People of the 10th anniversary Top Solar Contractors list: Edwin Perkins, Moss

For the 10th anniversary of the Top Solar Contractors list, we’re sharing Q&A’s with the people who make the industry run every day. Read more interviews here.

How’d you get started in solar?

I was originally hired by Moss in 2007 to build high-rise buildings for the commercial side of Moss. The Moss team began to get involved in the solar space and I was asked in 2012 to help build the solar business and see where it could go. At first I was a little hesitant due to my background in architecture and original passion for commercial construction, but looking back it was the best business decision I ever made since the solar industry has simply exploded over the past few years. It has turned into one of the most dynamic and exciting industries to be in, and I am truly proud of the culture and team we have built at Moss in order to meet our partners needs in the solar industry.

What’s your favorite part about being in the solar industry?

It is cliché in the industry to talk about the “solar coaster,” but it is one of the things that makes the industry so exciting to be a part of. The market is constantly evolving and changing. It makes the work exciting, and as construction professionals we enjoy trying to figure out how to evolve and improve what we do every day to make our work more efficient to best meet our client’s needs. Our continued growth is a testament to the growth of the industry, but most especially to our ability to deliver for our clients time and again, and provide them a tremendous experience and genuine partner they can trust in this industry.

What has surprised you the most about the solar industry in the last 10 years?

When we first entered into this market, it was heavily driven by a few key states like California out west or New Jersey in the east with a special program to push solar, but now due to the continued rapid efficiency increases in solar, it is now widely recognized as the lowest-cost option for generating electricity. Therefore, solar at large-scale is being developed and deployed essentially in every state and region of this great nation.

What are your solar predictions for the next 10 years?

Although there will always be twists and turns like the current commodity market challenges the industry is seeing, it is pretty clear that the market is really on the front end of taking off. Many states have instituted clean energy goals and the utilities across the country are moving fast to turn the energy portfolios into clean energy portfolios. In addition to year-over-year increases in new solar plant construction for the foreseeable future, we also will likely see more and more “old” projects be re-energized with more efficient modules and other equipment as the industry continues to mature.

How’d you/your company stand out in the last year?

The Moss team has gone from approximately 200 MW of constructed projects a year to around 2 GW of constructed projects per year within a two-year window with much larger per-year goals ahead of us. That is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization and I am extremely proud of the men and women that work hard every day to safely build the country’s clean energy future. For us, we truly believe that one of our key differentiators is our company culture. Moss is a family-owned company and we are very proud that our working environment has always felt like a family. Being able to grow to-date while continuing to maintain and even enhance that culture is something that I am extremely proud of.

How are you helping to improve the industry?

We understand that in order to meet the demands of the market, we must continue to provide our clients the highest standards of quality and safety while continuing to be cost-effective. Our company constantly works on ensuring that we have the correct systems and processes in place to drive down the cost of constructing solar projects. Another key area for Moss to help drive improvements in the industry is through education. Moss is doing that through the universities by helping to create advanced solar curriculums. Moss then follows that up with tremendous internship opportunities that ultimately lead to long-term career opportunities after college to build up the next generation of strong solar leaders.