Photograph by Flickr user Mr. Omega
For brightening up the sun-power business
"There are more than 5,000 solar companies in the U.S.," says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. "Many of these companies will go out of business." (Paging Solyndra!) But last year, SolarCity expanded to the East Coast and added 12,000 projects, all without a dollar of government funding. The key: Rather than just make panels, it is a full-service operation--designing, installing, financing, and maintaining every system. That’s how to ease new customers into an unfamiliar technology. Its 2011 wins:
ARMY GREEN It launched SolarStrong, a five-year, $1 billion plan for outfitting up to 120,000 U.S. military housing units with rooftop solar.