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AGT Named 2020 Top Solar Contractor of the Year

2020 Top Solar Contractor of the Year

Advanced Green Technologies Named Florida’s Top Commercial Solar Contractor for 9th Year in a Row by Solar Power World

Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), is honored to be recognized by Solar Power World magazine as the top commercial solar EPC company in Florida and ranked 153 out of 407 solar panel installation contractors in the nation on the magazine’s recently-released 2020 Top Solar Contractors list.

With more than 5.842 megawatts installed in 2019 and more than 250 megawatts installed to date, AGT leads the commercial solar EPC category in the State of Florida with the number one spot for the ninth year in a row. The recognition follows a number of large-scale solar panel installation projects AGT completed in 2019 including a 1.4 MW Solar Carport at United Therapeutics in Jacksonville, 24 solar roofs at the Beacon Hill Apartment Complex in Orlando, and 1 MW solar roof at JJ Taylor Distribution Center in Fort Myers.

In 2020, AGT is working hard to complete several high-profile solar panel installation projects including a 1.6-megawatt solar roof consisting of 4,022 panels the new headquarters for COSTEX Tractor Parts in Miami, Florida. The system can provide an annual savings of more than $200,000 per year. Another project highlight includes the installation of a 60-foot long solar canopy shade structure at the Concours Club in Miami to protect its luxury cars from the sun while producing 428,386 kilowatts of energy annually (the equivalent of powering 35 average U.S. homes for one year).

AGT continues to grow its presence in the state of Florida, recently acquiring a 32,000-square-foot office and warehouse in the Tampa Bay area that allows it to grow solar panel installation capabilities. The new facility will help support growth, adding new high in-demand jobs. The company established a Tampa presence in 2015, buying roofing contractor Roth Bros. of Florida. Since then, the contractor has added more than 40 jobs, bringing the area’s staff to over 70 roofing and solar employees.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. The 2020 list was released on July 21.

See 2020 Top Solar Contractor Ranking

“We are beyond proud of the hard work the AGT team continues to do day in and day out to be the top installer of commercial solar EPC in the Sunshine State,” said AGT President Michael Kornahrens. “2020 has been a challenging year, causing issues from supply chain delays to tightening tax equity markets. Solar is critical to Florida’s future and AGT is committed not only to working hard to install more solar panels in the state, but also to be a leader in advocating for initiatives that stabilize our industry.”

Advanced Green Technologies Purchases New Facility In Tampa

Advanced Green Technologies Purchases New Facility in Tampa, Florida

With the demand for commercial solar panel installations in the Tampa Bay Area at an all-time high, Advanced Green Technologies invests in a new 32,000 SF facility to help support growth, adding new high in-demand jobs

TAMPA, Fla. – Advanced Green Technologies and Advanced Roofing, Florida’s top-ranked commercial solar and re-roofing contractor, is expanding Florida West Coast operations with the purchase of its new facilities. To stay ahead of the growing demand for roofing and solar installations, the contractor acquired a 32,000-square-foot industrial building close to Tampa International Airport that allows it to grow roofing and solar manufacturing capabilities.

Fort Lauderdale-based Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) and sister company Advanced Roofing established a Tampa presence in 2015, buying roofing contractor Roth Bros. of Florida. Since then, the contractor has added more than 40 jobs, bringing Tampa staff to over 70 roofing and solar employees.

“We’re investing in Tampa Bay’s economy and community for the long term,” said CEO Rob Kornahrens. With both companies in the new facility, Advanced Roofing is hiring for wide-ranging jobs in its commercial roofing and solar energy divisions. “Making this commitment gives clients confidence we’ll be here for them and streamlines operations for our pipeline of major projects,” Kornahrens added. “With the height of hurricane season just ahead, we have a large capacity and experience to help Tampa Bay commercial properties prepare for and recover from storms the season may bring.”

AGT’s and Advanced Roofing’s business on Florida’s West Coast has grown steadily. Recent projects have included major government, corporate, and educational facilities. AGT is currently building over $12 million dollars worth of solar contracts in the Tampa area alone, with clients including Fortune 500 banking institutions, large private-sector manufacturers, and government agencies. One of AGT’s largest projects in the Tampa area was a $5 million solar carport project for Lockheed Martin in Oldsmar in which AGT manufactured and installed the steel-mounting components for the project.

“Great people who want to keep learning and moving ahead in their careers are the lifeblood of our company, and we’re actively recruiting in Tampa Bay,” Kornahrens said. The new location is a $2.4 million industrial building on 7.14 acres at 4904 West Knollwood Street. Advanced Roofing and AGT relocated this spring from a 3,427-square-foot facility at 8507 W. Sunstate Street, Tampa.

