The Middle Class Is Driving Residential Solar Installations

Perhaps you’ve heard the claim that only the wealthiest of Americans can afford to install solar panels on their homes. Utilities companies and skeptics alike have promoted this idea for a few years now for their own selfish reasons. There’s just one problem with it: They’re wrong. New research by the Center for American Progress…read more

The November 21 FERC Decision: Big News for Solar and Energy Storage

With all the news coming out of Washington, you probably missed the story about how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently ensured the continued explosive growth of solar power domestically for the near future. How did the FERC do this? Here’s a quick history lesson to bring you up to speed: Back in 2005,…read more

Shine On! 6 Solar-powered Holiday Gift Ideas

Share the spirit of sustainability this season by giving friends and family playful and practical gifts that run on sunlight, not batteries. No matter what your budget, there’s a gadget or gizmo for just about everyone on your list. BirkSun backpack $150 — Anyone with an active lifestyle–in the mountains or the city–will love this…read more

Answers to the Solar Grid Saturation Issue

There’s been a lot of talk lately about ‘solar grid saturation’ in Hawaii. Fears about lost jobs in the booming solar market and tales of homeowners who desperately want to install solar only to find out that HECO is no longer issuing permits in their area because it’s over-saturated are making news. We decided to…read more

Hawaii Voters Smile on Solar

Hawaii is crazy for the sun, it seems. Not only does Hawaii get a greater percentage of electricity from solar than any other state, almost all voters in the Aloha state — a full 96% — support solar as an energy source, according to a survey conducted for The Pacific Resource Partnership and the Sierra…read more

Net Metering in Jeopardy in Colorado

With about 300 days of sunshine each year, Colorado is one of the top ranking states in the nation for solar energy potential. That’s one reason we chose Denver for our new mainland headquarters. That’s also why we’re concerned about the efforts of Xcel Energy, the local utility company, to convince the Colorado Public Utilities…read more

Why We Buy American Whenever Possible

“I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make, be the difference of price what it may. –Thomas Jefferson, 1885 A lot has changed since our third president uttered those words, especially in the…read more

US-Made Solar: How Are Components Sourced?

2013 is shaping up to be another record-breaking year for the U.S. solar industry, with 832 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) installed in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2013, making it the second largest quarter in the industry’s history. As the U.S. solar market continues to grow, an important yet perhaps misunderstood aspect…read more

Hawaii, You’ve Shown Us the Way

Have we mentioned lately how much we love Hawaii? The beaches, weather, and people are the best in the world. But there’s another reason we’re proud to live and work here: Hawaii has been a great place to build a solar company. Hawaii’s abundance of sunshine, unique energy needs, and environmentally savvy community have helped…read more

Solar Schools: How Your Green Can Help Schools Go Green

From both an economic and environmental standpoint, solar power just makes sense for schools. Case in point: The photovoltaic (PV) energy system we installed at Waialae Elementary in 2011 generates an average of 19,500 kWh of electricity per month, yielding monthly savings of nearly $1,000. With energy and cost savings, the school is estimated to…read more

All Things Considered, Solar Is Cheaper than Coal

Here’s some encouraging news for renewable energy: When the cost of climate change and health impacts are taken into account, electricity from solar and wind is now cheaper than coal. A study published last month in the Journal of Environmental Studies analyzed the real costs of different energy sources using official U.S. government’s estimates of…read more

The Price of Paradise

Hawaii is a lot of things—beautiful, tropical, diverse, friendly, relaxing—but it isn’t a cheap place to live. Life in our ‘āina comes at a price—a high price. Based on statistics from a recent article in Civil Beat, we put together an infographic comparing gas and electricity prices over the past 20 years. With gas and…read more

One Down, Many More to Go…

Hawaiian Electric Company, the provider of electricity to 95% of Hawai’i’s residents, just announced that it will deactivate its Honolulu Power Plant on January 31st, 2014. The move is part of the company’s overall strategy to increase the statewide use of renewable energy and reduce Hawaii’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric’s…read more

Department of Defense: The Next Solar Superstar?

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has set an ambitious goal to reach 3 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025. This is an exciting commitment to solar energy from the largest single energy consumer in the world. The DOD annual energy budget is a whopping $20 billion. The biggest energy consumer of the military branches,…read more