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Wirsol Solar

POLICY AND CHANGE

G.J. Pierman, liberal president of internationally acclaimed Wirsol Solar, discusses energy policy and the legislation needed to make the U.S. a recognized energy leader.

The Solar Co. NETTING ENERGY

California’s golden goose of solar installation dunks millions in energy cost savings for the Warriors’ — the first NBA team to integrate solar.

ENERGY LEADERS TODAY

T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY

Spring 2011 $24.95 USD $26.30 CAN

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EEC Companies GREENING D.C.

EEC Inc. and EEC of D.C. offer a full range of construction and environmental remediation services to some of the most important government buildings inside the beltway.


ENERGY LEADERS TODAY

T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY www.energyleaderstoday.com

Pfister Energy | 74

DESIGN/BUILD ENERGY THAT RUNS THE GAMUT Evolving from what was once a commercial roofing company, Wayne Pfisterer fell in love with all that the renewable energy industry had to offer. Today, the company offers a full menu of turnkey, customized solutions that range from financing and incentive options to technology and installation options.


in this issue

84 IN EVERY ISSUE

on the cover

The world’s first green Burger King restaurant in Waghaeusel, Germany. Photo courtesy of WIRSOL Solar AG.

T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY

ENERGY LEADERS TODAY

Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange Creative Director Maria J. Owens Art Director Anthony Walker Director of Advertising Julian Vu Editorial Design Kris Apodaca Photography Editor Ian Palmer Video Director Susan Maybach Editorial Director Kate Darling Staff Writers Joel Cornell, Paige L. Hill Copy Editor Chelsea Muth, Mariya Isayeva Assistant Copy Editor Amy Roberts Content Directors Brandon McBride, Lisa Talbot, Cathy Bradford, Sophia Hartwick, Juan Stewart Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Eric Miller, Steve Peters Advertising Sales Coordinator Patricia O’Brien Advertising Sales Director Peter Jostens Advertising Sales James Banks, Moe Kazemi, George Johnson Publisher Steve Reed Reprints/Circulation Anne Brewer

oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 www.energyleaderstoday.com Energy Leaders Today is a quarterly B2B trade journal that services the energy industry in geothermal, hydroelectric, gas, solar, wind, fuel cell and new tecnhologies. ELT has a readership of 100,000 C-Level executives within the energy industry. We do not accept subscription requests from the general public, however an abbreviated version is available on our website.

4 Spring 2011

06 Editor’s Note 08 News and Events 09 Guest Editorial 10 Hot Products 102 Advertising Index GREEN BUILDING

18 Comfort Engineered Systems In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this New Orleans-based company helped over 50,000 homes and businesses rebuild a greener city by providing an array of renewable energy solutions.

23 Total Service Co. Established in 1985, Total Service Co. can take on geothermal drilling projects of any size with their vast array of advanced equipment and expertise.

24 EEC Inc. and EEC of D.C. These like-minded companies teamed up to build a LEED Silver office for the Department of Employment Services in one of Washington D.C.’s most needy neighborhoods.

30 Everyday Green This young start-up focuses on the single- and multi-family market in educating professionals about renewable energy; including creating a training DVD for those interested in becoming home energy auditors.

34 Reliable Comfort Three brothers head up this energy-efficient heating/cooling company which runs on customer satisfaction and giving back to the community through a generous commitment to the March of Dimes.

36 Lakes Heating This Ohio-based company is seeing green in the agriculture market by fashioning energy-efficient, geothermal heating solutions for local seed companies in need of temperature controlled areas.

EDUCATION

42 Clean Edison Founders Avi Yaschin and Lauren Carson boast an impressive combined resume, making them the appealing choice for educating businesses and governments about making clean energy choices.

46 Solar San Antonio Nine recent trainees of this nonprofit are having a tough time finding work, making organizers concerned that the move toward a green economy will be tough.

48 Entergy Corp’s Volunteer Training As Entergy Corp. considers pulling funding for volunteer training at their Plymouth, Mass. nuclear power plant, they face uproar from the surrounding communities that would act as refuge for fleeing employees.


SOLAR INTERNATIONAL

50 Wirsol Solar One of the big dogs in international solar, Wirsol is heading up a renewable energy revolution in America thanks to progressive founder of the company, G.J. Pierman.

NATIONAL

56 Florida Solar After completing the largest solar thermal installation project in Florida at the Jacksonville Naval facilities, founder Gary White sees a bright future for his just four-year-old company.

60 Lighthouse Solar Jason Iahn’s thriving solar franchise has expanded from its roots in Colorado into the Northeast and will continue growing across the U.S. at the speed of, ahem, light, thanks to quality service and state-of-the-art technology.

NORTHEAST

64 Sundoor Solar Choosing this company to create the prototype for a solar model and cost savings plan was a no-brainer for an international bank looking for a one-stopshop in solar installation.

68 Pro Custom Solar Situated in the one of the most attractive states for going green, Pro Custom Solar makes that transition ever more tempting by offering to pay the rest of the tab in exchange for their solar installation.

72 Geoscape Solar Highly customized financial planning and a team of fiscal experts makes this company an attractive choice for businesses looking to generate some major ROI.

74 Pfister Energy A jack-of-all-trades, Pfister Energy is a design/build construction company that is changing the renewable energy market by using the most cutting-edge manufacturers and the most economically savvy financial options.

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SOUTH

80 Electron Solar Energy This solar company makes the most use of being located in the Sunshine State by providing clients with forward-thinking technology – no wonder it is the only publicly traded renewable energy company in Florida.

82 South Texas Solar Former Canadian hockey star, James Hiebert, relocated to Texas to harness the southwestern sunshine and corner the solar thermal market with his innovative business model.

WEST

84 The Solar Company The Golden State Warrior basketball team in Sacramento is dunking $2 million in energy bills thanks to The Solar Company’s 537 rooftop solar installation atop the team’s practice facility.

92 DJH Construction Founder Don Harris started this energy efficient-minded company at the tender age of 19. Nearly 20 years later, DJH Construction, Inc. remains on the cutting edge of solar energy systems integration.

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96 Next Energy The San Francisco company brings three decades of experience to its custom engineered approach, installing solar systems that exceed industry standards by meeting “Marine Grade” standards on every project.

Energy Leaders Today 5


editor’s note

rebecca carnes

tions, emergency backups, etc. is insulting. They should just stick to figuring out how to lower the national debt while not screwing over the wealthy who work hard to provide a livelihood to the middle class. And proposals to end all nuclear power and shut down all plants is just plain un-American. In this issue of ELT, we focused on companies that have expanded their product and service offerings to make them more competitive, useful and ubiquitous to the market. As clean energy technology advances, all forms of renewable energy will become commonly accepted parts of our culture. While specializing in just solar, wind or geothermal may allow a company to claim “expert” status, smaller clients like homeowners and small businesses require more personalized options from companies that can speak more than one language. In the journalism industry, we call this “knowledge that’s an inch thick and a mile wide.” Turn to our green building section (page 18) to discover some regional firms that are helping their surrounding communities realize the benefits and array of options for affordable, renewable energy in their homes or offices.

Rebecca enjoys a career of writing about critical issues and prominent business leaders of our time. Her work has been recognized both locally and nationally.

With a background in technical writing, Joel excels at translating complex jargon into readable, vivid narratives. Past works include projects with the State Department, DOD, World Bank and many retail giants.

TODD WEAVER editor@ozworldmedia.com

paige l. hill

Take our poll on energyleaderstoday.com to weigh in on our country’s reaction to the Japan nuclear disaster.

Well versed in topics ranging from green building to interior design, Paige’s career has taken her from Readers Digest UK to a variety of lifestyle magazines to hard daily news. She has a Master’s in English from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.

chelsea muth

Dominating energy news since March 11th is the nuclear debate following Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. The aftermath has snowballed into a series of nuclear explosions, ultimately resulting in a level seven disaster, getting the whole world to rethink nuclear power. It had been 25 years since the last level seven nuclear meltdown and yet legislators and the public everywhere are proposing extreme measures like reform, shutting down older plants and banning future plants. This troubles me because Japan’s crisis was not an epic failure on the plant’s management, as some are claiming. Nor was it a factor of the plant’s age. As a matter of fact, the plant’s emergency shut-down procedure worked precisely as planned when the earthquake began. It actually surpassed the amount of energy it had been designed to withstand by 40 times. Rather, it was the 33-foot tsunami that knocked out the plant’s backup diesel generators for its coolant pumps that caused the partial meltdown that unfolded in front of our eyes on national television. Legislators and activists are totally overreacting. Perhaps building nuclear plants on a fault-line may not have been the best idea, and future plants should be located in low-threat areas (like away from hurricane zones, tornado alley, etc.). Even so, what we have learned from Japan’s partial meltdown is that if the same protective measures had been taken to secure the generators, no meltdown would have occurred. They did a commendable job in the execution of the plant’s shutdown. Once again, this is an example of the government meddling too much in the private sector. For legislators to assume that plant operators are not carefully rethinking and evaluating their operations, loca-

joel cornell

Legislators Overreacting to Japan’s Nuclear Partial Meltdown

CONTRIBUTORS

With a background in creative writing and journalism, Chelsea has travelled the world, allowing her to grow her knowledge and talents. Since graduating from NYU and completing post graduate studies at the University of Toronto, Chelsea has logged many hours for non-profits administering aid to African countries. 6 Spring 2011


SPOTLIGHT | NEWS

The Business Response to Climate Change

by Juan Stewart, Certified Solar Installer, Content Director

THE SECOND ANNUAL BUSINESS RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE, LED BY MBA STUDENTS AT THE GW SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, EXPLORED THE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS FACED BY BURGEONING CLEAN TECHNOLOGY BUSINESSES AS THEY SEIZE MARKET OPPORTUNITIES TO APPLY ENERGY SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES WORLDWIDE.

8 Spring 2011

The George Washington University School of Business held its dynamic Business Response to Climate Change conference on Thursday, February 10, 2011. This second annual conference, attended by private business owners and government and energy policy constituents, centered on the best ways for progressive companies to take advantage of growing clean technology market opportunities. Packed with esteemed professionals, the event was a fruitful platform for discussion. Dialogues breached the financing and commercialization of clean technologies, the obstacles and benefits of global energy partnerships, and the use of energy solutions to tackle climate change issues. While the speakers hoped to shed light on a fast-growing market, discussions yielded strong opinions and left audience members with a lot to think about concerning the future of the energy industry. Honorary chairman Dr. Doug Guthrie, dean and professor at the GW School of Business, headed the conference’s lively remarks. Before launching into his preferences on climate change response, Guthrie made an example of Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar. Due to a lack of resources and government incentives, Evergreen Solar was forced to move operations to China. Guthrie said the company moved, not to export U.S. jobs or resources, but because they had no choice. The Chinese government spent $34.6 billion on renewable energy last year, offering Evergreen Solar financial security it could not refuse. Responding to Evergreen Solar’s experience, Guthrie said the U.S. has viable options for addressing climate change and energy issues. He highlighted the most powerful factors as “gradualism, competition, decentralization, and foreign investment.” Guthrie believes these practices are essential to ensuring a thriving U.S. alternative energy industry. Guthrie predicated to an attentive audience that governmental strategizing and cross-industry coordination would draw foreign investment to the American energy industry. In illustration, Guthrie projected a photograph from the World Cup with two advertisements in the background One was an American ad for McDonald’s, and the other was a Chinese ad for Yingli Solar. “We see what the U.S. markets to the world, and we see what China markets to the world,” Guthrie said. Keynote speaker David Rothkpf voiced an adamant opinion that America is not conducive to leading the energy industry. Mainly, it lacks structure and government support. Rothkpf

made it his business to point out Russia’s practice of using clean energy to sell oil. “No form of alternative energy can exist with government [support],” Rothkpf said. Though this comparison may seem counterproductive, it shows clean energy is something others around the world recognize as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Rothkpf focused on the need for manufacturing to scale to be more economical in the United States: “Scale doesn’t exist in the U.S.,” he commented. Without the ability to scale product, Rothkpf believes America will forever fight losing battles with countries like China and India. The conference included informative panel discussions on specific energy industry trends, problems, and possible solutions. Brandon Belford, a finance specialist in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), believes it is important for DOE’s SunShot Program to address hard questions, such as why certain alternative energies would not work here. “Questions are important to fuel discussions about energy, and to help generate dialogue with parties capable of innovating technological energy advances,” Belford said. “Long term policy is needed for wind and solar,” Michael Bruce said, co-founder of Manifest Energy. Bruce believes long-term-policies will establish a level of consistency through the industries, a lack of which is now causing the stall in development of the respective alternative forms of energy production. Another panelist, Bo Poats, Director of Pace Financial Services, spoke about investment into the advancement of alternative energy. “Government needs to sell the story of payback. Solar is pushed by Solar Renewable Energy Certificates; SRECs justify resources but prevent scalability,” Poats said. Scott Sklar, founder of Stella Group, said consumer risk has stalled the takeoff of alternative energy resources such as Smart Grid. “When it comes to utility companies implementing these technologies and resources,” Sklar said. “All the risk falls on the consumer.” However, he did mention that he sees energy going through a similar transformation that the telecom and computer industries endured. One final note to take away from the conference was, in addition to climate change, the energy industry would also relieve the water shortage that may impact the near future. Opower is a social media site that may help bring the conversation of climate change and alternative energy to the masses if backed by the right people in business.


GUEST EDITORIAL

Draconian Energy Regulation Will Never Die First published on Forbes.com, April 14, 2011.

Sure, global warming policy seems off of the political radar, but it is still in the air, homing fast and true on your pocketbook via the stealth technology of the courts and the EPA. It will never be shot down. Many would like to believe that cap-and-trade, carbon dioxide taxes, or simple command-andcontrol regulation went into a coma when the Senate failed to pass any companion legislation to the House’s American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act, which squeaked through 219215 on June 26, 2009. And then, the myth goes, it died in the House blowout last November. The reasoning in support of this is pretty straightforward. Almost every close House race in 2010 was won by a Republican. In the Senate, the dogfights all went to Democrats. The difference between the two? The House passed ACES while the Senate twiddled down the clock. This would all be correct if we were true to our Constitution, which established a federal government of profoundly limited power, granted great authority to the states, and, perhaps most important, limited the executive branch to mainly to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” (Article II). But, as my Cato Institute colleague Roger Pilon so eloquently points out, we live in a modern “Executive State” where a massive amount of power has been delegated from Congress to myriad agencies (such as EPA) where unelected, lifelong careerists, with the approval and support of the Executive Branch regulate our lives where legislators fear to tread, or, more accurately, are too chicken-bleep to tread. And, thanks to the judicial tradition of deference to the expertise of these agencies, the courts have actually encouraged the growth of this constitutional miscarriage. And so it goes with global warming. When ACES was under consideration, two inconvenient truths became apparent: it was the most draconian, intrusive piece of non-wartime legislation ever passed, and, even if dozens of nations that had commitments under the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol on global warming adopted and fulfilled it, the amount of global warming that would be prevented would be, within any reasonable time horizon, too small to even measure. Draconian? How about, a mere 38 years from today, ACES would grant the average American the per capita carbon dioxide emissions of 1867? Futile? How about reducing global warming by about 0.07°C per 50 years, even with the participation of all those Kyoto nations? And so, as carbon dioxide regulation died in the Senate, it was reborn via the Supreme

Court and the EPA. In its 2007 decision, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency the Court reversed its policy of deference to agencies and instead inserted itself smack in the middle of the political debate on global warming. The majority (5-4) opinion, authored by Justice Stevens, did so in its first words: “A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related.” From that statement, which is devoid of any policy implications, the Court went on to command the EPA to move forward. The court could have also stated that there are plenty of “respected scientists” who believe that the future warming trend, while likely, has been grossly overestimated in magnitude and impact. Specifically it directed the EPA to determine whether or not carbon dioxide was a “pollutant,” endangering human health and welfare, and, if it found that to be the case, then it must regulate it under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Forget that the authors of that law, such as Michigan’s John Dingell, have stated that the Act was never intended to regulate greenhouse gases. And so, not surprisingly, on Dec. 7, 2009, the EPA found indeed that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, endangering our health and welfare, and soon after began to propose regulations, beginning with fuel economy standards, but certainly not ending until it is no longer “endangering.” They based this largely on two reports on climate change, one from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the other by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. Both claim to be authoritative and comprehensive. Ah, but can’t Congress simply tell the EPA that it cannot regulate greenhouse gases? Sure, but the Senate fell 10 votes short on this last week. And even if it did pass, the president would surely veto it. It will be a hot day at the South Pole when there are 67 votes to override. Of course, we could change presidents, right? In that eventuality, the EPA will have to somehow undermine the authority of our own Climate Change Science Program in order to reverse its endangerment finding. Fat chance of that not winding up in court — the same courts that got us into this mess in the first place. Regulations will stand until scientists stand up, which will be never, as long as there is such funding gold in them thar hills of global warming. Do not kid yourself. Draconian regulation of energy — which touches almost every aspect of our daily lives — is not dead. It is, in fact, immortal.

by Patrick J. Michaels Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies Cato Institute

MICHAELS VOICES HIS FRUSTRATION WITH CONGRESS AND THEIR INCORRECT USE OF POWER TO GOVERN U.S. ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT POLICIES. HIS BOOK, CLIMATE COUP: GLOBAL WARMING’S INVASION OF OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR LIVES, COMES OUT APRIL 22.

Energy Leaders Today 9


HOT PRODUCTS

we scoured the Energy, Tech, building and design markets to bring you our favorite new products to line your projects .

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10 Spring 2011


2

HOT PRODUCTS

Vinyl enthusiasts savor the tactile experience of their album collections: soaking up the artwork, reading the liner notes, feeling the record at your fingertips. If you’re like the music fanatic designers at Atocha Design, their latest work, The Record Cabinet, is the culmination of form and function for your collection. This handcrafted work stores your records upright (as they should be) in soft-touch gliding drawers. Careful consideration has gone into the design, engineering and construction to specifically accommodate the heavy weight of an LP collection. Each drawer fits 95 LPs.

Energy Leaders Today 11


HOT PRODUCTS

4 staff pick!

12 Spring 2011

by SolTech http://www.soltechenergy.com/en/

After years of research, the Swiss company SolTech Energy developed these new, sleek and modern passive solar glass roofing tiles using their patented solar thermal light absorption technology. The glass tiles not only look amazing atop your home but have a longer life expectancy than conventional clay or concrete roofing materials. The system is designed to be integrated into the house’s existing energy system whether it is ground source heat pump, air heat pump, pellet boiler, oil boiler or electric boiler.


HOT PRODUCTS

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by Aaron Smith Woodworking www.aaronsmithwoodworking.com

“Ambivalence is what you make of it,” said designer and master woodworker Aaron Smith. His latest design, Ambivalence, challenges the consumer to reconsider their conception of what defines handcrafted seating. Not exactly a chair and not quite a bench, we still can’t decide if it’s seating or a true work of art, a dilemma that lends itself to the latter. An entirely handmade piece of furniture, the seat and backrest are created from a single slab of Redwood burl, while the armrest and legs are carved out of Claro Walnut.

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by Arms & Barnes www.armsandbarnes.com

Arms & Barnes has aimed to create furniture that is totally and truly unique. This objective has been handily achieved through the firm’s use of the most unique materials available. The pair of tables was made from pieces which were removed from a building in Philadelphia. These beautiful and one-of-a-kind pieces have been salvaged and made into a pair of end tables with custom steel frames. They can be put together, making a larger table, or separated to flank both sides of your favorite sofa or lounge chair.

Energy Leaders Today 13


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HOT PRODUCTS

14 Spring 2011

by Vanessa Mitrani www.vanessamitrani.com

Exotic fish enthusiasts will derive the greatest pleasure from the aesthetic of these fluid, elegant, interpretations of the standard fish bowl. Through the fine, hand crafted pieces from Paris, France based designer and artist Vanessa Mitrani, the charming delicacy and uncommon felicity of her unique Aquarius collection now matches that of its inhabitants. Made for the pedestal, counter top, table or to be hung from the wall or ceiling, Vanessa Mitrani’s line of specialty aquariums are crafted with the best interests of both their denizens and their owners in mind.


