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Sunetric in the Press

Honolulu Civil Beat: Oahu’s Solar Feeding Frenzy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunetric was featured among the top local solar companies mentioned in an editorial published on the Honolulu Civil Beat website on July 17.

Over the first six months of 2012, 114 different companies pulled over 5,000 PV electrical permits according to data from the City and County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting.

In 2011, two companies dominated the PV scene on the island—RevoluSun & DEP Hawaii (controlled by the same individuals) and Sunetric. The founders of Sunetric, Sean Mullen and his wife Beth-Ann, started the company in 2004 as Elemental Energy and Suntech Hawaii before changing the name to Sunetric in 2009.

Read the story in full on the Civil Beat website.

Sunetric Completes 13 Solar Installations for ABC Stores

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Honolulu, HI — ABC Stores has flipped the switch at 13 store and office locations where the local company is now generating their own clean solar electricity. Sunetric, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated solar company, completed the solar photovoltaic installations on the 13 ABC Store locations across four Hawaiian islands, all with the world’s most efficient solar panels available from SunPower.

Hawaii-based ABC Stores is now operating seven stores on Oahu, four on Maui, one on the Big Island, and one on Kauai — all with clean solar electricity. As a locally based Hawaiian company who opened their doors in Waikiki in 1964, ABC stores made the switch to solar electricity to do their part in preserving our environment. The company will now be offsetting 982 metric tons, or 1.97 million pounds, of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Combined, the 13 installed solar systems total 700kW, producing 1,291,966 kWh of solar electricity. The largest installation, 188 kW, was installed at ABC Stores’ Central Warehouse in Honolulu and will generate 27,600 kWh of electricity each month, offsetting 76 percent of the warehouse’s electricity consumption.

“ABC Stores was born in Hawaii, and our family calls the islands home,” said ABC Stores President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Kosasa. “Working with Sunetric, we want to do our part reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

“With a partnership of this magnitude, there’s no question the impact this will have to the sustainability of Hawaii’s environment,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller. “And with this many projects, it’s as clear as day that the state will benefit too, with all the jobs and accompanying tax revenue that will be realized. It’s the ABCs of good economics.”

The following ABC Store locations will have Sunetric installations:

Location Production (per month) Carbon dioxide offset (per month)
ABC Store #6, Waikiki 8,873 kwh 13,489 pounds
ABC Store #12, Waikiki 2,510 kwh 3,816 pounds
ABC Store #21, Waikiki 2,727 kwh 4,146 pounds
ABC Store #26, Waikiki 3,606 kwh 5,482 pounds
ABC Store #42, 724 Front St., Lahaina, Maui 5,757 kwh 8,752 pounds
ABC Store #47, 3511 Lower Honoapiilani Rd., Lahaina, Maui 8,273 kwh 12,577 pounds
ABC Store #51, 2349 South Kihei Rd., Kihei, Maui 8,973 kwh 13,641 pounds
ABC Store #52, Waikiki 3,625 kwh 5,511 pounds
ABC Store #58, Kapaa, Kauai 4,328 kwh 6,579 pounds
ABC Store #77/Island Gourmet, Waikoloa, Big Island 4,345 kwh 6,605 pounds
ABC Store #80, Kihei, Maui 8,873 kwh 13,489 pounds
ABC Stores Central Annex, Honolulu 15,800 kwh 24,019 pounds
ABC Stores Central Warehouse, Honolulu


  • July 26, 2012: The Star Advertiser

    Featured in the Honolulu Star Advertiser on July 26, 2012.

Island Princess Goes Nuts for Sunetric

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New 121-KW PV System will Offset 86 Percent of All Electricity Use at the Company’s Big Island Macadamia Nut Processing Facility

Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, will install a 121-kilowatt (KW) photovoltaic (PV) system this summer at the Big Island orchard of Island Princess Macadamia Nut Company, allowing the gourmet food products company to add solar energy to its extensive array of sustainable farming practices.

Honolulu-based Island Princess will use the fixed ground-mount system to power its macadamia nut processing facility, located on the company’s 1,100-acre orchard at Keaau on the Big Island. The orchard, which encompasses 110,000 macadamia nut trees, has for years used sustainable soil management and pruning techniques, as well as recycling organic byproducts such as potting and road surfacing material.

