What is the Top Solar Contractors list?
Solar Power World, the leading solar publication covering technology, development and installation, publishes the Top Solar Contractors list annually. The list includes hundreds of solar contractors and developers in the United States, listed and categorized by state/territory, service and market.
How does a company get on the Top Solar Contractors list?
Any U.S. company wanting to take part in the Top Solar Contractors campaign must fill out an application every year. It is free to apply, and the application is released online at the end of February. Companies are listed by their kilowatt capacity installed in the previous year, verified against state interconnection records.
Who can apply for the Top Solar Contractors list?
The list includes solar PV companies that provide the following services: EPC contracting, development, construction/installation, electrical work and/or rooftop-specific installations. Companies can do work in any market segment, including utility, commercial, residential and off-grid. Companies must be headquartered in the United States.
How are companies on the Top Solar Contractors list determined?
Companies are listed according to the kilowatt capacity of projects they installed, developed or helped construct in the previous year within the borders of the United States and its territories (global installations are not counted, including installations in Canada). Each company is listed multiple ways: by state/territory, market and service.
Only new kilowatts installed in the previous calendar year can be submitted for each list. Re-installed kilowatts (in the case of re-roofing or other solar removal tasks) cannot be submitted. Neither can O&M/post-installation-serviced kilowatts. If you have acquired operational solar projects in the last calendar year, you cannot include those kilowatts in your application as you were not the initial development or installation company. This list is only for projects directly completed by developers, installers and subcontractors. No O&M or acquired projects are permitted.
We also have a Top Solar + Storage Installer list, and more information on how to apply to that sub-list can be found here.
What are the different solar service definitions?
Developer – A company that secures financing for solar installations, often owning the result, and may or may not build the project, sometimes contracting with local EPCs.
EPC – Responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of non-residential solar projects. Often the primary contractor and will sometimes appoint subcontractors to do aspects of installation or electrical work.
Installer – A solar installer that works primarily on either residential or commercial rooftop installations or other small-scale systems. (Previously known as the “Rooftop Contractor” category)
Electrical Subcontractor – A company that performs specialized work related to the installation of electrical systems, often under contract with the developer or EPC.
Installation Subcontractor – A company that often works under a developer or EPC on a specific aspect of a solar array, such as pile driving or panel installation only.
Sales Partner – A company that only handles the sales process (usually within the residential market) and hands off the installation to a reputable installation partner.
What are the different market divisions?
The main list is separated into three main markets: Utility, Commercial and Residential. NEW FOR 2022: Applicants can choose their primary market as “Both Residential and Commercial” if they believe they are equally represented in both markets. Companies choosing this option are asked to include a “market” column in their list of projects (see green column in the example below). Companies will be listed on both the Residential and Commercial market lists based on the kilowatts installed within each market, as reflected in their Excel document. If a market is not listed on the Excel document, project sizes will be understood as: residential projects are smaller than 50 kW; commercial projects are larger than 50 kW.
If companies choose “Residential” as their primary market, the entirety of their submitted kilowatt capacity will be included on the Residential market list. If companies choose “Commercial” as their primary market, the entirety of their submitted kilowatt capacity will be included on the Commercial market list. If companies choose “Both Residential and Commercial” as their primary market, their submitted kilowatt capacity will be split accordingly based on market representation on both the Residential and Commercial market lists.
How do I apply for the Top Solar Contractors list?
Applying is easy. The application is open from late February to late May every year. The 2022 application period has ended.
Can my company review the questions prior to filling out the application?
Yes. Each year we provide the application in PDF form to review. Here is the 2022 application PDF to review.
What information do I need to apply?
In addition to basic company information (number of employees, address, etc.), applicants must submit documented proof of installations in an Excel document. Data must be submitted to support claimed kilowatt installation numbers. We require for each project: project size (DC kilowatts), project location (city and state) and installation completion date (between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021 for the 2022 list).
For subcontractors unaware of project commissioning dates, please include your work completion date along with the name of the general contractor or project owner, so we have secondary information in case we need to follow up. For off-grid submissions, please provide work completion date and any secondary information to assist us in verifying numbers.
Additional information is required for those wanting to be included on the Top Solar + Storage Installers sub-list, including the kWh storage capacity installed with each solar project. Further explanation of how to collect and record storage data can be found here.
Please note, your provided information will not be used for any other purposes or provided to anyone else for solicitation. Your information will be destroyed after your number is verified.
Five documents or datasets may be submitted with applications to show 2021 projects, although we require at least one Excel document. Submitted data will be verified with state interconnection records, utility records and an advisory board. We will use context clues if your submitted completion date doesn’t exactly match official records. We have the right to remove companies from our list if we feel they have exaggerated numbers or cannot adhere to our data request.
Please format your Excel documents to at least show these specific data columns (the green market column is only required if applying as a primarily “Both Residential and Commercial” contractor; yellow storage columns are only required if applying to “Solar + Storage Installer” list):
PLEASE submit your data as closely to this example as possible. State lists are organized based on kilowatt installations your company actually installed in each state (rather than just your headquartered state), and easy organization by this type of Excel outline will ensure we sort your company correctly.
When will the 2022 Top Solar Contractors list be published?
The 2022 list is now available online.
Where can I see previous Top Solar Contractors lists?
Will there be a Top Solar Contractors Gala in 2022?
We will continue the tradition of holding a virtual Gala in July 2022, but information about the 2022 Top Solar Contractors Gala will be available after the list is published. Only companies listed on the Top Solar Contractors list may attend the Gala.
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