For Immediate Release
Contact: JD Smith
Home-grown Wisconsin Business weathers two decades of the solar industry’s ups and downs to earn a place in the sun as Renew WI’s “Renewable Energy Business of the Year”
Back in 2003, when Ed Zinthefer founded Arch on his farm in Sheboygan County, many of his colleagues thought he was throwing away his secure job as a Master Electrician to chase a pipe dream like solar energy. Since then, there have been countless ups and downs for the American solar industry as federal incentives came and went along with public interest and opinion. Through the years, Ed and the team at Arch stayed the course, convinced that the time would come when solar was not just a viable option in Wisconsin but also a practical and affordable one.
That time had undeniably arrived in 2021 as Arch participated in every possible sector of the Wisconsin solar industry, from urban Milwaukee homes to 10-acre solar farms in Jackson County. This was accomplished by a team of professionals grown and living right here in Wisconsin. Arch is riding a wave that is sweeping not just through Wisconsin but across the United States as many Americans are joining the booming renewable energy sector. Arch’s team has quadrupled in the last two years as more Wisconsinites see their economic future tied to a sustainable future. Angie Kochanski, a ten-year solar industry veteran, commented, “The market is just now starting to mature in Wisconsin. This year especially, solar has proven that it is recession-proof. The potential for solar to be a stable source for job creation and a reliable source of renewable energy is there; neither has to be outsourced!”
Arch’s recognition by Renew WI on January 27th proved her words true. Renew WI is the state’s leading non-profit in organizing support and advocacy for the renewable energy industry in Wisconsin. Each year it awards individuals and businesses that have made significant and lasting advances in clean energy development in Wisconsin. Arch was named as Renew WI’s Clean Energy Business of the Year in recognition of the range and depth of competencies it has brought to bear on just about every installation opportunity that can be imagined. Arch is a company that truly lives and breathes solar energy expertise.
As the renewable energy industry continues to boom, it is more important than ever that this economic prosperity continues to be local. Speaking on this, J.D. Smith of Arch said, “Like many, I had to face a career change during the Covid pandemic. I was fortunate the Wisconsin solar industry has grown so much to have an opportunity for me when I needed one.” Having the leading renewable business in Wisconsin be locally owned and locally based is an incredible benefit in job creation and economic impact. Looking to the future, Wisconsin still has more to accomplish with renewable energy, and right now, it seems like that future will be in local hands
About Arch: Arch was founded in 2003 as Arch Electric in Plymouth, Wisconsin. In the two decades since, Arch has become an undisputed leader in Wisconsin Solar; earning numerous awards including Top Rooftop Solar Contractor in the state and Renew Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Business of the Year in 2021. In 2021, the Wisconsin State Legislature formally recognized Arch as a Top Solar Contractor.
To cite a few examples of Arch’s versatility and productivity, Arch has, in 2021:
- Partnered with MREA and several Milwaukee -area municipalities to install more than 400 kilowatts of solar power in 2021 through a group purchase model;
- Designed and constructed OneEnergy Renewables’ Mastodon Solar portfolio, consisting of four projects in western Wisconsin totaling 10 MW;
- Installed large behind-the-meter PV systems for a variety of commercial and institutional customers, such as City of Wauwatosa, Ongna Wood Products, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Aspirus Health.
About Renew WI: RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that promotes renewable energy in Wisconsin. They work on policies and programs that expand solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, geothermal energy, and electric vehicles. Since 1991 they have been a champion for clean energy solutions in the Badger State.