Episode 478

478: Becoming the #1 Solar contractor in America, Pt 1: George Hershman - SOLV Energy

Published on: 2nd June, 2022

George Hershman is the CEO of SOLV Energy (formerly known as Swinerton Renewable Energy), a company that, in my tenure in the industry, has grown to become the largest utility-scale solar Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the US.  I’ve been impressed at every turn how George, and his all-star team at SOLV, has consistently delivered the highest quality on almost every standard, excels at employee retention & growth, and is generally considered the premium brand when it comes to EPC firms (both in perception & price!). So, naturally I’ve long-wanted to get George in the SunCast booth to hear the story of how it all came together, and where it’s going from here.

This is Part 1 of a 2-part interview where I do just that. 

George began working for general contractor, Swinerton Builders, in 1997. In 2008, he was tapped to build the company's presence in the growing solar sector. George was employee number-one at Swinerton Renewable Energy, a company which quickly  grew into the country’s largest grid-level solar installer and the #1 Solar Contractor in America. George has spent his career in general construction management. His wide expertise in energy issues, trade policy, construction projects, and the technical hurdles that the solar industry currently faces gave plenty of headroom for a wide-ranging discussion, so we navigate topics from across the spectrum of startup culture and corporate growth and we get into the challenges inherent in growing anything as big as what his company has become. 

In 2021, Swinerton Renewable Energy and its wholly owned subsidiary SOLV, Inc. merged into a single company, SOLV Energy. George and I get into the details of the decision to pursue the merger and spinout from Swinerton. As CEO of SOLV Energy, he continues to position the company at the forefront of the renewable energy economy. 

Fun Fact, George is also an avid sailor, recently participating in San Diego's Hot Rum Series with the boat he co-owns (called “GoodEnergy”, in case you get the chance to meet him in a happy someday and want a good starter conversation!).

Hope you enjoy this Part 1, and please queue up Part 2!

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to their contact info (linked, twitter, etc) in the show notes over on the blog.

SunCast is presented by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter brand.

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Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 475 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on Twitter, LinkedIn or email.

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About the Podcast

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tune in, and stay informed.