Solar Solutions Continues to SHINE as a TOP Solar Contractor in North America


Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors list is the most recognized annual listing of the top U.S. solar contractors working in the utility, commercial and residential markets.

The solar industry in the US employs right around 374,000 Americans, which is double the combined workforce of coal, oil, and gas. With there being over 6,100 different solar contractors throughout the US competing to be on the list, and we not only made the top 500, but achieved the over all ranking of #198* and #82 commercial solar install). Since the Top 500 list was started in 2012, Tennessee Solar Solutions has placed FOUR consecutive years- 2015, 2016,2017,and 2018.

“We are so proud of the work our team has done for the last 12yrs. Solar energy is not only the most abundant resource for energy usage, but everyone should have access to harness this FREE energy,” said Anthony Roden, Founder + President. “This recognition is as honor and reflective of a hard-working team that is meeting the demand of solar energy in a state that currently doesn’t favor our industry. #solarmeansbusiness and when you are looking at your bottom line for a business or your pocketbook, it makes sense to own your power instead of renting it.”

If solar is something you’re considering adding to your property, there are a ton of benefits financially as well as environmentally. Financially, there is the potential to completely eradicate your electric bill, as well as gain federal tax credit. You could even sell back any power you produce.

The first step in going solar is to contact us- you can go to our website tennesseesolarsolutions.com  or give us a call at (423)535-9350.

2018 Top Solar Contractors

2017 STATISTICS

Rank #198

Total Kilowatts Installed Since Founded:13,935 Company Founded2007
Total Kilowatts Installed 20163,093.0 LocationChattanooga, TN
Employees31 Web Sitetennesseesolarsolutions.com
Primary MarketCommercial Primary ServiceEPC

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The 2018 Top Solar Contractors list

*The list details the headquarters location of a company, employees, its primary market (utility, commercial, residential) and its primary service (EPC, developer, rooftop contractor, installation subcontractor, electrical subcontractor, manufacturer installer). Companies choose their primary market and primary service. That does not mean they only work in these areas. They could work across all markets and all services, and their listed kilowatts reflect their cumulative installation numbers from the last year in all markets, services and states. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2017 in the United States only. If two companies reported the same 2017 numbers, they were sorted by total kilowatts installed.

Solar Myths Revealed

Image result for solar myths

Here are the realities behind five common solar myths:

Myth 1: Solar is a new, unproven technology. Solar technology roots reach as far back as 1885, when Charles Fritts built the first solar cell using selenium. In 1954, researchers at Bell Labs harnessed the photoelectric effect on silicon, setting the course for modern solar technology. Since then, solar has powered space exploration, oil derricks, cellular networks and grid-tied businesses and homes.

Myth 2: Solar only works in warm climates. While sunny states like California lead the U.S. in solar deployment, northern residents still have much to gain from installing residential solar panels. Just as people don’t require full sunshine to see, solar panels don’t require full sunshine to produce electricity. Germany, the country with the most installed solar capacity worldwide, counts on solar irradiation comparable to Seattle’s.

Myth 3: All solar panels are created equal. Consumers should be aware that differences in quality and workmanship can curb the amount of energy produced. Be wary of solar panels manufactured in poorly regulated factories with questionable quality-control, labor and environmental practices. Instead, look for home solar panels from a reputable manufacturer, which can guarantee the highest power production and stand behind a 25-year warranty.

Myth 4: Solar panels are unattractive. To meet customer demand for attractive installations, a few companies now offer true-black solar panels, designed to blend well with residential rooftops. The panels are made from the most powerful solar cells available, meaning a homeowner can produce more electricity with fewer panels.

Myth 5: Solar is too expensive. Thanks to technological advances and attractive rebates, residential solar systems are more affordable than ever. In many parts of the U.S., homeowners can use financing programs to reduce upfront costs and spread payment over 20 or more years.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

By Tom Moloughney – UPDATED November 2016

There are many reasons for considering making an electric car the next car you buy or lease. Besides the many environmental benefits, the promise of energy security, the silky-smooth driving experience with instant torque available without delay, and low maintenance, one of the best characteristics of electric vehicles is how little they cost to operate.

