Strata Solar is one of the leading solar companies in the U.S. This business has been shaping the solar energy industry since 2008.

It is operating out of Chapel Hill in North Carolina but has been opening additional locations to work on solar projects in other states. Here is what you need to know about this business and its influence on the solar energy industry.

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What Is Strata Solar?

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Strata was launched in 2008 by Markus and Cathy Willhelm. The business was created to provide residential solar installation services in the Chapel Hill area.

The company grew and started providing commercial installation services before moving on to larger projects. Strata is now working on several solar energy systems that can produce clean energy for entire communities.

As of 2016, the company had completed enough of these utility-scale projects to generate more than one gigawatt of clean energy. These projects have had a significant impact on the solar energy industry and have contributed to boosting adoption rates for this new technology.

North Carolina is currently the second state when it comes to renewable energy generation capacity with more than 4,400 megawatts generated by solar power. Strata played a major part in developing these effective systems that are now providing clean energy to a significant number of North Carolina residents.

The company’s current focus is on large-scale projects called solar farms. These projects are typically developed on agricultural land to provide clean energy to an entire community.

Strata has gained the experience and know-how necessary to build these large-scale systems in a time-efficient manner. The systems are designed from scratch and are adapted to the resources available and the needs of each community.

This company has become successful thanks to its business model. Strata has become one of the most experienced and knowledgeable businesses for building utility-scale solar systems. This business has taken a unique approach by adopting a vertical development strategy.

Strata’s business model is built around long-term success and sustainability. The business has become a successful engineering, procurement, and construction company to have more control over the solar projects developed.

The experts who work for this company have different backgrounds, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering. Each solar energy system is designed from scratch by these professionals.

The procurement side of operations allows Strata to have more control over its supply chain. The company has developed a comprehensive quality control program for the solar panels and other components purchased from suppliers.

This quality program is one of the priorities of the company. There are efforts to continuously improve the quality program to build long-term relationships with suppliers. Suppliers are carefully selected and these quality standards have helped improve quality across the entire solar industry.

The company is also involved in the construction process of its solar farms. The company typically works with local construction professionals and provides training besides supervising the construction process. The talent acquisition team is responsible for building these relationships and providing training. There is also a strong emphasis on safety during the entire training and construction process.

Strata Solar has also specialized in optimizing and protecting existing solar installation. This side of operations offers maintenance services for existing solar power solutions. 

Strata can help solar installation owners get the most out of their investments. Solar energy is a long-term investment and panels typically require cleaning and maintenance.

The company can modernize existing installations to boost their efficiency, optimize their energy production, and provide maintenance services. There is a fleet of experts who can visit solar installations throughout the country and provide these services.

Strata works with each customer to build a unique maintenance plan. These plans typically include:

  • Cleaning and repairs
  • Monitoring
  • Site inspections
  • Vegetation management
  • Optimization
  • Facilities management
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What Makes Strata Solar Unique?

Strata is unique because it’s a major solar company that was built from the ground up with a real passion for renewable energy. The people who founded Strata and those who work for the company have gained a unique breadth of experience thanks to the many projects they have completed over the years.

Strata is currently the company that has installed the most large-scale solar energy projects in the country with more than 150 projects completed. There are several additional projects currently being developed.

This business takes a different approach to build solar systems. The focus of the business has been on leasing farmland to build utility-scale projects. While other companies work on selling solar energy installations, Strata is building its portfolio of large-scale projects to generate renewable energies for a large number of communities.

Each project is turned into a successful investment for the company and for the landowner who leased their land. The profits are then reinvested into another large-scale project to keep building Strata’s portfolio.

This is a smart business model that pushes solar adoption while removing the initial cost barrier linked to this technology.

The company has ten years of experience with solar power. The experts who work at Strata have found new ways to do things and have embraced innovations in the solar energy field. Completing a wide range of successful residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects have helped these experts gain invaluable experience.

Strata is the perfect example of a business that has redefined and shaped its industry. The company has become a leader and a huge influence in the solar energy space.

This influence is felt through the quality program developed by Strata to help its supplier produce better solar panels and other components. Strata also has a major influence on the construction industry by providing training to the contractors who install the solar energy projects.

This training program plays a crucial part in making sure that each project is a success and is also laying a foundation for the further adoption of clean energy in these areas.

The company is using groundbreaking vegetation management techniques on existing installation. The experts working for Strata thought of using sheep to graze and remove vegetation in areas that are difficult to reach.