HOT PRODUCTS

by NL Architect www.ecowizer.com

Windmills today are less than aesthetically pleasing monoliths seen far away from where we live, work and play. Amsterdam-based NL Architect is changing this. Strong, affordable and silent, these sculptural windmills can be installed across an urban environment, all while completely avoiding sound, sight and air pollution. The turbines can also be connected to smart grids and combined with solar panel systems.

8 Energy Leaders Today 15


HOT PRODUCTS

9 by Graham and Brown www.grahambrown.com

Bound to strike your fancy no matter what your taste or style may be, Graham and Brown is on a mission to revive a love of patterns. From simple elegance to funky florals to whimsical color schemes, their newest collections bring you affordable designer wallpaper that will make you never want to leave your home again. 16 Spring 2011


GREEN BUILDING

18 COMFORT ENGINEERING 23 TOTAL SERVICE INC. 24 EEC 30 EVERYDAY GREEN 34 RELIABLE COMFORT 36 LAKES HEATING & AIR The Department of Employment Services, Washington, DC. Photo: Julian Vu


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. has transformed not only their own scope to include a vast array of renewable energy solutions, but the way the solutions are made possible for every household and business. by Joel Cornell

Galatoire Residence, architect: Albert C. Ledner, 1966; New Orleans, LA. Comfort Engineered took out 19 tons, installed 13 tons, and used the Bayou to install water source heat pumps, preserving the original design integrity while making it a comfortable home. The Manual J and Manual D design was added with the AED loads computed for this house to show the complexity involved in trying to figure out how to make this system energy efficient and comfortable. Photo by Edward S. Perez.

18 Spring 2011


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

Growing Up Green Energy Leaders Today 19


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

From the early 1970s, my father had been instrumental in developing new, sustainable technologies from renewable energy sources, long before such things became the trends they are today...”

W

ith the U.S. economy turning on industries left and right, many found they had to make drastic changes to their business models and plans in order to avoid total collapse. While some companies took the route of budget-slashing and cutting corners, the New Orleans-based HVAC leaders, Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. instead expanded the scope of their operations. Today, the company to which over 50,000 local home owners and business owe their indoor comfort has transformed into the single source mechanical engineering firm for all forms of renewable energy. “When I founded the business back in 2001, our differentiating culture was defined by a willingness to accept engineering as a value added piece for home owners and businesses, and instill that same willingness in our clients,” Ed Perez said, who serves as president of Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. “What comes from this is a better end result, every time. We’ve endeavored and I think succeeded at creating an economically viable business model that’s a bit unique from many of those I’ve seen around the world.” The son of the vice president of Tyler Refrigeration, Perez was pretty much born into the industry. After receiving his degree in HVAC, Perez 20 Spring 2011

worked as a designer for Tyler Refrigeration throughout Central and South America. In 2001, Perez took his decades of varied experiences in mechanical engineering and settled back in New Orleans, where he founded Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. After building the company from scratch and quickly becoming one of the most respected HVAC firms in the New Orleans area, the signs of an impending downturn in the economy became apparent to Perez. Though the bleak aftermath of Hurricane Katrina did provide a boom of business in the region, it came at a cost to the firm. Left with only a small pool of options with which to keep the company successful, Perez developed a relationship with an expert in renewable energies, Nicolai Alatzas. The company proceeded to tear off at an astounding pace in this new, green direction. “From the early 1970s, my father had been instrumental in developing new, sustainable technologies from renewable energy sources, long before such things became the trends they are today,” Alatzas said. “I was working for my family’s fourth generation produce company in New York City in 2001, when the World Trade Center attacks happened in front of my eyes when I was crossing the Manhattan Bridge. That really changed my perspective on the world, and at the time my father was working on developing solar systems for a modern market and I dove into renewable energies head first. Perez persevered and educated himself on all things green on Alatzas’ recommendation. Alatzas moved to New Orleans to help his sister get her feet back on the ground and soon joined Perez as a partner of Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. “What both Ed and I envisioned as the solution to the economic problem was a big picture, all-encompassing firm which sought to provide all services, necessary or desired, for the region’s energy and HVAC needs, all under one roof,” Alatzas said. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, there were rebuilding efforts on a massive scale. New construction methods served as widespread inspiration to take things in the right direction, which has always been in renewable energy, although such things haven’t made financial sense until recently. “Across the regions destroyed by Katrina, there was certainly a mindset throughout every community that the rebuilding phase had to be done perfectly this time around. This attitude was coupled with increasingly strong incentives from the local, state and federal governments


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

OPPOSITE: Ocean Safe SIP house, Pearl/Zeller, New Orleans, La. This highly efficient thermal envelope is complemented by an integral backbone of sustainable mechanical systems that include a 4.4kW grid tied solar PV, a passive loop solar thermal, and a high efficiency ASHP. Photo by Edward S. Perez. ABOVE: Dave Quiggle stands triumphantly over 76-year-old Patsy McCabe’s 5.28 kW grid-tied battery back up system in Plaquemines Parish, La. Patsy was encouraged to go solar when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill brought devastation to her beloved parish once again. Photo by Nicolai Alatzas. RIGHT: Project Home Again (PHA), Phase 5, Gentily, La. This is 1 of 7 homes in PHA’s Phase 5 construction with a 3.43kW grid tied solar array. These houses are breakthroughs in affordable solar installations which are at 20-30% below fair market value. Photo by Nicolai Alatzas.

for renewable energy, and the result was a massive, vacant market that we’ve been able to master through our attention to detail, our clients and the bigger picture.” Project Home Again, a national nonprofit housing development organization, sought out victims of Hurricane Katrina by building high quality, energy efficient homes for low to moderate income families. In doing so, Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. has been the driving force behind the projects as a main provider of durable, inexpensive solar thermal, solar PV, wind and geothermal energy systems. Additionally, Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. has partnered with a majority of the philanthropic groups that have provided aid in New Orleans, including Make It Right, Global Green and The Riggio Foundation. The firm has been instrumental in the design process for many projects, with a large focus on working towards total grid parity for every neighborhood. With an increased attention on renewable energy on a global scale, Comfort Engineered Systems, Inc. has made itself a key firm in the development and implementation of these technologies. Through its work across the Southeastern United States, the firm has mastered its trade and offers comprehensive solutions for all of its clients. ELT Energy Leaders Today 21


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

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f Fred Danforth and his decades old Total Service Company, Pontotoc Inc. have anything to say about the matter, and they most certainly do, geothermal energy is here to stay. Upon receiving his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1980, Danforth worked in the HVAC industry throughout Phoenix, Arizona and New Orleans, Lousiana before settling in Tupelo, Mississippi. In running his own business, Danforth eventually came across his first geothermal job in 1990. After heading back to school to receive his certification as a geothermal installer, Danforth transformed his business model and dove into the geothermal industry head first. “I saw the opportunity that existed in geothermal loop technology, things like the system life cycle, the energy savings, the added value, and I took that leap into geothermal which has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Danforth said. “The systems will cost 33 percent more than a traditional air conditioning system, which makes the upfront costs a bit more difficult to swallow for some clients. But once they understand that the system will last decades before needing attention and just how much money they end up saving in the long run, the job of persuading clients really isn’t as difficult as some ‘green’ energy companies make it out to be.” With the federal, state and local government constantly fighting their own budgets, Total Service Company, Inc. has honed their expertise and understanding of geothermal technology and has been working for decades to install systems of astounding scale and complexity, such as the firm’s work at Kendall Air Force Base. The base backed up to a bay, which made the prospect of a traditional air conditioning system seem impossible. Because of the constant cold air, rain and salt that the base experienced annually, traditional systems held a mere three-year life cycle. Because every component of a geothermal system is shielded from the elements, the durability of the system remained the same. Each and every Total Service Company, Inc. employee is certified by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). The firm’s rigs perform over 1,000 ft. worth of drilling on a daily basis across 17 states including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, across the Carolinas and into Kentucky. Over 85 different general contractors across the U.S. exclusively rely on Total Service Company, Inc.’s expertise and vision to ensure quality work on every geothermal system. “We’ve worked a lot in Northern Mississippi where we’re the only installer in the area with the vast amount of certification and training that we maintain,” Danforth said. “We work a lot in the commercial and industrial sectors because not many installers can be trusted with the scale and complexity of systems worth $1.5 million and up. But, at the same time, we do a lot of residential work because home owners require a lot of trust that you’re going to care for them and their home. Without that trust, which we train every day to keep, we would have nothing.” ELT

A NO-NONSENSE APPROACH

Mississippi-based company relies on quality work and common sense to save energy by Joel Cornell

Energy Leaders Today 23


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

Teaming up reaps big benefits for D.C. community Duo Companies in Washington D.C. pair up to build the new Department of Employment Services Building in a neighborhood with an utmost need for job creation by Rebecca Rodriguez and Paige L. Hill

24 Spring 2011


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

The green roof on top of the new Department of Employment Services building in Washington, D.C. not only provides spectacular views of the nation’s capital but also oxygen-boosting benefits to the local environment. Photo by Julian Vu.

Energy Leaders Today 25


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

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rother companies that handle both construction and environmental remediation services, EEC, Inc. and EEC of D.C. have done their fair share of individual building projects in the nation’s capitol; but, when they recently got the chance to help recession-weary D.C. residents get back on their feet by constructing the Department of Employment Services’ new building in the rougharound-edges Anacostia neighborhood, they jumped at the chance to combine their efforts as a joint venture with Forrester Construction. “This was our biggest project to date and our biggest impact,” Lamond Brown said, who serves as EEC D.C.’s business development manager. “Choosing to put the building here in this neighborhood was strategic, because it needed to be closest to the community that has the highest unemployment rates.” The oft-neglected community’s unemployment rate has steadily grown in the past 30 years, according to the 2011 statistics released by The Urban Institute of Washington D.C. Between 1980 and 2011, it has soared from 10 percent to nearly 18 percent, which is double the average in the District. The $63 million environmentally-friendly building was designed 26 Spring 2011

to serve as a beacon of hope for the projected 200,000 unemployed persons who will come through the doors this year looking for help. “This building is really a place to get inspired and we hope that’s what it does for the people who come in looking for jobs,” Neville Waters said, the public information officer for the Department of Employment Services. The construction process also provided an opportunity to hire unemployed construction workers from the community – roughly 60 from the neighborhood and adjacent areas. “We came into their neighborhood not to make enemies but create some relationships and make this whole process a positive one,” Derrick Johnson, EEC of D.C.’s Senior Project Manager said, who served as the field engineer. The five-story, 280,000 sq. ft. building is comprised of a business center, retail space, community meeting room and office space. The project entailed a green roof, daylight-harvesting lights, low-flush toilets, a high-efficiency HVAC unit and renewable materials manufactured locally – garnering a LEED silver ranking. “This was unlike any project I’ve done before,” Johnson said. “I had to take all of my previous experiences on construction sites and put them

ABOVE: The afternoon sunlight activates the daylight harvesting lighting inside the office space that lines the façade of the new Dept. of Employment Services building. EEC, Inc. and EEC of D.C. collaborated on this $63 million project. The five-story, 28,000 sq. ft. building comprised of offices, community meeting rooms and a business center is expected to aid over 200,000 unemployed D.C. residents obtain jobs in 2011. Photo by Julian Vu.


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

in a box. Just put them away and come to the site hungry to learn.” The $63 million tab that it took to complete the project was also new for EEC -- all previous projects ran about $5 million or less. “We wanted to see what it would be like to run a $63 million site from every aspect from the ground up,” Brown said. “We’ve always been a ‘take on anything that comes our way’ kind of group, but this building may put us in a category where we can now say we won’t take on anything less than $1 million.” The EEC companies are split with EEC, Inc. handling federal jobs from its Landover, Md., office and EEC of D.C. handling local jobs from its base in D.C. The companies’ business is comprised of about 90 percent government jobs, with some commercial and industrial thrown into the mix. The companies often handle design/build jobs that also involve environmental cleanup, a big factor in government buildings constructed in the 1970s when asbestos and lead-based paint was used. Most of the interior renovation jobs entail an environmental component. Andre Downey founded EEC, Inc. in 1993, and later founded EEC of D.C. in 2005. The

Department of Employment Services building was a chance to flex their “green” muscles more than they had before. “I began studying for the green exam and getting to know what LEED was all about when I found out we were signed on for this,” Johnson said. “We have always employed the approach of using the most recycled materials and making our waste practically nothing, but going for LEED meant installing a green roof, energy efficient windows, low water consumption fixtures and other eco-friendly building components.” Asbestos, lead and mold abatement is offered by the companies and they have their own warehouse of supplies and equipment to draw from for each job, so there’s no delay due to ordering. This allows for quick mobilization and the companies have become known for their promptness in starting a job or reacting to an emergency. And, with 75 employees, the companies have people on payroll that can perform all of the necessary trades. “We have people doing these jobs day in and day out. If there’s an emergency then we have the people on staff to handle it,” Brown said. “We recognize it’s better for people to have

ABOVE, LEFT: The spongelike green roof collects rain water, making plant life possible in one of the most unlikely places. The building obtained a LEED Silver certification thanks to the green roof, high-efficiency HVAC unit, recycled building materials and energy-efficient technology. Photo by Julian Vu. ABOVE, RIGHT: Senior Project Manager Derrick Johnson speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this year. Johnson hired more than 60 construction workers from the building’s Anacostia neighborhood, where unemployment rates are among the highest in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy EEC of DC.

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that one-stop shop.” Currently, the EECs have two LEEP APs on staff and are in the process of certifying project managers as LEED Green Associates by the year 2012, according to Johnson. “We are taking this very seriously, we see this building as the beginning of something new for our company,” Johnson said. The EEC first seriously pursued LEED certification on the recently completed Senior Wellness Center which was constructed using green and recycled materials and has a green roof similar to the Employment Services center. The $5.2 million facility boasts 15,000 square feet of space on three floors; but the EEC decided to also utilize the rooftop space for additional activities for the senior residents. On top of the roof there are solar panels, a lounge area with benches, a small walking track, and sunny views of the city. The building earned a LEED silver rating. EEC Inc. just finished a $1.7 million abatement and demolition job for the St. Elizabeths Campus for the U.S. General Services Administration. The Department of Homeland Security is consolidating its headquarters at the St Elizabeths campus located also within the Anacostia neighborhood. With 4.5 million gross sq. ft., it 28 Spring 2011

is the second largest government installation after the Pentagon. EEC helped achieve LEED Gold status for the project, while handling the abatement and demolition of 11 buildings. Lead, asbestos and mold was removed, as well as PCB ballast in the lighting. “We were able to recycle 85 to 90 percent of what would be our waste on that project, which is big,” Johnson said. The EEC presence in the Anacostia neighborhood will continue as they next tackle the $56 million project of renovating Anacostia Senior High School this year. EEC takes part in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s program for small companies that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZones. The Maryland and DC offices are located in a HUBZone where low-income housing and communities are present. They hire from within their communities to help create jobs. This gives them a preference with some government contracts. EEC, Inc. was also certified as a small, minority-owned businesses which also helped them gain government contracts in the past; however, they have recently graduated from the nine-year program.

ABOVE: The daylight harvesting technology automatically detects how much natural sunlight is being captured in the office and then produces only as much additional lighting as needed for the employees. Photo by Julian Vu.


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

“We have to re-strategize how we go after contracts. We’re used to getting some preference and having the government call us up,” Brown said. Part of re-strategizing involves continuing good service and marketing to build new relationships to take the place of the 8 (a) jobs. With these contracts there is no bidding necessary and projects can be directly awarded by the government to a company in the program. EEC still has the advantage of being located in the HUBZone, but this does not result in as many awarded contracts through the program. EEC Inc.’s achievements are not going unnoticed. They are being acknowledged by a number of organizations, including: the Maryland Governor’s Office, DiversityBusiness.com, and Black Enterprise Magazine. EEC Inc. is also on the 2007 and 2008 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. “This nationally-recognized honor affirms EEC Inc.’s commitment to responsive, reliable client service,” Andre Downey said. “I am proud of my dedicated team of employees, all of whom exceed our client’s expectations on a daily basis.” ELT

ABOVE, LEFT: The green roof at the Senior Wellness Center also affords space for solar panels, a small lounge area and a walking track. Walking around the track 86 times makes up a mile. Photo courtesy EEC of DC. ABOVE, RIGHT: The 15,000 sq. ft. Senior Wellness Center was constructed using green and recycled materials for just over $5.2 million. It was on this project that the EEC of D.C. first seriously pursued LEED certification, for which they garnered a silver rating. Photo courtesy EEC of DC.

NELLO WALL SYSTEMS

EEC chose Nello Wall Systems to supply the Washington Navy Yard with cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, demountable office partitions. For over 35 years Nello’s movable walls have been in constant motion at both government and commercial offices across the nation. Nello has the experience and knowledge to make your project a success. For more information on Nello Wall Systems, please call: 1-800-628-2128.

Energy Leaders Today 29


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

BUILDING A

SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Everyday Green, a young Washington D.C. start up, has brought understanding and knowledge to the field of sustainable and efficient design. by Joel Cornell

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s the vast array of green industries and green collar jobs expands across the globe before our eyes, we are all faced with the misinformation and lack of understanding that goes hand-in-hand with any new area. Words like ‘sustainability’ or ‘efficiency’ can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. As we progress through these rapidly changing and fast paced times, standards must be established to maintain consistency across the marketplace, Standard bearers and vanguards must come to oversee, educate, demand and uphold –and so they have. Everyday Green is one such small business. Specializing in residential green building, Everyday Green provides design review, consulting and testing on homes and multi-family buildings striving to meet LEED, Energy Star, NAHB Green and other green building certifications. In recognizing the disconnect between those designing homes and specifying new technologies, and those in the field installing these new building practices, Everyday Green has taken to bridging the gap between the conference table and the construction site. “My father has run a successful residential construction company in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for more than 30 years,” said Everyday Green’s founder and president, Andrea Foss. “From an early age, I was always in an environment that encouraged learning, expansion and advancing one’s own understanding of how things work. Today, with building science and construction methods firmly in our grasp, we’re able to work to spread that understanding and ensure that builders, architects, designers and homeowners can build and live in high performance green homes. .” Upon receiving her business degree in marketing and environmental studies, Foss joined the green building non-profit organization Southface. Based out of Atlanta, GA., the company works to promote 30 Spring 2011

energy efficiency and sustainable building practices throughout the Southeast. Foss was then offered a position with the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Program Assistant, a role that focused on developing and marketing the LEED Rating Systems “When the LEED for Homes Rating System was first launched in 2006, we began working with builders and architects,” Foss said. “Working in the Washington, D.C. metro area, I saw a large gap in the green building market that needed to be filled. There is a lot of misinformation in our field; we founded Everyday Green to help our clients make informed decisions with cost effectiveness in mind. We strive to help building professionals


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

OPPOSITE PAGE: Everyday Green blower door test, Studio 27 Architecture home in Arlington, Va. Photo by Studio27 Architecture. THIS PAGE: Scott Pusey, Andrea Foss and Elliot Seibert of Everyday Green. Photo by Tom Flanagan.

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realize that green building is not only achievable, but also personally and professionally rewarding.” As the company began to grow, Foss recognized new and growing markets looking for Everyday Green’s services. In order to accommodate the rapidly rising influx of work overwhelming the business, Foss brought in her brother, Scott Pusey, as a partner within the firm, as well as a mechanical engineer, Elliot Seibert. “I’ve personally followed the track that a majority of people working within the industry have,” Pusey said. “I completed my degree in psychology at Rutgers University but soon joined our father’s construction company in Lancaster County, Penn. I began from the bottom on site helping with pouring foundations, framing and finish carpentry. I was able to learn every aspect of home building from the ground up.” “I worked with my father’s company for about seven years when I started introducing green building principles into our projects. I took a BPI Building Analyst training through the Maryland Home Performance with Energy Star program, which was my first real exposure to building science and true energy efficiency. Everything seemed to snowball from there and I joined Everyday Green within the first year of the company.” Foss believes that building the company on a family foundation has its benefits. “There’s a higher level of trust between business partners when there’s that familial connection,” she said. “We know each other’s decisions aren’t selfishly motivated, maybe even to a fault in worrying more about the other person’s welfare. On the flip-side, when it comes to tough conversations about priorities, there can be more wrapped up in those conversations than what there might be with another employee. Still, particularly

in a small business environment, it’s easy to set your business goals in line with your personal goals. It’s a rare flexibility we get to enjoy.” Although the majority of Everyday Green’s training, inspections, testing and consulting work takes place in the Washington, D.C. metro area, their reputation has taken them all along the Eastern Seaboard. As home prices in the D.C. area are a bit higher than other regions, so are the budgets. This has provided builders, designers and architects with the ability to put a heavier focus on sustainable practices, materials and designs. Everyday Green works with both single family and multi-family projects to pinpoint areas where they may encounter challenges and fix them before failures occur. Both have unique opportunities and challenges. In multi-family buildings, a mistake can manifest itself across 300 units, but are typically more simplified construction methods. Whereas single family homes often have more complicated systems, but the attention to detail for the single home is often greater. “In our region, we’re part of a small but growing industry providing performance testing of both existing homes and new construction,” Foss said. “We provide information and resources for anyone from builders and architects to interested homeowners. We bring our extensive skill Andrea Foss set and knowledge base to to integrate sustainability and green building practices into their construction projects. We go in-depth with the planning process, construction documentation, sub-contractor training; any point in the process, really. We can then provide the best recommendations on the many ways through which the performance of the building can be improved.” Everyday Green is expanding their D.C. focused scope to the Penn-

The more people become aware of what’s possible, the more they become interested in the value our company can bring them.

