US: Solar proves fertile ground for fast growing companies


Ranking the companies based on revenue growth between the years 2007 to 2008, solar companies occupied five of the top 50 results.

Greenspring Energy, an installer of residential and commercial solar systems, was the highest ranked of the solar companies at 15th, which had seen revenue grow by 8730 percent since 2007, to USD$10.5 million. Next, in the 24th position, was re2g – also a solar designer and installer formerly known as Solardelphia – which recorded three-year growth of 7493 percent, to $10.6 million.

Sundurance, which recorded significantly larger revenues of $45.3 million, came in at 38th on the Inc. poll. The company is in the megawatt-scale solar power systems business and has completed projects for the New York Jets and Rutgers University. Also in utility-scale applications, FLS Energy came in 46th position, recording revenue growth of 4303 percent, to $17.6 million.

As an indication of the influence state-based solar and renewable incentive schemes have in the U.S. market, all five companies in the Inc. top 50 are from north-eastern states where state legislators have initiated solar economies. Last month solar company One Block Off the Grid launched an online campaign to put pressure on local legislators elsewhere to instigate solar programs.

In the ongoing tough economic environment that the U.S. is still experiencing, Inc. featured job creation in its index of growing companies. Amongst the top five solar companies on the Inc. list, 152 jobs were created, with FLS Energy creating the most new jobs with 56. A recent Brookings Institute report found that "Green Collar" jobs at present outnumber those in the oil and gas industry.

SPG Solar, which designs and installs solar for larger commercial and public sector clients, came in at 3158th place, with revenue growth of 63 percent, but still heralded the result as an indication of solar’s potential.

"It is our customers, who recognize the importance of quality while developing solar power systems and the financial business case for solar that has fueled our growth for the past decade and helped us make this prestigious list," said SPG Solar CEO and President Chris Robine. SPG Solar has also designed proprietary solar tracking systems for ground mounted arrays and also a solar system that floats on water.