The photovoltaic array will generate 14,730 kWh of energy each month, offsetting 86 percent of the processing facility’s electricity, which is used to slow-dry, crack, sort and roast nearly 30,000 pounds of macadamia nuts each day during the peak harvesting season of August through March. The array will result in a monthly savings to Island Princess of more than $5,100, or nearly $62,000 a year, allowing the company to recoup its investment during the third year of operation. Construction is set to be completed by August 2012.

“Agriculture is a key industry for creating a more sustainable Hawaii, and we are proud to continue a legacy of environmentally sound harvesting practices,” said Dr. Michael Purdy, president of Island Princess. “As we look to increase macadamia nut production in the coming years, this array will be essential in helping us reduce our energy consumption and environmental impact.”

The array’s clean solar energy will also replace more than 288 barrels of oil a year that would have been imported to Hawaii to make electricity.

“Coming from a background in agribusiness, I am always pleased to be working with farmers and growers to help them achieve cost savings and run their operations in a more sustainable manner,” said Alex Tiller, CEO of Sunetric. “Island Princess embodies the progression toward a more sustainable food production infrastructure in Hawaii, of which renewable energy sources will play a critical role.”

For nearly 30 years, Island Princess has manufactured specialty macadamia nut products, chocolates and confections in Hawaii. The company grows and processes its macadamia nuts on its 1,100-acre orchard and facility on the Big Island, and transforms the nuts into gourmet confections at its 30,000-square-foot factory in Honolulu. Visit for more information.


Sunetric Announces Hire of Aaron H. Cates as an Analyst

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kailua, HI – Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Aaron H. Cates as an analyst.

Cates, who recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawai‘i Shidler College of Business, brings years of experience in business analysis and research, including market opportunity analyses, market profiles, and business feasibility studies. He will be responsible for internal financial analysis and the development of programs and tools to assist with the company’s finances and operations. Previously, Cates worked at Oceanit as a product development intern and at Chevron Energy Solutions as a market analyst.


Aaron Kirk Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Sunetric

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seasoned management executive to manage day-to-day operations of Sunetric

Kailua, HI– Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, announces the promotion of Aaron Kirk to chief operating officer. Kirk, formerly director of sales, will now over oversee the day-to-day operations of the company which include supporting commercial and residential clients.

“Aaron is the perfect candidate for this position. He has been a vital team member as director of sales and has contributed significantly to Sunetric’s growth in the past year,” said Alex Tiller, CEO of Sunetric. “He is highly regarded by his colleagues and has demonstrated the necessary leadership skills and commitment to company values to be an exceptional chief operating officer.”

Kirk joined Sunetric in July 2011 as director of sales with nearly 20 years of managerial experience, including management of sales and operation divisions of companies as well as the development of long term strategies. Prior to joining Sunetric, Kirk was vice president of sales and operations at Oceanic Values. He was responsible for the management of its domestic and overseas software development teams, the creation of its sales team and overall management of the day-to-day operations of the local web-based marketing and advertising company.

Kirk has also served as vice president of operations at Toreador, LLC and general manager at Professional Image, Inc.

“I’m honored to serve as chief operating officer at a time when Sunetric is positioned to experience continued growth this year,” said Aaron Kirk. “Furthermore, I’m committed to ensuring the success of team members in their respective roles and look forward to contributing to the company’s continued success and growth.”

Kirk holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. He is also certified trainer for ISO 9002 Quality Systems Implementation and a ‘train-the-trainer’ facilitator for Stephen Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’


Sunetric appoints Tyler Fauerbach as Managing Director of Project Finance and Strategic Development

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Denver, Colorado – May 17, 2012 - Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, announces the appointment of Tyler Fauerbach as Managing Director of Project Finance and Strategic Development. Mr. Fauerbach will be responsible for raising debt, tax and cash equity for the company’s residential, commercial and utility-scale solar projects and developing new market opportunities. He will be based in the company’s Denver office.

“Tyler’s vast experience in the financial services and banking industry with a focus on the energy sector will be valuable as Sunetric continues its expansion in the continental United States,” said Alex Tiller, CEO of Sunetric. “Tyler will be developing the companies Renewable Energy Finance business, guiding and shaping the offering as we develop and introduce innovative programs to fund renewable energy systems and projects throughout the country.”