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GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

OPPOSITE PAGE: (LEFT) Elliot Seibert and Scott Pusey testing ductwork for leakage at Erik Hoffland residence. Photo by Tom Flanagan. (RIGHT) West terrace view of Arlington, Va. home seeking LEED Homes and NAHB Green certification. Photo by Studio27 Architecture. THIS PAGE: (LEFT) Elliot Seibert inspecting equipment during LEED Homes inspection at Erik Hoffland residence. Photo by Tom Flanagan. (BELOW) Scott Pusey of Everyday Green arriving for an inspection with blower door equipment. Photo by Tom Flanagan.

sylvania market and beyond. “In our work in Pennsylvania, we’re developing the market and targeting professionals and homeowners interested in the improved efficiency, comfort and durability we can bring to their home,” Foss said. “It seems that the more people become aware of what’s possible, the more they become interested in the value our company can bring them.” Foss and Pusey view residential new construction projects as important drivers of innovation and new technologies. Ultimately these innovations will be perfected and made cost-effective for existing homes. The existing housing market is where most green building professionals focus their attention and is where the country must focus its efforts to significantly lower the environmental footprint of housing. To that degree, Foss and Pusey began a partner company called Building Science Tech. The company focuses on creating training resources for the growing energy auditor and home performance field. The new branch of the company began in 2009 with a 90 minute training DVD, Building Analyst Field Training Video: How to Become a Home Energy Auditor for professionals studying to pass the Building Performance Institute’s Building Analyst exams. Ever since, they have expanded to include additional resources for trainers and potential energy auditors, including on-field mentoring and training. As such a young company, having existed for less than a decade, Everyday Green has made astonishing strides to bring the future of an energy independent America closer. Their work stands as a sign of things to come, and of encouragement that enterprising young companies, with a focus on sustainability, are creating a better and greener future. ELT Energy Leaders Today 33


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

A Model of Great Service Reliable Comfort has always placed their dedication to their clients above all else. by Joel Cornell

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eliable Heating and Air Conditioning opened their doors for business in 2001. Started by brothers Adam, Aaron, and Andy, they wanted to establish a business that would serve the community’s heating and air needs fairly and professionally in addition to treating every customer like a neighbor. They have committed their company not just to community service, but have made 100 percent satisfaction their number one goal. After working for a local, family owned HVAC company for over six years, the brothers saw their employer bought out by a much larger, nationally operated chain from out of state. “Instantly, we saw everything that was great about this small, local, familiar company change in a heartbeat,” Adam said. “Before, everything we did was based on a personal dedication to our customers and to the community we had been a part of since our childhood. All of a sudden, the financial bottom line was all that mattered. We were instructed to generate revenue at all costs.” “We couldn’t disregard our customer base, because that would lose the company revenue, but we couldn’t go out of our way and spend that extra capital to make sure that every customer was 100 percent satisfied. We knew that this was not the way we wanted to conduct 34 Spring 2011

our business. So, in 2001, we left the company and started Reliable Comfort out of my garage.” As Reliable Comfort began to make their mark on the industry in southern Indiana, what set them apart was their efforts to focus above all else on their client satisfaction. The company has grown largely through word of mouth; however, they have intentionally kept their range and scope from getting too large so that they can pay proper attention to each project and each client. In performing the majority of their work in the residential sector, the family’s desire to satisfy their customers at every step has not only served as a large asset for them, but has kept them alive through the economic crisis. “Last year was miserably hot,” Adam said. “Many builders, architects and designers are going out of business because people can put aside new expansions, new homes or new business until the economy recovers. When it’s above 90 degrees and humid, the economy doesn’t even enter into it. We’re dealing with the most important thing, our clients lives. When people have kids freezing at night or ailing family members in need of the best quality air, there’s a sense of urgency that we rise to meet. “One of our very first customers, a 70-year-old woman on oxygen,


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

OPPOSITE PAGE: Daniel Bohall installs a heat pump system in the Jacobs home. By carrying in naturally heated air from outside, using heat pumps is an energy efficient way to heat homes or office buildings. Photo by Adam Bocik ABOVE: Reliable Comfort was started by brothers Adam, Andy and Aaron Ruddick in 2001. The brothers wanted to have a company dedicated not only to helping their customers make their homes as efficient as possible but to also give them peace of mind that they can trust. Photo courtesy of Reliable Comfort. LEFT: Certified technician Brian Reynolds tests and documents the amount of air delivered by the supply vent. Photo courtesy of Reliable Comfort.

had moved to what she had assumed was beyond our range of operation. She went with another company to install her air conditioning and duct work. After the fifth system had broken down, leaving her in considerable peril given her condition, she rang us up to see what we could do. After some deliberation, she decided to have us install an entirely new system which we had running before sundown.” Adam has even taken the launch of their new website as an opportunity to do more outreach in the local community and has made a commitment to donate a dollar to the local March of Dimes for every local visitor to sign up for their newsletter. As Adam sees it, the community is more than just their clientele — community members are their family and friends. Reliable Comfort is dedicated to helping their customers make their homes as efficient as possible. They do this by offering the best equipment available and the finest technicians to install and maintain it. One of the tools that Reliable Comfort uses to help customers gain efficiency in their homes is an Air Balancing service. What is Air Balancing? Discovered in 1732, Air Balancing measures of the flow of air in each room of the home to determine how well your system is actually functioning. When balanced, a home holds a steadier temperature from room to room and is much more energy efficient. Reliable Comfort has certified air flow technicians dedicated to making this process quick and easy. Such dedication to the company’s clientele does involve a bit of a

risk. The quality of any system installed by Reliable Comfort is left to the client’s discretion. Within the first year of the system’s installation, if the customer has any desire to remove the system for any reason, the company will take the system back and provide a refund with no questions asked. This promise comes with the risk of losing clients, revenue and, most importantly, the trust of the community. Through building relationships before building revenue, Reliable Comfort has put themselves in a unique tier. In 2010, the Indiana based Carrier Corporation, a global leader in HVAC technologies and equipment, selected Reliable Comfort as one of five HVAC specialists to come and preview the absolute best of their systems currently under development. Reliable Comfort served in a unique aspect, advising the company on what clients enjoyed, what they needed, and what they didn’t. With a staff of 22 highly qualified installers and technicians operating out of a 4,000 sq. ft. space in Seymour, IN, Reliable Comfort has become the model for what a small, family owned HVAC company should be. Despite their size, the company performs over $3 million worth of business annually. Each employee works diligently to make absolutely sure that the concept of total customer service is more than a marketing phrase or some nebulous ideal, but a promise to ensure that every experience with Reliable Comfort is a beneficial one, no matter what it costs. ELT Energy Leaders Today 35


CORPORATE PROFILE | GREEN BUILDING

he Cuthbert family runs Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in an environment much like how their family functions — on trust, loyalty and dedication. As family and company patriarch Brian Cuthbert, Sr. developed his knowledge and skill set in the HVAC industry throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he eventually struck out on his own in 1974 to found Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Akron and Canton, Ohio. And when Cuthbert’s children got involved in the business in the mid-90s, they identified the need to offer green installations to their customers, if they were going to make good on their claims of offering “the best” in Akron, Ohio. They branched out to geothermal installations and recently introduced solar panels into the mix. “As our company has grown and modern technology has grown with us, we quickly realized that the existing run-of-the-mill HVAC company just wouldn’t cut it anymore,” Brian Cuthbert, Jr. said, who now manages the business for his father. “In order to compete in the market, especially in an economy like this, we knew that just good customer service and lower prices simply wouldn’t do. We needed to keep up with the pace.” What sets Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. apart today is their vast scope and flexibility of services. Yesterday’s HVAC company must become the comprehensive energy solutions company of today in order to stand out among the pack with their “whole home approach.” Brian Jr. got his Building Performance Institute certification, allowing him to analyze homes and recommend changes to make them more energy efficient, safe and comfortable. “This doesn’t just include HVAC – it is a whole home approach that includes insulation, air sealing, HVAC and safety,” Brian, Jr. said. Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning “whole home approach” has gar 36 Spring 2011

nered them roughly 30 geothermal installations a year in local homes. The growing interest in alternative energy supplies has helped the company to decide to add solar to their vast portfolio – they recently completed their first installation. The company’s expertise in energyefficient installations also helped land them a high-profile charitable project, when the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity decided to build their first Green project. Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning is serving as the HVAC contractor and geothermal installers. “Today, we’re largely focused on the opportunities that renewable


GREEN BUILDING | CORPORATE PROFILE

CLOCKWISE, FROM OPPOSITE PAGE: A technician installs circulator pumps for a Climate Master geothermal system. Ranko Milosevic, Christina Giles, Jennifer Pinion, Brian Cuthbert Sr. and Brian Cuthbert Jr. stand in front of Lakes Heating headquarters. Tom and Dick put the finishing touches on the installation of a 27 SEER Climate Master geothermal unit. Brian Cuthbert Sr. prepares a proposal for a commercial project. Eric Wander gathers materials for a new installation from the fabrication shop. Photos by John Evans.

energies can bring to us and to our customers as well,” Brian, Jr. said. “Geothermal or solar isn’t going to necessarily be the right solution for everyone, but our goal is to serve the state of Ohio as a specialist who can create each client’s ideal system, no matter unique or complex their needs might be.” To this day, Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has yet to perform any kind of installation that would be considered “standard.” Even the most basic installations are custom engineered by the staff to the exact specifications and desires of the owner. All duct work is hand measured. The company also maintains a team of fabricators, designers and engineers who create a majority of the products in house.Through controlling every conceivable element in the process of fabrication, installation, maintenance and retrofitting, the company is able to provide the most ideal prices, quality and service they can muster.

One of Lakes’ customers is a local seed company that needed a unique, custom engineered system that would keep the humidity and the temperature in their storage units constantly matched to keep their seed supply healthy. This controlled environment was necessary in order to keep their entire stock from germinating or spoiling. From this project, Lakes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has grown a large customer base in the industrial and agricultural sectors for those who need the highest quality in custom engineering systems with specific intent. “For us, it’s simply confounding the way many HVAC and energy solution professionals conduct their business,” Brian, Jr. said. “When customers see the honesty and desire to fulfill our claims of quality behind each name tag, they come to truly appreciate it, because it’s honestly a rare find these days. From this, the business, customer loyalty and customer base will grow all by themselves.” ELT Energy Leaders Today 37


EDUCATION

42 CLEAN EDISON 46 SOLAR SAN ANTONIO 48 ENTERGY CORP.


CORPORATE PROFILE | EDUCATION

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EDUCATION | CORPORATE PROFILE

QUICK STUDY

IN JUST A FEW SHORT YEARS, CLEAN EDISON HAS SET A NEW STANDARD FOR TRAINING IN THE GREEN SECTOR by Joel Cornell

U

pon leaving Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. in 2008, shortly before the financial giant’s infamous downfall, partners Avi Yashchin and Lauren Carson felt it was time for something new. “We wanted to go in a direction that was much less corporate and much more entrepreneurial and responsible,” Carson said, who currently serves as Clean Edison’s Director of Business Development. “Green building technologies and practices seemed to be the way to go. We recognized the need for

the training and retraining of professionals in the construction, architecture and energy industries to build with more sustainability and efficiency.” In only a few short years, the international green sector training firm Clean Edison, based in New York City with a new office just recently opened in Austin, Texas, has accomplished all of this and more. The company began in 2008 with Yashchin and Carson working out of the former’s apartment. Since then, Clean Edison has grown to over 25 accredited and

highly qualified professional trainers, with a vast array of backgrounds coming from every facet of the construction, architecture and energy industries. Clean Edison offers their services to a wide range of sectors, from federal, state and local governments, to building, design and construction firms, owners, operators and real estate investors. They have trained hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals in green building practices, both through customized training and the largest open enrollment green training program in the nation. Megan McIlroy, Clean Edison’s Director of Government Relations, has been with the company since its early years as one of their first new employees. “A lot of the work we do is with and also backed by the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy,” McIlroy said. “If it’s in any way involved in the ‘green’ sector, we will provide training services for it. Whether you’re on a government board, the principal of a massive, global architecture firm, or simply recently unemployed and looking to expand your skill set or alter your career path, we can give you the training, skills and certification required by all of the United States’ sustainable energy groups. The company works with with groups such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the Building Performance Institute, the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association and the Environmental Protection Agency. “The relationships that we have built up over the years with these organizations have given us a foundation from which we can propel any prospective professional into a new and successful career,” McIlroy said. Through these strategic partnerships, alongside their close connections with the DepartOPPOSITE: CleanEdison instructor Rob Riley begins the blower door test, which measures the air leakage of a home by depressurizing the house. ABOVE: Lauren Carson, business development, on the left; and Megan McInroy, government relations, on the right.

Energy Leaders Today 43


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44 Spring 2011


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OPPOSITE: The carbon monoxide monitor is a key part of ensuring the safety of the auditor and the building residents. THIS PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: A manometer is used to compare the air pressure in one part of the house to another; the smoke pencil is a device used to visually assess air leakage — where the smoke lingers, there is little or no leakage; the energy auditor assesses the quality and position of the thermal boundary; another diagnostic tool is the infrared camera, which can determine the temperature of a wall.

ment of Energy and the Department of Labor, Clean Edison is ideally poised to identify new markets, and where existing markets need development. As utility companies create new programs to incentivize both their customer base as well as their employees, Clean Edison acts in an advisory role to ensure that their programs can succeed, or where they are failing. The training that Clean Edison provides takes place regularly across 49 cities. For larger clients or for independently organized events, the firm’s qualified trainers can go anywhere that their services are needed. “This economy has been both a blessing and curse,” McIlroy said. “When the economy is bad, people tend to turn to education in order to diversify their background and skill set. As a part of the recent governmental stimulus programs, there has been a big focus on growing renewable and sustainable energy programs. These are fairly new sectors where people still need a lot of training. At the same time, what people are missing is that industries all over are gradually turning into green industries.” “Rather than new industries appearing out of nowhere, such as the booming solar thermal and photovoltaic industries, more traditional sectors such as utilities, architecture and construction are changing. The trends and successful methods are coming to encompass sustainable and efficient design practices and we can provide all of the knowledge one needs in order to succeed.” In addition to their global training endeavors, Clean Edison provides the knowledge and also the resources required for any new or experienced firm to reinvigorate their business model. Through their work with different governmental energies, the firm keeps on the cutting edge of new, emerging opportunities. In determining how new policy initiatives will affect workers on the ground, Clean Edison

provides easy access to the funds and grants interested companies, new or old, might need to acquire the training, equipment or capital they need. “Many companies don’t have the capital they need to invest,” McIlroy said. “We can access that money for them. We understand the landscape that the business is going to have to traverse. We study how the policies work and we understand how utilities and rate setting processes are working. There’s an interplay between design and efficiency that is today a permanent and necessary part of the process. As we provide the access to the technology and the products that our clients need, we also have very savvy business professionals who make the training and supplies equally as affordable and efficient.” In total, Clean Edison employs over 70 instructors, working across the country. Many of these instructors are full time trainers who are fully versed in the finest details of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, building/design efficiency and wind technology. Some only perform training duties for Clean Edison part time, while still keeping up their own ongoing companies working in these related fields. “The last thing we want is contractors doing work that is not up to the standards of the EPA or the Department of Energy that are required in order to get these industries on their feet,” McIlroy said. “Many training and certification providers will give the students the answers, having them memorize what they need to say they know, before giving them the license to go out and do the work. “At the end of the day, these workers are dealing with heating and cooling systems, gas systems and electrical systems; very dangerous systems to work on if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. We want them to have the understanding, the resources and the tools from the first job on. Our qualification and licensing programs, all combined with our ability to provide every resource an installer, roofer, technician, architect, project manager or amateur designer will need do the best work possible.” ELT Energy Leaders Today 45


CORPORATE PROFILE | EDUCATION

MOVING TO ‘GREEN JOBS’ PROVES TOUGH

SAN ANTONIO FACES SNAGS IN GETTING WORKERS HIRED

by Melissa Ludwig

First published December 27, 2010, by San Antonio Express News

SAN ANTONIO, TX — If Solar San Antonio's experience is any indicator, the transition to a green economy is going to be a bumpy ride. Last year, the nonprofit organization sponsored a short training course in solar panel installation, and executive director Lanny Sinkin was confident there would be jobs waiting for nine trainees. News releases went out, hoopla was made. Then ... nothing. “We couldn't find them jobs. It was a very painful experience,” Sinkin said. Sinkin decided the organization should focus on creating so-called “green jobs,” leaving the training and education to community colleges and universities. The Alamo Colleges, the University of Texas at San Antonio and other local institutions have stepped up to the plate, creating new programs in alternative energy, beefing up research and weaving sustainability into core curriculum. But colleges face the same riddles confounding city leaders in their quest to be on the leading edge of the green economy. What exactly is a green job, and how do you gauge demand in the marketplace? Does a green job require a degree or special certification? “I really don't know what a green job is,” said Mac Rattan, owner of M&M Weatherization. “I have been doing weatherization for 15 years, so I guess we were green before green became cool.” According to a city report, the San Antonio area has anywhere from 2,200 to 60,750 green jobs, depending on the source. Some count workers in traditional fields who contribute to green practices, such as an electrician who installs more efficient wiring, while others hew to a more pure definition, such as solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians. 46 Spring 2011

“It is very hard to determine. There are shades of green,” said Larry Zinn, chairman of Mayor Julián Castro's Green Jobs Leadership Council. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, in 2010 the San Antonio area had about 10,000 to 13,000 green jobs, running the gamut from low-wage laborer to Ph.D. scientist. “The way I look at the whole notion of green jobs is that it represents a continuum from vocational and on-the-job training to jobs created through research and innovation,” said Les Shephard, director of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute at UTSA. For instance, weatherization is considered a green job because it improves a home's energy efficiency, but the $9- to $10-an-hour position does not require schooling. A solar panel installer, on the other hand, must pass a national certification test to hook solar cells into the main power grid, a steep hurdle for someone with no formal training. St. Philip's College — one of the five Alamo Colleges — recently launched a two-year associate's degree program in alternative energy, as well as a short-term certificate course for working electricians and a one-year certificate for students with no electrical experience. Other programs include an associate's degree in advanced water treatment at Northwest Vista College and short-term courses in green construction, energy auditing, weatherization, green house cleaning and landscaping, and electric car conversion. The programs are a critical piece of Mission Verde, the city's strategic plan to bring green jobs to San Antonio and cultivate a work force for the growing market. But gauging demand has proven a tough task as the market yo-yos with the economy, the cost of energy, policy decisions by governments and utilities, and consumer incentives

such as rebates and federal income tax credits. “It's a murky crystal ball,” said Dennis McDonaugh, chairman of the electronics and information technology department at St. Philip's. Rodolfo Lozano, a Navy veteran and former oil field worker, learned that the hard way after taking Solar San Antonio's installation class last year. Lozano passed the national certification test and formed his own company, EcoTech Energies, but business has been slow. “It's just really, really fidgety,” Lozano said of the market. “It will take off, it is just not happening now.” Soon after Lozano finished the installation class, Austin's solar rebate program ran out of money, capsizing the market there and sending installation companies to San Antonio sniffing for work. Those more-experienced companies are winning the larger bids, making it tough for the little guys, Lozano said. CPS Energy also cut off its solar rebate in 2009 because of a shortage of money, crashing projects and driving upstarts out of business. “That was a total disaster,” Sinkin said. Today, CPS' solar rebate program is fully funded and is expected to continue. Solar San Antonio has launched a campaign called Bring Solar Home that offers financing for residential customers. Combined with the rebate and an income tax credit, solar is becoming a doable investment for many families, and the market is picking up, Sinkin said. But even if the rebate is locked in, green advocates are concerned about the drying up of federal stimulus funds, which are driving a good bit of the green activity and masking painful budget deficits at the state and local level. M&M Weatherization, for instance, has increased its work force fivefold to 100 people


EDUCATION | CORPORATE PROFILE

... colleges face the same riddles as confounding city leaders in their quest to be on the leading edge of the green economy. What exactly is a green job, and how do you gauge demand in the marketplace?

because of an enormous infusion of money into the federal government's weatherization program. “There are infrastructure dollars involved in buying vehicles and installation machines, there is definitely a sunset date on this (money),” Rattan said. “We are concerned.” The Alamo Colleges has also made significant infrastructure investments, teaming up with four other community and technical colleges along the Interstate 35 corridor to attract as much grant and stimulus money as possible. So far, the Alamo Colleges has netted $4.3 million, more than half from federal stimulus funds. Some of the money went to install a solar cell demonstration panel at St. Philip's Southwest Campus and to buy gleaming new training modules for the alternative energy programs. St. Philip's McDonaugh believes that the first batch of 10 to 12 graduates will have no trouble finding work, but it is not clear what the future holds.