Just as with gasoline cars, some electric vehicles are more efficient than others, and the average EV needs about 30 kWh of electricity to power the vehicle for 100 miles. For example, the EPA rating for the Nissan LEAF is exactly 30 kWh per 100 miles. A Tesla Model S 60D is rated at a combined 32 kWh per 100 miles and uses a little more energy since it’s heavier and more powerful than a LEAF. The Chevrolet Bolt is currently the most efficient electric car and has a combined consumption rating of 28 kWh per 100 miles. The consumption for all electric vehicles can be viewed at the US Department of Energy’s website: www.fueleconomy.gov

According to Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the sales-weighted average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2016 was 25.3 mpg. The average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US over the past two years was $2.35/gallon. Using 15,000 miles as the average amount of miles a person will drive in a year, the annual cost of gasoline for the average car will be about $1,400 per year, using the average cost of gasoline in the US from 2015 through 2016. One thing to also consider is that the cost of gasoline is currently much lower than it has been through most the past decade and it’s likely to rise again sometime soon.

All of the electricity we use in America is domestically produced, and that’s a large part of why the cost remains stable. The average cost of electricity in the US is 12 cents per kWh. Therefore, the average person driving the average EV 15,000 miles per year pays about $540.00 per year to charge it.

Tesla Model S charging

The cost of electricity throughout the US varies much more than gasoline does, but its cost over time is much more stable. Unlike with gasoline, there aren’t huge spikes in electricity rates if a refinery has a problem, and neither does the price skyrocket when there is political instability in one of the large oil producing countries as we have often seen in the past. All of the electricity we use in America is domestically produced, and that’s a large part of why the cost remains stable. The average cost of electricity in the US is 12 cents per kWh. Therefore, the average person driving the average EV 15,000 miles per year pays about $540.00 per year to charge it. As mentioned, the cost of electricity can vary greatly depending on where you live, but in order to equal the price of the average gasoline car’s fuel costs, the price of electricity would have to be 2.5 times the national average, and cost 31 cents per kWh. The average person would save roughly $860 per year in fuel alone, and that’s assuming gasoline prices remain at their historically low current levels. Gasoline prices frequently spike up and down, but in the long run they always goes up. Electricity costs do eventually increase also, but not nearly at the pace of gasoline. Plus, with fewer moving parts, EVs cost much less to maintain. If you combine the fuel savings with the reduced maintenance costs, it’s clear to see an EV will cost you much less in the long run, even if it costs a little more up front.

100 Watt light bulbs

Another great thing about electric cars is that since you can easily reduce your electric bill by $40 to $50 per month by being more efficient, you can actually completely eliminate your transportation fuel cost! You really can’t use less gasoline unless you drive less or buy a more efficient car, but you can reduce your electricity usage at home and still drive as much as you always have. Simple measures like using a programmable thermostat, the use of LED light bulbs, replacing older appliances with Energy Star rated ones and turning off unnecessary lighting can make a big difference. In fact, five 100 watt light bulbs left on continuously for a year use nearly the same amount of energy as it takes to power an electric car 15,000 miles! Here’s how: Five 100 watt light bulbs use 500 watts. In 24 hours they use 12,000 watt-hours or 12 kWh. In 365 days they use 4,380 kWh. A typical EV that uses 30 kWh for every 100 miles will use 4,500 kWh to drive 15,000 miles. Simply by turning unnecessary lighting off at your home, you can drastically reduce or completely eliminate your annual transportation fuel cost. Try doing that with a gasser!

 

Lightening Soldiers’ Loads by Lifting PV Cells onto Flexible Surfaces

Two thousand years ago, Roman legionnaires lugged 100-pound packs into battle. A lot has changed since then, but technology hasn’t really reduced an infantryman’s load. On the battlefield, mobility is critical—but a typical, modern Marine may shoulder an 80-pound backpack containing 20 pounds of back-up batteries for an array of electronics.

“What if we could grow solar cells on the same heavy substrate we use in the standard high-efficiency, low-cost polycrystalline processes?” asked Matthew Reese, an NREL staff scientist in PV research. Afterwards, researchers could transfer the high-efficiency cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium gallium selenide cells to lighter-weight packaging—trimming the weight of the cells.