Recognized nationally for a strong commitment to workforce development and creating an opportunity for employees’ career growth, Advanced Roofing and AGT take a nontraditional approach that includes recruiting and providing fast-track training for military veterans and women, as well as foreign workers who are in the U.S. legally under Temporary Protected Status or H2B Visa programs. The company also spearheaded the creation of the Florida Registered Roofing Apprenticeship Program in 2015 with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) in South Florida and that program expanded into the Tampa area in 2019. The three-year work/study apprenticeship program can lead to a career-making $50,000 or more yearly, without taking on any educational debt. “

How to Protect Your Solar Panels from a Hurricane

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Commercial Solar Energy Systems

View Our Tips on How to Protect Your Solar Panels from Storm Damage this Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30

Florida’s hurricane season runs from June 1st – November 30th, with the peak of the season in August and September. This is the sixth year in a row that a tropical depression has formed before the official start of hurricane season, kicking off what experts predict will be an active season.

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2020, with the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor. Tropical and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are also warmer than usual, a factor supporting an active hurricane season ahead. The Weather Company calls for 18 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes.

Commercial solar system owners should prepare now no matter the forecast. Add to that the start of the rainy season, which is underway now through October, there is no time like the present to prepare your solar array to protect it from storm damage.

What to Do Before a Hurricane

  • Check Inverter(s) Status and Communication Status to ensure pre-storm operation.
  • Inspect Inverter Enclosures and All Outdoor Electrical Gear for proper seal and cabinet closure.
  • Measure Torque of All Electrical Connections, Re-torque As Needed
  • Inspect All Conduits for Proper Connections To Supports, Couplings, and Fittings, and Duct Seal at potential water entry points
  • Inspect All Visible Wire Connections To Ensure All Are Properly Secured
  • Spot Check All Racking and Attachment Systems for Loose Or Missing Parts, using torque verification markings from the original installation
  • Inspect PV Modules for Physical Damage and Document Conditions
  • Inspect Warning Signs and Labels for first responder warnings and information.
  • *In the Event That Your System Is in The Path Of A Major Storm; Schedule An Authorized AGT Technician To Systematically Power The System Down (AC/DC Disconnects & Communication)

What to Do After a Hurricane

  • Schedule an AGT Technician to Systematically Power System On (AC/DC Disconnects & Communication)
  • Confirm No Water Leakage to Any Component Parts
  • Check Operating Voltage (AC and DC Voltage) and Current
  • Measure Torque of All Electrical Connections, Re-torque As Needed
  • Check Inverter Status, Inspect Inverter Cabinet For Damage And Proper Securement:
  • Check Inverter Fans for Dirt/Dust Build-up, Clean And Verify Fans Are Operating Properly
  • Check Filters and Clean As Needed
  • Inspect All Conduits for Proper Connections To Supports, Couplings, and Fittings, and Duct Seal soundness at cable entry points
  • Inspect All Visible Wire Connections to Ensure All Are Properly Secured
  • Inspect All Warning Signs and Labels and Add or Replace as Needed
  • Spot Check All Racking and Attachment Systems for Loose or Missing Parts. Repair or Replace as Needed:
  • Consider Aerial Thermal Scan of the array for microfractures and hotspots from excessive panel stress or impact.
  • Visually Inspect 5% of All PV Modules for Physical Damage and Document Conditions
  • Remove and Dispose of Any Debris Covering the Modules That May Cause Shading or Damage

Why Work With Advanced Green Technologies During Hurricane Season in Florida

  1. Advanced Team: We have seven offices in Florida and more than 575 employees to help with repairs following a storm.
  2. Emergency Generators: Emergency generators are located at all branch locations to keep operations going post-storm.
  3. Offsite Email: Our offsite communication system has been enhanced and ensures we will always be accessible following a storm.
  4. Fuel & Supplies: We have a special reserve of fuel and supplies for our entire fleet to ensure quick mobilization for emergency repairs.
  5. South Florida Disaster Resiliency Coalition: We partner with emergency management and private-public entities across the tri-county area to enhance and build a hurricane resilient community.