“If we turn out people who can't get hired, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. Sticking together is the key to making it work in the long run, said Shephard of the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute. He has reached out to city, industry, and university and community college partners, and he is planning a joint project that would bring St. Philip's students to UTSA to do research. As far as UTSA is concerned, Shephard sees the university's role as doing research, turning discoveries into marketable solutions and graduating students who are “sustainability literate.” Graduates will go on to teach children, lobby for public policy changes, start businesses, and design and engineer renewable energy technology, Shephard said. Some will start by working under Ph.D. scientists in labs at UTSA, which has a $50 million deal to conduct research on alternative energy for CPS. “The role that universities play is to be the creators of knowledge,” Shephard said. ELT Energy Leaders Today 47


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PILGRIM NUCLEAR PLANT WANTS TO CUT TRAINING FUNDS LOCAL OFFICIALS SAY ENTERGY CORP. IS TRYING TO ALTER AGREEMENTS by Vicki-Ann Downing

First published March 20, 2011, by enterprisenews.com.

PLYMOUTH, MASS. —Four times a year, the Taunton Emergency Management Agency trains about 200 volunteers how to handle people fleeing a potential disaster at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth. Volunteers learn how to run equipment to check people for radioactive contamination, direct them to showers, dispose of their clothing, get them into white paper suits and give them potassium iodide – scenes being played out for real every day with the failure of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan. The cost of each training session can run up to $5,000, which includes the $15 hourly rate for volunteers and the overtime earned by police officers, said Rick Ferreira, director of the Taunton agency. Until now, the bill has been footed by Entergy Corp., Pilgrim’s parent company, with payments directly to the volunteers. But the three communities that would act as “reception centers” for people fleeing a disaster in Plymouth – Taunton, Bridgewater and Braintree – complain that Entergy wants to reduce the amounts they receive under their contracts and have them use those same funds to pay for volunteer training. “This isn’t an issue that just came up,” Ferreira said last week. “This has been going on in discussions for a year now. They are telling us they’re going to cut our money back, and we’re going to have to pay for the training out of it as well.” David Tarantino, a spokesman for Entergy, said the company is in the process of negotiating new contracts with the three host communities and with the five towns located within 10 miles of the plant – Plymouth, Carver, Duxbury, Kingston and Marshfield. Tarantino would not disclose how much the communities now receive from Entergy, a private company. 48 Spring 2011

“We want to be fair. We want to pay the towns what they need,” said Tarantino. “But we don’t want to pay for things that are not our responsibility.” Asked what kind of items Entergy would not be willing to pay for, Tarantino said, “We have done some audits. We’re willing to pay for what is required. We are negotiating. It’s never appropriate to negotiate contracts in the newspaper.” Tarantino said complaints last week from the communities might be a case of “posturing in negotiations.” Ferreira said that in 2000, TEMA received $114,000 from Entergy to be used toward salaries for himself and an assistant. The amount is now $108,000, Ferreira said, and Entergy proposes a further cut to $80,000, with training costs to be taken from that amount. Ferreira said Entergy is trying to alter agreements that have been in place for 23 years. Training “is in no way a small effort,” said

Ferreira. “Without that, there would be no protection and no public safety in a nuclear event.” Bridgewater Town Manager Troy Clarkson said Bridgewater has lost 40 percent of its police force due to budget cuts and needs all the money for training it can get from Entergy. As “reception centers,” Taunton, Bridgewater and Braintree would take in any residents living within 10 miles of the power plant in the event of an evacuation. Tarantino said about 100,000 people live within 10 miles of Pilgrim. People would be advised to evacuate by the state Department of Public Health, Tarantino said, and it would be unlikely that an evacuation would be advised for everyone within 10 miles. The Pilgrim plant, which opened in 1972, has been owned by Entergy since 1999. Its application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year renewal of its license was filed six years ago but has been stalled in hearings. The license expires in 2012. ELT


SOL AR 50 56 60 64 68 72 74 80 82 84 92 96

WIRSOL FLORIDA SOLAR LIGHTHOUSE SOLAR SUNDOOR SOLAR PRO CUSTOM SOLAR GEOSCAPE SOLAR PFISTER ENERGY ELECTRON SOLAR ENERGY SOUTH TEXAS SOLAR THE SOLAR COMPANY DJH CONSTRUCTION NEXT ENERGY CORPORATION

Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Solar.


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A Renewable Revolution

COLORADO-BASED WIRSOL SOLAR ANTICIPATES MEANINGFUL CHANGE IN THE WAY THE WORLD USES ENERGY by Rebecca Carnes

50 Spring 2011

G.J.

Pierman is waiting for a renewable energy revolution in the United States. His company, Wirsol Solar Colorado, Inc. set up shop in the United States in 2009 in Fort Collins, Colo., and is looking to offer photovoltaic systems at a residential, commercial and utility scale throughout the country. Its parent company, Wirsol Solar AG is headquartered in Waghaeusel, Germany, a world leader in PV energy use according to Pierman. Wirsol Solar AG is an international company offering photovoltaic integration services with subsidiaries in not only the United States, but also in Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, UK, Turkey, China and Canada. Having installed more than

4,300 photovoltaic systems worldwide, Wirsol Solar is a market leader in the range of small and medium-sized installations. But where Germany has taken the lead, the United States has lagged behind, Pierman said. “I think a lot of the issue is the political system. The lobbyist and special interests control policy [in the United States] and they have a very strong, monopolistic position and are not interested in giving that up to renewable energy. It’s a threat to the overall business model,” Pierman said. The United States has come a long way in the last three years, but still needs to be educated, on the whole. “There’s no national energy policy and no real


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concerted focus with development of renewable energy resources,” Pierman said. “This country has a high unemployment rate and a dependence on fossil fuels and renewable energy can address both of these. Since the Renewable Energy Act was initiated in 2004 in Germany, 400,000 jobs have been created. Soon it will surpass the automobile industry as the largest employer -that’s considerable and it’s a strong statement.” According to Pierman, the U.S. lags behind in renewable energy use, which creates economic problems and even compromises physical security. A terrorist attack at certain “choke points” in the system could take down the central grid, Pierman said. “Renewable energy provides opportunity for the democratization of energy production. It puts power in the hands of the people -- producing everything we require on rooftops,” Pierman said. “When you produce 50 percent or more of the energy used then you’re in control. It’s that self-sufficient, pioneer mentality that is at the heart of the formation of the U.S. We need some type of national policy that helps to provide a road map.” Wirsol set up its American base in Colorado because it is a solar-friendly state with an expanding interest in developing renewable energy and

because California is well served by existing solar companies. “We focus a lot of our efforts in Colorado to educate individuals, communities and those involved in state government,” Pierman said. “We’ve received a positive reception in Fort Collins, Colo. and they have a program to support solar. Boulder and Durango are in discussions and continue at the state level is as well. Ultimately we hope to have a support program for PV adopted in each community that shows success and then is adopted on a broader basis.” President Barack Obama’s “Better Building Initiative” strives for a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 2020. It is a step in the right direction, Pierman said, but added that it is a “low-hanging fruit” efforts still need to be increased. According to the International Energy Agency between 2003 and 2030 there will be a 100 percent increase in energy consumed worldwide. “Therefore we’re going to be interested in energy production, but what kind? Instead of fossil fuels we need to turn to renewables like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro,” Pierman said. He added that U.S. would benefit from similar legislation as Germany’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) which allows the solar industry

ABOVE: Industrial Solar Installation, Lechner AG, Rothenburg o.d.T., Germany. Commissioned in 2010, this project includes First Solar modules and Power-One inverters with 2.0 MWp of capacity and 1,626.6 t/p.a. CO2-Reduction. RIGHT: Solar installations for private clients, Germany. Photos courtesy of WIRSOL Solar AG.

Energy Leaders Today 51


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THIS PAGE, TOP: Commercial Solar Installation, Rocky Mountain Innosphere, Fort Collins, Colo. View of the rooftop installation. Commissioned in 2011, the system is originally modeled to produce 72,500 kWh annually, accounting for approximately 28 percent of the building’s needs. Capacity: 50.6 kWp. Capacity of carport-roof and awning: 22.4 kWp. Modules: Abound Solar Inverters: SMA. Capacity of rooftop installation: 28.2 kWp. Modules: Yingli. Inverters: SMA. Photographer: Ryan Burke, City of Fort Collins. THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Bruhrain, Germany. Company-owned solar park for test purposes (commissioned 2007). Capacity of 2.1 MWp (1.9 MWp before extension, First Solar thin film modules, Yingli Crystalline Modules, SMA, Power-One – central and string inverters and others. Extension in 2010 with various substructures inverter systems and modules. CO2-Reduction: 1,639 t/p.a. Photo courtesy of WIRSOL Solar AG. RIGHT: The world’s first green Burger King restaurant in Waghaeusel, Germany. Commissionined in 2010, this system’s capacity of 50 kWp, 0.042 t/p.a of CO2Reduction, 39 kWp of capacity of carport uses abound solar modules and fronius inverters, 11 kWp of capacity of rooftop installation, Yingli modules, Power-One inverters 2.4 kWp Skystream wind turbine. Photo courtesy of WIRSOL Solar AG.

52 Spring 2011

Renewable energy provides opportunity for democratization of energy production. It puts power in the hands of the people...”


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to grow and compete in price with traditional forms of energy production. It spans a 20-year period and is seen as a long-term investment in renewables that makes them an interest to investors because of its long-term economic viability and fair return over time. “It allows the individual to build a solar array and be guaranteed payment for energy produced at a certain level over a 20-year period. There’s a return of eight to ten percent over 20 years,” Pierman said. “The amount paid for renewable energy is adjusted downward on an annual or semi-annual basis to reflect actual market conditions and cost. The German initiative has allowed the solar industry to develop and enable those economies of scale. The price of modules has dropped more than 50 percent within the last four years.”

An example of Wirsol Solar’s innovation and expansion into the high-profile fast-food market can be seen in a new Burger King in Waghaeusel, Germany, where more than 700 solar panels and other renewable energy sources supply a third of the restaurant’s power. The solar panels generate the equivalent of 53,500 kWh of electricity per year and a ventilation system captures excessive heat loss and uses it to generate hot water which conserves 50 percent of annual energy consumption per year. The enormous Burger King logo out front includes a U.S.-produced Skystream 3.7 wind turbine which supplies 2,500 kWh of the restaurant’s power supply as well as LED lights which cut energy use by more than 55 percent. The restaurant even features a car-charging port for electric cars.

“This was our first pilot program and it was successful,” Pierman said. “The Burger King administration was very happy with the restaurant and are exploring deployment on a broader basis in Germany and worldwide.” Interest in similar restaurants in the U.S. is developing in pockets, because it has been hobbled by a lack of national legislation, Pierman said. There are 50 different Public Utilities Commissions in the U.S. to consider with more than 3,000 different utilities each with a different economic market. Wirsol Solar has worked with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to develop the ASIS (Aerial Solar Identification System) software program which enables the assessment of eligible rooftops for solar capability and the size of the system each roof could support for entire Energy Leaders Today 53


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SOLAR SUPPORT FROM SCHLETTER Schletter is an internationally recognized manufacturer of solar mounting systems with over 5 GW of mounting systems engineered, designed, manufactured and installed worldwide. Schletter Inc., a subsidiary of Schletter Gmbh, is located in Tucson, Arizona where the company locally manufactures its solar mounting systems. Schletter and Wirsol have a working relationship that spans across continents, with years of project development occurring in Europe, before expanding to North America. Within the United States, Schletter Inc. has provided Wirsol with competitive products by providing the IsoTop™, Windsafe™, and Park@Sol® Systems to name a few. The IsoTop System is specifically designed for industrial roofs which often have low load capacities and may require varying system obstacle clearance. Such roofs are designed with wide grid distances, which the IsoTop easily surmounts with capable spans reaching 30 feet. Another product on which Schletter has worked with Wirsol is the Park@Sol carport system. With Park@Sol, Wirsol’s customer required unique custom configurations to ideally fit the application requirements, which Schletter was able to deliver. An example of the Park@Sol system may be seen at Wirsol’s new facility in Colorado. (See carport image). When selecting a Schletter system, Wirsol received design assistance from Schletter’s technical sales and engineering to support them through 54 Spring 2011

the process of creating an ideal mounting solution. Close attention was paid to all load bearing and statistical data while determining the most appropriate configuration. When each project is complete, Wirsol is ensured it would meet the International Building Code standards and has appropriate PE stamps for each state, passing on quality and safety assurances to the end-user. For more information on all Schletter solar mounting solutions, please visit www.schletter.us or call 520.289.8700.


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FAR LEFT: Fort Collins, Colo. Odell Brewing Company. Commercial Solar Installation, rooftop view (commissioned 2010). This system’s capacity of 76.8 kWp is capable of producing over 111,400 kWh annually, accounting for almost 40 percent of the facility’s demand. It uses GE modules and SMA inverters. LEFT: G.J. Pierman. Photos courtesy of Wirsol Solar Colorado, Inc.

communities. Based on digital laser images, the software develops a community map which is much more efficient than the traditional approach of physically touring a community to identify rooftops. The software can even take into account the shadowing factor wherein a roof’s sunlight might be blocked by another building. “We will utilize this to evaluate community potential and it’s for politicians to use on a macro level,” Pierman said. “We take it out of the realm of what might be produced and quantify that specifically. We can look at a rooftop and determine the size of array needed, the cost and the amount of energy produced on a yearly basis.” Wirsol Solar Colorado offers turn-key services

like its parent company. From consulting and planning, installation and commissioning, through financing and insurance, Wirsol offers consultants on-site to take customers through the process. The company also offers engineering support; and, because of its buying power Wirsol can acquire equipment at favorable rates. “Our goal is not just to come in from the outside and provide solutions, but to work with the community to provide long-term opportunity,” Pierman said. “Our goal is to have a complete package to offer clients. We offer that in Europe and we want to offer the same in the United States.”

Colorado is the shining point in Pierman’s plan to expand and someday have a strong national presence, a company with between 50 and 150 employees, and act as a catalyst and supporter of change. “Colorado wants to produce 30 percent of its energy by 2030 by using renewables,” Pierman said. “It’s a fine goal, but we need policy to support the achievement of those goals. We need to create an environment where investors see a fair return over time. What is important is that the people in the long term support the needs of a grass roots effort. The United States has forgotten it’s the people politicians are serving, not the reverse.” ELT


CORPORATE PROFILE | SOLAR

AVIATION SURVIVAL TRAINING HEATS UP WITH SOME GREEN by Leslie Garcia

I

n 2007, Gary White, president of Florida Solar Services, began offering state-of-theart solar services to residential clients in St. Augustine, Fla. Today, the company is rapidly transitioning to the commercial and federal sectors, servicing the military, National Park Service, college campuses and hotels. The company recently completed the largest solar thermal installation in Florida and White sees nothing but good things in the future for his company. Currently, their services include solar water heating systems, pool heating systems and solar PV systems. “The government is taking responsibility for enforcing energy efficiency mandates, so the Jacksonville Naval Base contracted with TECO Peoples Gas / Energy Systems Group to make the energy audits necessary to make the buildings more energy efficient,” said White. “In that capacity, we worked together to conduct comprehensive energy performance tests and guaranteed the highest yielding solar energy applications supported by accurate computer models.” The energy efficiency improvements implemented by ESG also included energy efficient lights with motion sensors, exchange pumps with variable frequency drives, controls in rooms for HVAC and solar powered energy with a natural gas backup system. Since this project’s success, Energy Systems Group has listed Florida Solar Services as a highly recommended solar contractor. The Aviation Survival Training Center, which relied on a steam heating system that incurred an energy cost of nearly $91,000 a year, was replaced by a solar thermal system installed by Florida Solar Services. The system installed at the Jacksonville Naval facility is estimated to pay for itself in 11 years. “That retrofit was the biggest one in the state and it’s the second one on the Department of Energy’s website,” said White. “It’s a drain-back system and consists of 168 four-by-ten, roofmounted flat-plate solar thermal collectors which are manufactured by Alternate Energy Technologies out of Jacksonville, Fla. The system heats the training pool and the domestic hot water in the building and is backed up by an energy efficient natural gas heating system, which supplements the solar system on cloudy or rainy days.” White chose this system because it doesn’t require glycol, which releases the system from 56 Spring 2011

From national parks to college campuses to military bases, Florida Solar Services installs solar thermal panels on a grand scale.


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OPPOSITE PAGE: (TOP) Controls, pumps, heat exchanger and storage tank for pool. (BOTTOM) National Park Service, Horn Island, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Miss. Stand-alone PV system with battery back-up and diesel generator for the ranger station. THIS PAGE: Here comes the sun — up to 1.3 Mbtu’s/hour.

