Ontario, NY – GreenSpark Solar, an Ontario, NY based renewable energy company, has earned second place on the Annual Greater Rochester Chamber Top 100 List. The Top 100 program recognizes the fastest-growing privately owned companies in the nine-county Greater Rochester/Finger Lakes region. GreenSpark, a certified Benefit Corporation, is the region’s largest solar energy company.
GreenSpark, which will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in April 2022, has grown over 350% in revenue and close to 50% in employees since 2018. The result is a huge increase in Megawatts (MW) of solar energy on the NY State grid, a combination of both residential and commercial installations. GreenSpark has increased its installed capacity from 15MW annually in 2018 to over 45MW last year, an additional 50MW will be installed by the end of 2021, and GreenSpark is currently building the team to surpass 100MW of solar installations in 2022 alone.
GreenSpark has taken a leading role in the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) solar world. With portfolio partnerships like Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure, Novis Renewables, Lodestar Energy, and Pivot Energy, GreenSpark is able to make solar energy more accessible for everyone. The electricity being produced at these projects is used at local schools, businesses, hospitals, and households through community solar memberships and community choice aggregation.
When CEO and Co-Founder, Kevin Schulte, accepted the Top award in 2017, he challenged the business leaders of the region to get off the sidelines and get into the renewable energy game. And he hasn’t stopped spreading that message, resulting in the company’s most successful year in 2020, with 2021 projected to be even more successful. But it hasn’t been without its setbacks. When Schulte accepted the award in 2017 it was in the middle of what turned out to be a failed merger, resulting in the lay off of half the staff and financial trouble that some thought the company wouldn’t recover from, but not Schulte.
“When businesses like ours face challenges, it’s critical to focus on your values and make those core pillars of your resurgence,” said Schulte. “We rebuilt our company to the best version of itself by becoming more transparent, more equitable, more inclusive, and by realizing that our success is inevitably tied to the human beings who have dedicated their livelihoods to our common mission. Our success comes from trusting them more and caring for them more.”
GreenSpark, a certified Benefit Corporation with a triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit, has earned top three honors on Rochester’s Top Workplaces list three of the last four years. Schulte and fellow Co-Founder and COO, Geroge McConochie, continue to put this at the top of their list of achievements. Over the last two years GreenSpark has raised its minimum wage to $17/hour and completed a pay scale audit resulting in wage increases across the company. The company offers full benefits to all employees, paid family leave, a 401k fully divested of fossil fuels, and has chartered a diversity, equity, and inclusion employee group. The company is also well on the way to a transition to becoming a worker owned cooperative. All of this in the midst of learning how to navigate the changing business landscape during a global pandemic, and continuing to fight the climate crisis locally.
“We believe that business is a force for positive change and GreenSpark, while in no way perfect, is trying to take progressive action to be a better company for our People and Planet, and for our bottom line,” shared McConochie. “Raising our company’s entry level pay rate is a better reflection of the actual living wage requirements of the Rochester area and is a small step towards closing the inequality gap that plagues our communities. Employee ownership, an issue that is also near and dear to our hearts, is the next step we are working on to create opportunities for more people, and especially people disproportionately impacted by systemic racism, to build generational wealth.”
There is an increase in demand for renewable energy products both residential and commercial in the area. GreenSpark has seen the Greater Rochester community start thinking more about how they use electricity and where it comes from, especially as we see increases in energy bills. The electric vehicle (EV) boom has hit the area, resulting in a demand for electric vehicle charging stations at homes, businesses, institutions, and more. And why stop there? If you’re making the switch from gas to electric vehicles, chances are you don’t want to use dirty electricity to “fill your tank”, so you add solar energy to power your EV. And more people have an interest in storing their excess power generated right at home, adding battery storage to the mix. GreenSpark has installed EV Charging stations for towns and businesses in the area, as well as solar plus storage for local businesses and institutions.
GreenSpark’s success results from the passionate and experienced team, and also through the creation of win-win partnerships. Using business as a force for good, GreenSpark can be both profitable and collaborative, benefiting the long term health of the company, the growing solar family of customers, vendors, subcontractors, and the planet. People. Planet. Profit. GreenSpark is working to balance the three and in doing so have seen the success of a values driven, mission led approach come to life. Here’s to the next 20 years of combating climate change and building energy together.
About GreenSpark Solar
GreenSpark Solar, Loyal to People and Planet, creates fiercely local, cost-effective, clean energy options for the Greater Rochester Community and beyond. GreenSpark is a fully independent B Corp with a mission to provide diverse renewable energy solutions that produce meaningful cost savings, local economic benefits, and a better balance with our planet for homeowners, business owners, community partners, and more. GreenSpark’s success is a result of our passionate and experienced team, and our commitment to using business as a force for good for nearly 20 years. We can be both profitable and collaborative—creating win-win partnerships that benefit our long-term company health along with our growing solar family of customers, vendors, subcontractors, and our planet.