#34
Strata Solar
Determined How to Put the Sun to Work - Strata Solar
Strata Solar
ACHIEVEMENT No. 34

There is nothing new under the sun. Hardly. For Strata Solar, a nationwide energy leader, that phrase is far from true. The Chapel Hill, NC based company is evolving into a renewable giant through fostering sustainable energy.

After retiring in the area, Markus Wilhelm’s plan did not last long. In 2008, Markus and his wife, Cathy, founded Strata Solar to offer utility, commercial and residential solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. The company not only performs work in the Triangle (NC), but all along the east coast and has an operation in San Francisco. Vice president of marketing, Blair Schooff invited me into the Chapel Hill headquarters to chat about everything under the sun.

“We have a lot of depth and experience,” Schooff stated. “This year we will complete 70 megawatts worth of work, which is double what the state completed last year. We offer competitive pricing, in-house engineers and stand behind our work. We work with tier one suppliers and the products come with 25-year guarantees.”

The residential services of Strata Solar provide a simple way to lower a customer’s energy costs. Homeowners find the investment raises the value of their home while protecting the environment. Solar thermal or photovoltaic systems can offer rebates and incentives of up to 70 percent of the cost of your system.

“What we’ve found is passionate individuals,” Schooff exclaimed. “There is a certain type of dogma that develops in these people. They are very passionate about generating their own electricity and they take care of that investment. It is an energy independence belief and form of personal responsibility.”

For commercial customers, Strata Solar offers a clear way to increase revenue through a long-term financial investment. As an Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC), has completed rooftop solar projects to power commercial retail companies and military bases. In the past year, Strata Solar has seen a distinct increase in utility scale work and emerged as a large-scale solar farm developer.

“We’ve grown to do our development work in clusters,” Schooff detailed. “We have a southeastern, western and northern cluster. We build farms at two at a time. Instead of just offering short-term employment, we strategically align development projects to provide long-term work in local communities where farms are being developed.”

As an innovator in the industry, Strata Solar continues to utilize new technologies to keep up with the growth of the company. Growing from just six employees in 2008 to around 450 today, communication is a clear priority.

“All of our crew leads are connected through a mobile device,” Schooff explained. “As we grow, it is becoming more important to be connected with all of our mobile workers. As crews workloads increase, a connected network will put all of us in a better step with one another.”

Strata Solar delivers steadfast service to all clients by following a set of guidelines. If the last four years are any indication, customers are more than satisfied. By putting the sun to work, Strata Solar continues to uncover something new everyday under the sun.