When soldiers or supply convoys are forced to move slowly on repeated trips, they can become “targets of choice” for enemy combatants. Because of this, the Energy Department and Department of Defense are looking for ways to ease such heavy burdens, and a team of researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring novel approaches for making renewable power sources lighter.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are the military’s choice to power remote bases, but the ones it uses are not only large and inflexible, they aren’t very efficient. Last summer, NREL embarked on a $1.5 million, three-year research and development contract with the Office of Naval Research to explore making lightweight solar cells. In this work, the journey has been marked by fundamental science—and creative thinking. Read more 

 

Autonomous Cars or EVs? Why Not Both?

11.01.2016 – by Mary Kathryn Campbell

We’ve read a few pieces in recent weeks which seem to relish pitting autonomous vehicle technology against electric vehicles. One pundit even speculates that we should say “goodbye to EVs.”

We see a false equivalency argument between the problems that the two technologies solve. Electrified drive trains offer cleaner air, fewer parts to maintain, and most importantly, a break from the grip of fossil fuels. Autonomous, or self-driving cars, theoretically provide increased mobility, safety, and energy efficiency.

While the evolution of EVs has admittedly suffered starts and stops, the last decade has seen a steady rise in options for consumers. These commercially available production vehicles benefit from rapid advances in batteries, OEM manufacturing investments, and strong policies and incentives in many states, from California to Massachusetts, from Colorado to Tennessee, and many others. Manufacturers in Europe and the US are also striving to achieve regulatory goals which EVs help them meet. Thanks to all of these factors, and education and advocacy work by groups like Plug In America, more than a dozen vehicles are available for purchase in all 50 states, with two long-range, groundbreaking cars on the near horizon, GM’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3.

Meanwhile, the nascent autonomous vehicle sector is still in its infancy.

Google's self driving car

Google’s self driving car

Adding complication to the technologies’ development, clear policy mechanisms for autonomous vehicles have not been established or are still in the works. Most states have no regulations yet to address autonomous vehicles. Policymakers face an extremely steep learning curve with self-driving cars. Additionally, without an overarching federal approach, there is a great deal of room for conflict among states, which will also curb their deployment.

The final, and maybe the most difficult potential barrier to a fully automated fleet, in the US, anyway: the American consumer. Americans still love to drive. And the vast majority of American EV drivers cite the experience, the cars’ superior driving performance as a key reason for never returning to an ICE vehicle. Although the movement away from personal vehicle ownership is trending, changing user and consumer behaviors is often on an evolutionary scale: long and arduous.

All of this said, we see great potential synergies for combining these new models and modes of transportation. Tesla has taken the lead here, with autonomous tech standard in its Models S and X. Looking forward a decade or two, imagine car sharing networks of autonomous vehicles serving neighborhoods with notoriously poor air quality. Or widespread deployment of electric buses and trucks which will be automatically directed to the most efficient routes possible, all while mitigating the potential for catastrophic human error. We’d encourage pundits to look for ways to transform the transportation sector which will benefit consumers and the environment, not pick winners or pit markets against each other. We’d also encourage policy makers and car makers to look at combining these technologies, and even consider mandating that new autonomous vehicles be electrified.

What if my tax bill is smaller than my tax credit amount?

Using the example of the $10,000 solar system, the ITC amount you would be eligible for is $3,000. But what if your total tax liability for that year is only $2,000? Can you carry over the remaining $1,000 to the next year?

It is fairly clear in form 5659 that, yes, you are allowed to carry unused credits forward into the next year (see lines 12-16 of the form) – and possibly beyond. This means that your tax liability for year 1 would fall to $0, and you would have an additional $1,000 of credit to put towards the following year’s tax bills.

However, it is yet unclear whether you will be able to carry unclaimed credits in the years after the ITC is discontinued.

ITC three scenarios

Figure 1: Comparing how the ITC would apply in three tax liability scenarios: a) $5,000 annual tax liability, b) $2,000 annual tax liability and c) $0 annual tax liability. For simplicity’s sake, we assume that the solar system costs $10,000, making the ITC amount would be $3,000. In scenarios a) and b), the ITC benefits are applied over 1 and 2 years, respectively. In scenario c) the ITC cannot be claimed due to insufficient tax liability (meaning that a solar lease might be a preferable option to purchase).

