Three Arkansas solar companies are soaking up some recognition from Solar Power World, which listed Scenic Hill, Seal Solar and Shine Solar to its 2020 Top Solar Contractors list.
The distinction was announced this week by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, which praised the companies for installing nearly 10,000 kilowatts of generation collectively last year and for persevering through the COVID-19 economic crisis. Scenic Hill and Seal are both based in North Little Rock; Shine Solar is headquartered in Bentonville.
“The AAEA is proud to congratulate these three members for helping fuel our state’s renewable energy industry,” the industry group’s interim executive director, Steve Patterson, said in a news release. “The ability of these companies to grow their workforces even in the midst of COVID-19 reiterates how solar power continues to be a strong economic driver in Arkansas.”
The Solar Power World listing is the nation’s most recognized annual compilation of American solar contractors in the utility, commercial and residential markets.
In its third consecutive ranking, Shine Solar of Bentonville reached its highest perch yet at No. 143. Its 185-member workforce is one of the state’s fastest-growing, officials say, and the firm installed 3,793 kilowatts of solar energy in Arkansas in 2019. The company also operates in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“Arkansas is by far our strongest market,” said Caleb Gorden, the company’s co-founder and president. He foresees continued growth for months and years because customers “enjoy saving energy costs with solar power, and they are highly satisfied with our solar panels.” They’re freed from worrying about changing utility rates as well, Gorden said.
Scenic Hill, led by former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, made its debut on the list in 2018 and is now ranked 189th after installing 3,942 kilowatts of solar energy in 2019. Over the past three years, it has brought 13 MW of solar power facilities online.
Halter said his company was grateful to its clients for allowing Scenic Hill “to remain Arkansas’ top independent solar developer,” and he touted partnerships with private companies, city and county governments, municipal utilities and school districts that have spurred economic development at a crucial time for the state and the nation.
“If contracted projects are approved by the Public Service Commission, we hope to add $125 million to the Arkansas economy in the next 12 months,” Halter said.
Seal Solar made its first appearance on the list at No. 243. With a workforce of 32, Seal “offers turnkey solutions to homeowners, businesses, government entities and farmers across the state,” said company co-founder and President Heather Nelson, who is also an AAEA board member.
“Seal Solar is continuing to experience rapid growth, but our mission remains the same,” she said. “Our local team is committed to growing our state’s economy and helping Arkansans achieve long-term energy independence…”