Two TAEBC members place in Solar Power World’s 2020 Top 100 Solar Contractors list

Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news, has unveiled its 2020 Top Solar Contractors list. The list ranks applicants according to their influence in the U.S. solar industry in 2019.

This year TAEBC member Silicon Ranch Corporation ranked #19 on the list, installing 282,544 kW in 2019 and a grand total of 829,000 kW installed since its founding.

Silicon Ranch is the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Silicon Ranch’s work with a diverse set of customers across the country, including Fortune 500 companies and electric cooperatives, demonstrates its ability to customize solutions that ensure successful outcomes. The company’s operating portfolio includes more than 135 facilities across 14 states from New York to California, including the first large-scale solar projects in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Silicon Ranch was also selected as 2020’s ‘Most Forward-Thinking’ company by Solar Power World for its pioneering work with Regenerative EnergyTM. In addition to earning this prestigious honor, Silicon Ranch was further recognized as the #2 solar developer in the publication’s annual rankings of the Top Solar Contractors, up a spot from its third-place finish in 2019.

TAEBC member Ameresco, headquartered in Massachusetts but with locations in Tennessee, ranked #78 on the list, installing 22,611 kW in 2019 and 245,792 kW since its founding.

Ameresco is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom, delivering long-term value through innovative systems, strategies and technologies. Ameresco’s solutions range from upgrades to facility’s energy infrastructure to the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants combined with tailored financial solutions. The company works with customers on both sides of the meter to reduce operating expenses, upgrade and maintain facilities, stabilize energy costs, improve occupancy comfort levels, increase energy reliability and enhance the environment.

You can view the complete list of rankings on Solar Power World’s website.

Disclosure: The list details the headquarters location of a company, employees, its primary market (utility, commercial, residential) and its primary service (EPC, developer, rooftop contractor, installation subcontractor, electrical subcontractor, manufacturer installer). Companies choose their primary market and primary service. That does not mean they only work in these areas. They could work across all markets and all services, and their listed kilowatts reflect their cumulative installation numbers from the last year in all markets, services and states. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2019 in the United States only. If two companies reported the same 2019 numbers, they were sorted by total kilowatts installed.

City of Chattanooga releases solar RFP for wastewater treatment plant

Sealed bids for furnishing all materials, labor, tools, equipment and appurtenances necessary for the construction of the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Solar Project will be received at the City of Chattanooga at City Hall, Purchasing Department, Suite G13, 101 East 11th Street, Chattanooga, TN 37042, until 2:00 p.m., local time, on October 22, 2019, and then at said office publicly opened and read aloud.

A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15 at 11:00 A.M. local time to give interested parties an opportunity to review the bid documents and submit questions. This will happen in the Training Facility, Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant, located at 455 Moccasin Bend Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405. Bidder attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.

Project Specific: Construct a 3.2 MW DC solar array at the Moccasin Bend WWTP in Chattanooga, TN. This array will provide “behind-the-meter” renewable solar to the Moccasin Bend WWTP. This is a turnkey project and the selected contractor shall perform (or subcontract) the civil site development of the site, installation of the solar array (racking, panel installation, inverter installation, wiring) and interconnection of the solar array to the Moccasin Bend WWTP to provide solar power to the WWTP.

A conceptual layout of the solar array and interconnection to the Moccasin Bend WWTP is provided within along with a civil site design. The selected contractor will be required to finalize the design for approval by Chattanooga, purchase and install all equipment and materials for a successful project.

The instructions to bidders, bid, contract agreement, drawings, specifications and forms of bid bond, performance bond, payment bond and other contract documents may be examined at the following:

 

City of Chattanooga

Purchasing Department

101 E. 11th Street, Suite G13

Chattanooga, TN 37402

423-643-7230

 

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

631 Broad Street, Suite 300

Chattanooga, TN 37402

423-779-3075

 

See below for additional information/documents.

