Expanding into solar panel installation is a natural fit for a Calgary-based roofing company, as the southern Alberta and Saskatchewan region is known as Canada’s “sunbelt.” Additionally, if not properly installed by roofers, solar panel installation frequently damages roof surfaces causing a need for replacement or repair.
Because traditional installation is usually performed by electricians, competition in the solar roofing market is limited, presenting Lynnwood Roofing with a unique opportunity to expand its product and service offerings.
“Solar started as a side interest,” says Cornforth. “A few years ago, we worked on a construction project that ended up having a solar roof installed and saw first-hand how all the simple and complex parts interacted with each other and came together. We quickly discovered that many solar contractors were unaware of what’s happening on the structural and building envelope side of construction.”
Cote and Cornforth’s growing experience with solar roofing projects led to their decision to expand Lynnwood Roofing by incorporating Rocky Mountain Solar Co., a company offering commercial and residential roofing and solar solutions in Southern Alberta.
While there are some government incentives for commercial adoption of renewable energy, particularly due to the way the province’s utilities and grid are structured, Cornforth likens Albertans’ rising appetite for renewables to his own experience working with and understanding solar.
“From a private sector side, [solar adoption] is more driven by the ‘passion project’ people that are really into it,” says Cornforth. “Quite frankly, we get a ton of phone calls from people saying, ‘I want solar panels on my roof, but I don’t know where to start.’ And a large part of it is coming from the corporate sustainability side – ESG reporting isn’t just a good idea, it’s now mandatory.”