Tennessee Solar Solutions

Tennessee Solar Solutions LLC is an experienced turnkey solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm. Design, engineering, sales, installation, maintenance, back up and/or whole site emergency power generation and 24 hour emergency service. We are a fully licensed and insured general and electrical contracting firm specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We offer 100% financing on all installations. We are renewable energy specialists. Your one stop shop for renewable energy!

 

2016 Top 500 Solar Contractors

2015 STATISTICS

TOP 500 RANK #309

Total Megawatts Installed Since Founded8.65 Company Founded2007
Total Megawatts Installed 20151.15 LocationChattanooga, TN
Employees19 Web Sitetennesseesolarsolutions.com
Primary MarketCommercial Primary ServiceEPC

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2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors

2014 STATISTICS

TOP 500 RANK #319

Total Megawatts Installed 20140.786 Company Founded2007
Employees17 LocationChattanooga, TN
Primary MarketCommercial Web Sitetennesseesolarsolutions.com
Primary ServiceEPC

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Trump and Clinton butt heads on solar in first presidential debate

In the first Presidential debate last night, candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not have made their differing opinions on solar and climate change clearer.

Clinton pointed to a correlation between a healthy energy policy and job creation, stating that the nation could have “10 million more new jobs”, citing a sustainable energy policy as an “investment where we can grow the economy.”

“Take clean energy,” she said. “Some country is going to be the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.”

Trump retorted that he “did not say that”. However, the Twitter account of the Republican nominee tells a different story, with a tweet from 2012 insisting that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Clinton originally vowed to install half a billion solar panels in her first term back in July 2015, and repeated her intent again during the debate: “And I think it’s important that we grip [climate change] and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do: we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity.”

 

READ MORE HERE….

Is Tesla’s Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?

Tesla Expands Into Power Storage Market

Elon Musk has never been one to shy away from a bold and disruptive strategy, from his startup of PayPal through SpaceX to Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA). With his recent announcement of Powerwall, Tesla’s introduction into the commercial battery/power storage market, Musk is embarking on a strategy to make renewable energy a more mainstream technology.

Costs of solar panels have been coming down for some time to where they can begin to challenge coal and gas-fired plants on a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis and solar infrastructure costs are also trending down significantly. The “missing piece” of the renewable energy picture is a reliable way to store the energy and

Is Tesla's Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?
Is Tesla’s Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?

balance out the demand issue — solar energy is only available during daylight hours and peak demand never matches up with peak generation. That makes most consumers of solar energy still reliant on the power grid.

 

Residential solar power is installed and wired into the grid, allowing the power company to regulate the flow based on need (and set up a suitable metering and billing method, as well). A large enough storage system could make homes fully independent of the grid. Powerwall is a first step in that direction….. READ MORE HERE

TN Solar Solutions Wins 2016 Sustainable Project of The Year, People’s Choice

Building Industry Associations Award Best of the Best with First Annual BRIC Awards April 27, 2016: Chattanooga, TN: The Associated General Contractors of EastTennessee,

2016 Sustainable Project of The Year
Ginny Kincer, COO of TN Solar with 2016 Sustainable Project of The Year Award.

American Institute of Architects of Chattanooga, Construction Specification Institute of Chattanooga, green|spaces and Sustainability Professionals of Greater Chattanooga recognized the best of the best in the building industry at the first BRIC (Building Recognition in Chattanooga) Awards ceremony on April 26 th .

“The goal of this event was to recognize the best of the best so that when a developer is starting a project, they know who the best architect, contractor and team to work with in Chattanooga and surrounding area.” stated Dawn Hjelseth, green|spaces Director of Development. “We want high quality building in Chattanooga and will do so by recognizing who is doing it.”

The event was presented by the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee and benefited the ACE Mentor Program. The ACE Mentor Program mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.

green|spaces presented: Sustainable Project of the Year

o Judge’s Choice: DH&W – Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority

o People’s Choice: Tennessee Solar SolutionsGreen Urban Lab

o Honorable Mentions:

 Adamson Developers: Affordable Housing Initiative

 Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel: LEED Certification

 Antidote – End of Normal Home

 Crash Pad – Johnson Street Project

 Liberty Tower – LEED Certification & Renovation

 Unum – Employee Home Recycling Program