Ohio company grows with solar

By Ben Delman on May 1, 2018

Cleveland-based Talan Products manufactures formed metal components that are deployed in a variety of industrial uses. Founded in 1986, the company now employs a workforce of more than 75 employees. Over the past decade, the company has purposely invested in building a customer base in the solar industry. This investment has paid off.

“We’ve pursued all aspects of solar, solar PV, utility scale, commercial, and residential,” said Fran Adler, a Talan Products Sales Manager. He said the company’s first solar-related project was for a solar thermal system.

Metalworking, such as the kind that Talan Products provides, plays a key role in putting together a solar system. This includes the racking systems that keep panels in place to structural barriers that keep water from penetrating roofs.

The company’s focus on solar builds upon a long-standing drive for green initiatives. Before solar, the company developed zero waste to landfill and composting initiatives. Add to that the company’s work with the roofing industry, and solar became a natural choice for expansion. The company now also offers free car charging to anyone with an electric vehicle.

Adler has been with the company since it started its work in solar. In that time he’s noticed as the industry has matured it has consolidated, with fewer individual companies serving a larger base of customers. “We’ve gotten to know the big (solar) players,” Adler said. It’s a great industry to get involved with.”

Talan remains bullish on solar, even in the face of increased tariffs on solar panels and on imported steel. Adler said these tariffs have been a “double whammy” as higher prices for solar panels have limited the number of projects that are going to be built and the steel tariffs increase costs for Talan that need to be passed along to customers. He notes this is truer for Talan customers on the larger-scale side of solar where material costs make up a larger proportion of the overall system cost.

Ohio offers several advantages for solar equipment manufacturers. It’s location enables economical shipping to major markets on the East Coast, West Coast, and into the South. The local automotive-based supply chain benefits manufacturers by helping them optimize the purchase of raw materials used in their production.