MD DC DE VA Solar Energy Industries Association

Get to Know Two More of Our Solar Focus Sponsors: SolUnesco and Solar Energy World


Oct 17


MDV-SEIA is happy to announce that SolUnesco and Solar Energy World will be kW sponsors for Solar Focus 2017! These companies are key contributors and important game changers in the Mid-Atlantic solar markets and their support is a valued addition to the region’s leading solar conference.

About SolUnesco

SolUnesco provides clean and emerging energy project development. The company’s execution and efficiency delivers clean energy at the lowest cost. Their projects serve utilities, large energy users, municipalities and states. Through Community or Shared Solar, SolUnesco delivers solar to the residential and commercial markets often at a discount to current rates.


What markets do you operate in?

SolUnesco is a utility scale developer, currently specializing in early stage project site identification and development in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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

SolUnesco was founded by energy industry veterans Francis Hodsoll and Jon Hillis in the Spring of 2015 after success in the Virginia General Assembly session passing legislation enabling a demand for utility scale solar development in Virginia. SolUnesco currently has several projects in mid-stage development totaling almost 400 MWs.

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

The uncertainty surrounding the Suniva trade case, regardless of the outcome, is currently the largest challenge facing development in our region. Reluctance to put money into projects with final EPC cost undetermined is moving development schedules to the right and lowering value of projects. Oddly enough, this also presents an opportunity for developers to acquire projects at a low cost, provided they are willing to accept the risk.

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

SolUnesco and its founders have always been, and will continue to be, policy leaders for renewable energy legislation in Virginia. In the past, Hillis has served on the MDV-SEIA Board of Directors, VAEIC Executive Board, and currently sits on the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority. Hodsoll is a MD-DC-DE-VA Solar Energy Industry Association Board member, past Board President of the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Association, Chair’s the Energy Workgroup for Governor McAuliffe’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission, and a committee member of Governor McAuliffe’s Energy Committee. Hodsoll also leads MDV-SEIA negotiations with Virginia Investor Owned Utilities toward legislation to create market certainty within the Virginia utility scale development market.

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.

The job growth within the solar industry brings more of those with expertise in other fields that intersect the solar industry to our industry, and allows us to function at a higher level. Marketing, market research, GIS mapping and analysis, energy markets, transmission level engineering, and many other roles are finding a place within the solar industry.

What unique or innovative contributions has your company made to solar?

Hillis and Hodsoll have made significant contributions to solar policy in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, Hillis also spent time while Vice President of Prospect Solar, developing a market for rooftop Solar Gardens or Green Roof Integrated PV, where solar generation and green roofing co-exist symbiotically.

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

Other than the federal Investment Tax Credit, we view the passing of legislation in Virginia in 2015 stating utility scale solar is in the public interest and also establishing a goal of 500 MW of utility scale solar as the most impactive policy stimulating the market in Virginia. We could, however, use a statement of additional goals moving forward with separate goals for third party alternatives. The current mediation process within the Rubin Group is working toward this goal.

About Solar Energy World (SEW)

Solar Energy World is the #1 Maryland-owned and operated Maryland solar panel installation company serving Maryland, DC and Southern Pennsylvania. We offer a complete, turnkey solar panel solution and are the fastest-growing, locally- owned and operated Maryland residential solar panels installation company in our area because our integrity, reputation and commitment to our community is unmatched. You can depend on Solar Energy World to be here for you before, during and after installation. The quality of our service shows that we truly care about our customers, their families and the community we all live in because tomorrow matters.


What markets do you operate in?

Maryland, DC & Pennsylvania

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.

Maryland-based Solar Energy World, the fastest growing locally owned and operated solar company in the state has consistently grown its business since opening in 2009! The company currently installs an average of 90 solar systems a month. Installations are projected to increase 30% or more in 2017. Solar Power World, the industry’s leading source for solar technology, development and installation news released their annual Top 500 North American Solar Contractors List in July 2017 and ranked Solar Energy World number one in rooftop/residential installations in Maryland and #111 for North America exceeding last year’s ranking of # 142 out of 500.

What unique or innovative contributions has your company made to solar?

We are the only solar company in Maryland and the region that gets our electricity from a solar panel system that was designed and installed by our employees. This impressive structure is approximately 48kW in size, providing 52,500 kWh to the Elkridge facility. This is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 12 tons waste instead of sending it to the landfill. Our one of a kind solar showroom is open to the public! Solar roof tours of the company’s system are available when visiting Solar Energy World’s Solar Showroom during visiting hours.

We do not sell build-it-yourself solar panel systems or try to force a one-size-fits-all solution on our customers.

And we NEVER hire subcontractors. Every person who works on your system is an employee of Solar Energy World, fully accountable to us, ensuring you receive superior service.

Twitter: @solareworld


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