We hear a lot about the big solar companies like SolarCity and Vivint. But while these companies enjoy a large market share, the solar market is big enough to allow room for many more — and it’s growing daily.
Capturing the breadth and diversity of the growing market, industry publication Solar Power World (SPW) has released its 2014 Top Solar Contractors list, featuring 400 of the most successful installation and development companies in solar.
What? you say. The top 400? That’s right. Seeing this impressive list is a great reminder of how much our industry is growing and maturing. Just the fact that a top business list contains 400 companies attests to the explosive growth of solar in the U.S. Last year, SPW ranked the top 250 companies.
Befitting the diverse industry, the list includes many kinds of companies, representing four important markets at the heart of the solar industry: utility, commercial, residential, and off-grid. SPW added specific company categorizations to this year’s list: EPC, construction firm, developer, electrical subcontractors, rooftop installer, off-grid contractor, nonprofit, and solar hot water provider.
Companies were ranked by how many megawatts they installed in 2013. (When two companies reported the same numbers, such as when one served as subcontractor, they were sorted by total megawatts installed.) That makes it particularly impressive that nonprofit GRID Alternatives ranked near the top quarter at 111. Solar Gardens developer Clean Energy Collective came in at an also-impressive 136. Those are just a couple highlights that show how the industry is developing, with these two less-traditional sectors faring so well.
Seeing the list sorted this way also shows how much residential solar is growing. We know SolarCity has the biggest residential solar market share, but seeing it at #4 on the list, above many utility-scale and commercial contractors, shows at a glance how huge the residential sector is getting.
Check out the list for more great information, with useful details for each company like the total megawatts installed (not just for 2013), the year the company was founded, and the number of employees. You can also see the list broken down into these subcategories:
SPW also gathered tips on effective hiring, powerful marketing, and financing. And they even created a short video featuring three of the contractors on the list, “A Time To Shine.” It’s definitely worth watching — you’ll get at least one laugh, and plenty of inspiration.
Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), commented to Solar Power World about the list: “America’s solar industry is currently on pace to achieve another record-shattering year. This simply wouldn’t be possible without the effort, hard work and creativity of these Top 400 Solar Contractors.”