Energy Leaders Today 57


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a costly maintenance routine. Glycol, an antifreeze, breaks down at 250 degrees and creates acid that eats the copper pipes and fittings. Since the panels can exceed 300 degrees on any given summer day, this would present a serious issue. Glycol systems must be closely monitored for acid and routinely replaced, which entails draining, new glycol application, bleeding for air, and re-pressurizing. “Drain-back systems are bullet proof: they never freeze and are maintenance-free,” White said. The system is designed to last 30 years. Composed of copper, aluminum, stainless steel and hot dipped galvanized brackets, the panels are 45 feet above ground, gravity plumbed to pumps, tanks and titanium heat exchangers on the ground. Florida Solar Services trained the staff at the Navy Base’s maintenance facility on the various functions and operations of the system. “There is really no required maintenance,” White said. “They may have to top off the storage tank from time to time because the system is atmospherically vented, but that’s it.” To support such a project, the 15-20 year old black hot tar roof was removed down to the steel deck and Florida Solar Services installed a new, more energy-efficient roof on two thirds of the building. The design incorporated Isoboard and Hydro-Stop: Isoboard is a rigid high-density extruded polystyrene insulation board with zero-ozone-depleting non CFC/HCFC blowing agent gases, and Hydro-Stop is a LEED-approved sustainable liquid roofing system of tough, non-woven polyester fabric coated with UV resistant elastomeric compound, then finished with reflective white. A white roof alone can reduce air conditioning costs between 20 to 80 percent. Sunlight, thus heat, is reflected, keeping the building’s interior cooler and decreasing the demand for air conditioning, the largest energy expense in Florida. Because hurricanes are a perennial concern, this thermal system had to be secured to the roof with specific stainless steel hardware and engineered to withstand wind loads up to 120 mph, as determined by counties and inspected by structural engineers. “It is important to have structural engineers involved in the design process with regard to racking and roof attachments,” White said. “We use state-of-the-art computer generated

ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP Energy Systems Group (ESG) is a leading energy services company that specializes in delivering sustainable energy solutions that allow building owners to maximize their energy efficiency and operational performance, while reducing their carbon footprint. Through its core business of performance contracting and its extensive network of utility partnerships, ESG provides the federal government with leading utility energy services support, including innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, and long-term financing solutions for modernization of their facilities and energy infrastructure. To learn more about ESG, visit www.energysystemsgroup.com 58 Spring 2011


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models to accurately provide our customers with energy savings estimates based on environmental conditions, building structure, and the energy efficient systems used.” These models, many of which are approved and used by the state, can accurately predict costs and savings based on site-specific conditions and requirements. This enables us to determine which type and scale of system will yield the most cost-effective approach toward realizing their renewable energy and energy efficiency goals. The company’s move from the private sector to the federal and military sectors is twofold. The slumping economy contributed to stagnant growth in spending within the private sector, despite 30 percent tax rebates. On the other hand, government mandates now require all federal buildings, both new and old, to be LEED certified. All federal buildings must move into

the 21st century and spend money in the short run to save a great deal in the long run-- both in energy costs and environmental costs. This also creates a demand for companies like Florida Solar Services. Recently, White has completed a stand-alone PV system for the National Park Service on Horn Island, Mississippi. He has also installed 270 solar thermal panels for a mechanical contractor at Parris Island, South Carolina, as part of new energy-saving strategy to heat and supply hot water to the barracks. They are about to start working on a stand-alone PV installation at King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia. Also on the list are solar thermal and PV projects for hotels and hospitals in Panama. Discussions continue with regional colleges and universities that have created green committees to encourage renewable energy installations on their campuses. ELT

OPPOSITE PAGE: (TOP) Installing ISO-board on lower roof. (MIDDLE) Partially completed solar arrays. (BOTTOM) Gary White, owner of FSS, mission accomplished at NAS JAX ASTC. THIS PAGE: Marine Barracks, Parris Island, S.C. Marine Barracks. 268-collector solar thermal installation on carport at Third Recruit Training Battalion.

GARY DOUNSON & ASSOCIATES

Gary Dounson & Associates, Inc. provides engineering services in support of the development of solar power. These services include site analysis, design, plans, specifications, and permitting. Design services include civil, electrical and structural engineering. Projects range from small residential to large commercial solar generating facilities. Contact us at (352) 375-8593. Energy Leaders Today 59


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A Solar Solution

When it comes to installing a solar energy system, Lighthouse Solar makes sure all bases are covered by Joan Tupponce

60 Spring 2011


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a

s “green” technology in the United States begins grows in popularity, a renewed interest in solar energy has also begun to emerge. Home and business owners are realizing that making the switch to solar energy will save them money on electric bills while generating energy for their communities and relieving stress on heavily burdened grid systems. By transitioning to renewable energy, these individuals and businesses are making an immediate impact on the planet. Emissions from generating electricity are not only toxic to the environment but also contribute to global warming. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the average resident solar energy system saves roughly 100 tons of CO2 -- the equivalent of planting 67 trees. Solar energy is the cleanest of all known energy sources. Lighthouse Solar recognized the growing importance of energy from the sun in 2006 when the company opened its first location in Colorado. “The most important thing about solar energy is that it buys you kilowatt hours at today’s prices,” co-owner Jason Iahn said. “The systems are designed to last up to 25 years. By its ninth year of use, a solar system will have typically paid for itself. Once your payback is met, the kilowatt hours produced are free.” In the last five years, Lighthouse Solar has grown across the United States, from Colorado to the Northeast and beyond, through independent franchises. For large-scale projects, however, Lighthouse Solar offices will often join together to complete the job. The Lighthouse Solar Franchising program also gives the company group buying power that allows it to offer systems at very reasonable prices. Most of the franchise owners have a background in the construction trades. “We saw the need and desire from clients who wanted to go with renewable energy,” Iahn said. All of the solar installers at Lighthouse Solar adhere to strict guidelines and professionalism. “Our quality and workmanship is second to none,” Iahn said. “We guarantee our workmanship for the lifetime of every solar energy system we install. If there is a problem with our workmanship or if your system does not perform as expected based on the estimate we provided, we will repair, replace or refund it as required.” All company services, from custom design to real-time data monitoring, are provided directly LEFT: Roof space can be maximized even with multiple pitched roof lines, such as this 15 kW antique barn. Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Solar.

Energy Leaders Today 61


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by the company. Staff at Lighthouse Solar is trained in-house and represents the highest level of trade skill and precision. The company also offers a lifetime warranty on its workmanship and thrives on customer service. “What we use will stand the test of time,” Iahn said. “It’s very important that systems last the amount of time we say they will.” One focus of the company’ is photovoltaic (PV), which converts the sun’s rays, or photons, into electricity. Photovoltaics can be installed on the rooftop or on the ground by creating ground mounts. There are three types of solar energy systems: a grid tied system, a grid tied system with a battery backup or an off grid system. The most popular is a grid tied system. Lighthouse Solar also provides their customers with Lightgauge, a powerful internet-based tool that allows energy production monitoring of their photovoltaic system and household energy consumption. It updates every second

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for real-time monitoring and has the capacity to store up to 30 years of data. Customers can access their Lightgauge from any location with an Internet connection or through a local area network. When the company installs solar energy systems in older homes, they often have to be retrofitted because of a lack of roof capability. “Sometimes you have to get creative,” Iahn said. “We can do some interesting ground mounts that can be 300 plus feet from a person’s home.” Solar energy systems also can be installed on pergolas or awnings for outdoor living areas and on carports. “There are a variety of options when it comes to system application,” Iahn said. “We have to determine which is best suited for the customer’s needs.” At Lighthouse Solar, the process of putting in a solar energy system is very thorough, starting with a site visit. “We look at the amount of solar access and

shading as well as the tilt and direction of the roof,” Iahn said. “We also look for things that could detract from production. We can calculate the rate of return on your dollar for the entire generation of the system.” By taking all of these things into account, a homeowner or business can come up with an accurate assessment of how much production they will get and how that translates into their investment. “We cover all of our bases,” Iahn said. In addition to individuals and businesses, many municipalities and local governments are gravitating toward solar energy. “They are making an investment in becoming more sustainable, helping to create jobs,” Iahn said. BELOW: When there is ample space available, a sturdy ground mount, such as this 7 kW model, can be an excellent option. Photo courtesy of Lighthouse Solar.


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In the past, many people have shied away from solar energy systems because they felt that they were too expensive. With current rebates and incentives through the state and federal governments, solar is rapidly becoming a more cost-effective option for electricity generation. Each state has its own rebate structure. “Solar has become more affordable, thus feasible for more people,” Iahn said. “Rebates and tax incentive information for every state can be found at www.dsireusa.org.”  Lighthouse Solar has not only seen a growing interest in solar energy from green-minded

individuals, but also from people living on a fixed income. “Many of our clients are baby boomers who are retiring on a fixed income,” Iahn said. “They are looking to create fewer costs down the line. We’re also seeing interest from younger, professional clients who understand the importance of investing in the future.” Solar is part of the solution to improve air quality and reduce emissions and it makes sense in economic terms -- making the world a little bit greener. ELT

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: This five kW array perfectly suits the homeowner’s high quality, five-star energy rated home. Solar arrays built into functional structures such as carports, awnings and pergolas are an aesthetic and smart choice for some people. Another ground mount option, called “pole mounts,” will optimize production due to its adjustable pivot points as well as their flexibility to be mounted on uneven ground surfaces. Photos courtesy of Lighthouse Solar.

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the One-Stop

Solar Shop

Sundoor Solar’s turnkey service approach earns them clients who are loyal and well recognized in today’s commercial sector. by Juan Stewart

When a large commercial client in New York chooses a small solar company out of Meriden, Conn., to create the prototype for what could be the solar energy system for all 1,250 of their branches, people take notice. This unnamed client chose Sundoor Solar among the many solar options in the area to complete their first solar installation. Sundoor re-engineered the prototype that could lead the client to making every branch an energyefficient and cost-effective building. “The reason we were selected is because we encompass the entire process and coordinate every aspect of the project from racking to the technology required to read the solar intake,” said Ernest DeCosta, co-owner of Sundoor Solar. The first project with this client in Long Island was a total of 12.4 KW of solar power. The system included PV laminate on the roof of the building and a waterproof racking system over the drive-thru. The solar system included custom colored racking and an electronics and graphics package that monitors and reports solar generation back to the client. The system also calculates the overall environmental impact and energy savings plan. Their client needed the panels installed quickly during the cold month of December, so Sundoor accommodated their needs and even worked under spotlights through the

night to complete the job. Once completed, the general contractor on the project was so impressed he contacted Sundoor Solar to do solar installations on several other locations in the New York area. “We not only come in with a turnkey approach but also a turnkey price ­— we can do everything that is involved or could possibly be involved in a solar project,” DeCosta said. Sundoor Solar is a one-stop solar power installation company that designs, installs and services PV power systems for businesses, municipalities and homeowners throughout the East Coast. Co-owners and founders Dave Luft and Ernest DeCosta, who collectively have over 50 years of experience in the electrical and construction industries, said Sundoor’s strategic advantage is in having not only the capability to design a cost efficient photovoltaic system, but also the ability to construct the canopy, install the solar panels and wire the system into a client’s current electrical system. “We have the passion to do each job the right way,” Luft said. “This includes conservative, honest quotes, paying attention to the smallest details and communicating with clients in plain, non-technical language. We do not want to be just any contractor; we are driven to be the best.” Sundoor’s unique approach to each job is Energy Leaders Today 65


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OPENING SPREAD: 7.3 KW residential installation in northwestern Connecticut. THIS PAGE: 12.4 KW of PV solar canopies on a commercial intallation, Farmingdale, N.Y. Sundoor Solar re-engineered the prototype for all of this client’s future branches. This opened doors for Sundoor, which recently signed their largest contract at $1.2 million. (RIGHT) Drive-thru canopy. (BOTTOM) Front entry canopy. (BELOW TWO) Sundoor installers working through the cold month of December, sometimes through the night, to complete the project on deadline. OPPOSITE: 7.5 KW agricultural installation. Photos courtesy of Sundoor Solar.

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second to none. The company’s motto, “Make Solar Simple,” is in line with both owners being involved in every job, seeing it through from start to finish. They go out of their way to make sure their customers understand what it is they are getting, which is unique energy production. There are many components and variables in the design and installation of a solar energy system. Sundoor takes great pride in thoroughly explaining all of the options and their impacts of both the cost and efficiency of the solar system. “One of our main concerns is protecting the integrity of the roof,” DeCosta said. “We respect our customer’s property as we would our own.” For Connecticut residents who wish to purchase the benefits of solar energy with no money down, Sundoor is an approved vendor of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to facilitate financing options that work for their individual situations. It is this kind of attention to customer needs and satisfaction that has earned the company one of the best reputations on the East Coast.

The average residential system the company completes is around 8 kW while their commercial installs range anywhere from 15 to 225 kW. One of Sundoor’s requirements is to use aluminum conduit rather than steel because they feel it results in a more aesthetically pleasing system with matching components. “It is important that the customer understands that they are not buying a solar panel but electricity production,” Luft said. “Sundoor Solar will be around for many years to come because the business is built on trust,” Luft said. “I take a lot of pride in seeing homeowners excited about getting extremely low electricity bills.” Luft has over 25 years of experience as a master electrician. Twenty-three years ago he started his own company, Dalco Electric. Dalco quickly became synonymous with high quality electrical services, delivered on time and within budget throughout Central Connecticut. Luft has always been driven to be at the forefront of the solar industry, so when the Clean Energy Fund of Connecticut began its

push to promote solar, Luft flew to California and completed PV 1 and 2 training courses. For DeCosta, the past 25 years have been spent designing and installing passive solar systems and sunrooms. His company, HomeTech Sunrooms, has been a leader throughout Central Connecticut in the design and installation of custom sunrooms, solar canopies and passive solar structures for homes and businesses. In 2009, DeCosta and Luft decided to pool their experience and talent to start Sundoor Solar and today, their shared experience and integrity are the core ingredients of the company’s growth and success. “Our goal was to be recognized as the area’s premier contractor,” DeCosta said. “Now we find ourselves getting bids all over the East Coast from Florida to Virginia, as well as locally [in Connecticut and the New York areas]. The chance to work with that large commercial cleint really opened some doors for us; we recently signed a $1.2 million industrial project, our biggest yet.” ELT

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A SOLAR

HOT SPOT

Headquartered in Princeton Junction, N.J., Pro Custom Solar has been utilizing the state’s unique and rapidly developing market to great success. by Joel Cornell

A

s much as successful solar energy technology relies on the location of the system relative to the sun, the building and its surrounding environment, it is equally dependent on the federal incentives, municipal tax breaks and high-quality local designers and installers available in the system’s location. All things considered, the state of New Jersey is one of today’s most ideally suited markets for solar energy. Pro Custom Solar, based out of Princeton Junction in central New Jersey, has been a significant part of the growth of the New Jersey solar energy market, and has maintained a track record that sets it apart as a major small business working wonders for the industry. When Cameron Christensen first set out into the solar industry in the early 2000s, his initial endeavors put him in close, personal contact with every aspect of the field. After moving from performing installations to a sales position to a higher consultation position for both sales and installations, Christensen recognized the dynamic new market emerging 68 Spring 2011

in consistently unforeseeable ways as he went about his day-to-day. In his desire to engage this constantly evolving market, Christensen founded Pro Custom Solar in September of 2009 as a small business that could navigate the volatile solar energy market with agility, poise and confidence. “My interest was originally peaked by the absolutely unique aspects of owning one’s own business,” Christensen said. “No matter what position I was in, I was always able to build a great rapport with my clients. One major issue with a majority of my clients was their own lack of understanding when it came to the complex financial and legal aspects involved in the process of installing and benefiting from a solar photovoltaic system. As part of a larger corporation doing these installations, it was quite difficult to take care of each client’s need for understanding by myself. “As the owner of a small business, I can control our volume and make sure that I’m able to be personally involved in some way on each project. I can personally make sure that

the client understands how the systems need to be maintained, how the incentives and tax breaks work and how to get the most out of the solar PV system from day one.” One of the many unique aspects of the solar energy industry in New Jersey is the publicly owned utility provider, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, or PSE&G. The utility company, in 2009, unveiled a $773 million plan for solar energy that intends to install 120 MW panels on top of public schools, municipal buildings, low-income housing structures and even on over 200,000 utility poles across the state. More importantly, PSE&G serves as a great asset for small solar businesses like Pro Custom Solar. Upon the inspection of a newly installed solar PV system by a local municipal official, the utility company will pay anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of the cost of the system back to its owner or the installer, or whomever is initially financially responsible for the installed system. In most cases, it would be the homeowner who assumes the brunt of the financial responsibility. In the case of Pro Custom Solar, the company takes on yet another burdensome aspect of the installation. In addition to the 30 percent of the price of the system that federal tax incentives cover, Pro Custom Solar goes so far as to pay the customer up front for the remaining cost of the system. Through financing from Enerbank USA, responsible for floating the incentives, tax breaks and additional funds from Pro Custom Solar a single loan for the client, a PSE&G customer can have a full solar PV system designed and installed at absolutely no up-front cost. The loan program itself is a no payment, no interest loan throughout its lifetime. “We’re able to facilitate the entire process


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for each client from the initial leads to surveying the building and site, through the design, installation, and implementation of the system,” Christensen said. “We provide a full suite of post-installation maintenance services, as well as entirely managing the municipal and financial aspects of the project.” Because of the complex and dynamic nature of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) market, Christensen’s experience and his highlyqualified staff make sure that these aspects of a solar PV system are properly handled in order to obtain the best result for the client. Approximately 70 percent of Pro Custom Solar’s business is in the residential market, while the other 30 percent is largely in commercial projects. As time has passed, state rebates in New Jersey have diminished significantly, down from a high of $3.75/watt for SREC payments. Additionally, the

cost for electricity is approximately $0.10 more expensive than the national average. However, despite this and the worldwide recession facing us over the past few years, the solar market has never been better. In New Jersey, as owners of grid tied solar PV systems generate electricity, they earn one SREC for each MWh they produce. Once the SREC is generated, the title holder for the system can sell it at market value. The expected value per SREC in 2011 is approximately $650. To date, only Maryland and Pennsylvania also offer SREC incentive programs. “Working in solar in the residential market, one of our biggest challenges is the lack of standards across the nation or even across the state,” Christensen said. “Every single township has a different set of inspectors, each of whom follows that township’s own regulations. The problem

ABOVE: System over a three-car garage in Morristown, N.J. The modules are BP Solar 175 watt Integra panels; the system size is a 4,200 watt (4.2KW) dc solar system. These BP Solar Modules are special as they don’t lay on any conventional racking system but are laying flat on the roof. The top and bottom of these modules have somewhat open ends to allow for proper ventilation and water runoff. Photo courtesy Pro Custom Solar.

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BELOW, TOP LEFT: A commercial system installed on a 16-unit building owned by Douglas Carver Community Developer Inc. in Orange, N.J. The solar modules are Trina Solar TSM PA05 240-watt modules with Enphase Energy Micro Inverters under each module. These are new and upcoming inverter systems that enable each panel to operate independently from each module, making the solar system five percent more efficient than having a central inverter system. There are 170 solar modules and inverters in the 40.8 kW system. TOP RIGHT: The utility room houses all of the 17 inverter meters that are used to keep track of how much energy each tenant receives from the solar system. Each tenant has 10 solar modules powering their meter enabling them to receive an average of $45 per month off their electric bill — altogether eliminating many of the tenants’ electric bills. Douglas Carver benefits from the SREC income of $32,500 each year for 15 years making it a 30 percent IRR. Photos courtesy Pro Custom Solar.

A home with Black Panels in West Caldwell, N.J. 54 ET Solar 185 Watt Panels with a black frame making it an aesthetically pleasing module for dark roof applications. The racking company used for all these jobs is Unirac Solar Mount. 9,990 watt solar system (9.99kW.) Within a year it will generate 12,500 KWh, save $2,250, and pay them $8,125 a year for their SRECs. They have a SMA 5000US Inverter and a SMA 3000US inverter converting their DC energy into usable AC Power.

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is that the book says one thing, and you’ll then have as many different interpretations of what that book says as you have inspectors. “Townships in New Jersey see anywhere between three to 30 installations per year, so their track record isn’t as lengthy. By intentionally keeping ourselves as a small business, we’re much more agile and able to work with the inspectors on a more personal level in order to ensure that the standards are being met across the board.” Throughout the recession, Christensen has seen a clear desire amongst residential clients and municipal partners alike to leave traditional energy sources behind and progress toward renewable sources such as solar. However, due to the expense of the technology, the current economic climate and the lack of common knowledge concerning the possibilities solar

presents to us, solar PV systems as a primary source of power are still quite far down on the priority list for many home and business owners. “When people are faced with growing mortgages, a credit crisis, severe debt, and a frail job market, solar PV systems barely even show up on many radars,” Christensen said. “For some homeowners, it’s more of a risk to let a few guys come tear up your roof and yard all for the savings of several hundred dollars per month. “Our goal is to show New Jersey, the Northeast and the entire country that solar doesn’t need to come at any risk, financially or otherwise. Through the best customer service we can muster, a practical understanding of these ever-changing markets and nothing but the best quality in our products and our workmanship, we hope to bring solar to a new height of prominence in America.” ELT

ABOVE: Back of house with upper left panel missing from vent — Ronald Murad’s home in Fanwood, N.J. This 8.46kW solar system is made from Trina Solar 235 Watt Modules mated to Enphase Energy M190 Micro Inverters enabling, installation on multiple roof levels of the home. It wouldn’t be possible to install solar panels on the lower roof of this job without Enphase Micro Inverters. They’re more expensive and take more time to install than a conventional inverter system but Pro Custom Solar will install the most efficient cost effective solar system available and pass the savings down to the customers. Photo courtesy Pro Custom Solar.