Fauerbach brings 10 years of energy banking to his new role at Sunetric. He served previously as vice president of Power Finance at U.S. Bank, where he developed the bank’s power project finance lending programs and helped facilitate approximately $270 million in wind, solar and gas-fired power generation project financings. The solar project financings in this portfolio included debt transactions for Solar Power Partners, Perpetual Energy Systems and SunEdison. In addition, Fauerbach worked closely with U.S. Bank’s Community Development Corporation on the development of unique debt and tax equity structures. Prior to working for U.S. Bank, he served as a vice president in the Utility Lending Group at CoBank, ACB where he managed a loan portfolio of electric cooperatives in excess of $300 million.

One of Fauerbach’s projects will be the development of a Solar Fund Company that is to be partially owned by Sunetric. He will be responsible for working with Tiller to help raise additional equity for the fund company, meeting with potential fund investors, and hiring and managing the fund company’s employees.

Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller Named a Finalist in Pacific Edge Business Achievement Awards

Friday, April 27, 2012

Update: We are very proud to announce that Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller has won the Pacific Edge Business Achievement Award. We are very proud of his accomplishments and are very pleased to count this honor among them.

We are proud to announce that Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller has been named a finalist for the Business Executive of the Year category at the 2nd Annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards! The Business Achievement Awards are designed to “spotlight those businesses who have made a difference in business and the community.”

The red-carpet awards gala will be on Thursday, May 31st from 5:30pm to 9:00pm at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

Solar and Small Business: The Benefits of Installing a PV System

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller was interview for Hawaii Business Magazine’s Expert of the Month feature. He spoke about the benefits of photovoltaic for small business owners, specifically the tax incentives available.

Read the full text of the article below or at the Hawaii Business website:

Q: As a small business owner, what are the tax benefits of installing a photovoltaic system?

A: A photovoltaic system is an incredible investment for Hawaii business owners. By installing and owning a PV system, you are protecting all or part of your power use from future electric rate increases. In Hawaii, electric rates have increased by an average of 6 percent each year since 1991.

In addition to offsetting rising electricity costs, tax incentives, when coupled with depreciation, can offset up to 8o percent of the upfront cost of a commercial PV system. How quickly those credits apply depends on your tax situation, so it is always best to consult a tax professional in addition to your solar provider.

Here is a closer look at commercial incentives available this year:

Hawaii’s Renewable Energy Technology Income Tax Credit

This allows businesses to claim a state in come tax credit of 35 percent for the cost of the PV system. In 2009, Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law Act 154. (Senate Bill 464, Session Laws of Hawaii 2009), allowing customers the option of converting their income tax credit into a refundable tax credit at a rate of 24.5 percent.

U.S. Treasury Tax Credit

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows taxpayers eligible for the federal business energy investment tax credit to take this credit equivalent to 30 percent of the installed cost of a PV system. This credit is available through 2016.

Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Depreciation Deduction and Special Depreciation

PV systems placed into service in 2012 are eligible for a bonus depreciation of 50 percent, which means up to 50 percent of the cost basis of the project can be depreciated in the same year it is placed into service. In addition, the remaining o percent of the cost basis is also eligible for MACRS accelerated depreciation and, when combined with the special depreciation, allows up to 6o percent depreciation in the first year alone.

Alex Tiller
CEO, Sunetric

Sunetric Announces Two New Hires

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kailua, HI — Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new personnel to its staff.

Paul Craig has been appointed Electrical Engineer, PE and Robert Branson as Warehouse Manager.

Paul Craig, an Electrical Engineer, PE, and Project Manager licensed in Hawaii and Colorado with more than 17 years of engineering experience joins Sunetric as Electrical Engineer, PE, and will be responsible for the design and engineering components of the company’s residential and commercial jobs. Craig received his Bachelor’s in Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master’s in Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Robert Branson brings over 15 years of experience to his new role as Sunetric’s Warehouse Manager. As the Warehouse Manager, Branson will be responsible for ensuring proper inventory of the company’s products and ensuring that solar modules are in stock for projects. Prior to moving to Hawaii in 2010, Branson spent over 10 years working for various companies in Indiana.

