As the company announced a new partnership with Horizon Energy Group last week, it was also fielding calls about interest in its innovative Solar Tree from the Middle East thanks to a relationship with Aconfort, a member of Al Habtoor Enterprises, said Envision Solar CEO Desmond Wheatley.
Horizon is a respected microgrid strategic consulting firm that works with major power and corporate clients. When those clients are looking for solar energy solutions, Horizon can turn to vendor partner Envision.
“They have very strong relationships within the utility and larger campus spaces,” Wheatley said. “This partnership seems like a very good way for us to accelerate ourselves into that space.”
Of course, Wheatley said it wouldn’t work if Envision’s product wasn’t marketable.
“They’re looking for quality solutions and we have the highest quality,” he said.
California-based Envision builds massive solar tracking devices that work as parking structures, but also have an element of elegance in a unique architectural design that places the solar tracker atop a single pillar.
The company recently announced that it is able to integrate battery storage into its solar trees along with electric vehicle charging units.
“Our product is completely unique and no one else has anything like it,” Wheatley said. “We’re really targeting these major developers who are looking for something special for very large commercial campuses.”
Those are the clients Horizon will bring to the table.
Those are also the clients the solar manufacturer is looking for in the Middle East. A partnership like the one Envision has with Aconfort is the only way to break into a market like that, Wheatley said.
“You can’t just go over there and say, ‘hey here I am. Buy my product,’” Wheatley said.
Envision built the partnership more than a year ago, but has been preparing its product for overseas development.
“It was not realistic for us to even consider the Middle East for a long time because we had to do this very artisanally.”
It would take weeks to construct a Solar Tree until Envision invested in modularizing the process this year. Now the trees are built in warehouses and can be shipped in containers overseas or trucked to a location within the U.S. and installed on site within hours with minimal parking lot disruption.
“We have been very selective about who we partner with,” Wheatley said. “And I think we have some very strong partnerships.”