More than 10,600 megawatts of solar power were installed last year in the United States, and local installer Empowered Energy Systems LLC has been recognized by Solar Power World magazine for its contributions to the industry.
The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year.
"Solar Power World is very excited about the 2018 class of Top Solar Contractors," said Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief of Solar Power World. "Our 2017 list showed impressive installation numbers after 2016's huge rush to meet ITC requirements, and many companies were hesitant to show unavoidable installation dips after last year's high. We're happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list. These companies truly are at the top of their markets."
The U.S. solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, installing more than 15,000 MW. Although installations in 2017 dropped to 10,608 MW, the total still represents 40 percent growth over 2015 numbers. The year-over-year downturn can be attributed to the large influx of 2016 projects rushing to meet the anticipated expiration of a 30 percent federal tax credit that was eventually renewed. Last year also saw uncertainty surrounding potential Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels, which may have led to delayed or canceled projects. Despite the uncertainty in the market, Empowered Energy Systems installed more kW of solar in 2017 than in the previous year.
A major highlight of 2017 was the non-residential market growing 28 percent year-over-year, the fourth straight year of annual growth for commercial, industrial and community solar. In 2017, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar, second only to new natural gas capacity.
The first quarter of 2018 showed a 13 percent growth over the first quarter of 2017, and Empowered Energy Systems continues to contribute to the wave of increasing solar generation. By 2023, more than 15,000 MW of solar is expected to be installed annually.
Empowered Energy Systems employs seven workers who installed 205. kW of solar power in 2017. Since its founding in 2004, the company has installed both residential and commercial solar on the Western Slope. With C-PACE financing for commercial solar installations and RENU financing for residential solar Empowered Energy Systems is helping more people realize the savings of solar PV.
"We're proud to have made this prestigious list," said Brad Burritt co-owner of Empowered Energy Systems. "We're dedicated to keeping excellent customer service and attention to detail our priorities for work and our company philosophy as people, planet, profit."
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