SparkSpread: Solar developer hires MD of project finance

Monday, March 26, 2012

Energy financing and trading news source SparkSpread covered our recent hiring of Tyler Fauerbach:

Sunetric, a Kailua, Hawaii-based solar power developer, has hired Tyler Fauerbach, v.p. power finance at U.S. Bank.

Fauerbach recently joined Sunetric in Denver as managing director of project finance & strategic development, SparkSpread has learned.

He is responsible for raising debt, tax equity and cash equity for Sunetric’s residential, commercial and utility-scale solar projects in the U.S., according to an industry source.

Sunetric’s completed projects include a 600 kW roof-mounted photovoltaic system on a warehouse owned by Y. Hata & Co., a food service distributor; and a 229 kW roof-mounted PV system for Kona Brewing Co., a Hawaiian brewing company.

Prior to a five-year stint at U.S. Bank, Fauerbach was an energy banker at CoBank.

Sunetric Brews Up Community Spirit for 2012 Kona Brewers Festival

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kailua, HI – Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, is spearheading a new social media effort to highlight the 13 beneficiaries of the 17th-annual Kona Brewers Festival, a celebration of beer and cuisine held on the Big Island on March 10, 2012.

Sunetric is posting extensive interviews with each beneficiary on its blog ( and Facebook page (, and is raising awareness by giving away prizes throughout February and March, including 13 iPod Shuffles, and a grand prize microbrew kit and stereo cooler.

The Brewers Festival raises funds for environmental, educational and cultural causes, donating $475,000 over the past 16 years to Big Island charitable organizations. This year’s beneficiaries include: The Aloha Performing Arts Company; ACF Chefs de Cuisine Kona Kohala Chapter; Hawaii Montessori School at Kona; Honaunau Elementary School; Hualalai Academy; Innovations Public Charter School; Kealakehe Project Grad; the Donkey Mill Art Center; Kona Historical Society; Kona Pacific Public Charter School; the Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii; the Society for Kona’s Education and Art; and the Na Wai Iwi Ola Foundation.

“This is Sunetric’s third year serving as the Community Champion Sponsor of the festival,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller. “We are proud to help put a spotlight on these vital Big Island organizations that contribute so much to our communities, and also educate the public about solar technologies.”

Sunetric has donated $30,000 in the past three years of the festival. The company will also provide the popular Watt Wheels mobile solar energy station – a bright blue Honda Element that has been retrofitted with three 230-watt SunPower modules – to power one of the festival’s stages. Watt Wheels is provided at events as a community service by Sunetric.

“We couldn’t host the Kona Brewers Festival without the generous continuing support of Sunetric and other sponsors,” said Kona Brewers Festival Executive Director Kate Jacobson. “Each year, Sunetric steps up and provides the seed money to get things rolling for this extraordinary community celebration and benefit.”

Solar Beer Production

Sunetric is committed to brewing with solar power. In 2010, Sunetric installed a 229-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system for Kona Brewing Company, which started the Brewers Festival in 1996. The system now offsets nearly half of the annual energy consumption at the company’s Kailua-Kona flagship brewery and pub. The brewery is the first in Hawaii to produce beer using solar power, and has one of the largest solar arrays of any craft brewer in the United States.

The Kona Brewing Company solar array has:

  • Produced 314,563 pints, or 2,537 kegs, of hand-crafted brew to date.
  • Produced enough wattage to power 76 average residences each day.
  • Conserved 734 barrels of oil to date; the equivalent of 4,498 trips around the Big Island.
  • Prevented 691,132 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 2,425 mid-sized cars off the road.
  • Saved Kona Brewing Company $209,416 in electric costs in 2011 alone.

Pacific Business News: HSEA announces restructured board of directors

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pacific Business News is reporting that the HSEA has announced their new board of directors, with Sunetric’s own special project manager Gabriel Chong as President.

After a shakeup in the Hawaii Solar Energy Association’s leadership that included the ouster of board President Mark Duda, the trade group has announced its 2012 board of directors.

Board members are:

  • President Gabriel Chong, who is special projects manager for Sunetric

Read more.

