You’ve probably seen the logo-wrapped electric cars, the t-shirts, the advertisements, the press releases, the projects—the evidence that Mountain View Solar, LLC (mtvSolar) has become a major player in the emerging solar marketplace in this region.
Though based in pint-sized Berkeley Springs, WV, mtvSolar founding brothers Mike and Pete McKechnie, and co-founder Colin Williams, have big-time ambitions for solar power in West Virginia—and have positioned their company for big-time results.
“We founded Mountain View Solar in 2009, which was an off-shoot of Mountain View Builders,” said Williams. “We were one of the first solar installers in the area.”
The early going for mtvSolar was a challenge for obvious reasons. “There just wasn’t a lot of knowledge about what solar was or how it worked, but what we’ve seen over the past eight years is a greater awareness and more adoption of solar,” he added. “We now service about an eighty-mile radius from here, with work all over West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.”
And as solar’s popularity continues to emerge, a greater cultural understanding only means growth for mtvSolar. “One of the things we’re seeing a lot of now are requests for battery backup systems,” explained Williams. “In fact, we’re now offering systems that are ready for the Tesla Powerwall—there’s a lot of excitement around that technology.”
Williams also understands that as solar becomes more competitive and attractive to consumers, his company will continue to evolve to meet demand. “We measure success by identifying what the customer is looking for next, listening, and responding,” he affirmed. “Backup systems are big for us right now; home automation is another area. We look at whole energy usage—we actually have the capacity to make and store our own power, so using it in the most efficient manner is the next step. Energy efficient appliances, smart appliances, even smart home technologies. It’s the perfect balance: making, storing, and controlling your energy consumption.”
Locally, mtvSolar just finished installing an 82 Kilowatt array on the back roof of the Quality Inn on top of Rt. 340 overlooking Harpers Ferry. River Riders, Inc. recently purchased the hotel, and Williams feels it’s a great fit. “We also installed a car charger, and with the hotel now being partially powered by the sun, we believe it fits so well with their mission.”
At the end of the day, Williams and his partners at mtvSolar are changing the game and helping folks to realize that solar power can be beneficial to them. “We just want to show them how they can integrate solar into their lives, if that’s what they want to do,” he said. “It saves them money and reduces their carbon footprint. The nice thing about solar is that it’s not all-or-nothing. You can do it a little at a time, as it fits into your life. We have no problem explaining to people how it works, so that when the time is right, they’re able to make the decision that’s best for them.”