Concord, NH Although New Hampshire lags behind other New England states in solar policy and overall adoption, it is home to the region’s top solar company, according to the latest rankings from Solar Power World magazine. ReVision Energy, a full-service energy transformation company with a long history in New Hampshire and Maine, was recently ranked the #1 rooftop solar contractor in New England and #14 nationwide by the industry’s leading publication.
“We are incredibly proud of our team of world-class solar designers, engineers, electricians, and installers,” said Phil Coupe, one of the company’s co-founders. “Every single day we are focused on accelerating the transition to clean, renewable solar electricity and helping Granite Staters achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability.”
Although ReVision Energy earned top marks, it is certainly not alone. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), New Hampshire is home to some 85 solar companies that employ 1,184 people, spurring $155 million in solar investment in the state.
The explosion of solar companies doing business in the state corresponds to a rapid rise in the number of homeowners and businesses that have chosen to go solar instead of paying some of the highest electricity rates in the country for imported fossil fuels. Of the 57 megawatts of total solar electricity installed in New Hampshire through 2016, SEIA reports that more than half (31 megawatts) was installed last year alone. ReVision Energy credits the rapid rise in solar adoption to increasing awareness of the costs of climate change as well as the desire to save thousands of dollars by transitioning off fossil fuels.
“The cost for solar panels has dropped by 64% over the past 5 years, making it practical for Granite Staters to invest in a technology that comes with a 25-year warranty and proven ability to perform well in our region. In fact, New Hampshire’s solar resource is equal to that of Houston, TX and only 10% less than Florida,” said Coupe. Approximately 9,000 New Hampshire homes are currently powered by the sun, according to SEIA.
Nevertheless, the recent decision by the state Public Utilities Commission to artificially reduce the value of solar electricity exported onto the grid through net metering – contrary to independent analyses that find solar electricity benefits all ratepayers by supplying maximum power at periods of peak demand – could hamper future growth.
Even more disconcerting to the solar industry is the current uncertainty around the future of state rebates for solar projects, which serve to level the playing field with heavily-subsidized fossil fuels and enable lower-income homeowners and nonprofits to reap the long-term rewards of a solar investment. With only 0.32% of New Hampshire’s electricity mix currently coming from solar, such modest incentives are considered an important ingredient in the state’s clean energy transition. By contrast, Massachusetts currently generates roughly 6% of its electricity from solar with 30 times as many megawatts (1,592) of total solar installed, according to SEIA.
Uncertainties aside, ReVision Energy says it is not letting up on its vision of a 100% clean energy future for New Hampshire and the region. In addition to full-service solar installations, the company now offers hyper-efficient heat pumps, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, and complementary technologies to support a 100% solar-powered lifestyle.
As a certified Benefit Corporation, ReVision says it is also committed to creating maximum positive societal impact rather than the traditional business approach of maximizing shareholder returns. “We believe our commitment to the communities where our 200 employees live and work is ultimately the biggest factor in achieving these top rankings relative to our peers,” said Coupe.