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A POWERFUL New Jersey-based installer GeoScape Solar offers clients expert customized financial consulting to maximize their investment in solar panels by Paige L. Hill

SREC Sales Electricity Savings SREC SalesShield Depreciation Electricity Tax Credit Savings Depreciation Shield Gross Investment Tax Credit Gross Investment

PAYBACK OF A SOLAR INVESTMENT IS 100 PERCENT CERTAIN. In a commercial project, 65 percent of the cost is recovered through federal tax incentives. When electricity savings and SREC sales revenues are added, commercial solar returns more than three times the cash needed for the initial investment. PHOTO ABOVE: Berlin Medical Associates, Berlin, N.J. OPPOSITE, TOP: Jeff Chavkin, president of Geoscape Solar, and Dr. David Hassmen of Berlin Medical Associates. Originally Geoscape installed a 100KW system on two buildings. Because the client was so happy with Geoscape Solar and their investment return, they added solar to a third building. BOTTOM: Some of the 3,000 solar panels slated for the 733KW installation in Elizabeth, N.J. The project has been delayed due to the tough Northeast winter. Photos courtesy GeoScape Solar.

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effrey Chavkin and Michael Boches could have easily started a financial consulting firm. The former Wall Street trader and former head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Verizon certainly have sophisticated financial backgrounds. However, they wanted to apply their financial wizardry to an emerging industry where the rulebook had not yet been written and where it could transform the energy landscape; they chose solar energy. The two formed New Jersey-based Geoscape Solar in 2008 with Chavkin as President and Boches as CEO. From the outset, the company was structured to emphasize financial solutions that make solar attractive and viable for all types of clients. “Solar offers a fascinating market, especially for a company looking to distinguish itself,” Chavkin said. “Our approach to solar is different. Other companies simply install solar, but Geoscape explains solar, finances solar, and then installs solar. You wouldn’t believe how many clients say, ‘no one ever told me that before,’ even after they have visited with several other solar companies.” Solar energy benefits the environment, but Chavkin said he believes it is too expensive to install for that reason alone; so, to convince people to go solar, it has to make financial sense. Thanks to considerable government incentives, a solar investment generates high returns. The lexicon of solar incentives (investment tax credit, cash tax grants, SRECs, 100 percent bonus depreciation) can be complicated, but “putting it all together is a financial home run,” Chavkin said. Businesses taking advantage of all the tax incentives available in 2011 will pay for 65 percent of the up-front cost of the solar installation in the first year alone. Geoscape Solar brings a flexible and transparent business model to the table with in-house financial expertise to guide clients through that lexicon and to the right financial solution. That process begins with Geoscape Solar educating its clients - about solar, about Geoscape and about tax and finance options. The company offers solar education through several outlets (including video, social media, and oneon-one meetings) to ensure that existing and potential clients get the information they need. “After explaining, we listen,” Gary Survis said, who serves as Geoscape’s COO. “We listen to understand motivations, budgets, financial wherewithal and tax position. When we give our clients a solar report, it is detailed and complete; it contains everything they need to make an informed and educated solar investment decision.” Because much of the government incentives promoting solar are delivered through tax breaks, “paramount in the education process is having a clear picture of the client’s ability to take advantage of those tax breaks,” Survis said. However, solar is not just for corporations and millionaires. If you are in a low-income tax bracket, or are a tax-exempt organization, Geoscape still offers great options.


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“We listen so we can recommend the best option to suit each client’s needs,” Survis said. These options include cash purchases, bank financing, leases, PPA’s, and hybrid solutions. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. If one of our current financing options doesn’t work, we will try to create a new one that does work,” Survis said. Geoscape Solar was the first solar company in New Jersey to offer a residential solar leasing program. In a traditional lease or PPA the client has to be content with modest electricity savings while taxpaying investors reap the more lucrative incentive rewards. Geoscape Solar created hybrid structures to allow “tax-challenged” clients to capture more of the solar upside, according to Survis. Sometimes, the task of finding the right solution requires talking to the client’s accountant and other advisors. Whether creating a new

“We are something of a boutique solar company,” Chavkin said. He emphasized that Geoscape’s specialized services, even to non-profits, are what set them apart from other solar energy providers. “As important as it is to be a solar educator and creative solar financier we are still, at our core, a solar installation company, which means we do solar right,” Survis said. Geoscape Solar pioneered the concept of Solar Done Right™ as another way to distinguish itself from the solar pack. Solar Done Right™ means starting every solar client relationship with education, listening and the right financial tools. Next comes expert, hassle-free solar installation. Finally, Geoscape Solar provides a long-term commitment to the success of each client’s solar investment with annual system maintenance and ongoing SREC trading services. “Once everything is up and running, each month you just receive

financing option specialized for a company or just getting the advisory team to feel comfortable with the solar investment, “the Geoscape team is eminently comfortable speaking the technical language of accountants and financial advisors,” Survis said. “Honestly, the easiest part of what we do is putting the solar panels on the roof,” Survis said. “All of the financial machinations are tough work, so why not let us do it?” That’s what happened when a logistics company located in Elizabeth, N.J. decided to go solar. Even after talking to several solar companies, Atlantic Central Logistics couldn’t find one that could get the project financed. Then they talked to Geoscape Solar. Geoscape arranged for the project (including a new roof) to be 100 percent financed with no liens on any of ACL’s existing assets. Now, after sitting under the snow of New Jersey’s long 2010 winter, the roof is about to see the first of 3,072 solar panels that will make up the 733,000-watt system. “We found a way to get it done when other solar companies simply could not,” Survis said. “Geoscape Solar welcomes these types of challenges, and is excited to help our customer bring the savings and investment return of solar to their businesses.” Geoscape Solar has worked with churches, synagogues and homeowners to bring solar to those who want unconventional ways to go solar and is currently crafting a community solar initiative to give larger groups of customers substantial savings over buying independently.

a check,” Survis said. “If you want to go solar, you want to work with us –because we take care of everything, end-to-end, and you just reap the benefits. You know how they say ‘jack of all trades, but master of none?’ Well, we aren’t a roofing or HVAC company adding solar to the mix. We focus on one thing -- doing solar right.” ELT

INVESTMENT

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All Encompassing Systems, Exponentially Integrated LEADING THE WAY IN RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS, PFISTER ENERGY DELIVERS INNOVATIVE ON-SITE POWER SOLUTIONS. by Joel Cornell

P

fister Energy is one of very few renewable energy companies in the U.S. offering a truly comprehensive line of products, services and technologies within the alternative energy and energy efficiency industries. As a design/ build construction firm, the company offers a complementary host of turnkey, customdesigned green solutions with an emphasis on building-integrated applications. Having its roots in commercial roofing, New Jersey-based Pfister Energy was established by President Wayne Pfisterer and his father, Dieter Pfisterer, in order to expand their (then) 25-year old commercial industrial roofing company, Pfister Maintenance, Inc. Through Pfisterer’s endeavors with Pfister Maintenance, Inc., he began seeking out new ways to approach the roofing market and expand within it. Upon writing an article for a scientific trade journal concerning solar energy implementation from the perspective of an experienced roofer, a new dialogue opened up. It was then that the company decided to gear its traditional roofing and sheet metal services toward more efficient and sustainable building envelope systems. “Absolutely everything that is Pfister Energy grew from that point,” Pfisterer said. “We began seeing a huge interest in photovoltaic systems and solar panel installation, and it soon became apparent that, at least on the commercial level, the renewables industry was certainly on the rise.” Pfister Maintenance, Inc. completed their first solar-integrated roofing project in 2003, recognizing that energy was a much broader and more quickly growing industry than roofing could prove to be. Only a year later, the separate entity of Pfister Energy, Inc. was incorporated to focus exclusively on this business. Pfister Energy, Inc. immediately began to build out its product portfolio and capabilities set. “Initially, we were absolutely enamored with OPPOSITE PAGE AND THIS PAGE: (ABOVE) Pfister Energy recently installed a 115.92 kW DC crystalline PV system on the roof of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in Paramus, N.J. THIS PAGE: (LEFT) Pfister Energy’s Baltimore office installed a solar-integrated roofing system and incorporated additional renewable energy technologies on M.C. Dean’s 200-year-old office building, which is adjacent to the Baltimore Ravens stadium.

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solar technology,” Pfisterer said. “However, we knew that PV was not and could not be the beall, end-all solution for the nation’s increasing energy problems. Other on-site, distributed generation technologies were certainly going to have to have a place in the world, especially as many older technologies have been reemerging through new, more efficient, less costly design and manufacturing. Vertical-axis wind turbines, natural daylighting technologies, fuel cells and solar thermal systems can all generate or save energy in a clean, sustainable way. “One of the most important hurdles commercial buildings and facilities face today is the need for energy to be cheap, local and most importantly constant. You can’t rely entirely on solar energy in places like Seattle, where you see cloud coverage the majority of the time. Likewise, you can’t always rely on wind power in the inner city and places that do not have an adequate wind resource available. What has proved to be essential is a fundamental understanding of a building’s features and location; and how to properly select and integrate appropriate technologies in a way that provides cheap, constant power to anyone, anywhere.” It has been this exact understanding of the local markets, of varied incentive programs, and of complementary energy systems of all different types that has brought Pfister Energy such success from coast to coast. Their holistic approach to stacked energy technologies has been what sets the company apart from its competition. Always cognizent of how new and emerging technologies can be integrated into a cohesive system, Pfister Energy has been designing and installing a vast array of clean energy systems that protect from the elements as they generate power; for example, systems that provide light as they waterproof a roof, or that bring in natural lighting while harvesting rain water into holding tanks for use in irrigation. “Natural lighting designs, for instance, are sustainable design systems that can be integrated across the map, and with the most ideal results,” Pfisterer said. “We don’t need anyone to tell us this, because it’s something we all know to be true, but many studies have shown the positive effects natural lighting can have in any environment. Workers show increased productivity and better mental health in office and industrial environments alike. Students perform better in their studies when in naturally lit environments. As nebulous 76 Spring 2011

THIS PAGE: Putting a brownfield to good use, Pfister Energy installed a 1.09 MW utility-scale solar ground mount system at the Pennsauken Sanitary Landfill in Pennsauken, N.J. OPPOSITE PAGE: Pfister Energy installed a 500 kW DC ground-mount system at the Ramada Inn of Vineland, N.J., utilizing American-made Sharp modules and a helical pile mounting system (“earth screws”) manufactured by Terrafix Solarpark USA.

or trivial as it seems, little ideas like this improve your mental health, your physical response and your energy bills to boot.” As Pfisterer sees it, one of the biggest problems with conventional energy generation and distribution is the inherent inefficiencies resulting from the overall line loss in getting power from where it is produced to where it is consumed. In fact, the distance energy must travel from its point of origin to its point of use can result in as much as 30 to 40 percent of that energy being lost. However, when you consider the “distributed generation” of power on-site, at the very place it is being utilized, the overall line loss decreases to as little as three to four percent. “Distributed generation is therefore much more efficient and takes the strain off of our aging and stressed electrical grid,” Pfisterer said. Yet unfortunately, at the current stage of industry development, the life cycle cost of renewable energy is higher than utility power, which is why the market relies so heavily on tax incentives and other various means of assistance from the government. “But technology and manufacturing processes are already improving; solar panels are becoming much more versatile and affordable; that will only improve with time,” Pfisterer said. “In the next five years, I personally believe that we will see solar systems nationwide begin to meet and even exceed grid parity.” Pfister Energy has roughly eight MW of renewable power installed in the U.S. over the last three years, comprised of systems ranging in size as small as 30 kW to greater than one MW. The company’s solar applications vary from the conventional rooftopmounted, crystalline glass panels, to more innovative solar carport and canopy structures and solarintegrated roofing systems utilizing thin-film PV laminates. The work that Pfister Energy did for the brand new headquarters of M.C. Dean, Inc., a Baltimore-based contracting firm, is exemplary of their holistic approach to energy. “It was to be built in a 200-year-old brick building that had been sitting derelict in downtown Baltimore for many years,” Pfisterer said. “Our background in roofing gave us a great advantage, as the entire roof system needed replacing. Much of the ceilings and floors inside the building had suffered from severe fire damage. Replacing all these systems in an entirely efficient manner was not something your average solar company could have accomplished. We installed a brand new solar array on their roof, in addition to reflective roofing materials that would help to


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keep the building cool. We also worked directly with the designers to ensure the best possible natural lighting systems were implemented.” Other notable projects include a series of solar systems installed for Jet Aviation (a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation) at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. These projects were installed across four distinct hangar buildings at no cost to the customer through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Under this arrangement, the PV systems were provided to Jet Aviation with no up-front capital expenditure. Rather, the systems are owned by third parties, which sell the electricity produced by the array to the project host at a cheaper price (and at a fixed escalation) as compared with what they currently pay for local utility power. The end result means significant energy savings and favorable public relations. Construction on three additional systems comprising a rated aggregate capacity of 700 kW (DC) for Jet Aviation is currently underway. The company also recently commissioned a 500 kW (DC) ground-mount system for the Ramada Inn of Vineland, N.J., utilizing American-made Sharp modules and a helical pile mounting system (“earth screws”) manufactured by Terrafix Solarpark USA. This innovative attachment system eliminates the need for large concrete foundations and minimizes the local environmental impact of the array. The project was a direct purchase by the customer and is expected to produce over 14,000 MWh over the 25-year design life of the system. Taking into account the substantial energy savings, combined with attractive state and federal incentives, the project will pay for itself in just over 2.5 years and is expected to yield a total net benefit of over $6.75 million over its operating lifetime. Pfister Energy possesses all of its own inhouse system designers, qualified installation technicians, licensed electricians and NABCEPcertified engineering staff. The company relies on these resources to deliver turnkey systems to its clients from a single source, often without the need for any subcontractors. Pfister Energy presently has offices in Paterson, N.J., Baltimore, Md. and Tampa, Fla. The company continues to expand its installation capabilities nationwide through its Licensed Installer Program, under which qualified contractors are selected to incorporate a licensed Pfister Energy entity in other parts of the country. This program enables Pfister Energy to effectively improve sales and deployment of the various renewable energy solutions within its product portfolio nationally. ELT

THIS PAGE: Pfister Energy used Velcro to secure 310 kW DC UniSolar panels to the standing seam metal roof on a hangar at Jet Aviation/Teterboro Airport in Teterboro N.J. – a very unique application. Construction on three additional systems comprising a rated aggregate capacity of 700 kW DC for Jet Aviation is currently underway.

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INTO THE BRIGHTEST DAY ELECTRON SOLAR ENERGY, INC. HAS BEEN SERVING THE SOUTH FLORIDA REGION AS A MAJOR FORCE IN THE SOLAR ENERGY SECTOR, PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF WHAT A SYSTEM CAN ACHIEVE EVERY SINGLE DAY. by Joel Cornell

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photos courtesy of ElectronSolarEnergy.com

ay Kurzweil, a famed American author, inventor and futurist, published a controversial essay in 2001 that expanded Moore’s law, which posits that the quantity of the transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years. This trend has been very well documented for more than half a century. Kurzweil’s expansion of this law, commonly known as the law of accelerating returns, extends its application to our species’ technological process as a whole. However, a key difference is that while Moore’s law sees a cap to the achievable density of transistors specifically related to computing technology, Kurzweil theorizes that these barriers will be overcome as we develop and progress. Electron Solar Energy, Inc. understands the kind of progress, technological or otherwise, that is necessary and available through the development and implementation of solar energy. They apply these ideas to our planet’s abyssal hunger for energy and envision nothing but a bright future that depends on renewable, clean and inexpensive sources of energy. Despite a company history spanning just seven years, Electron Solar Energy, Inc. maintains the absolute peak of expertise and dedication. Based out of the Sunshine State itself, in Miami, Florida, the company has over 50 years of engineering experience collectively among its staff. With each member of the team constantly kept up to date with the latest in training, certification and qualification, Electron Solar Energy, Inc. has remained amongst the highest tier of solar photovoltaic installers in the region. Additionally, they are South Florida’s only publicly traded renewable energy company. “Electron Solar Energy goes beyond just solar installation ­ we are a green technology integrator and full-service general contractor specializing in solar photovoltaic, solar pool heating, solar hot water heating, rainwater harvesting and green roofing,” Kevin Kohler said, head of marketing for Electron Solar, in recently published blog on the company’s website. 80 Spring 2011

“Those of you that are thinking about installing a solar power system aren’t alone,” Kohler said. “The growth of solar installations in the U.S. has been nothing short of meteoric. According to data from the American Solar Energy Society, the number of residential solar power installations in the country grew by 40 percent last year. That is even more impressive in light of the tepid economic conditions that prevailed in 2009, when millions of jobs were lost and gross domestic product contracted by 2.4 percent. “To be sure, Americans have some catching up to do. Other developed nations have been installing clean energy for years, and the U.S. is still far behind countries like Germany and Italy in terms of total capacity. But solar could get a big boost in America if the drivers of its popularity in Europe - subsidies called Feed-in Tariffs - emerge here.” 3001 North Bay Road, a recently completed project by Electron Solar Energy, Inc. in South Beach, Miami, Florida, is a perfect example of the company’s residential work. Although the company’s scope extends throughout the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, they have seen unique opportunities and applications in the residential market. The North Bay residence is a 2,800 sq. ft. home on one of South Beach’s most prestigious streets. The modernist style house was originally constructed in 1961. In 2008, the owner began the process of converting the home to become as energy efficient as possible. Electron Solar Energy, Inc. was brought in on the project as the sole lead. The easiest and most obvious upgrade was to swap out all of the existing lighting with only the best LED lighting throughout the house: in the kitchen, living room, dining room, and all bedrooms and bathrooms. The electrical boxes were swapped out, the wiring was rebalanced and a whole home electrical line conditioner was installed to prepare for the installation of what would become the first permitted solar PV installation in South Beach. The panels Electron Solar Energy, Inc. used are Unisolar Ovanics thin film flexible panels, which are super lightweight and easy to install;


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they roll out like mats onto the roof and are affixed there like stickers through the use of a preapplied industrial roofing tar. A simple raceway system that is raised slightly above the roof was installed to organize the wires and keep them protected from the elements. The system in its entirety is rated for 150 mile per hour hurricane force winds. The inverter can easily be monitored for performance via the web by both Electron Solar Energy, Inc. and the owner of the system or home. The entire solar installation was completed in just three days, with zero disturbance in lifestyle to the residents. “A standard installation is broken up into separate components, or phases,” Kohler said. “Our roofing team hovers around three-five guys per install, electrical uses about two installers, one-four engineers, etc. It depends entirely on the scope and complexity of the install and we approach each project as a customized solution to a client’s energy needs.” This project represents how easily and effortlessly Electron Solar Energy, Inc. can integrate solar into an existing home. With all of the upgrades to the appliances, lighting and the new solar PV system, the energy bills for the home were slashed by nearly 70 percent. Taking into account the state and federal incentives, the system will pay for itself in under seven years. With a 25 year power guarantee on the solar PV panels, the investment will pay for itself many times over. Along with our computers, our phones and our cars, solar energy is effectively doubling both its efficiency and its power generating capabilities, like Kurzweil predicted. Through the work of rapidly growing companies like Electron Solar Energy, Inc. doing their finest work around the country, there’s a very inspiring chance that Kurzweil may just be right. ELT

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THIS PAGE: Mora Eye Clinic, Laredo, Texas. James Hiebert cleans the solar modules as part of the warranty package South Texas Solar Systems Inc. provides for its clients. Photo by Fernando Del Haro. OPPOSITE, TOP: The equipment wall at the Mora Eye Clinic houses a 30.45 kW solar system with five 6,000-watt SMA America Sunny Boy Inverters. Photo by S. Vasquez. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM Clean modules after a warranty check up. Photo by Fernando Del Haro.