Schedule Your Hurricane Season Solar Inspections and Maintenance Today

We know that preparing your solar array for a hurricane can be overwhelming. One way to reduce the stress of hurricane planning is to take action now by performing preventive maintenance inspections and repairs on your solar panels, racking system, and electrical components before and after a major storm hits.  Advanced Green Technologies is here to help. Call us today at (888) 735-2641 or click here to have your roof inspected and documented so you are prepared to take on this hurricane season

Help Save the Solar Industry

Help Save Solar in Florida

Congress Should Act Fast to Save the Solar Industry

Opinion Article by Rob Kornahrens, Found and CEO of Advanced Green Technologies

COVID-19 has hit the solar industry hard. With 250,000 American employees and $19 billion in annual infrastructure investments, the U.S. solar industry has enjoyed extraordinary growth over the past several years. However, with a plummeting economy and industry job figures, the COVID-19 crisis is threatening these solar jobs and critically important investments.

Issues from supply chain delays to tightening tax equity markets could lead to a loss of nearly half of the solar industry workforce in the United States over the coming months. Projections have industry losses down by 38% relative to forecasts.

Read the full article in the Sun-Sentinel 

Coronavirus Procedures

Advanced Green Technologies Conronvirus Procedures for a Safe Workplace

At Advanced Green Technologies, the health and safety of our customers and employees are our number one priority. As our team is closely monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have preparations in place to reduce the potential for disruption of our services to our customers throughout the State of Florida.

  • Instructed all employees to stay home if they are sick or knowingly exposed to someone diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • Limited exposure to any of our facilities by outside vendors, visitors, and guests.
  • Introduced hand-sanitizing and wash stations at all job sites.
  • Provided all employees with education on good personal hygiene practices.
  • Trained all managers on our policy in relation to the coronavirus and how to enforce our policy requiring sick employees to remain home if sick or they be sent home if they come to work sick.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all facilities and work vehicles.
  • Canceled meetings, trade shows, and special events.
  • Limited travel to essential business activities only.
  • Administrative employees are able to work from home.

In doing business with Advanced, customers are encouraged to limit non-essential contact by:

  • Communicating Electronically: Contact our staff via email, telephone, and Online Chat through our website www.agt.com.

We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, and we will do our best not to disrupt service to your building. We are grateful for your loyalty and are committed to providing you with excellent commercial roofing services. Should you have any questions, please call us at 888-735-2641 or reach out to your direct contact at Advanced Green Technologies.

Thank you for understanding, and we wish you and your family health and wellness during this difficult time.

2020 Solar Energy Tax Credit for Businesses

Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) 2020 Step Down

Solar Tax Credits for Businesses in Florida 2020

Take Advantage of Important Solar Tax Credits for Bussiness and Commercial Properties

As the cost of going green becomes more affordable each year, many commercial building owners are tempted to hold off on installing solar panels in an attempt to get the best deals. But as the federal investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the solar tax credit for businesses, decreased on January 1 from 30% to 26%, the clock is ticking on getting the best deal on your solar investment. Now is the best time to install a solar roofing system before next year’s step-down.

What is the Solar Tax Credit for Businesses?

The federal solar tax credit previously allowed commercial building owners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal income taxes until 2020. The tax credit can also be claimed as soon as the construction of the system begins. The credit and depreciation benefit helped reduce the system price by as much as 60%. Add to that savings from a reduced utility bill, and business owners were looking at a bright investment.

Solar ITC Step-Down Schedule

Since the ITC was enacted in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 10,000%, with an average annual growth of 50% over the last decade. Even with this success, starting January 1, 2020, the value of the tax credit began its decline from 30% to its current 26%. Next year, the credit drops even further to 22% and plummets to a permanent 10% in 2022 and onward. A four percent decrease in 2021 may sound small, but when installing a solar panel system, especially on large commercial buildings, the loss in savings can be significant.

Things to Consider When Installing Solar on Your Commercial Property

You’ve decided now is the time to go green – so what’s next? Be sure to confirm the installation timeline once you have chosen a company. Schedules vary so it is important to confirm that your system will be installed before the end of the year to get the maximum tax incentive.

Seeing (the Savings) is Believing

Some of Florida’s largest businesses like Publix Super Markets, Ed Morse, Lockheed Martin, and Advanced Roofing have installed solar on their properties, from rooftop installations to solar carports. Solar has a short payback period, provides steady financial returns, and helps business owners hedge against rising energy prices. According to our data, Advanced Roofing paid on average $1,623.00 in monthly electricity bills before going solar. After the installation of an 84-kW solar carport at our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, our electricity bill is approximately $890.00 ­­– a 55% reduction.

How Much Money Can Solar Save Your Business?

Contact us today for your complimentary energy audit and project quote.

