Todd Ahern, CEO and Tu Tran, President, The Megawatt GroupTodd Ahern, CEO and Tu Tran, President
In 2022, it has become clear we're experiencing a climate emergency that no one seems able or willing to solve. We’ve experienced severe droughts affecting millions, flash floods causing billions of dollars in damage and wildfires and deforestation destroying vital ecosystems while decimating carbon-capturing trees. In addition, the war in Ukraine has reminded us of the inherent dangers of nuclear energy and the consequences of relying on foreign energy sources.

The irony is that the more catastrophic the situation becomes, the less we can see the simple solution to mitigate this man-made problem. While various unproven or potentially dangerous stopgap measures such as carbon capture systems and nuclear energy can temporarily slow down the climate emergency, they could have far-reaching consequences.

But, there are a handful of game-changing technologies capable of saving the human race if implemented at scale. One is wind energy, which is ideal for large-scale implementation but not sensible for small-scale applications. Similarly, hydroelectric power is a promising technology, but it's out of scope for most businesses and homes and is susceptible to drought conditions.

That leaves us with solar—the only renewable energy technology that can make an immediate and impactful change for businesses, consumers and utilities alike. It instantly and substantially lowers your carbon footprint while reducing our overall reliance on foreign energy. And it’s by far the fastest growing energy source, and for good reason. It’s clean, cost-effective, and proven. Imagine if every unused roof could generate enough clean energy to power that entire business or household, while sending leftover energy back to the grid. Now that’s a real, viable solution. As Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) puts it, “solar energy isn’t just the future; it is our present.”

And yet, despite its vast potential, the U.S. solar industry is experiencing severe challenges. Inflation, supply chain and tariff uncertainty are driving up prices and causing projects to stall or get cancelled, while manufacturers deal with painfully thin margins and huge short-term losses. Coupled with a powerful and well-funded fossil fuel lobby, this new set of challenges is the recipe for the one thing no one wants—continued environmental damage and a weakened US solar industry.

The Megawatt Group exploded onto the scene in 2018 to address and fix the sizable hurdles facing the booming, yet fledgling, US solar industry.

The Megawatt Group stands at the intersection of installation, manufacturing, technology, project management, financing, and logistics for its clients. The company puts its resources and expertise to work serving as a bridge between Tier-1 overseas manufacturers and U.S.-based installers, project developers, engineering / procurement / construction (EPC) companies, financiers, and utilities.

This unique “bridge” business model enables The Megawatt Group to forge an interconnected, three-pronged approach to tackling the big issues in the solar industry. The company gives solar module buyers optionality while expanding their buying power, they help solar manufacturers right-size their sales force, and they support the industry directly through SEIA.

“From helping EPCs win more RFPs to giving overseas manufacturers a foothold in the U.S. market, we strive to help our partners and the US solar industry thrive,” says Todd Ahern, CEO of The Megawatt Group.

Leveling the Playing Field for Solar Buyers

For solar installers, success is defined by their ability to establish the right connections with manufacturers and by making informed buying decisions. To that end, The Megawatt Group is strategically plugged into the global solar market at a scale only a few individual buyers can replicate. Their vast and unmatched market reach coupled with their innovative “one-contract” model allows solar buyers to easily purchase from any supplier or third-party seller.

The Megawatt Group offers solar buyers end-to-end procurement, legal, logistics and project management support under one evergreen customer contract. This allows for a streamlined procurement process that minimizes the need for repeated, costly legal expenses. Clients also receive the assistance of a dedicated customer support team that helps navigate the frequent and challenging supply, tariff, and logistical issues plaguing the industry.

Our Commitment To Elevating The Solar Industry As A Whole Serves As A Foundation Of Our Business And A Guiding Principle

As a single point of contact solely focused on the success of every transaction, the company offers unparalleled customer support and highly competitive pricing with logistics, financing and warehousing services to meet the needs of all customers and situations.

A Smarter Sales Team for Manufacturers

It’s not just installers that benefit from The Megawatt Groups game-changing business model. The company is instrumental in keeping solar module manufacturers competitive in the industry by reinforcing their sales, marketing, logistics and legal teams. They accomplish this by targeting and catering to the often overlooked Commercial & Industrial sector.

Traditionally, solar module manufacturers have retained large in-house sales teams to keep their business running. However, given the current oversold state of the industry, it’s a waste of resources to retain a large expensive sales team with little to sell.

The Megawatt Group is single-handedly changing that outdated sales model by serving as an outsourced sales team for Tier-1 solar module manufacturers. This allows suppliers to only pay commission on product sold and eliminates a large percentage of their operating costs.

The Megawatt Group’s business model also mitigates the inherent inefficiency in executing individual contracts with hundreds of solar buyers—a key challenge that bogs down module suppliers’ sales operations. This allows solar manufacturers to sell their modules to any buyer through a single contract, which saves an incredible amount of time and legal resources.

For manufacturers, The Megawatt Group serves as a high-performance, streamlined sales team with deep industry connections combined with added legal and operational support. The result is dramatically increased margins along with the flexibility to better adapt to changing market conditions. In addition, the company’s single-source contract opens up sales opportunities to hundreds of other potential commercial and industrial customers.

This business model also allows start-up companies with exciting new technologies to enter the U.S. market with low overhead costs and the support of a team of solar sales experts already selling to their targeted customer base.

Third-Party Sellers: The Ace Up Their Sleeve

The Megawatt Group also give their customers access to another key source of modules. To overcome recent industry-shaking events including dramatically increased overseas shipping costs, production lockdowns due to Covid, tariff uncertainty and sold-out factories, they uncovered U.S.-based clients looking to sell their excess module supply. It’s an elegant solution for a market in flux. This helps buyers get the inventory they need on time, already in the U.S., and ready to deliver. In addition, sellers can generate cash flow and save time and money by managing inventory. “From inflationary pressures and overseas shipping cost hikes to production lockdowns, we aim to alleviate all the challenges that weigh down local solar projects,” says Ahern.
  • From Helping EPCs Win More RFPs To Giving Overseas Manufacturers A Foothold In The U.S. Market, We Strive To Help Our Partners And The Solar Industry Thrive

Heading toward a Bright Future

The Megawatt Group’s unique business model coupled with its vision, industry expertise and dedication has led to exponential growth. As of September 2022, the company had closed over 500 deals for 550MW and over $200 million in revenue. After just four years in business, The Megawatt Group is now set to enter INC Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies list. This year alone, the company is forecasting $100 million in revenue, or a 1000 percent growth rate from its inception. This growth is powered by The Megawatt Group’s ability to be a trusted liaison for both installers and suppliers.

Not only does the company strive to help the US solar industry work more efficiently in general, but they also make a direct impact as well. Every year, the team donates one percent of their profits to SEIA, the National Trade Association for the U.S. solar industry. They believe a strong, well-funded and united solar industry can literally change the world and our future.

“Our commitment to elevating the solar industry as a whole serves as a foundation of our business and a guiding principle,” says Ahern.

While pursuing strong, sustained growth, The Megawatt Group looks forward to strengthening its capabilities, expanding its offerings and continuing to build genuine connections throughout the industry. It turns out identifying issues, bridging gaps, and offering measurable value can still be a powerful driver of success.