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


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By Nico Johnson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

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.

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509 episodes