House Bill 2417 Detrimental to Growing Hawaii Solar Industry

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunetric rallies with fellow solar companies in opposition to HB 2417

Kailua, HI – Sunetric, Hawaii’s leading solar design and installation company, joins fellow local solar companies and renewable energy organizations in their opposition against House Bill 2417, which will limit the number of claimable renewable energy technology system tax credits. Sunetric employees will be joining industry representatives in opposing HB 2417 which is scheduled to be heard by the House of Representatives’ Finance Committee at 2pm today.

“At a time when Hawaii’s solar industry is expanding, House Bill 2417, in its current form proposes changes that are too abrupt for both residential and commercial customers,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller. “Additionally, reducing the impact of renewable technology credits will negatively impact future investments by residents and local companies in renewable energy.”

House Bill 2417, House Draft 1 currently proposes to do the following:

  1. Limit the claimable tax credit for each subject tax map key\
  2. Allow nonresidential tax map keys to claim a tax credit instead of commercial properties
  3. Change the tax credit cap for photovoltaic solar energy systems on each nonresidential tax map key number to $1,500 per kilowatt for the first 300 kilowatts and unspecified amount per kilowatt for the next 4,700 kilowatts

“We are just now getting traction and becoming successful in reducing this state’s dependence on imported oil, and the result of being successful in our efforts to date has been explosive job growth and increased tax revenues to the state. This proposed legislation is contrary to two of the state’s most important goals,” said Tiller.

Pacific Business News: Letter to the Editor: Sunetric makes honest mistake

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Honor and integrity are integral guiding principles at Sunetric. As the company’s CEO, I feel it is equally important to step up and assume responsibility when a mistake is made.

Earlier this year, we mistakenly submitted our 2011 sales figure of $132 million instead of our revenue figure which is $42 million, for PBN’s annual survey of photovoltaic providers. Both figures are important in measure success as revenue indicates last year’s results and sales is a good indicator of forthcoming revenue.

Fortunately, our ranking was based on the accurately reported installed kilowatts metric, and not financial measures. It is important to use that we don’t misrepresent ourselves, or our industry, so I want to personally take this opportunity to formally apologize to the team at PBN and to the paper’s readership for the error. It was not intentional. It was genuinely a mistake which I am deeply embarrassed by.

In 2004, Sunetric was founded on the belief that people should leave the world a much better place than how they found it and that the company would strive to build a more sustainable, energy-independent future for us all. We are devoted to these ideals and believe our values contribute to our rapid growth and continued success. Sunetric is continuing to blaze ahead as the industry leader here at home and now on the U.S. Mainland. No matter how big the company gets, or how far it goes, Sunetric will continue working to make the world a better place, which includes being the first to admit when a mistake has been made and then setting forth to correct it.

Washington Business Journal: Hawaii’s biggest solar firm, Sunetric, expands to D.C., eyes government clients

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sunetric’s mainland expansion was profiled in the Friday, February 24, 2012 edition of the Washington Business Journal. The article can be read by subscribers on the Washington Business Journal website, and we’ve included the full text of the piece is below:

Bill Flook, Staff Reporter

Sunetric Inc., Hawaii’s biggest homegrown clean energy company, is establishing a District presence as part of a broader expansion onto the continental U.S..

The Kailua-based company, which already does substantial business with the U.S. military in Hawaii, is setting up shop in D.C. to capture a greater share of federal contracts.

“We think that’s a good sweet spot for us, from a growth standpoint,” said Sunetric CEO Alex Tiller, who cited clean energy mandates for Defense Department facilities as a potential source of contracts.

Sunetric has 140 employees in its Hawaiian headquarters and only a handful in its D.C. branch.

The solar company has also set up offices in Denver and Pittsburgh, which is serving as its launching ground for East Coast commercial operations, Tiller said.

The company designs and builds roof-mounted photovoltaic installations for homes, businesses and government buildings.

“We know that energy is on the minds of our government,” Tiller said. “We know that there is going to be a large federal market in the solar space over the next five years.”

President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget, for example, carves out $27.2 billion for the Energy Department, including $6.7 billion on clean energy programs and cash grants for wind and solar companies.

Sunetric is, however, stepping into a tougher political climate for federal clean energy spending after the collapse of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC, which put taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in loan guarantees.

Though, Tiller said, Solyndra “is proof positive that the federal government isn’t trying to pick particular technologies.”

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