Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Renewable Energy: April 22, 2014

Behind the List: Photovoltaic contractors come and go as industry shakes out

As powering our homes and businesses with solar energy becomes more mainstream, it helps to realize that this isn't a new thing, but that adoption has gained traction.

David Dwelle, president of Auburn-based Pacific Power Renewables, originally got interested when he purchased his first solar system 1986. It supplied electricity to run refrigeration on a sailboat while he cruised the South Pacific. In 2001, after seeing electricity rates spike, he decided to install solar panels on the Flyers Energy gasoline and convenience stores that he and his brothers owned. Their success piqued interest in others and thus began Pacific Power Renewables.

Branching out from the core business is something I’ve seen with other companies; general contractors, electrical contractors and roofing contractors seem to be a natural fit.

This week’s  list of photovoltaic contractors is a brief list of 13 companies, up from 11 last year. Companies have come and gone from the list during the past few years. When we first published this list in 2007, we listed 21 companies. We’ve seen the normal shake out of a relatively new industry, while changing government subsidies in the form of tax breaks and grants also have had an impact.

Swinerton Builders, a general contractor, retains its No. 1 spot on the list this year. The company’s local office installed 50,000 kilowatts of generation in 2013.

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