R190759_Moccasin_Bend_WWTP_Solar_Project

AddendumNo02

Administration to impose 30 percent tariff on solar cell imports

President Donald Trump has approved tariffs on imported solar cells, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Monday.

The tariffs would initially kick in at a higher rate in the first year, then decrease in subsequent years. For the first year, a 30 percent tariff would be applied to imported solar modules and cells.

Lighthizer’s office said the trade representative made recommendations to the president based on the findings of the independent, bipartisan U.S. International Trade Commission.

The agency had been asked to look into whether foreign imports of solar cells/modules were causing “serious injury to domestic manufacturers.”

Both South Korea and China decried the Trump administration’s new tariffs: Seoul said it would file a complaint about the changes, and Beijing said the U.S. was deteriorating the global trade environment.

Below are the approved safeguard tariffs on solar modules and cells:

  • Year 1: 30%
  • Year 2: 25%
  • Year 3: 20%
  • Year 4: 15%

Only two days after the announcement, the Department of Energy released an article on its website detailing a $3 million prize competition to “reenergize innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing.”

The release goes on to say: “The American Made Solar Prize will incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to develop new processes and products that will reassert American leadership in the solar marketplace. This prize is in additional to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017. It will lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.”

Read the original CNBC story here.

Energy Mentor Network Spotlight: Harvey Abouelata

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is continuing its series of feature stories highlighting the mentors behind the Energy Mentor Network program offering industry specific expertise.

The Energy Mentor Network‘s goal is to foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups by connecting entrepreneurs with mentors. This gives Tennessee yet another advantage in grabbing its more than fair share of the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market.

The Energy Mentor Network is run by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council in partnership with Launch Tennessee.

In broad strokes, the Energy Mentor Network pairs mentors with promising new companies and entrepreneurs through a structured program involving panel presentations and mentoring sessions.

The purpose of the program is to develop quality startups. After completing the program, startups will have an investable pitch deck, a rock solid business model and a plan to establish more traction. These tools will position Tennessee’s entrepreneurs to raise capital, request other funds like SBIR grants, and scale their company.

Harvey Abouelata, President of ARiES Energy (Credit: ARiES Energy)

Harvey Abouelata, President of ARiES Energy (Credit: ARiES Energy)

This week TAEBC is highlighting mentor Harvey Abouelata. He serves as the President of ARiES Energy.

Harvey has worked on a variety of renewable energy projects for Wampler’s Farm Sausage and most recently a 1.37 MW solar installation for Appalachian Electric Coop – the first utility-scale community solar project in the state – which was officially unveiled in early January.

He also has extensive experience in business management, business planning, strategy, sales, marketing, promotions, public relations, and new technology brand identity with concentration in the renewable energy field.

Related: ARiES Energy celebrates five year anniversary

While being involved in the solar industry, he has succeeded in bringing millions of dollars in grants to local companies and the State of Tennessee.

At ARiES, he oversees business operations and management, marketing strategy, and overall customer satisfaction. In recent history, Harvey was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at a privately owned Knoxville company where he oversaw the sales, product development, and marketing of residential and commercial products and services for solar PV and thermal design. Prior to this position, he was the Director of Sales and Marketing for another renewable energy company launch.

Since graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1984, he has been helping businesses launch, reorganize, and bring new technologies to market. Harvey excels at setting up successful sales, marketing, business plans and economic development strategies for companies, as well as executing public outreach and education.

TAEBC is still accepting mentors for the Energy Mentor Program. If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the “For Mentors” section of the Energy Mentor Network portion of TAEBC’s website.

ARiES Energy celebrates five year anniversary

ARiES Energy marked five years of success in East Tennessee by inviting colleagues, customers and friends to Five Bar in Downtown Knoxville.

ARiES Energy is a TAEBC member. The company strives to make clean energy easy, accessible, and affordable to its clients. ARiES Energy installs solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, LED lighting, power conditioning, energy efficiency products/services and biomass/waste-to-energy technologies for commercial businesses, residences and municipalities in the Southeast.

