CES Richmond North: Taking the Solar Market by Storm
Picture everything that goes into a major solar project — panels, racking, inverters. Now picture it all coming from one place — City Electric Supply. That’s what happened when Shockoe Solar and City Electric Supply Richmond North teamed up for their latest project, Herod Seeds.
Competing in the Solar Market
“That’s new, that’s special. I always quote everything, but solar modules especially have not typically been easy to land for CES in the past as CES didn’t highly participate in the space. Thanks to our new RES division, CES can compete in the market,” explained CES Richmond North Outside Sales Representative Jason Joyner. “There are a lot of different sources for solar modules, and of course everyone’s looking for the best price and efficiency.”
So not only was CES able to supply everything as a one-stop shop, from DC and AC materials to PPE and more, they were able to beat out some pretty stiff competition. They owe some of that to their partnership with REC Group as a Platinum REC Partner.
“CES has a great partnership with them, and they make an incredible-looking product,” said Joyner. “Not only do their modules look really good, but, REC has one of the highest efficiencies in their watt class and one of the best warranties in the industry.
Help from the CES Renewables Division
Another instrumental factor in landing this project? City Electric Supply’s very own Residential/C&I Renewable Energies division, RES.
“Like I mentioned before, there are plenty of different makes and models of modules, and Rob Smith from the RES team was involved in vetting many manufacturers and only partnering CES with some of the best in the industry,” said Joyner. “His decade plus of experience in the market on the contractor side has built a network that he relies heavily on every day to build and support this space for CES and its customers. He was right beside me the whole time, making sure everything was correct. He’s been a huge help. Huge.”
When Joyner started at CES, solar was completely new to him. With the experience he’s received from working with Shockoe Solar and the help he’s received from colleagues like Rob, that’s no longer the case.
“I didn’t know anything about solar when I started, but I do now. And I’ve gained some really important experience, especially with this project being the largest the Richmond North Branch has seen,” said Joyner.
“It takes time to figure everything out before diving in, but that comes with the territory. That’s how you get the job done well,” said Joyner. “And you know, we still turned it around in about six months.”
Strong Relationship with Shockoe Solar
Landing such a large solar project was exciting for the branch, but it wasn’t completely out of left field. Joyner values a great relationship with Bernie Stanley, the owner of Shockoe Solar, and the rest of his team.
“It sounds cliché, but we really just hit it off. I love working with them. The guys, the personalities. Everyone’s nice, great to work with and learn from. I’ve always enjoyed working with them, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon,” said Joyner.
When asked if he’d taken any time to reflect on how much they accomplished, Joyner was quick to respond to the contrary.
“My mindset is always, ‘What’s next? Let’s go,’” admitted Joyner. “Don’t get me wrong. Any time you can make something that big happen at a branch that hasn’t really done anything like it before is exciting. I’m really happy with how this turned out, but I’m also ready to see what opportunities are still to come.”
And the good news for Joyner is that he probably won’t have to wait long.
“There are already some big things in the works,” said Joyner. “We’re now working on a big development in Richmond, and I’m happy to say there’s even more on the horizon for us.”
Joyner is the first to say that none of it would be possible without his team — District Manager Sam Morse, Branch Manager Ed Bolka, Operations Manager Paul “PJ” Harman, Inside/Counter Sales Representative Mike Redmond, and Driver Mark Brown. With such a skilled group of people, CES Richmond has an exciting future ahead.