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Read about some of the awards earned by Energy Concepts.

ENERGY CONCEPTS NAMED TOP SOLAR CONTRACTOR BY SOLAR POWER WORLD 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

2023 Solar Power World Top ContractorsEnergy Concepts is one of the 2023 Top Solar Contractors.

Solar Power World is the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news.  Energy Concepts is featured on the 2023 Top 500 Solar Contractors list. This list ranks contractors according to their influence in the U.S. solar industry each year.


dane county airportAs semester final marks are sent out from colleges across the country, we, too, are excited to announce that Energy Concepts has made the grade. RENEW Wisconsin has notified us that we made their Class of 2014 Honor Roll for “advancing solar generation” in Wisconsin for the 100 kilowatt (kW) solar array at Dane County Regional Airport. The airport’s array among other qualifying projects will be recognized at RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit, titled “Unlocking the Clean Energy Transition,” in January in Madison, WI.

For the last past 23 years, RENEW Wisconsin has supported renewable energy policies in Wisconsin through advocacy, education, and collaboration, and we are grateful for their work in the state. We could not be any more honored to have been selected for the Honor Roll, as we are extremely proud of the project and everyone who worked on it with us. Michael Vickerman, Program and Policy Director of RENEW Wisconsin, commented on the connection between our projects and RENEW’s efforts, “seeing creative and highly motivated entities like [Energy Concepts] powering positive change in Wisconsin is [RENEW’s] reward for laying down the policy foundation that supports this market sector.”

Speaking about the Dane County install, Vickerman continued, “This installation exemplifies the new generation of clean energy projects powering Wisconsin today and tomorrow.” The 377 Suniva panels installed on atop the airport’s brand new Snow Equipment Removal Building will provide power for half of the building’s electricity, up to 135,000 kilowatt per hour (kWh) each year, which is enough to cover the annual usage of 12 typical American homes. Not only is its roof efficient, but Airport Director Bradley Livingston, AAE, further promoted the building’s new benefits, “the ability to house and maintain all of our snow removal equipment in one facility will improve operational efficiencies.” By reducing out-of-service times for essential airfield maintenance equipment, flying will be more efficient on top of being a little greener.

Solar install honer rollThose almost 400 panels did not arrange themselves and become the largest municipally owned solar system in Wisconsin by themselves however. This turnkey photovoltaic system started with a successful public bid followed by carefully thought-out by our own Professional Engineer Craig Tarr using quality, American-made solar panels, racking, and inverters, and was engineered and installed by experts who know solar. Installing a new construction public project such as this one requires a depth of knowledge and experience to successfully execute. Energy Concepts was pleased to partner with MIRON Construction and deliver this high visibility project that benefits airport travelers and Dane County. Thank you to RENEW Wisconsin for acknowledging our hard work and the positive effect this and many other solar systems have on our state.


clean-energy-summitCraig Tarr, P.E., president of Energy Concepts, spoke of solar energy’s potential to policymakers and business owners this summer at Minnesota’s first-ever Clean Energy Economy Summit initiated by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

As the local renewable energy expert, Craig stood alongside other industry leaders and representatives of the clean energy sector as they identified the challenges and opportunities for Minnesota to grow its burgeoning clean energy economy. Governor Dayton opened the summit with a call for Minnesota to eliminate coal from its energy production. A hefty request as 46% of Minnesota’s electricity came from coal in 2013, and in Wisconsin, 62%. As the voice of the solar industry in Minnesota, with over 25 years of experience behind him, Craig touched the crowd of over 400 with his personal anecdotes and passionate zeal for solar.

clean energy summit craig tarr

The summit’s purpose was to bring together collaborative clean technology industries, energy efficiency, wind, solar, bioenergy, and smart grid technologies, to share concerns and generate solutions. The rest of summit included presentations by other nationally known experts and the heads of many well-known Minnesotan companies including 3M, Ecolab, and Honeywell. “The political climate in Minnesota is being proactive in driving business while simultaneously encouraging environmental stewardship by creating opportunities for solar and other clean technology. It just goes to show that environmental responsibility can go hand in hand with job force development and business opportunity,” Craig said.