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Under the Texas Sun

Former Canadian hockey pro James Hiebert channels his energy into South Texas Solar Systems by Chelsea Muth

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rofessional hockey player James Hiebert grew up in Canada’s Northwest territories. As a young athlete and fierce competitor, he toured one of the coldest countries on the globe. With hockey skills, skating, agility, and ambition, Hiebert lived on buses on the road – a path that eventually led him to the U.S. in 2003. Though Hiebert loved the sport, he had ambitions for a balanced life and a meaningful career. In his last season as a full-time hockey player, Hiebert was stationed in Laredo, Texas. “I felt there was a particular opportunity in the solar market in Laredo due to the high amount of sun and basically no competition,” Hiebert said. “Solar is part of the present and future. Population and energy growth is exploding. Laredo is so hot and sunny; solar-thermal water tanks can provide 95 percent of your hot water in this climate.” Far from the snow-banked ice rinks at home, Hiebert harnessed his athletic enthusiasm and the Texan sun, and dove into the world of industry. In 2007, at the age of 25, he founded South Texas Solar Systems Inc., a photovoltaic, thermal and insulation contractor, specializing in green systems and sustainability. Laredo’s first solar energy company, South

Texas Solar Systems, opened for business in 2009. South Texas Solar prides itself on four state-of-the-art green installations: fiberglass attic installation, solar thermal hot water heaters, solar panels. Despite larger neighboring companies, the young business remains competitive. Between 2009 and 2011, the company’s four-person staff tackled twelve major projects, servicing mostly commercial clients. One of South Texas Solar’s largest contracts, the Mora Eye Clinic project, purchased a 30.45kW Schuco Photovoltaic Solar System, which cost $157,000.00 but earned the Mora Eye Clinic a $75,000.00 AEP rebate and a $40,000.00 Federal tax credit. There was an accelerated depreciation they received as well as a 10 percent franchise tax deduction which is equivalent to corporate tax in other States. “I noticed in Laredo the large solar potential in the buildings,” Hiebert said. In proximity to several enormous warehouses, the company takes advantage of Laredo’s border city location and its infinite solar potential. “We create lists of our target markets in the geographic locations we want to sell in,” Hiebert said. “We give each potential client a rating A-D or 1-4 after we visit them for potential to buy. Because we are in the energy market and have various products from Kohler Diesel Back-up Generators to Photovoltaics and commercial energy sales through our partner GreenMountainEnergy it makes sense for us to continually be visiting and marketing to these customers. It has worked out ok so far but we need to improve.” With its fresh, green entrepreneur in lead, South Texas Solar maintains a down-toearth approach to solar energy. “We’re local and we keep our systems clean here,” Hiebert said. “We budget five years for

fluids and systems cleaning. Every three months we provide a panel cleaning to the solar panels.” Beyond business, South Texas Solar gives back to the community in several ways. “We sponsor a local rec basketball team and coach as volunteers for the young 6-9 year old hockey team and a mens team -- customers can know a portion of the money they spend is getting put back into the community,” Hiebert said. South Texas Solar utilizes high quality engineered Schüco manufactured equipment, which meet the UL requirements. Kohler Generators meet the EPA standards. The company has been awarded a SECO contract, That Hiebert is utilizing to reach his goal of offering 30-75 kW service, and growing projects from $5,000-$250,000 to $150,000$400,000 systems. “I’m not one of those people who believes we have to run the whole world off solar or wind,” Hiebert said. “I believe there’s got to be a healthy balance and a healthy balance is American-owned, natural gas and oil, and of course sun and wind. Definitely sun. We’ve got all this land occupied, and rooftops of buildings not being used. Even if we can only convert 10 to 15 percent of that solar energy to real energy it will still have a great impact, and the greater impact will come when these manufacturing companies are reaching levels of 40 to 60 percent efficiency of solar energy to real energy.” While gaining loyal customers and experience, Hiebert maintains a humble demeanor regarding his success. “I went from playing 80 hockey games a season, practicing every day, down to a totally different lifestyle -- it was a major shock to the system.,” Hiebert said. “Everything changed: my routine, the people I talked to, the way I talked to them. I really had to grow as a person.” Like any good competitor, Hiebert has persevered. South Texas Solar’s independent, downto-earth ambition is making Laredo greener, day by day. Its strong leadership and environmental vision ensures that the company will take solar beyond Laredo, one contract at a time. ELT

ONTILITY ONTILITY understands the challenges in today’s solar industry and strives to help new and expanding businesses succeed. South Texas Solar Systems, one of more than 700 ONTILITY certified dealers, is a perfect example of how ONTILITY helps build businesses with competitive pricing, a reliable supply chain, financial assistance, training, design and project consultation. No other solar distributor provides this level of support. Regardless of the need — maximizing rebates, developing a winning grant proposal, training an entire team or designing a utility-scale PV system - ONTILITY provides the end-to-end support you need. Energy Leaders Today 83


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Northern California’s The Solar Company leads their home basketball team to $2 million in electricity savings Energy Leaders Today 85


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he Golden State Warrior basketball team doesn’t have any trouble paying their state of the art practice facility’s energy bill after the installation of 537 rooftop solar panels that could save them as much as $2 million over the next 25 years, according to Mark Danenhower, the founder of The Solar Company in Castro Valley, Calif. The project is the first of its kind for the NBA and Danenhower said the move could set precedence for his business as well. The solar panels were installed on the Warriors’ practice facility that sits atop Oakland’s Convention Center. The team owns their practice facility, which gives them the flexibility to choose green energy options like solar panels. Though teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns have solar panels on their home arenas, the teams do not own the facilities. “I grew up watching the Warriors, so it’s pretty incredible now that all the Warrior fans know my business and about the team going green with my company,” Danenhower said. The team formed a corporate partnership with The Solar Company in January, 2010, in response to the NBA calling for teams to “go green.” In February, the team celebrated their one-year anniversary with The Solar Company by holding a halftime presentation in their honor and presenting Danenhower with a Warriors jersey. The partnership has been a great source of marketing for the company as well. “If you are a Warriors fan, you know they

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use our solar panels,” Danenhower said. The Solar Company logo is featured in the Warriors’ arena and is advertised throughout the game. The Solar Company installers even wear the Warriors logo on their company shirts. “If you don’t like the Warriors so much that you can’t use us for solar, then maybe you aren’t the right customer for us,” Danenhower said jokingly. After forming their corporate partnership with the Warriors, The Solar Company was able to fix all 537 SunPower

SPR-305-WHT-U modules to the roof of their practice facility, covering roughly 9,641 sq. ft. The panels produce an estimated average 758.9 kWh daily and 277,008 kWh annually, saving them more than 25 percent each year. “SunPower panels are the most efficient on the commercial market in terms of power density and durability,” Danenhower said, who began using the panels in 2006. “I want to be able to say to my customers with a straight face that I am giving them the best on the market, and

with SunPower I really am.” Danenhower said the SunPower panels last at least 25 years, but have a lifespan of 40 years in most cases. Maintenance on them is as easy as “a good hosing off ” twice a year to rid them of dust, according to Danenhower. SunPower also introduced The Solar Company to their internet-based monitoring system which sends an alert to the customer if their panels record a lower-than-normal production of solar energy. The monitoring system is PREVIOUS SPREAD: The Golden State Warriors oneyear solar anniversary celebration party, Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif. The Solar Company’s owners Mark & Christina Danenhower and family are honored during half-time. OPPOSITE PAGE: (TOP) Agricultural pole mount, Marysville, Calif. Photo by Maison Toe Photography. (MIDDLE) Golden State Warriors practice facility solar power system installation, Oakland, Calif. Photo by The Solar Company. (BOTTOM) Residential roof mount, El Dorado Hills, Calif. Photo by AltaShot. THIS PAGE: (RIGHT) The Solar Company, employee group shot, Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif. Photo by the Golden State Warriors. (BOTTOM) Golden State Warriors practice facility Solar power system installation, Oakland, Calif. Photo by The Solar Company.

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PREVIOUS PAGE: Residential roof mount, El Dorado Hills, Calif­. Photo by AltaShot. THIS PAGE: (BELOW) Residential roof mount, El Dorado, Calif. Customers Pat and Stu Macy stand with The Solar Company representative David Shield outside of a recently completed project. Photo by Maison Toe Photography. (OPPOSITE) Customer Allen Priest’s residential roof mount, El Dorado Hills, Calif. Photo by AltaShot.

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now mandatory in all new solar installations in California in order to receive state rebates. As for the Warriors’ 537 panels, The Solar Company monitors their solar production daily and receives alerts when their production drops. “The monitoring system is so crucial to solar panels now that there is even an iPhone app to check your panels any time – SunPower really opened our eyes to the future of solar,” Danenhower said. After The Solar Company began using SunPower, the business grew in size by 50 percent each year and in 2011 the company stands to even double in size. “It’s a balancing act making sure we don’t grow too quickly, but when it comes down to it, taking my business solar was the best thing I ever did,” Danenhower said. He was running a general contracting firm, Mark Construction (since 1990), when in 2004 he received a brochure for a solar energy class for contractors. Danenhower said including solar panels in his business was a “no-brainer.” That year he renamed the company Mark Construction DBA The Solar Company. The installation crew has been professionally trained through SunPower University and three have been certified by the NABCEP. The company has experience in installing both grid-connected and grid-independent solar systems. The Solar Company is a licensed and insured C-46 Contractor and B general building contractor. Last November, the company was awarded a “Diamond Certification” from the American Ratings Corporation which singles out companies with the highest quality of service in the San Francisco bay area. “We work really hard and that award validated that we are as good as I think we are,” Danenhower said. ELT


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All That's Bright Must Shine Through ingenuity and true talent, DJH Construction leads the way in providing only the best in solar energy systems. By Joel Cornell

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Don Harris began his journey into the construction industry at an incredibly young age. Despite the small size of his firm, DJH Construction Inc., and the legislative problems plaguing the renewable energy sector today, he has successfully installed upwards of 300 kW in the past few years throughout California and Arizona. His entrepreneurial spirit helped to carry his firm into a successful future, and has resulted in one of the premier solar engineering and installation companies on the West Coast. Since his teen years, Harris had been working with local construction companies building sizable remodels and spec homes across Southern California and Northern Arizona. As a result of gaining the opportunity to build high-efficiency custom residences with the quality techniques and materials required to satisfy that type of clientele, Harris was able to learn at an early age exactly what quality entailed. “It became something very apparent to me early on that the workmanship that we could supply to our clients would allow us to keep those clients, and our jobs as well,” Harris said. “Our ideal has always been to pinpoint the absolute baseline of our clients’ expectations, and use that as our absolute lowest in terms of the quality we intended to deliver. Anything less than what they expect is a failure. To surpass the client’s desires is the standard.” DJH Construction, Inc. was founded in 1992, when Harris was only 19. As a young general contractor and entrepreneur, he was ideally positioned to bring about serious and much needed change to the local construction industry. DJH Construction, Inc. continued to build spec homes and remodel existing homes as they worked hard to increase their range of knowledge, experience and certification. Three years later, Harris obtained his California general contractor’s license. Fortunately, years later, he acquired both solar licensing and electrical licensing as the economy began to shift. Thus, DJH Construction was perfectly positioned to transition into solely renewable energy and let the construction side sit still while they took time to seek out new ways to broaden their scope of services. “Already, in 2001, we began installing our first solar photovoltaic systems in the area for our earliest construction clients,” Harris said. “At the time, we didn’t have much focus on energy, except where it was already necessary. But our prior construction client couldn’t find anyone else in the area who could install the system they wanted. If we wanted to fulfill our promise of dedication to our clients’ needs, we 92 Spring 2011

A 9.6 kW Sunpower installation in Fullerton, Calif. Photo by Ace Aerial Photography.


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OPPOSITE: 19.44 kW 90 Sharp 216 watt modules in Cowan Heights, Calif. Photo by Ace Aerial. THIS PAGE, FROM TOP: 9.66 kW Phono Solar installation in Coto de Caza, Calif. Photo by Ace Aerial. An oceanview hillside deck construction in Shore Cliffs, Calif. Ceiling detail with a fan in a custom remodeled condo in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Brent Riemer installs 6.44 kW Sharp 230-watt modules in San Clemente, Calif. Photos courtesy DJH Construction.

would have to learn everything we could about solar photovoltaic, and we did. “The installation went beautifully, and we began to see a new market unfolding in front of us. As so much of our work has come from word of mouth, this project began to bring in request after request for solar installations.” Through their work, DJH Construction, Inc. has developed a passion for building more powerful and more efficient solar energy systems for their clients. The firm has been able to produce more kilowatt hours from more durable and more sustainable systems through over-engineering techniques that other competitors are not achieving. From Harris’ perspective, this comes largely from the trend within the industry towards putting together the cheapest system possible, rather than the best performing. “Different people want different things from solar energy,” Harris said. “Some people will always go for the cheapest system available. Others will seek out the top of the bell curve, where quality and value are both at their highest. In working in the Southern California region, many of our clients are a bit higher up on the economic ladder, and so the systems we design are always with the best possible engineering, supplies and talent behind them; cost, time and effort notwithstanding.” “Some manufactures are investing and working towards creating modules with the ideal of one dollar per watt,” he continued. “The largest trend in the industry as a whole has been constantly moving towards cheaper, more cost-effective mindset. A large part of this trend has been fueled by the uncertainty than consumers feel concerning the government incentives and rebates in place. Without those incentives, the ‘green’ industry will have a much harder time convincing consumers that renewable energies are worth the investment.” As the industry and the economy shifted tumultuously, DJH Construction, Inc. matched these uncertain times with a new direction. His wife, Kelly, has served as vice president of DJH Construction, Inc. since 2005, and today, the company is entering into the GSA (General Services Administration) market to supply the federal government with solar materials and supplies. “With the uncertain future of solar rebates and incentives, we began planning for future changes to our current business model to adapt to the anticipated changes in the solar industry,” Kelly Harris said. “Fortunately, these changes brought about a new opportunity to explore the federal government market for solar and solar related materials. Our GSA contract will allow us to tap into this market and add another revenue source to our residential and commercial installations.” Outside of DJH Construction, Inc., he is also a partner with Cira Energy, Inc. and a principal with Solar Consultants LLC, both based out of California. Distinguished by their dedication to the utmost in quality and the aesthetics of solar energy systems, something the Harris’ feel is often forgotten in the industry, DJH Construction, Inc. has been helping to lead the solar industry throughout the West Coast with nothing but optimism for a bright future ahead. ELT Energy Leaders Today 95


© il-fede - Fotolia.com

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STICKING TO PRINCIPLES FOR NEXTENERGY, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION By Joel Cornell

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extEnergy, based out of Concord, Calif., has always held true to their three core values concerning each system they install: performance, reliability and longevity. Every system must maintain an exemplary performance throughout its lifetime, or NextEnergy has failed. The company has failed if the installed system fails to heat, cool or generate energy reliably. If the system begins to fail after only a few years, they have failed. To this day, Next Energy has yet to fail, and has built their success upon these core principles. After gaining a plethora of experience, the Kauffman family applied their skills and decided to found Accurate Heating & Cooling in 1960. The company eventually became renowned in the area for their dedication to both their clients and their values, as well as a progressive obsession with the newest, most efficient and most advanced technology they could acquire. As the company grew throughout the years, they clearly saw the signs within the industry of a overall desire to move towards more sustainable technologies. Randy Kauffman, who currently serves as the CEO and president of NextEnergy, began working within the mechanical HVAC industry in the late 1970s. He eventually rose to branch manager in Las Vegas for the Norman-Wright Mechanical Equipment Company, the second largest mechanical equipment company in the nation. Soon, he decided that it was about time to take his vast skill set back home, to begin his own career with the family business, Accurate Heating & Cooling. In 1978, Kauffman installed the company’s first 96 Spring 2011

entirely solar project, a solar thermal system for a nearby resident. From this point on, Accurate Heating & Cooling still held a major focus on the more traditional aspects of the mechanical HVAC industry, although the family’s dedication to sustainable and efficient systems was never more paramount. As time went on, so did the company’s investment in solar systems, both in thermal and photovoltaic. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Kauffman continued to lead the way within what was becoming the company’s division entirely dedicated to installing, designing and servicing solar systems, panels and arrays. Today, Kauffman can attest to the knowledge and ability gained from over 30 years of experience. He has long been certified as a journeyman steamfitter. In addition to serving as CEO and president to NextEnergy, Kauffman also serves as a Pacific Gas & Electric {PG&E) Certified Home Energy Efficiency Rater. He is a member of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and he is also certified with the California Energy Commission for Installing Solar Electric Energy. Through years and years of exponential growth, Kauffman distinguished itself from Accurate Heating & Cooling. In 2000, what was the solar division of the company finally became its own entity: NextEnergy. In just three years, the company saw great success, having installed over 100 commercial and residential systems by 2003. NextEnergy custom engineers and installs each solar system to exceed industry standards

and performance expectations. Their installations are never subcontracted out. Each of their lead installers is a seasoned professional with hundreds of installations of experience, which means that each installation meets the meticulous standards to provide years worth of worry free electricity. “By using the best materials, having highly trained, skilled and experienced installations crews and custom engineering each system, we provide our customers systems that will last longer than systems installed by other companies,” Kauffman said. “We are one of the rare solar energy companies with a Class A engineering license in addition to our general building license. This allows us to put together solar energy solutions we know have the longevity our clients demand. “What makes NextEnergy different from the other solar installers out there is that we do not do ‘out of the box’ installations. Our expert solar consultants, engineers, and installers make it a point to understand the unique subtleties of each client and installation site. This personal and custom approach has allowed NextEnergy to flourish and become one of the top local solar contractors in the Bay area. Our volume has allowed us to get special pricing from our product manufactures, so we can pass on the savings to our customers. For nearly a decade now, we have found the only way someone can beat NextEnergy is if they sacrifice performance, reliability, or longevity in their system. Other companies lower the costs by cutting corners; we keep our costs low by being efficient and installing quality.” ELT


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CleanEdison 12 Debrosses St New York, NY 10013 888-513-3476

Geoscape Solar 7 Farmstead Rd Short Hills, NJ 07078 973-210-4277

Not only does Liberty keep a strong focus on academics, but they also aim to turn each child into a well-rounded member of their community.

