A new program recently launched in the South could serve as a model for how solar energy is marketed and managed across the United States. The Solar Alliance Affiliate Program, announced in September, aims to provide independent sales organizations with access to branded marketing materials and design, engineering, and installation management services involving solar power.
The program was unveiled in a Sept. 12 news release from Solar Alliance Energy Inc., a Tennessee-based provider of solar energy solutions to the commercial and utility sectors. It kicked off with the signing of an agreement between Solar Alliance and North Carolina-based Market Street Solar, which helps entrepreneurs access and navigate renewable energy grant opportunities.
Photo Courtesy Solar Alliance, LLC
The Affiliate Program will initially focus on the Southeastern U.S. but has the potential to be expanded to other regions, MarketScreener reported. In exchange for giving affiliates access to branded marketing materials and other services, they will bring commercial solar opportunities to Solar Alliance.
One of Market Street Solar’s main roles will be to simplify the grant process for eligible businesses that want to tap into the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
REAP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that “provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses.” According to the USDA, the grants can be used to either finance renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency enhancements. Agricultural operations can also apply for new energy-efficient equipment and system loans for farm production and processing.
REAP’s Renewable Energy System Grants range from $2,500 to $1 million, while Energy Efficiency Grants range from $1,500 to $500,000.
Photo Courtesy Market Street Solar
As part of the Alliance, Market Street Solar will target commercial solar opportunities of up to 2 megawatts or greater in scale, according to a news release. Several early-stage projects are currently undergoing evaluation by the Solar Alliance team. The Affiliate Program is also open for additional partners.
“The Affiliate Program represents a significant expansion opportunity for Solar Alliance,” Myke Clark, Solar Alliance CEO, said in a statement. “It allows us to broaden our sales outreach and harness our team’s expertise to seize additional prospects.”
“Our partnership with Market Street Solar enables us to extend our influence, maintain cost efficiency, and make solar benefits accessible to more businesses,” he continued. “Market Street Solar is building a robust portfolio of project opportunities, and we look forward to collaborating with them to deliver top-tier solar projects.”
Solar Alliance provides engineering, procurement, and construction services for a wide range of projects, from large commercial installations to small businesses.
Photo Courtesy Solar Alliance, LLC
For Market Street Solar, the Solar Alliance Affiliate Program has already paid dividends.
“Working closely with Solar Alliance’s sales, service, and engineering teams, we designed a solar system for one of our properties that qualifies for the 50% REAP grant,” Eric Levin, Market Street Solar founder, said in a statement. “This experience unveiled untapped market potential that will help accelerate the growth of both companies.”
On its website, Market Street Solar said its “mission is to make renewable energy solutions accessible” to a diverse mix of entrepreneurs and help them enhance their operations and operate more sustainably.