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One of the Best Green Businesses - biz941 Magazine


Solar industry pioneer Tom Harriman received his solar license back in 1982. Since then he has installed more than 10,000 solar water heating/solar pool heating systems and many solar electric systems. According to Harriman, who keeps track of this sort of thing, he has reduced CO2 emissions by 1.8 million tons.

There were lean years, but Harriman, 49, built his business by servicing the systems he—and other companies—installed, and today he has a large base of customers.

Some of his most recent projects include Turtle Rock’s solar street lighting project, which took 176 gas lights offline, reducing the subdivision’s carbon footprint by 420 tons of CO2; installing solar water heaters on seven Habitat for Humanity homes at Janie Poe and the Diocese of Venice; and, soon, a partnership with Johnson Controls and Solar Source on the new megawatt solar project at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, the largest solar electric project to date in Florida. It will produce enough energy to drive a car 2.48 million miles, he boasts.

Harriman is also the immediate past president of the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association and a leader in making energy training available to students throughout Florida at technical institutes and community colleges. The Environmental Defense Fund has recognized him as an industry leader.

“Our business has increased 25 percent every year for last three,” he says. “We’re fortunate that we’re in an industry that’s poised to grow at 30 percent per year.”