Minnesota’s clean energy sector has over 14,000 people working in over 1000 different companies, and the summit’s speakers hope to see those numbers grow. Wisconsin, too, has much room to expand its clean energy workforce. Wisconsin could gain 28 thousand more jobs if comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation were adopted.


The Passive House in the Woods recently received Minnesota’s prestigious GreenStar Gold certification in honor of its resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, and reduced community impact. Read more.

MNGS Certificate



Panel Set up in winterNo greenwashing here.

“Do something genuine, not phony,” said Bob Chesebro, president of Wigwam Mills, located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

The family-owned business wanted to make a positive impact on the environment, but also have the whole thing make financial sense.

With a solid and speedy 8-year payback, the project proceeded with approval.




Solar heated waterAward-winning project.

The project was the recipient of the prestigious Sustainability Energy Efficiency award from the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance.

Also, Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy published a case study of the installation for other manufacturing plants to study and learn from.

They concluded that we are a new breed of solar contractor — since we use both engineering and licensed contracting.




Solar construction, Do something genuineInnovation in design.

The job wasn’t without difficulties.

With the plant closed on weekends, the question of what to do with the excess solar heated water — and possible overheating — became paramount.

Our answer? Drainback. This became the first commercial drainback system of its size in the Midwest — and quite possibly the US.




We’re the new breed. With new solutions.


Focus on Energy, Craig TarrFocus on Energy honored Craig Tarr of Hudson-based Energy Concepts with the 2009 Market Provider of the Year Award. The award was presented at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s (MREA) 20th annual Energy Fair on June 21, 2009 in Custer, Wis.

The Market Provider of the Year Award was conceived as a way to recognize renewable energy contractors who exemplify the goals and expectations of the Focus on Energy Program. The award provides the opportunity to honor one such contractor each year for their commitment and dedication to excellent customer service and quality renewable energy systems installation. Contractors who receive this award are exceptional in their passion, intelligence and dedication when it comes to providing renewable energy services.

“Craig’s 20 years of experience in the engineering industry has contributed greatly to his highly successful growth in the renewable energy industry,” said Emily Hickey, market provider program coordinator. “Wisconsin truly benefits from having well qualified businesses like Energy Concepts grow our renewable energy markets.”

The renewable energy division of Energy Concepts was launched in 2006, and in just two short years the company transitioned from a sole proprietorship to an engineering and full-service renewable energy company with six full-time employees. This success is due largely to Tarr’s ability to establish and maintain a strong reputation for professionalism and high quality, and his ability to tackle and accomplish solar and wind systems of any size. And his mechanical engineering background, as well as LEED perspective, allow him to step outside the box and rise to challenges. In 2005, Tarr was accepted into The Climate Project, Al Gore’s initial training program for 1,000 citizens from around the United States. In addition, Tarr has taken an aggressive approach to establishing Energy Concepts as a renewable energy leader through outreach and participation in industry events, and has proven to be a great Focus on Energy partner.


Emily Hickey, Focus’ Market Provider Coordinator, announced the choice shortly before Sunday afternoon’s keynote speaker on June 21st. Citing Energy Concepts’ ground-breaking designs for the Osceola Middle School and Wigwam Mills Production Facility, Hickey lauded Energy Concepts for pushing the envelope of renewable energy beyond accepted boundaries and finding ways to make projects work for clients.Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s nationally recognized public benefits program, has selected Energy Concepts and Craig Tarr as “2009 Market Provider of the Year” at the annual Midwest Renewable Energy Fair near Stevens Point.

Craig Tarr accepted the award, gratefully acknowledging the support of his wife, Kathy, and family, and admitting that Focus had contributed greatly to the success of Energy Concepts by supporting him with a marketing grant, as well as their nationally recognized renewable energy programs.

When it comes to engineering and contracting, whether involving renewable energy or not, quality makes a difference. That’s a commitment we make every day at Energy Concepts and our partner, Steiner Plumbing/Heating/Electric. To the extent that this commitment has been recognized at the State level by Focus on Energy is extremely gratifying and confirms that excellence does not go unnoticed.

Enough pats on the back. Now it’s back to work. If you’re serious about producing your own energy, give us a call. We know how to make wind and solar work for you–as well, or better than any other company in Wisconsin.