Williams Solar – Bridgetown Barbados

written by BVC November 2, 2022
Williams Solar - Bridgetown Barbados

General Company Overview

Williams Solar is in Bridgetown, Saint Thomas, Barbados. It is a subsidiary of Williams Industries, a conglomerate with interests in engineering, real estate, metal fabrication, drilling, electrical services, and renewables.

Williams Industries recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, a celebration shared by Williams Solar, one of its newer companies. As a major economic player on the island and one of the oldest, Williams Industries’ reputation has helped pivot its renewable energy subsidiary to significant success within just a few years.

“Williams Evergreen Limited, doing business as Williams Energy, was registered in 2008,” says Gleason Roach, General Manager at Williams Energy.

“At that time, Williams Industries was looking to enter the energy management and energy efficiency sector. Our first project involved installing a 30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, which we used to test, learn, and understand the business better.”

“In 2008, Barbados had no solar installation, certainly not that size of a project. Over the next three to four years, our energy management business continued but lessened due to the rapid uptake of photovoltaic installation services.”

Williams Solar capitalized on this demand and, by 2012, had installed solar energy systems amounting to approximately 1.5 megawatts.

Since 2012, Williams Solar has continued to grow in the region and has an installed capacity of twenty megawatts.

Service Description

Williams Solar serves both residential and commercial customers in Barbados.

Roach notes that although the company initially focused on serving commercial customers, it has evolved to offer services to residential customers.

“Over the years, residential customers have approached us, and we have not turned them away, even though our focus is on commercial installations.”

This hybrid approach has seen the company’s residential and commercial installations businesses grow at par.

Williams Solar uses the EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) model in its installation services, offering turnkey ground and roof-mount solutions that meet the entire range of client requirements.

Besides installations, it also provides optional ongoing maintenance services to customers.

“A customer can opt to have a contract after the sale, and we continue to operate and maintain the solar system,” says Roach.

Williams Solar - Bridgetown Barbados“However, we maintain a relationship with our customers even when they do not request our maintenance services. For instance, even if a person does not have a maintenance contract, we remotely access the system for monitoring and support purposes. If there are any issues, the customer may call, or we may alert them that there is an issue.”

Company Set-Up

Williams Solar currently has forty employees, including engineers, management, administrative staff, and PV installers, all working within a collaborative and integrated corporate culture.

“We have an open learning and collaborative environment at Williams Solar,” Roach says. “We encourage employees to share ideas and views and look for ways to continue improving their craft while fostering effective communication amongst each other and working together to achieve goals.”

“Our culture is very open and friendly, and everyone works together to get the job done.”

Finding quality employees is always challenging for companies that require skilled labor, especially in the trades. Williams Solar solves this challenge by working closely with local learning institutions to sensitize students to opportunities in the renewable energy industry.

Roach explains.

“We recently funded Barbados Community College to start a photovoltaic program that students can complete and earn a Caribbean Vocational Qualification or National Vocational Qualification certificate from the Barbados TVET Council.”

“We also collaborated with the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology to develop a photovoltaic course and renewable energy lab at the institution.”


The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic brought significant supply chain delays and price spikes. In some industries like automotive, supply lead times have extended from a few weeks to several months due to part shortages, especially microchips.

In the solar industry, which relies on microchip technology in solar arrays, part shortages are causing significant supply chain bottlenecks and price increases.

“Nine to twelve months after the pandemic started, shipping costs started rising due to a significant backlog in equipment orders,” says Roach. “Some equipment orders moved from six weeks to six months SLT.”

“Fortunately, we had the foresight to increase our inventory to help us through these long lead times. Although we are seeing stability resuming, I do not think we are out of the woods because some challenges continue, and others worsen, especially prices.”

“We’ve seen significant price changes and volatility. At one time, pricing was so unstable you would see commodity prices like copper change drastically overnight. This volatility made it exceedingly difficult to quote for jobs and hold the quoted prices.”

“On a positive note, for the first time since COVID started, we have seen prices not continuing to increase, remaining high but holding steady.

One approach Williams Solar is taking to find parts and equipment is collaborating with multiple suppliers, which has softened the effects of supply chain delays.

“Buying from multiple suppliers has allowed us some flexibility in getting our supply of goods,” Roach says.


Like most solar installers, battery packs are a significant concern, and Williams Solar is following these developments closely.

“Batteries are still relatively expensive, especially when considering situations where a customer wants backup power in case of a natural disaster,” says Roach. “Battery costs and efficiency are also a major consideration regarding increasing renewable energy market penetration, as they play a critical role in grid stability.”

In addition to power storage and redundancy, another critical consideration for Williams Solar is the robustness of installed infrastructure, which can withstand tropical storms expected in the area.

“Our systems are designed to withstand between 130 and 150 miles per hour wind speeds, making them very robust,” says Roach. “In most cases, wind-related failures are caused by clamping mechanism and not the quality of the panel.”

Industry Discussion

Barbados has set a national target to transform its energy infrastructure to one hundred percent renewable by 2030. For Williams Solar, this is a push in the right direction for the environment, Barbados’s economy, and its bottom line.

“PVs will play a significant role in achieving this goal,” Roach says, “We are seeing a lot of interest in solar energy from commercial and residential markets, and green energy financing is now more readily available and affordable.”

Helping push the renewable energy agenda is the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA), a non-profit working as the voice of the renewable energy industry in the country. It is helping shape the industry by making regulatory contributions to the country’s green energy legal framework structure.

Williams Solar - Bridgetown Barbados

The government of Barbados is also playing its part in helping foster renewable energy adoption. Roach says it provides incentives like tax discounts and reimbursements to individuals and businesses adopting renewable energy.

Company Outlook

In the future, Roach sees the entire energy economy shifting away from dirty fuels to renewables as the country tries to reign in energy costs and help mitigate the climate crisis.

“Energy has always been a big bill for any business in Barbados. In the years to come, if we achieve our 100% renewable energy target, it will significantly reduce that energy bill, putting more money in the pockets of those using renewables through energy savings.”

“Williams Solar, I believe, has a greater role to play in this. We have been here from the inception of the renewable energy program and remained relevant by making significant contributions through the amount of capacity we have installed and operate.”

“We expect to continue playing a crucial role as we push towards our national target.”

Click The Cover To View Or Download The Brochure


Williams Solar

What: One of the most experienced developers of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Barbados

Where: Bridgetown, Barbados

Website: www.williamssolar.com


PRO Construction Services Inc. – info.proservices246@gmail.com

Polar Racking Inc. – www.polarracking.com

Crane & Equipment Ltd – www.crane.bb

October-November 2022 Issue cover of Business View Caribbean
October-November 2022

You may also like