CEA Professional Services Winner: Sun's Up For Local Solar Company

By Lynda Van Kuren, posted May 6, 2022
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | CAPE FEAR SOLAR SYSTEMS John Donoghue, President; Robert Parker, Senior Project Manager | Year Founded: 2007 | Employees: 45 (Photo by Aris Harding)
As solar power has matured, a number of new technologies has made it an attractive option for businesses and homeowners alike. In addition to having a positive effect on the environment, the installation of solar power facilitates the management of energy use. Solar users can reduce their dependence on outside power sources, ensure they have energy during power outages, charge electric vehicles and save money on utility expenses.
“You can measure the impact of solar power on the environment,” said Robert Parker, senior project manager for Cape Fear Solar Systems. “Another good part of solar is that it is modular, scalable and customizable. And it’s ready to be deployed now with both existing infrastructure and new structures.”
Cape Fear Solar Systems is a Wilmington startup that has earned a leadership position in the solar industry. The company has been named a top solar contractor in the United States by Solar World Power magazine for nine years in a row among other accolades.
One of the factors leading to Cape Fear Solar Systems’ success is personalized service. Rather than promising cost savings derived from general statistics, the company’s staff works with each customer to provide the right solar solution for them.
“We don’t push a product and tell people what to buy,” said Parker (shown in photo). “We design a system that will best meet each customer’s goals for their home or business, and the savings and the system’s function come from that.”
In keeping with current trends in the industry, those solar solutions often include energy management and electrical vehicle charging rather than straight solar power.
Cape Fear Solar Solutions is also committed to ensuring the environment is protected while meeting an area’s energy needs. For example, one of the company’s goals is to encourage Wilmington’s growth but to influence it in the most healthy and sustainable way possible, Parker said.
Cape Fear Solar Systems, which opened its doors in 2007, has experienced significant growth, especially in the past few years. The company currently serves customers in Wilmington and its surrounding areas, Jacksonville and Raleigh.
To meet expanding customer demand, the company is building a new headquarters in downtown Wilmington. The new facility will enable the company to build up its workforce, which is now at capacity, and store materials on-site. This will help keep prices down and efficiency up while meeting customer needs, Parker said.
The site will also house a powerful, fast-charging station that businesses and homeowners who don’t have charging stations can use.
In later phases, the company will put a demonstration site at the facility that showcases a two-story, net-zero home and multifamily structures powered by solar energy.
“It’s a good feeling to put more clean power in the grid,” Parker said. “To have a plentiful, available resource like the sun to make clean power from is a wonderful opportunity a lot of homes, businesses and utilities will want to take advantage of now and in the future.”

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