Pinnacle Charter School

Schletter 3761 E Farnum Place Tucson, AZ 85706 520-289-8721

Daikin 1645 Wallace Dr/Ste 110 Carollton, TX 75006 972-512-1982

EDUCATION LEADERS

TODAY

Ontility 3403 N. Sam Houston Pkwy Ste 300 Houston, TX 77086 281-854-1407

Total Service Inc PO Box 818 Pomtotoc, MS 38863 662-841-0251

T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY

I N D U S T RY

. . . it

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NAL, AFFORDABLE Owner and President Stephen May brings a personal every DART Design project, touch to providing creative and economical architectural solutions to clients across the state of Illinois.

oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 2024706757 info@industryleaderstoday.com www.ozworldmedia.com

WaterFurnace International, Inc. 9000 Conservation Way Fort Wayne, IN 46809 800-GEO-SAVE

615-822-7134 Oxford Designs 615-337-2669 Drops- Everything 106 Cummings Ct. Antioch, TN 37013 615-333-0401 TerraScape 2870 Old Fort Pkwy Murfreesboro, TN 37128 615-893-5125 Wolfe & Travis Electric 2001 Gladstone Ave Nashville, TN 37211 615-244-6800 Waterstone Construction 2418 Eugenia Ave Nashville, TN 37211 615-313-7299 Waste Management 1428 Antioch Pike Antioch, TN 37013 615-429-7825 Creative Concrete 1213 Natchez Rd Franklin, TN 37069 615-752-5272 Superior Fire Protection 113 Park S. Ct. Nashville, TN 37210 615-254-8507 Manning Materials 509 Lingon Dr Nashville, TN 37204 615-248-1001 Sudberry Millwork 443 Atlas Dr Nashville, TN 37211 615-331-4076 Nashville Carpet Center 515 4th Ave South Nashville, TN 37210 615-244-9591

South Central 3055 State St Columbus, IN 47201 812-376-3343

CED-Riverside 2970 Durahart St. Riverside, CA 92507 909-987-8900

The Solar Company Nicole Wonderlin 20861 Wilbeam Ave Ste 1 Castro Valley, CA 94546 510-888-9488

Nello Wall Systems 6685 Santa Barbara Rd Elkridge, MD 21075 443-253-8811

Minnicks Heating & Cooling 301-953-2820

Electron Solar Energy 2801 NW 6th Ave Miami, FL 33127 800-726-4981

Don Stevens Co 980 Discovery Rd Eagan, MN 55121 651-452-0872

ESG 4655 Rosebud Lane Newburgh, IN 47630 812-492-3734

Clark & White Landscape 2930 Westwood Blvd #203 Los Angeles, CA 90064 310-463-3766

VendRick 367 Collar Price Rd Brookfield, OH 44403 330-448-4600

Alexander Metals, Inc 497 Cave Rd. Nashville, TN 37210 615-256-6070 Sundek (Superior Concrete Resurfacing) PO Box 1705 Goodlettsville, TN 37070

JW Didado Electric 580 Vernon Odom Blvd Akron, OH 44307 330-374-0070 Bradford White 725 Talamore Drive Ambler, PA 19002 215-641-9400

Pauly Jail Building Co 317-580-0833 Steel Ceilings, Inc Grant Snowden 451 E. Coshocton St Johnstown, OH 43031 800-848-0496 Landscapes Inc 88 Rogers Ln Richmond, VT 5477 802-434-3500 Lighthouse Solar 4 Cherry Hill Rd New Paltz, NY 12561 845-417-3485 Next Energy Corp 1110 Burnett Ave. Ste. E Concord, CA 94520 925-798-0600 MBB Enterprises of Chicago 3352 W. Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60651 773-278-7100

Howard Mechanical 3214 61st St. Flushing, NY 11377 718-777-0900 Montrose Surveying CO 116-20 Metropolitan Ave Richmond Hill, NY 11418 718-849-0600 Soul Renovation Solutions 101-B Trotter St Nixa, MO 65714 417-929-1424 Candi’s Heating and Air PO box 229 Republic, MO 65738 417-848-5105 Contracting Specialists Inc. 1600 N Powerline Rd Pompano Bch, FL 33069 978-388-8652 Rock Cottage Glass 6801 Farley St Merriam, KS 66203 913-262-0107

Artisan Engineering 10 Robin Ln Charlotte, VT 5445 802-425-4350

Integrated Electronics 9847 Lackman Rd Lenexa, KS 66219 913-663-336

Sundoor Solar 125 Research Pwky Meriden, CT 6450 203-630-7077

Rocky Mountain Log Homes 1883 Highway 93 South Hamilton, MT 59840 406-721-0785

Sustainable Energy Group 13790 Gas Canyon Rd Nevada City, CA 95959 530-273-4422 Portal Openings 7996 Hembree Ln Windor, CA 95492 707-695-3368 Philco Woodworking 4561 Mission Gorge Plc San Diego, CA 92120 619-516-4253 Milgard Windows 916-869-1281 Stan Johnson Pool Construction Inc 117 Anna Dr Windsor, CA 95492 707-620-0904 Multi-Media Interiors 4421 Park Blvd Ste 202 San Diego, CA 92116 619-296-4664 BD Engineering, LLC 1825 Swarthmore Ave/ Unit B Lakewood, NJ 8701 732-886-5432 BDI Construction 7270 NW 12th St/Ste 200 Miami, FL 33126 305 592-1210 AF New York 22 W 21st St/5th FL New York, NY 10010 212-497-5243 Pro-Tone Contracting 148 Lawrence Plc New Rochelle, NY 10801 914-632-3690

Custom Aquariums by Design 5944 Broadmoor St Mission, KS 66202 913-722-3000 x 4 United Heating & Cooling 301 Duck Rd Grandview, MO 64030 816-761-5262 Gecko Landscape & Design 2624 S Copper Ridge Cir. Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 970-871-4280 Four Points Surveying 970-819-1161 Johnston Burkholder Associates 930 Central St Kansas City, MO 64105 816-421-4200 Henderson Engineers 8325 Lenexa Dr Lenexa, KS 66214 913-742-5000 Phelps Construction Group 315 Wooton St/Unit K Boonton, NJ 07005 973-402-0004 Ian Ingersoll 422 Sharon Goshen Tpk West Cornwall, CT 06796 860-672-6334 Andreu World 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza/Ste 10-132 Chicago, IL 60654 312-464-0900


advertiser index

Chamberlain Construction Co. 2864 Hartland Road Falls Church, VA 22043 703-698-1715 T6, Inc. 101 Green Meadows Dr. South/ Ste 110 Lewis Center, OH 43035 614-880-2555 DA Lighting Studio 3335 Stockbridge Ave Los Angeles, CA 90032 323-387-2494 Northern American Weathermakers 847-509-2173 Ted Docteur Ironworks 406-370-4250 Timber Builders 1853 South Camas Lane Hamilton, MT 59840 406-363-0855 San Marino Security Systems 2405 Huntington Dr San Marino, CA 91108 626-285-7778 Norwegian Wood Sheila Ruham 942 Grand Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-218-8880 Michael Allen Inc. 440 Broadway/2R Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-782-8490 TMP Consulting Engineers 52 Temple Place Boston, MA 02111 617-357-6060 Western Pacific Electric 23615 137th Dr. SE Snohomish, WA 98296 360-669-3959 Matson Carlson & Assoc. 15658 Point Monroe Dr. NE Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 206-447-9558 Dynamic Productions 149 Main St Nanuet, NY 10954 845-624-5101 Bizier Electric 733 Washington St. Brighton, MA 2135 617-787-0023 Lopez Construction & Design 3032 E 1/2 Rd Grand Junction, CO 81504 970-434-5954 Albert M. Higley Co. 2926 Chester Ave Cleveland, OH 44114 216-861-2050

Bob Millers Appliance Co. 2700 S Main St South Bend, IN 46614 800-789-1614 Square 1 Builders 56199 Parkway Ave Ste 1 Elkhart, IN 46516 574-389-8010 Vandemark & Lynch, Inc 4305 Miller Rd Wilmington, DE 19802 302-764-7635 Terzano Cabinetry 25 Ruta Ct S. Hachensack, NJ 07606 201-373-9500 Cortland Contracting Corp 976 McLean Ave/Ste 289 Yonkers, NY 10704 914-523-3118 Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers Inc. 240-11012 Macleod Trail SE Calgary, AB 0 403-271-0100 Architectural Fenestration 100-3 Patco Ct Islandia, NY 11749 856-488-4242 Goldstein Associates/GACE Consulting Eng. 31 West 27th St, Fl 6 New York, NY 20001 212-545-7878 AIC 212-343-2773 Alan Court & Assoc. 34 Park Pl East Hampton, NY 11937 631-324-7497

614-221-6679 LR Nelson Engineers 6765 West Russell Rd Ste 200 Las Vegas, NV 89118 702-798-7978

Los Angeles, CA 90065 323-258-7776 Hess Mechanical 9600 Fallard Ct Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301-856-4700 Tucker Construction 1725-D Little Orchard St San Jose, CA 95125 408-287-1424

Quaker Windows 504 Highway 63 South Freeburg, MO 65035 573-744-5211

Elk Mountain Construction Co. 1950 N. Willow Cookeville, TN 38501 931-372-7424

Alumicor 290 Humberline Dr Toronto, ON 416-745-4222

Thomas Builders 855 W. Wilson St. Niota, TN 37826 423-568-2134

Conditioned Air 241 South St Macon, GA 32106 478-742-8768

Knell’s Door & Hardware 2090 Shirley Dr Kitchener, ON 519-743-4344

Starrett Electric 110 West Court Dyersburg, TN 38025 731-442-0890

Super Enterprises 1877 McFarland Pkwy Alpharetta, GA 30005 678-393-9188

Sound Solutions 416-740-0303

Saia Trim Group 8110 Cordova Rd Ste 115 Memphis, TN 38016 901-751-7442

Zandur 80 Nottingham Dr. Nottingham, PA 19362 610-932-4390

Mid South Glass 330 South Pkwy Memphis, TN 38112 901-947-4146 Hotel Resource Group 968 Civic Center Dr. Collierville, TN 38017 901-854-6607 Pride Construction 315 Mann Dr. Collierville, TN 38017 901-854-8683

Arborite 385 Lafleur Lasalle, QC 514-595-2661 The Melink Co. 5140 River Valley Rd Milford, OH 45150 513-965-7308 Verdin Company 444 Reading Rd Cincinnati, OH 45202 513-241-4010 Palacio Collaborative 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Ste 7 Atlanta, GA 30318 404-609-9006

Alliance Technologies 1301 Wellington Valley Ct Ste 201 St. Louis, MO 63005 636-734-2337

Summerhill Landscapes 6 Shaw Road Sag Harbor, NY 11963 631-725-0005

Humidifall 5988 Mid Rivers Mall Dr. Ste 234 St. Charles. MO 63304 636-928-8855

Shan Engineering, Inc 9039 Katy Freeway Ste 216 Houston, TX 77024 832-615-9308

Upstate Door 26 Industrial Street Warsaw, NY 14569 585-786-3880

Marvin Doors & Windows 2714 Mercanile Dr Brentwood, MO 63144 314-646-5130

Stony Bridge Landscaping 1800 Cornwall Rd Lebanon, PA 17042 717-274-3595

SRK Pools 370 Montauk Highway Wainscott, NY 11975 631-537-3750

Leach Painting Co. 1233 Hanley Industrial Ct. Brentwood, MO 63144 314-961-4100

Fresco Green Building Supply PO Box 622 Columbia, PA 17512 717-618-4636

Imperial Gunite Corp 81 Commercial Ave Oakdale, NY 11769 631-287-2455

Golterman & Sabo 3555 Scarlet Oak Blvd St. Louis, MO 63122 800-781-2036

Tom Orner 200 Gale St Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 717-576-9435

Fountainhead Construction 2228 Montauk Hwy Ste 5 Bridgehampton, NY 11932 631-537-6841

Pool Covers Inc 707-864-6674

Hall Planning & Engineering 322 Beard St Tallahassee, FL 32303 850-222-2277

Century Builders 229 Red Coach Dr/Ste 104 Mishawaka, IN 46545 574-277-4171 Sweetwater Interiors 212 West Washington St Goshen, IN 46526 574-534-3989

Paul J. Ford & Co. 250 E. Broad St. Ste 1500 Columbus, OH 43215

Flynn Canada 6435 Northwest Dr Missasauga, ON 905-671-3971

Mincey Marble 4321 Browns Bridge Rd Gainesville, GA 30504 800-533-1806

Carpen House PO Box 554 Little Falls, NY 13365 877-396-3302

HzW Environmental Consultants 6105 Heisley Rd Mentor, OH 44060 440-357-1260

Bondfield Construction 407 Balsaltic Rd Concord, ON 0 461-667-8422

Adamo & Assoc. Structural Engineers 21060 Homestead Rd/Ste 120 Cupertino, CA 95014 408-523-1200 Ferrante Koberling 1040 N. Laurel Ave # 8 Los Angeles, CA 90046 323-206-1663 Tortoise Industries 3052 Treadwell Street

JMR Electric 137 Thames Rd East Exeter, ON 0 519-235-1516 John Swallow Associates 366 Revus Ave/Unit 23 Mississuaga, ON 0 905-271-7888

Wallace Int’l 705-434-2837

MTE Consultants 520 Bingemans Centre Dr Kitchener, ON 519-743-6500 Glasstra Calle 4 Esq. A-7 Catano, PR 962 787-788-5658 Urban Planning Concepts 2624 Airpark Dr. Santa Maria, CA 93455 805-934-5760 FACE Associates 1420 Beverly Rd Ste 230 McLean, VA 22101 7037600490 Monarc Construction 2781 Hartland Rd Falls Church, VA 22043 703-641-8500 Interior Investments 205 W. Wacker Dr/Ste 1700 Chicago, IL 60606 312-212-5126 Herner-Geissler 400 N Hermitage Ave Chicago, IL 60622 312-226-3400 Dovetail Millwork 5414 Waterford Rd Rixeyville, VA 22737 540-937-7741 WoodWorking Wonders 5250 Raleigh St Denver, CO 80212 720-300-9400 Masterpiece Stair 2250 S. Jason St. Denver, CO 80224 303-922-5700 Academy Roofing 1610 Jasper St Aurora, CO 80011 303-360-0708 Superior Enterprises 871 Thornton Pkwy Ste 184 Thornton, CO 80229 303-472-7749 Morning Star Elevator 11641 Ridgeline Dr Colorado Springs, CO 80921 719-635-7960


advertiser index

C&F Enterprises 57 Snowmass Dr Livermore, CO 80536 970-372-7438

AV Design Group 52 Sherwood Rd Hampton Bays, NY 11946 631-728-6600

J&S Structural Engineers 10551 Barkley St/Ste 601 Overland Park, KS 66212 913-549-4701

Resource Furniture 969 Third Ave New York, NY 10155 212-753-2039

Thos. Rewerts & Co. 4550 Main St/Ste 216 Kansas City, MO 64111 816-531-2666

Schield Family Brands (Weather Shield) PO Box 309 One Weather Shield Plaza Medford, WI 54451 715-748-2100 x3723

Choicewood Companies 3300 Gorham Ave St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-924-0443 Graystone Builders PO Box 1768 Bridgehampton, NY 11932 631-537-1414 Gilkey 10160 Virginia Ave Chicago Ridge, IL 60415 708-229-2340 David Conner & Assoc. 1509 W Swann Ave/Ste 255 Tampa, FL 33606 813-258-1997 Phillips/May Corp 4861 Sharp St Dallas, TX 75247 214-631-3331 Reeder General Construction 109 Aviator Dr Fort Worth, TX 76052 817-439-2022 Boro Plastering 95 Hopper St/2nd FL Westbury, NY 11590 516-746 Integrated Comfort Systems 267 Cortlandt St Belleville, NJ 07109 866-749-6331 B&H Restoration 3455 Vernon Blvd Long City, NY 11106 718-274-5598 St. John’s Woodworking 68 34th St Brooklyn, NY 11232 718-499-0584 Charles W. Beers, Inc. PO Box 133, 175 Post Ave Westbury, NY 11590 516-334-2045 Capitol Fire Sprinklers Co. Inc 5151 59th Pl. Woodside, NY 11377 718-533-6800 Ferra Designs, Inc. 63 Flushing Ave/Unit 135 Brooklyn, NY 11201 718-852-8629 PCI Industries 21717 Rebublic St Oak Park, MI 48237 248-542-2570 Rich Duncan Construction 200 Hawthrone Ave SE Salem, OR 97301 503-390-4999 STUDIOHOWE PO Box 1564 Amagansete, NY 11930 646-621-1121

Standards of Excellence 6085 State Farm Dr/Ste 200 Rohnert Park, CA 94928 650-591-2337 Cool Painting Inc 8946 Sage Rd Oakland, CA 94605 415-359-4551 Breen Engineering, Inc. 1983 West 190 St/ste 200 Torrance, CA 90504 310-464-8404 Turner & Townsend 1 Westchase Cntr; 10777 Westheimer/Ste1160 Houston, TX 77042 281-496-5615 The Garland Company, Inc. 3800 East 91st St Clevelan, OH 44105 800-762-8225 Belden Brick Company PO Box 20910 Canton, OH 44701 330456-0031 CEC Steel 400 Ft. Martin Industrial Pk Maindsville, WV 26541 304-598-3055 Double D Engineering 72 Otis St San Francisco, CA 94103 415-551-5150 Audio Video Excellence 17 Gramercy Pl Thornwood, NY 10594 914-747-1411 Concord Sheet Metal 1666 Willow Pass Pittsburg, CA 94565 925-680-8723 Great Bay Contracting 41 Degnon Blvd Ste A Bayshore, NY 11706 631-665-5091 Gerold Brothers Builders 81 Keyland Ct Bohemia, NY 11716 631-589-5492 International Construction 4205 Hardscrabble Rd Columbia, SC 29223 803-699-5106 Diamond Land Scaping 26 N Commerce St Liberty, SC 29657 864-449-3525 Wilson Painting 743 Wilson Rd NewBerry, SC 29108 803-924-3131

Executive Construction Eddie Yandle 803-462-0884 Eric Gunter Construction 803-319-4501 Creative Outdoor Designs, Inc 803-732-3620 Columbia Siding & Windows 656 Frink St Cayle, SC 29033 803-791-5969 H&H Contractors 101 Morning Lake Dr Lexington, SC 29072 803-513-9623 Wilkerson Insulation Company 1611 Sain Andrews Terrace Rd Columbia, SC 29210 803-513-5438

The Workman PO Box 110723 Nashville, TN 37222 615-244-8262

Standard Electric Co. PO Box 43216 Louisville, KY 43216 502-253-9885

FL Crane/FLC Imports 508 South Spring S PO Box 428 Fulton, MS 38843 901-277-9122

L&W Construction CO. 1132 S Rangeline Rd Carmel, IN 46032 317-846-6134

AET 1722 Indian Wood Circle Maumee, OH 43537 734-730-2724 MidSouth Steel, Inc 16949 Highway 1 Harrisburg, AR 72432 870-578-9276

M&M Cosmetic Sealants 1411 Ormsby Lane Louisville, KY 40222 502-445-8612 Padgett, Inc. 901 E. Fourth St New Albany, IN 47150 812-206-8620

SM Lawrence Jackson, TN 38301 731-423-0112

Walker Mechanical 1400 W. Jefferson St Louisville, KY 40203 502-636-0002

Simplex Grinnell 6423 Shelby View Dr/Ste 107 Memphis, TN 38134 901-386-0532

Alcoa Concrete & Masonry 4908 46th Ave Ste B Hyattsville, MD 20781 301-699-9300

Razorback Concrete Co. 211 North Sixth St West Memphis, AR 72303 870-735-8610

Senate Masonry 3750 University Blvd W Ste 200 Kensington, MD 20895 301-816-0013

Total Flooring, LLC 803-794-1848

McCombs Steel Co. 117 Slingshot Rd Statesville, NC 28677 704-873-7563

Triangle Fence Co Ronda, NC 12345 336-984-3961

Aqua Seal MFG & Roofing 1144 Walter Price St. Cayce, SC 29033 803-936-0420

Viridian 100 Gamble Rd Little Rock, AR 72211 501-227-0648

Southern Vistas, Inc. 2825 Commerce Dr. Columbia, SC 29205 803-256-0559

Engineering Design Consultants 9700 Village Cir./Ste 200 Lakeland, TN 38002 901-462-3040

Apax Glass 4146 S 70th East Ave Tulsa, OK 74145 918-65-7601

Environmental Excavators 2303 Hackney Rd Greenbriar, TN 37073 615-207-3610

Architectural Flooring LLC 31 South Adair St Pryor, OK 74361 918-824-8544

Ortex Virgil Hicks 80 Fesslers Ln Nashville, TN 37210 615-256-7381

Terratec, Inc 1350 Methodist Park Rd West Columbia, SC 29170 803-791-8888 Jim’s Welding 803-739-2555 Capitol Design PO Box 532 White Rock, SC 29177 803-808-1600

Harrison Orr 4100 N. Walnut Oklahoma City, OK 73105 405-528-3333 Mitchell Acoustics & Drywall, Inc 3721 S. Missouri Ave Oklahoma City, OK 73129 405-677-8400 Trussway Ltd 8850 Trussway Blvd Orlando, FL 32824 281-733-8459 Blue Haven Pools of NC 10020 Industrial Dr Pinceville, NC 28134 704-889-1300 GEO Services 163 Business Park Dr. Ste 15 Lebanon, TN 37087 615-547-9314 Madison Swimming Pools 1416 Dickerson Rd Goodlettsville, TN 37072 615-865-2964

India Globalization Capital, Inc 4336 Montgomery Ave Bethesda, MD 20814 301-983-0998 ZZ Consulting 1086 North 900 East Shelley, ID 83274 208-357-5571 SuperTile 4226 Scone St Houston, TX 77084 832-250-4244 Xella Aircrete 900 Schneider Dr Cibolo, TX 78108 210-402-3223 CMS USA 5072 Steadmond Dr Houston, TX 77040 713-690-6868 Solidarity Contracting 10100 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Ste 340 Houston, TX 77099 281-495-6777

Mike Adams Plumbing 601 M and M Ranch Rd Granbury, TX 76049 817-573-4414 Peterson Mfg. Co. PO Box 664 Denison, IA 51442 712-263-2442 East Texas Canopy 11221 Cr. 2130 Whitehouse, TX 75791 903-839-2091 Millcon 15280 W. State Hwy 29 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 512-289-8550 Valley Security Co. 88 Riverwood Dr. Oswego, IL 60543 630-554-1090 Millcon 15280 W. State Hwy 29 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 512-289-8550 Valley Security Co. 88 Riverwood Dr. Oswego, IL 60543 630-554-1090 Ontility 3403 N. Sam Houston Pkwy Ste 300 Houston, TX 77086 281-854-1407 Schletter 3761 E Farnum Place Tucson, AZ 85706 520-289-8721


Energy Leaders Today Spring 2011  

This issue of Energy Leaders Today covers a variety of solar installers and innovators across the U.S. and Germany. It also focuses on the e...

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