World, ENR, and Electrical Construction & Maintenance Magazine (EC&M) for its expertise on energy-related services and has been featured in various publications such as the Kansas City Business Journal, Construction Business Owner, Modern Contractor Solutions Magazine, IAEI Magazine, and other local publications. The firm has also won Technology & Innovative Practices Award from the coveted Build Wisconsin Award in 2018 for the Environmental Center and Microgrid project in Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. This project combines solar, wind, gas, battery, and hydrogen fuel technologies to power the microgrid.
Another impressive project by Faith Technologies is the SoCore Dairyland project that spans 4 sites in Western Wisconsin and Northeastern Iowa. The sheer size of the project is enough to impress; even more remarkable is the fact that this project doubles the existing solar generation in Wisconsin, according to NREL. The project won the 2016 Projects of Distinction award by Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and Solar Energies Industries Association (SEIA).
1) Swinerton Renewable
260 Townsend St. 5th Flr., San Francisco, CA 94107
With top spots in the Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors list and ENR Top Solar Contractors for several years, Swinerton has solidified its name at the forefront of the solar energy industry. Swinerton has over 130 years of institutional experience and a broad reach that spans North America. The firm has completed 1,350 acres of both straightforward and complex arrays across the continent.
Swinerton’s portfolio is primarily composed of massive utility-scale solar farms such as the 330-acre project pictured below. The project is a renewal of Navy property in Florida. It used to be a helicopter training facility, now it generates enough power for 6,100 homes in Florida, preventing 55 million pounds of carbon emissions from reaching the atmosphere.