Previous Story: ARiES Energy, Signal Energy make 2016 Top 500 North American Solar Contractors List

During the anniversary celebrations, ARiES Energy President Harvey Abouelata made an announcement over his company’s growth revealing ARiES Energy will be expanding to South Carolina.

TAEBC had a chance to talk with Abouelata after the anniversary. If you don’t know, Abouelata founded ARiES Energy in 2011 to help communities transition into a new economic future, moving away from fossil fuels towards renewable natural resources and zero waste.

Harvey Abouelata, President of ARiES Energy (Credit: ARiES Energy)

As president he oversees sales, product development, and marketing of residential and commercial products and services for power production. He has extensive experience in business management, business planning, strategy, sales, marketing, promotions, public relations, implementation, and new technology brand identity with a concentration in the renewable energy field.

During his career in the solar industry, Abouelata has succeeded in bringing millions of dollars in grants to local companies and the state of Tennessee. He also made the decision to merge ARiES Energy in 2015 with PHG Energy (PHGE) and Thompson Machinery.

Abouelata has passion in his work, and it could be felt while TAEBC spoke with him briefly over the phone.

Q: Five years is a great milestone, when you look back are you pleased with your company’s success? 

A: Yes, absolutely. I feel we’ve achieved that ten-fold. Before ARiES Energy was born, the concept was novelty…maybe, kinda…everybody liked the idea…wasn’t sure it was possible. But here’s the thing, it’s relevant. Times are changing, and it’s exciting to see the hard work happening at ARiES Energy.

(L to R) Harvey Abouelata, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and Erin Gill.

(L to R) Harvey Abouelata, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, and Erin Gill. (Credit: ARiES Energy)

Q: What does it mean to you to be a part of the clean energy industry in Tennessee?

A: Ya know, it’s one of those feel good things. It’s exciting to go to work knowing it helps people and putting a big focus on economic development. You put that together there’s this creation that’s ultimately better for the environment. It’s something to be proud of. We have 18 people employed here at ARiES Energy and it’s almost like a pep rally. They (Employees) feel like they are making a difference in energy independence.

Another thing, it’s not just clean energy. It’s making it here in the U.S. It’s a very positive thing. Some people may take our mountains and lakes for granted, but I see it as ARiES Energy is protecting our precious resources.

(L to R) ARiES Energy President Harvey Abouelata speaking with Daniel Green and Jerry Askew.

(L to R) ARiES Energy President Harvey Abouelata speaking with Daniel Green and Jerry Askew. (Credit: ARiES Energy)

Q: ARiES Energy is growing the market for community and commercial solar projects, any specific projects that stick out that you’re proud of?

A: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! They’re all great! That’s not fair! Every one of our projects is exciting in its own unique way because it’s one step forward on the path to energy independence and helping the environment. I will say though, we have great clients. We’re blessed with who we work with. The momentum keeps building here, and our clients are taking it to the next level. Our clients are an extension of who we are as a company and as a team. But AEC partnering with us to build one of the largest community solar projects in Tennessee, that’s huge!

Q: Where do you see ARiES Energy going in the next five years? Any particular goals? You mentioned how the company is expanding to South Carolina at the 5th Anniversary…

A: We have a pretty aggressive expansion plan. Ever since we sold the company to PHG Energy and Thompson Machinery, we’ve got resources that have given us the luxury to expand. We’ve been spending a lot of time building a solid plan to South Carolina. We’re also considering expanding to Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas. Of course that’s all on the horizon for 2017. Every year we’ve doubled in sales, and I don’t see why we wouldn’t keep expanding. We’ve hired six people this year alone and what’s important to us is that all of our employees have high quality standards. I love when I walk in to work because our employees those are people I would pick as personal friends, not just employees.

Are you a TAEBC member with news to share? Contact deborah@piper-communications.com and we’ll feature you and your company on the blog.