Tennessee companies commit to renewable energy, sustainability goals

Our friends at the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council took a closer look at a recently released report on “Advanced Energy Commitments” by large corporations. According to the report, 71 of Fortune 100 companies and 215 of Fortune 500 companies have set renewable energy or sustainability targets. And, thanks to TAEBC, we now know several of them are headquartered, or have branch locations, in Tennessee. FedEx Corp., which is headquartered in Memphis, is the top Tennessee company on the list. The international shipping company plans to improve vehicle efficiency, use more alternative fuels in its airplanes and increase the use of renewable energy to power its locations. Read more at the TAEBC blog post: “Tennessee Fortune 100 and 500 companies setting renewable energy, sustainability... Read More

ARiES Recognized for Providing Jobs and Clean Energy in East Tennessee

Solar power is a booming business worldwide, but local installer ARiES Solar is among the companies recently named to an annual and well-recognized list of North America’s top solar contractors. ARiES achieved a rank of 461 out of 500 solar companies. The Top 500 Solar Contractors List is developed by Solar Power World magazine to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the U.S. and Canada. The companies on the list are growing the economy, providing jobs and offering electricity consumers a choice about how they get their power. The list was released July 26. “The companies on this year’s list exude solar-business brilliance, and they deserve to be recognized not only for being great companies but also for how their work positively impacts the environment,” said Kathie Zipp, managing editor of Solar Power World. Solar energy is a renewable resource with great potential to significantly reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national solar industry association. “We’re proud to be listed as a Top 500 Solar Contractor nationally, and top 10 in Tennessee, for the fourth consecutive year,” said company president Harvey Abouelata. “2016 is a strong growth year for East Tennessee solar installs for us and, added to our expansion into neighboring states, means next year’s listing will be even more impressive.” ARiES employs 14 workers, who installed more than 200 kilowatts of solar in 2015. Since its founding in 2011, the company has installed more than 2 megawatts of solar. ARiES Solar has doubled its revenues in each of the last 4 years and has 1.5 megawatts of... Read More

Renewable Energy Incentive Programs Save Tennessee Small Businesses Money

Tennesseans have an opportunity to invest in the local economy and save financially with the recent extension of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, the TVA Green Power Providers program, and the USDA, Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Knoxville, TN–(January 29, 2016) – Paul Green, owner of Dry Ridge Farms in Loudon, Tennessee, had never thought about “going solar,” until he was approached by a local energy firm in 2015. Paul, a local financial investor, couldn’t believe the savings a system could provide. “If it takes a 6 year buy back (on your solar system), then years 6-20 are all profit, 100%. That is a pretty good pay back.” Green continued, “What kind of investment could you make like that? A piece of real-estate? There is no way could you buy a piece of real-estate and in six years have all your money back. What about the stock market? Could you put money into the stock market and in six years get all your money back with guarantee? Well that would be 14-15% per year, and that wouldn’t happen either.” Energy consumers aren’t the only ones to benefit from the solar boom. According to the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington D.C., which is not funded by the solar industry, the solar industry added 35,000 jobs in 2015, up 20% from the previous year. SEIA, Solar Energy Industry Association, has announced that with the extension of incentivized programs, the solar industry is expected to add over 200,000 new jobs by 2020. ARiES Solar , a renewable energy firm, started four years ago and employs 11 people, 4 of... Read More

Matt Ellison Achieves NABCEP Certification

[Knoxville, TN]    Matthew Ellison, engineer at ARiES Solar , achieved the solar industry’s leading recognition of installation proficiency from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP®), and is now a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional TM. NABCEP is the most prestigious and well established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals. Receiving classification as a NABCEP PV Installation Professional is widely understood to be the most useful and important certification of its kind in the solar industry. The price of solar PV (photovoltaic) systems has diminished greatly in the past few years, providing many more homeowners, communities, and companies the opportunity to “go solar.” NABCEP certification is a guarantee that the customer has to know who in their solar community is a quality contractor. To obtain his NABCEP certification, Ellison needed to record all related training and experience in PV system installation. After documenting his experience, he was required to pass an intense examination which covered the many skills needed to correctly design, install and maintain PV systems. The examination gauges expertise on electrical and mechanical system design, job site safety, the National Electrical Code, roofing and construction techniques, and system maintenance. “Receiving the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification is an exciting milestone on my solar PV career path,” says Matt Ellison. “My high standards, education, and work ethic are now recognized and approved by the leading US solar PV installer certifying body. Our clients can feel confident, knowing that ARiES products and services have been provided by a third-party-qualified installer.” “One thing you can be assured of when hiring a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional... Read More

ARiES Solar installed a 27.36 KW system at Dry Ridge Farm in Loudon, Tennessee, in August 2015. Owner Paul Green sat down with ARiES Solar to discuss his decision to go solar.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I am married, have three kids, own a farm in Loudon, and manage high net worth family’s finances. That is what I have done for a living for 31 years.   What led you to choose solar? It’s the craziest story. My son Daniel was starting in the financial management business, and he cold called Harvey Abouelata (President of ARiES Solar ) from LinkedIn to discuss investment opportunities.   I spoke with Harvey, and he told me, “I’ll send someone out to look at your farm.”  That’s how it all came to be; it all started with Daniel’s cold call. It was real easy because ARiES did everything: they did all the USDA grant work, they even got me all the information that was online for my CPA, for the tax credits and for the accelerated depreciation on the system. They also put me in touch with Teddy Wampler, Jr. for a reference. He is a big fan of ARiES Solar . What was the process of going solar like? It was easy because ARiES did it all. I signed a few documents and met with Chuck, the gentleman who works on the grants with the USDA.   He gave me a lot of forms, and I remember telling him, “Are you serious?  I can’t do all of that; I’m not going to.” But Chuck told me, “Well you don’t have to, ARiES will do all of it.” Chuck explained every form, which there are about 10-15 of them, then ARiES completed the paperwork, and I just signed where I... Read More
Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power

Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power

In an effort to make ‘going solar’ as effortless and streamlined as possible, SEIA has developed a Guide to Solar Power tailored for residential consumers. This 6 page guide informs potential solar customers about the financing options available, contracting terms to be aware of, and other useful tips. This guide will be updated regularly. For more information on SEIA’s Consumer Protection practices and resources, visit our Consumer Protection resource center. Download Consumer... Read More