The Ross Solar Group’s recent announcement that it is going to develop the largest rooftop solar installation in New York is just the latest and certainly not the last news from the family operation.
Ross is installing 1.56 megawatts of SunPower panels on the roof of a Jetro Cash & Carry grocery wholesaler in the Bronx.
“We’ve been working with Jetro a couple years,” said Robert Kline, director of commercial sales for Ross. We had to find a financial model that worked.”
Ross is a family-owned and operated business, Kline said.
Jason Ross was working in the solar industry as an installer. He liked the work and kept dreaming up new projects he wanted to try to complete and methods he wanted use.
“They basically told him that if he wanted to do some of that stuff, he was going to need his own company,” Kline said.
So, he teamed up with his brother Joshua, who has a background in finance, in 2007.
They started off doing mostly residential projects and hired Kline on in 2011 to grow the commercial side. Since then, the company has been doing a lot of commercial installations and has worked with other developers to do studies and installations at Bed Bath & Beyond Stores along with a Walmart in New Jersey, Kline said.
This is the company’s first really large-scale commercial installation that it’s managing “wire to wire,” Kline said.
“The last couple years, we’ve done at least half a dozen projects here in the New York City area,” Kline said. “But a lot of the roofs are constricted in terms of how much space we can use.”
That has kept a lot of the other commercial projects Ross worked on in the city at a much smaller scale than this Jetro center.
“One of the things that make this possible is the sheer sixe of the building and its energy demand,” Kline said.
Ross has projected that the solar array should offset about 40 percent of the building’s energy consumption, though the building hasn’t been open a year, which makes it hard to gage just how much power it will really use.