MD DC DE VA Solar Energy Industries Association

Meet a Few of Our Solar Focus Sponsors: Prospect Solar, Trina Solar, and Virginia Solar

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Sep 17

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MDV-SEIA is proud to partner with Prospect Solar, Trina Solar, and Virginia Solar as kW sponsors for the 11th annual Solar Focus conference. As regional stakeholders, their support is a valued addition to the sponsorship line-up of the Mid-Atlantic’s leading solar conference.

About Prospect Solar

Prospect Solar, LLC was established in 2010 as the professional’s choice for design/build solar photovoltaic energy system installation. Our turnkey service is as sustainable as our business model by making continual investments in solar training, certifications, and oversight to ensure the safest possible installations. Prospect Solar’s services include engineering, economic analysis, financing, custom installations, and O&M.

Q&A

What markets do you operate in?

Prospect serves owners from residential to large commercial in Virginia, DC, Maryland – from south of Richmond to Baltimore. The past few years we have built our crews to offer Operations and Maintenance services in the same territory.

Tell us a little bit about your company, including how many MWs/GWs of solar is in your East Coast portfolio.

Prospect Solar has focused on growing the local commercial solar market. In 2010 Prospect saw a need for quality design build solar contracting for building owners. Today Prospect has grown a client base of over 5MW that includes developer/owners, general contractors, small business owners, non-profits, multiple levels of government, and more homeowners every day. With the ability to maintain roof warranties thorough installers dully trained in roofing and solar, owners know their investments are protected.

What opportunities and challenges do you see for solar on the East Coast?

As solar is better understood we are seeing ever more solar specified into new building design, more small business wanting to reduce their operating costs by installing solar, and more homeowners going solar even in un-incentivized markets. The most prevalent challenge we face is upholding quality in an industry that is ever-obsessed with price cutting. It’s extremely important for solar installers to continue to compete and reduce cost across the board, but not at the expense of the end user. The challenge we see is creating a balance where install prices give the highest value in terms of energy production and kWh price, but also installing a lasting system and being a company that’s around to service the warranties.  

How does your company plan to be involved in influencing the solar industry over the next few years?

Like it or not policy is a still big part of moving solar forward. Prospect has maintained a focus on doing what we do best on the construction side of solar while giving legislative and policy support at needed. We are now at a point where quality installations are important in the industry to continue to prove the lasting value solar adds to the community, but we need to push the envelope to remove laws that are prohibitive to scaling solar locally and work to protect current policies such as net metering. We will be very active on these fronts in the next few years.  

Solar jobs are now growing at a rate 17x faster than the overall economy and for the first time in history the solar industry employs more people than coal. Tell us a little about how the rate of solar job growth has impacted your business.

We have enjoyed a very steady rate of employment growth at Prospect. We have been very grateful for the talented people who are attracted to working for a solar contractor. The hard working and well educated talent creates a great culture of leadership and accountability which in turn results in clients that rave about their experiences. At the end of the day the folks working in solar at our company and across the nation have created a momentum that finally feels unstoppable.

Has your company made any unique or innovative contributions to solar?

Prospect’s experience enables us to work on custom and often times challenging installations. As manufacturers continue to develop product applications for any application you can imagine, it makes the design build process a lot more standardized. This enables more commercial buildings to push toward goals of netting out their entire energy usage. We have been fortunate to work on a few Net-Zero builds and look forward to a few in our upcoming pipeline. The innovation it takes to achieve zeroing out kWh usage is remarkable, and we look forward to future advancements surrounding storage and efficiency.    

Which policies, incentives, or regulatory changes have had the most impact on your business and what is missing that your company could benefit from?

Our home state of Virginia has recently made some strides negotiating with solar stakeholders, but there is still so much unlocked potential. Moving forward we must protect Net-Metering and figure out a way to open up a true third party ownership market. Educating voters outside our industry on the importance of these and many more polices is of upmost importance. If we can do this, more low cost capital and investments will gravitate toward our local industry. The educated base will give more strength, ultimately making future legislative battles somewhat easier…we hope!

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Thanks to all the men and women that get up every day, and fight for the solar industry. The last decade has been an amazing ride along with trials and tribulations, we look forward to a bright and sunny future! Go out there and take the power back! 


About Trina Solar

Trina Solar Limited is a global leader in photovoltaic modules, solutions and services. Founded in 1997 as a PV system integrator, Trina Solar today drives smart energy together with installers, distributors, utilities and developers worldwide. The Company’s industry-leading position is based on innovation excellence, superior product quality, vertically integrated capabilities and environmental stewardship. For more information, please visit www.trinasolar.com


About Virginia Solar

Virginia Solar is a privately-held developer of utility-scale solar projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The company was formed and is managed by a team of veteran renewable energy professionals. Based on their decades of experience developing several thousands of megawatts of greenfield wind and solar projects throughout the US, the Virginia Solar team has assembled a portfolio of more than five hundred MW of utility scale solar projects of which more than 114 MW is already in operations or under construction in the Commonwealth.

Q&A

What markets do you operate in?

Virginia Solar operates in the Virginia Dominion Zone.

Tell us a little bit about your company, including how many MWs/GWs of solar is in your East Coast portfolio.

Virginia Solar has sold 114 MW across 6 solar projects in Virginia which are under construction or in operation. Virginia Solar has 100’s of MW in various stages of development.

What opportunities and challenges do you predict solar development will face on the East Coast in the next year?

The major challenge for the east coast development is finding creditworthy long-term offtake agreements for solar power.

How does your company plan to be involved in influencing the solar industry over the next few years?

Virginia Solar is active in maintaining relationships throughout the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Which policies, incentives, or regulatory changes have had the most impact on your business and what is missing that your company could benefit from?

The most important policy in the Virginia market is the creation of a stable market for the purchase of solar generated electricity and projects.

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