Our Most Forward-Thinking Contractor award recognizes innovative solar installers on the cutting-edge of solar. These companies seek out new technologies, teach solar power to their communities and find creative ways to streamline the customer experience.
This Upstate New York contractor took a problem and solved it with the latest technology. During the solar sales process, Buffalo Solar Solutions (No. 342 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) found it was sometimes difficult to verbally explain the nuances of solar installation to customers. So the company started using virtual reality to put customers through an installation digitally. The 360° VR experience brings users onto the rooftop to walk them through module installation, then into the basement for the electrical portion of the install in the span of about four minutes. In the VR video, the team explains the ins and outs of the waterproofing process, solar electrical work and more. The company unveiled the VR solar experience at the 2018 Buffalo Home Show, and now uses the technology in the proposal process to teach new customers how solar works.
“We are beyond honored to be recognized for our uniqueness. With so many misconceptions about solar energy, especially in this region of the country, we try to really focus on educating customers. We aren’t trying to redesign the solar wheel, just trying to be different in this market, while helping people better understand solar energy.”
-Quinn Porzio, project manager
Puerto Rico suffered immense damage after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to the island in 2017. With hurricane season again approaching, some solar and storage companies have jumped to action to try and bring some energy independence to the island in the case of another disaster. Puerto Rico-based Maximo Solar Industries (No. 150 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) is one of those companies. It aims to build solar-plus-storage infrastructure on the island to ensure critical places don’t lose energy if another hurricane strikes.
Maximo is a distributor and installer with a foundation called the SOMOS Solar Foundation, which is facilitating renewable energy projects to non-profit organizations on the island. The foundation donates solar-plus-storage systems to community centers that serve residents who have critical life-saving device needs. It’s also focusing on solar backup for businesses to keep the lights on and business running if another storm hits.
The photos showcase Maximo’s installations for Casa Pueblo, a community self-management project committed to the appreciation and protection of natural, cultural and human resources.
“We are positive that the opportunities that are emerging in Puerto Rico will render a more resilient and sustainable island. We expanded our efforts to support organizations that facilitate community support to elderly centers, kid orphanages, rural aqueducts and medical centers, where energy plays a big role in humanitarian relief. Maximo Solar and SOMOS Solar are helping to fill the gap to maximize resources into a result-driven microgrid and utility interactive energy storage solution to customers all around zones impacted by Hurricane Maria.”
-Maximo Torres, CEO