The vertical business model has been an advantage for this company. It gives Strata more control over the development of its projects and acts as a solid infrastructure the company can rely on to develop more projects regardless of their scale.

The company is also looking at other opportunities. A recent project focused on waste management solutions. It would be interesting to see if the company expands its operations to other sustainable industries in the future.

construction workers installing

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There are currently 350 full-time employees and 1,700 contracted employees. This workforce possesses a wide range of expertise and backgrounds. This is one of the many strengths of this business.

Strata is dedicated to offering the best training possible through its an online form. There is also an effort to always optimizing the way things are done and built.

In the past, the company has played a significant role in changing regulations regarding access to solar power in North Carolina. New regulations have contributed to solar power adoption increasing in the state and could influence other states in the future.

Strata is one of the top five solar providers in the country. The company is working on a lot of exciting projects at the moment, and its future is extremely promising.

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Pricing

Each project built by Strata is unique. Utility-scale projects are adapted to the size of the land that is leased and to the needs of the local community.

There is no pricing information available on the official site of the company, but you can fill out an online form to share a few details about land that is available for lease and get more information about the leasing program.

You will also have to reach out to the company if you want information about other projects or maintenance and optimization services.

Public Perception

The Better Business Bureau has issued a rating of A+ for this company, even though the business isn’t formally accredited. The BBB bases its rating on data that is publically available and on complaints submitted by consumers. There are currently no complaints filed against Strata.

Some Facebook users have rated and reviewed the company via its official Facebook page. The average rating is 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Most of the reviews come from people who want to thank the company for deciding against installing a utility-scale system near residential areas. This indicates that Strata genuinely cares about how its projects impact communities.

There are a few reviews from people who have leased land for a project, from people who have access to renewable energy thanks to Strata, and from employees.

There are some mixed reviews written by employees. Strata works with contractors during the construction phase of the solar farm projects, and it seems that the experience varies a lot from one contractor to the other for the employees.

Indeed has more reviews from employees. Overall, employees write about the company in positive terms.

Employees love the training provided, the teamwork, and the advancement opportunities. They think management has a genuine passion and commitment to renewable energy and has built a strong community around this vision.

Some reviews mention a great benefits package and good relationships between management and employees. Some reviews are more mixed and are written from employees who wish they had received more training

How Does Strata Solar Compare To Other Companies?

There are other companies that are making a difference in the solar industry field.

Sunrun

Sunrun has been around since 2007 and specializes in residential installations. The company offers financing and leasing options to help homeowners start saving on their energy bills and reducing their environmental footprint without having to make a huge upfront investment.

The company provides solar panels and batteries. It can also recommend the best installation for the needs of each household and design the system

Sunrun currently offers its installation services in 15 states and has developed a great selection of online resources to learn about solar power. Sunrun is quickly becoming a major player in the solar industry by providing affordable installation options but doesn’t seem to be planning on expanding operations outside of the residential market.


SunPower Corp

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SunPower Corp was originally founded in 1985. This company provides installation services for homes and businesses and has also developed plant systems.

This company has worked with major chains such as Walmart, Lowe’s, and Macy’s to power stores with clean energy. This company currently holds more than 750 patents for technologies linked to solar power, which means clients are getting equipment that other companies don’t have.

SunPower Corp designs and builds solar systems and storage solutions. The company also offers financing options and has created software that monitors energy production and use.


First Solar

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First Solar has built utility-scale systems similar to the projects Strata works on. However, First Solar designs and builds PV solar modules instead of working with suppliers.

This company designs and builds corporate and utility-scale projects from scratch. They have a vertical approach that is similar to Strata but cover an additional step of this process by designing and making solar modules.

However, First Solar doesn’t lease land to build these systems. Instead, the company partners with communities to build renewable energy systems on public land. First Solar doesn’t seem to offer maintenance services like Strata.

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What We Think

Strata Solar is an example of a company that has contributed to shaping its industry. This business has made a difference for clean energy adoption in the state of North Carolina and is currently expanding its outreach with its new locations.

Strata has chosen a successful business model by taking a vertical approach and covering several steps of the design and construction process for these solar farms.

The company already has an impressive portfolio of projects and will continue to make a difference in the future by building more utility-scale solar installations, helping suppliers meet higher quality standards, training more construction professionals, and maybe even influencing lawmakers in other states.

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