 

Top Solar Contractor of the Year

Advanced Green Technologies Named Florida’s Top Commercial Solar Contractor for 8th Year in a Row

Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) was recently recognized by Solar Power World magazine as the top commercial solar EPC company in Florida and ranked 217 out of 415 solar companies in the nation on the magazine’s 2019 Top Solar Contractors list.

With more than 2.2 Megawatts installed in 2018 and more than 250 Megawatts installed to date, AGT leads the commercial EPC category in the state of Florida with the number one spot for the eighth year in a row. The recognition is attributed to a number of large-scale projects completed by AGT last year, including installing a 1,083.285 kW solar system on the massive 123,000-square-foot, 35-feet high roof at J.J. Taylor Distributing and a 201 kW rooftop solar array at Dairy-Mix.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. The 2019 list was released on July 23.

See 2019 Top Solar Contractor Ranking

We are extremely proud of our team for leading AGT to once-again being recognized as the top commercial solar EPC in the State of Florida,” said AGT President Michael Kornahrens. “Solar is critical to Florida’s future and I am thankful for my team’s commitment to solar and their hard work in making our company one of the best in the industry.”

While there was a lag in demand for solar last year due to uncertainty in the market following President Trump’s tariffs, solar is seeing a brighter future in 2019.  Demand has increased this year by 150% due to the expiring 30% tax credit. AGT reminds business owners of the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit set to be reduced at the end of the year.  Currently, you can subtract 30% of all solar energy system installation costs directly from your federal income tax payments, making for a quick return on investment.  The 30% Solar Investment Tax Credits will be reduced to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021 before dropping permanently to 10% for commercial projects and 0% for residential projects.

Solar Energy Trends for 2019

What is PACE Solar Florida

PACE Solar Financing Florida

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Solar Financing Programs are Helping Business and Commercial Property Install Solar Panels in Florida

With utility costs on the rise and the price of solar systems declining, the switch to solar energy can be a cost-effective alternative for many business owners. While going green saves money in the long-run, the high upfront costs of solar can be daunting. To help promote sustainability, the State of Florida approved the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program for local governments to implement. PACE makes solar more accessible by giving commercial property owners access to low-interest financing through an approved third-party provider to cover the upfront costs of solar solutions, which are paid back over time through a voluntary tax assessment levied on the property.

How Does PACE Solar Financing Work?

PACE provides financing for a variety of eligible improvements to a commercial property, including energy efficiency, HVAC, hurricane protection improvements and more. The program offers 100% financing at competitive fixed rates over the useful life of the improvements, up to 30 years (rates for commercial projects vary depending on the term), which allows for the cost savings gained from solar to be used to pay back the initial investment. Property owners that voluntarily choose to participate in a PACE program repay their improvement costs over a set time period through property assessments, which are secured by the property itself instead of the owner and paid as an addition to the owners’ property tax bills. Thinking of moving? The assessments can transfer ownership if a property is sold as long as the buyer agrees to take over the PACE obligation and the new first mortgage holder allows the PACE agreement to remain on the property.

There are five active PACE programs in Florida offering commercial financing:

  1. CounterPointeSRE Every county and city in Florida is invited to take part in the Florida PACE Funding Agency (FPFA), a single purpose local government making its PACE program available to any subscribing Florida city or county. The CounterPointeSRE Program is the commercial PACE program offered by the FPFA and operates in more than 20 counties in Florida, including Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
  2. Ygrene Energy Fund – Ygrene is the exclusive administrator of the Clean Energy Green Corridor District of over 85 municipalities, including the cities of Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Miami, Miami Shores, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.
  3. Solar Energy Loan Fund (SELF)Administers St. Lucie County’s commercial PACE program
  4. RenewPACE – A program of the Florida Green Finance Authority (a partnership of local governments from across Florida), RenewPACE works with multiple banks and financial institutions to offer the only Open Market-based PACE finance program in Florida to help commercial property owners finance renewable energy improvements.
  5. Leon County Commercial PACE Program

PACE Solar Financing Benefits

In addition to being a feel-good investment that resonates with employees, tenants, and customers, solar reduces energy costs for commercial property owners, stimulates the economy through local job creation, and increases commercial property values. PACE provides its own set of benefits for commercial businesses, one of which is allowing business owners to keep the rebates and tax incentives that come with solar while receiving financing. Other benefits include:

