Kevin Good didn’t intend to start a business selling solar awning systems to other solar installation companies, but that’s the way his business is starting to move.
The president of Good Energy Solutions (No. 433 on the 2016 Top Solar Contractors list) was looking for a way to add more solar capacity to projects once all the available roof space was tapped. He contacted mounting manufacturer Schletter about developing a custom solar awning.
Schletter came through with a triangular mounting system, complete with clips and grounding, that mounts to the side of a building, extending a solar array. The Germany-based company told Good to go ahead and sell it much like a distributor, with Schletter being the equipment supplier.
Good designed a marketing web page with the intention of selling turnkey solar awning kits to homeowners. In the beginning, the web page included equipment prices, spec’d out on a per-module basis. But that’s when other solar companies started calling.
“I didn’t re-invent the wheel here,” Good said. “All I was doing was finding a way to facilitate a faster turnaround to get these projects designed. In the meantime, I found there was no other high quality, affordable option to do this.”
Up to this point, Good Energy Solutions has been a residential and commercial renewable energy company known for its quality work and consulting in Kansas and the surrounding region. With 20 employees, the company installed 352 kW of solar in 2015 and 1.15 MW since its 2007 founding. The solar awning business is just beginning, with just a few installations so far.
Good is looking to hire an engineer who can PE stamp projects designed for different geographies, and that’s when the business-within-a-business could really take off, with Good selling to other contractors.
“I’m not anyone special,” Good said. “It’s just I got in the door with [Schletter] to design this before someone else did. I’m going to offer these to the market and fill the niche of the small solar awning.”