Breaking: SDG&E Rates Going Up Over 13%

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Utility bills are set to rise for San Diego residents this September with a four-year rate increase totaling more than $500 million for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Due to this, the typical household will see monthly gas and electric bills rise over 11%.

Getting tired of giving away your money SDG&E? Solar power costs less than utility power! Take advantage of a plethora of financing options that are now available, including:

  • The new Stellar Solar Loan program
  • Re-financing your home
  • Home equity loans
  • San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union…Stellar is part of their solar loan program
    with great rates
  • Navy Federal Credit Union’s Shares Secured Loan offers rates under 3%.
  • SunPower Solar Lease…go solar with no money out of pocket
  • Cash purchase…solar has never been more affordable
  • The Stellar Energy Consultants can work with you to come up with a residential solar power solution that meets your needs.
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Highlighted: Our 285 kW Installation on ‘Hollywood’s Hospital’

 

sinai 3sinai 2sinai 1Our 285 kW photovoltaic solar system on Cedars-Sinai Hospital, aka ‘Hollywood’s Hospital’, has received a large amount of attention from industry news sources.

Cedars-Sinai, located in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most highly regarded hospitals and research institutes, chose Stellar to design and install their 285 kW system which features 1,190 solar panels and a custom racking system to mount 30 Sunny Boy inverters on the rooftops.

Cedars-Sinai will soon be known as one of the world’s first ‘green hospitals’. Additional features include  doubled glass walls for energy savings and a building control system designed to regulate the building’s ongoing energy use.

For further details on our San Diego solar alliance and commercial solar installations be sure to check out the links provided.

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PACE Gains Momentum: Two San Diego Cities Sign Up

Another two cities are joining the San Diego Solar Alliance. San Marcos and Vista’s City Councils have approved a resolution to adopt the property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. The program aims to assist residential home owners and commercial businesses pay for renewable energy projects, including photovoltaic solar systems.

The PACE program has been developed by the HERO Financing Program, aimed at helping property owners pay for home-improvement projects via their property taxes, which means that property owners can pay for renewable energy and efficient systems over time. The residential HERO PACE program has gained over 8,000 applications and $150 million in apprioved projects so far.

Due to the success of similar projects such as the Encinitas permit-fee waiving program for energy efficient projects, this is a step in the right direction. With so many solar financing options becoming available, we’re eager that this incentive provides a chance to show residents of Vista and San Marcos the economic sense of producing power from solar panels compared to buying it from the utility company.

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Activated: 285kW Cedars-Sinai Solar Installation

A portion of the 285kW Stellar Solar system at Cedars-Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavillion

We’ve recently activated a brand new solar carport system that is a part of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion.

Our installation utilizes 1,190 240 – watt panels in numerous locations atop the parking structure adjoining the pavilion. Working closely with Graycor Construction Company, a general contractor on the project, we designed and installed the system which will assist the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion’s target of becoming a Gold Certified Structure under the US Green Building Council LEED Program.

It’s an excellent addition to our growing portfolio of high-profile commercial solar projects.

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Catch us on KPRi and KFMB in San Diego

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You can hear our radio spots, produced and recorded in-house with employee talent, on 102.1 KPRi FM and KFMB 760 AM. Be sure to check out website for more information on our Stellar Solar alliance.

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Our Largest Ground Mount Yet: Olivenhein

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We just completed our largest residential ground-mount ever in Olivenhein. The 36.6kW solar energy system is made up of 112 SunPower 327 watt panels and 4 SunPower 8000 watt inverters.

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Stellar Solar Team Member Interview – Joe Bowden, Operations Coordinator

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With a long time passion for the solar industry, Joe has been a member of the Stellar Solar team since 2011. Prior to joining Stellar Solar he worked in Operations with Occidental Power, a solar installation firm based in San Francisco, and for 10 years as a Mortgage Consultant with Wachovia & World Savings. Joe is a graduate of UCSB with a B.A. degree in Law & Society and has an MBA from Kaplan University. In his short time with Stellar, he has become an asset to the company and his versed in the processing of rebates, lease and interconnection documentation for the company.  He is also the customer liaison after the contract is signed. He provides permit and installation status for all residential solar customers, keeping them up-to-date on all details as they become available. Joe is excited about building a bright future with Stellar and helping customers save money through our revolutionary San Diego solar lease or new low-interest solar loan.

How did you get involved with solar energy?
I started out in the solar industry when I was living in San Francisco. While I certainly appreciate the environmental benefits of solar, I am also aware of the economic benefits, both to home and business owners and as a growth industry. When I moved to San Diego and completed my  MBA, I wanted to join a business with the potential for growth and Stellar Solar and the San Diego solar market is booming. and  I saw first-hand what a difference solar energy can make in people’s lives by making the electricity they need more affordable.

Can you provide more detail on the role of Operations Coordinator at Stellar Solar?
Once a deal closes there is a lot that has to happen between then and the final installation. Permits must be secured, final layout and design approved, and the solar installation scheduled. There are a lot of moving parts and Stellar Solar has come up with a system that keeps everything moving forward smoothly. Communication is key and Stellar ensures that their customers are kept informed along the way.