  • PACE provides an innovative solution for capital improvements, especially for businesses with a limited capital budget
  • Gain control over energy costs with lower utility bills, improving cash flow and capital costs which can be seen as soon as the first year following project completion
  • The assessment may qualify as an operating expense and not an investment and therefore not subject to ROI limitations
  • PACE financing optimizes a building’s capital stack with potential for off-balance sheet treatment and no acceleration clauses
  • Since PACE financing is a tax, it may be reported similar to other line item taxes on the property’s income statement (always check with your tax preparer)
  • Non-ad valorem assessment for tax purposes
  • There are no balloon payments, so the terms match the useful life of the solar solution
  • Fixed interest rates up to 30 years
  • 100% financing of the entire cost of the project, including all soft costs such as permits, inspections, pre-paid service/warranty contracts and design fees
  • Closing costs can be capitalized
  • Maturities between 5-30 years up to the estimated useful life of the improvement
  • Prepayment is not required upon sale or refinancing of the property

More than 60 cities and counties throughout the state of Florida have PACE financing programs in place. This number will continue to grow as more communities experience the many benefits of going green.

Contact us today for more information on how your business can benefit from PACE Financing Florida.

Advanced Green Technologies acquires MSC Electric

Acquisition Brings an In-House Electric Contracting Team To Meet Surging Corporate Demand for Solar Energy

As corporate demand for solar energy rises, a strategic acquisition brings Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), Florida’s largest commercial solar contractor, a veteran in-house electric contracting team to streamline schedules and trim costs.

AGT’s parent company, Advanced Roofing Inc., today announced it has acquired Davie, Florida-based electrical contractor MSC Electric Inc.

““Adding MSC’s proven talent to our team enables us be a single, cost effective source for commercial clients who’ve committed to meet aggressive renewable energy goals,” said Clint Sockman, vice president of both AGT and Advanced Roofing. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2001 by Michael Cervone, a Florida Licensed Unlimited Electrical Contractor, MSC Electric is a longtime subcontractor for AGT on major solar energy projects. Cervone will serve as AGT’s electrical division manager overseeing all electrical functions, from design through installation, for solar rooftop, solar farm and solar carport solutions.

“As more Fortune 500 and other high-profile companies commit to be carbon neutral by 2025 or 2030, their need to produce enough renewable energy is pushing demand for commercial solar energy to record levels in Florida,” said Sockman. “Once corporations adopt policies to reduce their sizeable carbon footprints, the clock is running. They must consider all alternatives based on their real estate portfolios, and we find rooftop solar arrays and solar carports are always under discussion.”

Sockman expects Advanced Roofing’s revenues, which topped $95 million in 2018, to continue growing this year, fueled in part by the rise in solar energy demand. “The vision of corporate America is clear. They need to quickly find ways to produce more renewable energy,” he said. “Fortunately, the economics of solar energy has never been better.”

Availability of federal tax credits for 30 percent of commercial solar energy installations’ costs until year-end 2019 is boosting corporate clients’ sense of urgency, Sockman said. “Our pipeline is seeing significant growth as more companies realize they can access tax credits by spending at least five percent of a project’s estimated costs by year-end,” he added.

Acquiring MSC Electric is the latest vertical integration step for AGT and Advanced Roofing, a diversified corporation whose additional Florida licenses include Roofing Contractor, General Contractor, Solar Contractor, and Air Conditioning Contractor.

2019 Solar Trends

Solar Energy Trends for 2019

2019 is looking bright for solar energy in Florida

Solar has evolved from being good for the bottom line to being the right thing to do as we gain a deeper understanding of climate change and feel its impact on our daily lives. The difference in climate is helping to drive consumers’ buying patterns, as in the case of United Therapeutics. Advanced Green Technologies was chosen to install five solar carports for United Therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic East in Jacksonville, Florida. The new solar carports can provide up to 50% of the total energy needed to power the facility. As a bioengineering company working to save lives, their move toward becoming a zero-energy business is simple: “We have no business saving lives if we are killing the world.” We are proud to be a part of this. (read more…)

Solar Incentives

With tariffs on Chinese solar panels and solar tax incentives winding down from 30% to 10% by 2022, we see a negative financial impact on the industry as a whole, but the demand for renewable energy will continue to be strong in the next few years. One way business owners are taking advantage of solar is through joint projects that combine both a new cool roof and solar system. By combining two projects into one, we can give our customers a discounted rate, making solar a substantial investment in the Sunshine State.

Solar Technology

While technology in solar panels has stabilized, we see real innovation in racking design and how we build and engineer panels, driving cost and efficiency. Adaptation will also drive demand. Recent legislation requiring condominiums to give access to charging stations for electric vehicles is expanding the business beyond commercial carports. With a strong ROI, positive marketing opportunities, and helping fight climate change, solar isn’t just a feel-good story – it makes sense for many businesses.