FLS Energy Named America’s 46th Fastest Growing Company by Inc Magazine
Firm’s innovative business model led to tremendous growth
ASHEVILLE, NC, August 23, 2011 -- FLS Energy of Asheville, NC is pleased to announce it has been ranked No. 46 in Inc. magazine’s 2011 Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the nation's top 500 fastest-growing private companies. FLS Energy is the highest ranking company in the state of North Carolina, and the fifth of 15 energy companies included in this year’s list.
FLS Energy was ranked in the top 50 in the nation because of their tremendous three year revenue growth of over 4,300%. Founded in 2006 by three entrepreneurial environmentalists, the company has grown to over 80 employees across the Southeast. Annual revenue for 2011 is projected to be $36 million - double last year’s revenue of $18 million.
“We founded FLS Energy with a commitment to making solar energy mainstream,” said FLS Energy CEO and co-founder, Michael Shore. “We believe that the solar age has dawned, enabling our company to create jobs, reduce global warming pollution, and contribute to our economy.”
One reason for the swift growth of FLS Energy is the innovative business model that makes solar energy more affordable and requires little or no up-front costs for the client. FLS Energy owns the solar hot water system and sells the client the energy needed to heat their water at rates comparable and often lower than fossil fuels.
Essentially, FLS Energy operates like a small utility company serving clients from their own rooftops. FLS Energy’s innovative business model paved the way for the company’s growth and continues to differentiate FLS Energy from other solar energy companies. FLS Energy has developed dozens and dozens of projects for companies within the hospitality, agriculture, non-profit and government sectors using their business model.
This fast growing company is on a trajectory for more growth. FLS Energy is currently hiring six more team members and projects to hire another 20 by the end of the year. FLS Energy is a leading NC company for job creation within the clean energy sector.
“FLS Energy is an example of the type of growth we see in Asheville and Buncombe County: a combination of a strong entrepreneurial streak, ingenuity and sustainability” said Kit Cramer, president of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want more companies like them.”
FLS Energy was the only southeastern solar energy company to make the Inc. 500 list. North Carolina was home to approximately 12,500 full-time equivalent jobs , according to a report released by the NC Sustainable Energy Association last fall. This represented a 22% job growth in North Carolina from the previous year, which is tremendous given the state’s continued high unemployment rate and weak economy.
“Despite our state’s record-breaking unemployment rate and on-going troubled economy, North Carolina’s clean energy industries continue to grow and add new jobs and economic opportunities,” said Ivan Urlaub, NCSEA’s Executive Director. “North Carolina is distinctly positioned as a renewable energy and energy efficiency leader in the Southeast due to the great success and innovations of companies like FLS Energy and others.”
Earlier this month, FLS Energy was names to CED’s “Top 25 NC Companies to Watch,” and was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2011 “Entrepreneur of the Year”; a 2010 Winner of the SJF Ventures & GreenForAll National Green Jobs Award; the 2010 Asheville Chamber of Commerce Small Business Leader of the Year; and the 2010 NC Sustainable Energy Association Individual Leadership Award.
About FLS Energy: FLS Energy is an industry-leading, national solar energy generation company that designs, develops, and finances commercial, industrial, and utility-scale solar thermal and solar electric energy systems. FLS Energy projects include a 2200 home solar hot water project at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC; four photovoltaic projects at SAS Institute in Cary, NC that total 2.6 MW; the 550 kW Evergreen Solar Farm, in Canton NC, one of the nation’s first PV farms to be built on a landfill; and a 4800 gallon solar thermal system at The Proximity, the world’s first LEED Platinum hotel, in Greensboro, NC. Visit flsenergy.com to learn more.
About the Inc. 500 list: The Inc. 500 list spotlights the risk takers whose innovative business models and formidable execution have taken their companies to the top of the heap in terms of percentage revenue growth over the past three years. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, GoDaddy, Zipcar, Clif Bar, American Apparel, Oracle, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500.
The companies of the Inc. 500 represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000. Complete results of the Inc. 500, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at inc.com/500.