What are some key skills you need in your role?
Excellent organizational and communication skills are key. I work with all the departments at Stellar so I need to have an understanding of their roles to do mine effectively

Any recommendations for someone looking for renewable energy jobs?
Having some hands on experience in the solar industry will definitely help you get your foot in the door of a company.  You can do this by volunteering or taking a class. Once you get your foot in the door of a company you like, show your employer you can work hard, stay motivated and  to continue to learn new skills. When you do that you should have no problem getting your desired position. Also do your research on the field you want to go into; and most of all find something you are passionate about.

What’s your favorite part of the job ?
When the permission to operate notice is given by the utility for the system to be turned on it gives me great satisfaction that my job has been done. That and seeing all of the 5 Star Reviews Stellar Solar receives on Yelp. Those are testament to the job this entire company does.

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We’re Celebrating Fifteen Years of Solar

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We’re celebrating fifteen years in the solar business with a game-changing new residential solar loan in San Diego with Bosch Solar, a division of the leading global brand Bosch GmbH. This is easily one of the most attractive solar financing option we’ve ever offered: a no-money down, 12-year 2.99% loan for home-owners looking to reduce their electricity bill while going green and embracing renewable energy.

Bosch’s solar panels are known for being well crafted and efficient while featuring a 10 year product warranty and 25-year performance guarantee. To find out more information about this excellent opportunity and further information about solar check out the solar panels in San Diego section of our website.

 

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Working in Solar Energy: An Interview with Stellar Designer John Stemmerman

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This is a first in a series of interviews with solar industry professionals that will give the general public more insight on the inner workings of the San Diego solar industry.  We start with one of the key members of our design team; PV Systems Engineer/CAD Specialist John Stemmerman. It was great learning about why he got involved in the renewable energy industry, what’s it like working in the field, as well as gaining a few of his insider tips for people looking to find green jobs.

Why are you involved in solar energy?
I started out working on the solar panel installation team six years ago and the more I learned about it the more passionate I became about renewable energy. The San Diego solar market is booming and  I saw first-hand what a difference solar energy can make in people’s lives by making the electricity they need more affordable; not to mention that it is much better for the environment than processes involved in producing energy from natural gas, coal, and oil.

What’s it like designing solar- can you describe the process?
A lot goes into designing a solar system. It all starts with a site evaluation  to take  measurements, pictures, and perform a shade analysis. We then head back to the office to draw up a proposed solar layout using Auto CAD software. After receiving approval from the customer we proceed with getting the job permitted at the city building department.  A required  plan set  is needed that shows detailed drawings and electrical calculations. The permitting process takes approximately  1-4 weeks depending on which city building dept. you are working with. Once we receive a permit our installers can then proceed with the installation of the panels. Ideally a system should be tilted south, east or west will work but a south facing system yields the highest energy production.

What are some key skills you need to design solar?
A general knowledge of residential solar and commercial solar is a must, along with computer aided drafting skills, a familiarity with the NEC, and math.

Any recommendations for someone looking for renewable energy jobs?
Having some hands on experience in the solar industry will definitely help you get your foot in the door of a company.  You can do this by volunteering or taking a class. Once you get your foot in the door of a company you like, show your employer you can work hard, stay motivated and  to continue to learn new skills. When you do that you should have no problem getting your desired position. Also do your research on the field you want to go into; and most of all find something you are passionate about.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is that it is not simply a desk job where I am stuck in an office all day. I get to travel to all different areas to work with solar in San Diego for site evaluations and meet all sorts of different people who appreciate my efforts. In my eyes it is the perfect balance of desk work and field study.

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2013 and Beyond: Future of Renewable Energy

We’re all watching as San Diego’s local government, San Diego businesses, investors and home owners are making a financial choice to go solar in San Diego. Every indication is that they will continue to do so well into the future. With evidence showing that renewables such photovoltaic solar being the way forward, we look forward to meeting these challenges in the future with our San Diego solar alliance.

But where is the San Diego solar power industry headed, or on a larger scale, where is the renewable energy industry going? According to the new Renewables Global Futures Report 2013 by the global renewable energy policy network REN-21; the future of the renewable energy industry is dependent on ‘finance, risk-return profiles, business models, investment lifetimes and a host of other economic, policy and social factors.’

Okay, this is perhaps a standard bit of insight that is largely applicable to any other industry. Still, it’s worth examining this and other reports to understand what is in store for renewables in 2013 and beyond. Examining the final quarter of 2012, the latest Energy Industries Council Monitor report found that the renewable energy sector grew by 9%. Additionally, there were 295 new projects in the renewable sector worth around $165.3 billion in the latter half of 2012.

Contrasted with the power sector which saw new projects drop by 14%; an even stronger renewable sector picture is painted. Further, investors more than doubled their renewable energy sector investment in 2012, accounting for a third of renewable value last year generated by ever diverse groups of buyers. PwC global power and utilities leader Norbert Schwieters stated that outside investors now account for ’37% of industry buyer share, attracted by long-term growth and steady-return potential.’

REN-21′s report further found that ‘finance challenge’ is the primary challenge. This can be met with greater external investment and investment models created by local government, services, and utilities. REN-21 also made projections of a massive $500 billion renewable energy investment by 2020. This is all highly encouraging to both the San Diego solar energy scene and the renewable energy industry in general. We’re excited to be a part of it.

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