By GREGORY ZELLER //
Trumpeting a “strategic partnership” benefitting a wider regional customer base, a Long Island-based solar-system installer has executed a non-hostile takeover of another Island solar firm.
Ronkonkoma-based SUNation Solar Systems, self-billed as “the premier provider” of solar photovoltaic systems for residential and commercial customers across Long Island and New York City, has taken the reins of Northport-based solar-engineering contractor Energy By Choice.
Terms of the takeover, which was completed Feb. 1, were not disclosed. But the acquisition, while fruitful for SUNation Solar Systems, was a completely non-hostile act – in fact, it was Energy By Choice’s choice, according to SUNation.
The circa-2006 solar Engineering Procurement and Construction contractor “sought out the partnership with SUNation” to “ensur(e) that their customer base will receive the superior customer experience they deserve,” according to SUNation, which launched in 2003.
Energy By Choice owner Sail Van Nostrand, a 30-year veteran of the construction and project-management fields, said his boutique solar contractor – which as an EPC contractor assumes responsibility for everything from design and procurement to construction and commissioning – was finding it “increasingly difficult to adapt to the changing solar landscape and … more difficult than ever before to remain competitive and relevant.”
“We are pleased to announce that we have taken steps to ensure our clients continue to receive the care, concern, quality and worry-free solar experience they have in the past,” Van Nostrand said in a statement. “SUNation is Long Island’s most successful ‘home grown’ solar contractor, and I have enjoyed a strong personal relationship with the principals for many years.
“SUNation’s service group far exceeds what Energy By Choice could have accomplished on its own.”
This is not the first time SUNation has welcomed the customers of other solar providers into its flock. As an example of its “commitment to the Long Island community,” the Ronkonkoma company notes a long history of servicing customers who had their solar PV systems installed by someone else – including many customers left in a lurch by installers that failed or fled the region.
SUNation CEO Scott Maskin said he’s happy to welcome Energy By Choice’s customers into the fold, not only to bolster SUNation’s bottom line but to keep the regional solar momentum rolling unabated.
“Once again, the market is shifting,” Maskin said Wednesday. “Local companies focused on outstanding customer experience and high-quality installations are outpacing the national companies, who are exiting the Long Island region.”
The CEO noted a 2017 “tipping point” at which purchase-to-own solar systems began outpacing leased systems and Power Purchase Agreements. That caused many national installers – less interested in servicing than new sales – to abandon whole regions and left local companies like SUNation to “pick up the pieces,” according to Maskin.
In this environment, through organic growth and acquisitions, SUNnation has swelled its customer base past 7,500 residential, commercial and municipal customers, with more than 50 megawatts of solar juice flowing from company-installed systems.
Energy By Choice’s operations and customers will fit right in, Maskin said.
“Energy by Choice has distinguished itself with a business model that fits seamlessly into our growth plans,” the CEO noted. “Happily, the Long Island community is entrusting Long Island-based companies for an optimal solar experience.”