Renewable Revolution

As Seen In:  Business World Magazine

According to the declaration of Heraclitus, “The sun is new each day.” The modern era has seen a proliferation of new practices intent to harness solar potential and provide sustainable solutions that will renew capabilities in terms of energy efficiency and affordability. In that industry, ESA Renewables has emerged as an international leader.

ESA Renewables, LLC (ESA) is a leading alternative energy provider focused on delivering turnkey commercial and industrial photovoltaic projects to customers worldwide. ESA’s commitment to achieving maximum performance assures owners that they are getting the best return on investment from their solar power plants.

ESA Renewables was established in 2002. It started as ESA, and in 2010 it expanded to the US and became ESA Renewables after President Jeffrey Burkett and his partner bought into the company. Over the years, it has gradually expanded internationally. “It was a conglomeration of experience, knowledge and know-how from Spain that was implemented into the U.S., and then it was implemented by us into developing projects in the U.S. market,” Burkett explains.

Burkett has an extensive background in the management of construction and construction materials fabrication companies. During his 20-plus-year career, Burkett has sold, developed and financed a variety of construction-related projects. At ESA Renewables, he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and performance, including project sales, the company’s future development, and their continuing operations.

Today, ESA’s shareholders include a large bank as well as various independent investors. That kind of strong financial backing gives ESA the capability to finance installations internally.

“We work with investors that want results and a guarantee and return on their investment they’re looking for,” Burkett says. “We work with financial institutes, take their investment and produce a targeted ROI for them. We’ve given them the assurance and responsibility that the projects are done in accordance with all of the highest standards available.”

“Everyone respects the ESA brand more because of what we’ve done and who we’ve partnered with.”

Reputation is key

ESA Renewables’ range of work includes project development, financing, design and engineering construction, commissioning, monitoring, operation and maintenance through the life cycle of each install. They’ve been trusted to take on such a wide-range of tasks and projects because they have proven how well they can perform on all of them. Not all companies in the alternative energy market have earned that faith. ESA owns a portfolio of PV investments, so we have a good understanding of the investment criteria that investors are looking for.

“We separate ourselves from everybody through our reputation for quality,” Burkett says. “In anything you do, your reputation is key.”

The company’s solid reputation is something they’ve earned time and time again with each project, which are thoroughly planned and “overproduced,” Burkett says. “Our projects overproduce energy, which helps bring repeat business with investors because of the reassurance we provide them. They don’t have to worry about if their system is operating at full capacity or just barely meeting the minimum requirements.”

“Most of our solar projects that we have built, overproduce approximately 13 to 23 percent of what is expected from the investors,” he adds.

ESA Renewables’ complete package of services has resulted in more than 500 installations worldwide involving 45 different utility companies. From viability studies and project development to engineering, construction, monitoring, commissioning and obtaining the necessary administrative permits – ESA does do it all.

What also makes ESA a leading alternative energy company is their solar integration with multi-megawatts installed in more than 500 solar PV power-generating facilities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Spain, Chile, and Italy. These solar projects range from large-scale solar farms to commercial rooftop installs.

Internally, they employ a young, energetic team of professionals with a strong sense of teamwork, and a clear commitment towards sustainable energy, not unlike their clients. The young staff gives them the opportunity to look at today’s generation, Burkett says, adding that the younger generation has more insight on alternatives to doing things, which is symbolic as alternative energy is the “way of the future.”

“We are committed to each customer by delivering quality installations and making ‘going solar’ an effortless experience. We build customer loyalty by doing what we say we will every time and on time. We believe the satisfaction of our customers is the best measure of our success,” he says.

ESA has multiple preferred suppliers for panels, combiner boxes, inverters, and racking systems for their installations. These strong and long-lasting relationships allow the company to install PV systems that they know will perform to the highest standards at maximum output, Burkett says.

“We provide technologically advanced systems that provide value, cost-effectively reduce energy consumption, are reliable, sustainable and meet clients’ expectations.”

Green costs, green saves

As successful as ESA Renewables has been since the beginning, a constant challenge has been to convert people to green energy despite the cost involved. Burkett says it takes a lot of capital to build green projects, and the majority of them are a long-term financial investment. “While there are always people out there that want to do the right thing and have green power, are they willing to pay it in premium for that? Some are, some aren’t.”

That will be a challenge for a long time to come, Burkett admits, but the future is still going to be bright and will create more opportunities for green technologies. As more and more people embrace the idea of sustainability, the long-term future of ESA Renewables keeps getting better. “It is a cash-strong business that not only offers people a financial gain, but also a satisfying feeling that they are doing something good,” he says.