PASO ROBLES — More than 10,600 megawatts of solar power were installed last year in the United States, and local installer A.M. Sun Solar was recognized by Solar Power World magazine for its contributions to the industry. A.M. Sun Solar achieved a rank of 223 out of 450 solar companies on the magazine’s 2018 Top Solar Contractors list and is the highest ranked solar company in San Luis Obispo County.
The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. The 2018 list was released in late July.
“Solar Power World is very excited about the 2018 class of Top Solar Contractors,” said Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief of Solar Power World. “Our 2017 list showed impressive installation numbers after 2016’s huge rush to meet ITC requirements, and many companies were hesitant to show unavoidable installation dips after last year’s high. We’re happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list. These companies truly are at the top of their markets.”
The U.S. solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, installing more than 15,000 MW. Although installations in 2017 dropped to 10,608 MW, the total still represents 40 percent growth over 2015 numbers. The year-over-year downturn can be attributed to the large influx of 2016 projects rushing to meet the anticipated expiration of a 30 percent federal tax credit that was eventually renewed. Last year also saw uncertainty surrounding potential Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels, which may have led to delayed or canceled projects. Despite the market drop in 2017, A.M. Sun Solar installed 52 percent more sales than 2017 and 317 percent growth over the past three years.
A major highlight of 2017 was the non-residential market growing 28 percent year-over-year, the fourth straight year of annual growth for commercial, industrial and community solar. A notable commercial project for A.M. Sun Solar included a 300 kW installation for Kennedy Club Fitness in San Luis Obispo. In 2017, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar, second only to new natural gas capacity.
The first quarter of 2018 showed a 13 percent growth over the first quarter of 2017, and A.M. Sun Solar will continue to contribute to the wave of increasing solar generation. By 2023, more than 15,000 MW of solar is expected to be installed annually.
“Our amazing team and clients are really what makes our success possible. It’s an honor to be ranked as a top solar contractor in the nation, and number one on the Central Coast,” said Cory Howe, CEO of A.M. Sun Solar.
A.M. Sun Solar is locally owned and operated in Paso Robles and employs 49 workers who installed 2,257 kW of solar power in 2017. Since its founding in 2006, the company has installed 10,724 kW of solar. For over 15 years, A.M. Sun Solar has provided high quality, cost efficient solar energy to residences and small businesses in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties.