Earlier this month, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) launched the Diverse Suppliers Database, “a free platform that will highlight and elevate minority, women, disabled, veteran, and LGBTQ+ owned businesses operating in the solar and storage industries.” There are over 120 diverse companies listed in the database and it is open for submissions. The solar and energy storage sectors are widely represented and include companies such as solar and storage installers, roofers, construction companies, and electrical contractors, to name a few.
Why the Database Was Created
The press release cites a 2020 solar installer survey from EnergySage, where 81% of solar respondents did not track supplier diversity and the number remains mostly unchanged from 2019. SEIA stated that the biggest barrier to implementation was finding diverse businesses working in the solar industry and there are financial barriers as well. “There are supplier diversity databases available, however, they are not specific to the solar and storage industry and the fees they charge can be prohibitive to the many small businesses operating in the industry.”
How To Use
There are many ways to identify potential suppliers in the database. You can do an open keyword search for terms related to business type, description, location, and more. You can indicate minority ownership from a drop-down menu that includes: Asian, Black/African America, Latino/Hispanic, Native American/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Other. The “Other Ownership” drop-down includes Disabled Persons, LGBT (s), Other, Service-Disable Veterans(s), Veterans, and Woman/Women. The geographic filters allow you to narrow individually by US states, territories, or “International.” Diverse Business Descriptions you can select from include HUB Zone Business, Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business.
All information in the database is self-certified.