ReVision Energy has been busy. So busy. Like-a-bee busy. The 11-year-old company added 50 to 60 employees last year and is hiring a couple more every month. It also opened a fourth office, in Concord, N.H.
“2015 was definitely our best year ever,” said Fortunat Mueller, co-founder and partner. “We built more solar than we ever have before.”
The company also built the first net zero office building, school and food production facility in the state during 2015. For all of this, ReVision earned Source’s Pollinator award. Whether it is a residential or municipal solar project (from Boothbay to Windham, Maine cities are adding solar in droves) or a community project that gives “people who live in the shade” a chance to buy in to a solar project elsewhere, the company is connecting customers to the power of the sun. Another part of the reason ReVision has been so busy is the drop in pricing of the technology. The cost of solar electric panels – which now represent 90 percent of ReVision business up from 5 percent when the company started – has dropped by 75 percent in the time Revision has been in business.
Prospective customers also had a motivating factor; federal tax credits for residential renewable energy projects had been set to expire in 2016. But in December, that 30 percent tax credit was extended for PV and solar thermal technologies through 2019, to be followed by a gradual step down in credit value through 2022, so the next few years are likely to be busy as well.)
What encourages Mueller, who has a masters in mechanical engineering, is the increasing diversity among the types of customers who reach out to ReVision. “People are trying to do something about their impact on the climate,” Mueller said. “People feel so helpless in the face of a really daunting international problem, and they are starting to see that there is something we can do.”
For those with an eye on Maine’s economic prospects, like Ryan Wallace, the project director of the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the Muskie School of Public Service, ReVision is a success story on multiple levels. “It demonstrates how addressing environmental challenges can align with economic development, not work in conflict,” Wallace said in an email.
Source isn’t the first to recognize ReVision’s work in the field of sustainability. In October 2015, the Natural Resources Council of Maine gave Mueller and his partner, Phil Coupe, its Conservation Leadership Award for going above and beyond advancing their own private business interests in clean energy technology.
Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Project director for the council, called ReVision “a tremendous resource,” noting how much time Mueller in particular has put in on solar energy policy conversations.
“It feels like hundreds of hours,” Voorhees said. “To help the entire solar industry in the state. And to help customers that aren’t necessarily ReVision customers. They’re trying to help develop a framework for anybody in Maine to transition to clean energy… They are really evangelicals for a cleaner, sustainable, phosphorous future for Maine.”