Scott Forster, Ground Mount Installation Manager
Train and manage ground mount crews to execute any size ground mounted PV array. I also oversee all of our work, inside and out. I can be a real stickler for neatness and I strive to make sure the structural integrity of everything we do cannot be matched or outlasted.
What differentiates Stellar Solar ground mounts?
Over the years we have developed our own proprietary ground mount structures. Our arrays are, to an extent, over built with 12 gauge square tubing and stainless joints. This allows me to build perfectly flat arrays that do not budge. This could be considered overkill but it’s the way we do it and I would cringe if we had to do it any other way.
What influences homeowners to install ground mounts versus roof mounted systems?
There seems to be completely different view on this. I run into homeowners that just love the look of a ground mounted array and on the other hand there are people that don’t like the look, so we put it on a hillside somewhere or behind structures or trees so that the array is not visible. There are a few that are SDG&E’s best customers (heavy users of electricity) and simply do not have the ideal roof space.
First Position at Stellar Solar
I came on in 2010 as an installer and my first few jobs were almost all large commercial projects. Salk Institute was where I could really show my construction knowledge and right after that went on to lead in the installation of a megawatt US Foods system in LA and several other large-scale projects. Our high growth rate over the past few years and dramatic increase in ground mounts created this position for me which suits my skill set and construction experience.
What give you the most job satisfaction?
The satisfaction I get from the finished product for sure. On top of that, it’s really all about the guys that I lead. I enjoy seeing them succeed and at Stellar Solar there is a ton of opportunity for growth. They really take pride in what we do and a lot of roof guys are envious. Even with a shovel in hand, waist deep in a trench, every single guy on the team is happy to be a part of what we do. Besides all that, the whole company is made up of a great group of people.
Describe some of your favorite installations.
My favorite job had to be one deep into Valley Center. Out of all the land this customer had, he picked a spot on top of a rock the size of a large house. There was absolutely no digging involved and it was a real game changer for everyone. It was really great to see heads come together and pull it off. Another recent job was in Rancho Santa Fe. It required roughly 40 footing holes and was a completely commercial style array of 112 solar panels.
Life before Stellar Solar?
I was born and raised in upstate New York in the countryside. The only way to describe it is my grandparent’s farm was right next to the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. I was into all sports, football being a favorite. After graduation, I bolted off to New York City where I was the co-owner of a food truck at 19. Later I joined the Navy and became a submarine machinist mate on the Asheville based here on Point Loma. For the time I was in (the Navy) I really learned that great sense of leadership and camaraderie.
How many ground mount systems do you expect to build this year?
We have the capacity to build 100 and 22 are already sold. We expect all 100 to be spoken for by mid summer.
Interests outside of Stellar Solar?
I like traveling and seeing new things. On occasion, I’ll take trips with some friends to ride dirt bikes in different areas.