Marketing solar can be challenging, but once companies discover their niche, they’re bound to succeed. One Top Solar Contractor spent a long time specializing in school solar systems. Sunrise Power Solutions had a background working as an electrical contractor for schools.
That’s what gave them an edge when they decided to include solar services 12 years ago. During this time, most school districts tried to get grants to purchase small 10-kW solar systems to be used by students for their science experiments. Sunrise Power Solutions saw this as an opportunity.
Stephen Foley, the business development director at Sunrise, said that after providing solar systems to schools, the company expanded. Now, it’s considered the biggest school solar installer in New York. But school solar projects are different from commercial ones. In sales, school solar projects are more complex compared to other solar installations since there are many stakeholders involved in school districts.
Rather than dealing with a few leaders like in commercial and industrial projects, school solar projects need to be approved not only by many officials but also by the public since it involves tax funding. Permits can also be more complicated because permission from the New York State Education Department has to be obtained before starting a project on a school structure.
Foley said that school solar projects aren’t something that can be started right away. He also added that from the time of initially developing the project to going through the whole approval process can often take many years.