Freedom Solar snags SolarCity ‘market maker’ to open new Dallas branch

Austin-based Freedom Solar Power hired former SolarCity leader Barry Van Wie to head up the company’s growth in the Dallas/Fort Worth market.

As Freedom Solar’s vice president of business development, Van Wie is responsible for hiring and training employees, establishing marketing and channel partnerships, managing a team of top-producing solar energy consultants, and delivering required sales targets. 

Prior to joining the Freedom Solar team, Van Wie developed sales teams and opened new markets for SolarCity including territories in Las Vegas, Nevada; Santa Clarita, California; and most recently Dallas. Van Wie’s markets broke company sales records nationwide for SolarCity, generating millions of dollars in business month after month.

Bret Biggart, CEO of Freedom Solar, says: “Van Wie’s insight into the DFW market and experience opening new territories will give Freedom Solar the edge it needs to make this one of our highest-performing residential solar sales areas.”

“Success in any market depends upon the sales team,” says Van Wie. “We are seeking committed sales associates to help us build the DFW market.” While sales associates’ compensation is commission based, Freedom Solar also offers health benefits to all employees, unlike many of its competitors.

Van Wie was drawn to Freedom Solar in part because of its partnership with SunPower as a master dealer, the only company with that distinction in Texas. Another factor that led Van Wie to join the Freedom Solar team was the company’s ability to serve clients all over North Texas, regardless of whether or not they live in Oncor’s rebate territory.

The DFW metroplex is one of the most unique markets in the U.S. because it’s both regulated and unregulated, says Van Wie. “Freedom Solar has the flexibility and customization capabilities necessary for a segmented, relatively untapped market with high potential for solar such as DFW.”

“For Freedom Solar, no two projects are alike. Each system is specifically designed to meet the customer’s needs and budget, to take into account any limitations of the building’s structure, to comply with zoning restrictions, and to work within any electric utility company or co-operative service area,” says Van Wie.

Located right next to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Freedom Solar’s local office is equipped with a rooftop solar power array. Prior to Van Wie’s hire and the opening of its local office, Freedom Solar served the DFW area remotely from offices in other cities.

To date, Freedom Solar has completed thousands of residential installations in Texas and commercial projects for clients including Whole Foods, Lang Partners, and CubeSmart.

“By putting a strong team in place and setting bold goals, Freedom Solar can help DFW shine as a Texas leader, and reap the environmental and economic benefits of the solar revolution,” says Van Wie.

By the end of the year, Freedom Solar expects residential sales in the DFW metroplex to reach $1 million per month and to expand into two North Texas sales teams (Dallas and Fort Worth) with 12-13 representatives each.

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