The new logo seemed to be on everything under the sun, from Josh Davenport’s shirt and Heather Nelson’s sweater to the ink pens, baseball caps and even the new awning at 705 Main St. in North Little Rock: Seal Solar Energy Solutions.
The newly rebranded business, formerly Seal Energy Solutions, was celebrating on Wednesday, toasting its rechristening and refined focus on solar power array development. Some 75 well-wishers and dignitaries crowded the ribbon cutting, at which Davenport and Nelson, who co-founded the company in 2012, announced the sale of its HVAC business to Smart Comfort of Little Rock and its energy-efficiency unit to Custom Insulation & Supply Inc. of Hot Springs, owned by Tony Thomas.
“The cat was slipping out of the bag that we were rebranding under a new name with a sole focus on solar design and installation,” said Nelson, Seal’s president and COO. Davenport, the CEO, was accepting congratulations right and left as clouds obscured the sun and a light rain began to fall.
The privately held companies did not announce a sale price for the HVAC and efficiency businesses, but Nelson revealed that Seal’s former employees in those specialties have joined Smart Comfort and Custom Insulation, performing essentially the same jobs. “We wanted it to work out that way,” Nelson said.
The new name and sharpened path reflect the future of solar and renewable energy, Nelson told Arkansas Business. “Since 2015, solar has eclipsed our other divisions three-to-one, with Seal Solar responsible for one of every five solar projects in Arkansas,” Nelson said.
The company has completed more than 250 agricultural, commercial, municipal and residential utility design projects and installations, and Nelson noted that federal tax breaks of 30 percent are available through the end of 2019 before dropping to 26 percent for 2020. She also revealed an arrangement with a company from Nashville, Tennessee, that will give Seal the scope to compete for projects in the $4 million-$6 million budget range.
“Last year, we teamed with LightWave Solar of Nashville to further build our expertise and secure larger-scale projects. The opportunities to divest our HVAC and energy-efficiency units came at the right time.”
She called it a forward-thinking approach, positioning seal “to be the most certified and largest local solar design and installation firm in the state.”
She is particularly proud of Seal’s agricultural work, saying that, in these trying times for farmers, energy savings from adding solar arrays on farmhouses, buildings or levees offers a bright spot. “Many things that make farming a tough business now, from the weather to tariffs, are out of farmers’ control,” Nelson said. “But farmers that are looking ahead see that energy costs are one area they can control, and that we can help them with that.”
Government and school projects are more viable under recent changes in state law. “It’s the wild, wild west out there, with almost unlimited possibilities,” Nelson said. “Seal Solar is positioned to be a big part of that.”