San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to Recognize Solar Energy Day at Hearing

June 20, 2016
Contact: Melissa James
(805) 788-2012 or

Solar Industry in tri-counties to reach 1GW of energy generation by end of June 2016
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – On Tuesday, June 21st at 1:30pm, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will recognize the positive impacts that solar energy generation and distribution has on our regional economy, the environment and the San Luis Obispo County community. Representatives from eight leading solar energy companies in SLO County will be honored with a proclamation celebrating the rapid growth and success of our local solar industry.

“It’s our pleasure to acknowledge the solar industry in San Luis Obispo County as they continue to expand options for clean energy for both residential and commercial use,” said Supervisor Debbie Arnold, 5th District Supervisor.
According to an analysis of the tri-county area by the Santa Barbara-based Community Environmental Council, the tri-county region (SLO, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties) will reach a major milestone in solar energy by producing approximately one gigawatt or one billion watts of solar power, enough to power more than a quarter million homes. The majority of this solar energy came online in the last five years as a result of two SLO County solar farms: Topaz Solar Farms of BHE Renewables and First Solar, as well as California Valley Solar Ranch of NRG Energy and SunPower. Together these two plants produce 80 percent of the one gigawatt.
“As Solarponics gets close to installing 5,000 solar products on the Central Coast, we remember some of the early days –before the late 1970s – when more than a few folks thought we were a little crazy,” said Frank Scotti of Solarponics. “Not anymore. We’re just extremely grateful that solar is now mainstream, and that we live in a state and a county that support solar energy adaptation.”
“For nearly 40 years, San Luis Obispo County has been a hotbed for the promotion and installation of solar technology, making SLO County an early adopter and leader of the solar industry said Maria Kelly, Business and Community Relations Representative at BHE Renewables, “as Chair of the Energy Cluster at the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County (EVC) I am excited to participate in Solar Energy Day 2016 as the solar industry has grown to become a major driver of our local economy.”
“Having solar companies do business locally contributes significantly to the local economy,” said Mike Manchak, President and CEO of the Economic Vitality Corporation. The economic benefits to the tri-counties are $1.55 billion this year alone; these benefits have an important impact on the health of the communities and the greater economy.”
The solar industry provides engineering, project management, construction, marketing and business operation jobs. Some of these are head-of-household jobs that would otherwise not exist but for the companies that are committed to doing business in the county. The solar industry is seeing long-term positive trends in San Luis Obispo County, providing more opportunities for job growth in the future.
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The following Solar Companies will be represented at the SLO County Supervisors Board Hearing:
Solarponics was founded by Mike Emrich in 1975, and installed some of the first solar water heaters on the central coast and is the oldest continuously operating solar energy company in California. Solarponics installs solar electric, solar pool heating, radiant energy systems as well as solar water heating for residential and commercial applications. They can be reached at (805) 466-5595 or
BHE Renewables
BHE Renewables, an industry leader in renewable energy generation ownership is dedicated to the communities where its projects are located. The company continues to develop its portfolio with clean energy resources that bring economic and environmental benefits to stakeholders and works to meet community needs by supporting local events and initiatives. BHE Renewables is the proud owner of the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County.
Pacific Energy
At Pacific Energy Company we believe that our solutions to global warming must come from a variety of clean resources. As important as roof top solar is as a solution, it is only part of the equation. Equally important are small scale "Solar Gardens" and universal scale “Solar Farms” along with solar thermal generators and our first line of offense, building efficiency and energy conservation. As an industry we have recognized and continue to promote a multi-pronged approach to solving our world's climate problem while providing clean energy to meet our society's demands. Pacific Energy Company is proud to have been a member of a strong & progressive solar community since 1980. They can be reached at 805-544-4700.
REC Solar
REC is the only renewable energy provider focused exclusively on businesses and backed by Duke Energy, one of the largest energy companies in the world. Incorporating experience from more than 500 successful commercial solar installations over 17 years, REC Solar tailors financing and technology solutions to immediately deliver bottom line savings. REC Solar makes commercial solar simple, working seamlessly with customer operations to deliver clean energy for decades. For more, visit or call 844-REC-SOLAR (844-732-7652).
Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN) is the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States with a mission to create a planet run by the sun. Since establishing the solar as a service model in 2007, Sunrun continues to lead the industry in providing clean energy to homeowners with little to no upfront cost and at a savings to traditional electricity. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof, while families receive predictable pricing for 20 years or more. For more information please visit:
GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that makes renewable energy technology and training accessible to underserved communities. We bring together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, providing energy cost savings, valuable hands-on experience, and a source of clean, local energy that benefits us all. (805) 769-9122.
SunPower by Photon Brothers makes it easy to get the highest quality solar installation, offering the most efficient and longest lasting gear available. With unmatched craftsmanship SunPower by Photon Brothers installations look great and work even better. Serving both the residential and commercial customers our goal is exceed expectations giving the solar industry the credibility it deserves. They can be reached at 844-727-6527 x120.
A local family owned and operated electrical contractor led by two brothers who are 3rd generation electrical contractors. At Electricraft, we noticed the need for more professionals offering sustainability and energy efficiency options to consumers. We are able to provide our customers with many sustainable and energy efficient options such as building energy audits; lighting retrofits; advanced lighting controls and installing private wind and PV solar systems. We were proud to be a part of the construction of the universal scale solar farm in our county and continue to work with First Solar and BHE Renewables in maintaining the facility. Electricraft continues to provide construction services to many local renewable energy projects ranging from private residential to commercial and universal solar sites.
First Solar
First Solar has more than 10 gigawatts (GW) installed worldwide, we believe that clean affordable solar electricity is an essential part of the worldwide energy mix. In San Luis Obispo County and surrounding area, First Solar has developed, financed, engineered, constructed 870 megawatts of universal solar which includes the Topaz Solar Farms. By integrating technologies, services and expertise across the entire solar value chain, First Solar delivers bankable PV energy solutions that enable a world powered by reliable and affordable solar electricity.
NRG serves thousands of customers worldwide. NRG provides clean, renewables electricity for utilities that serve thousands of customers. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through best in class operation, reliable and efficient electric generation and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with all our customers and continually innovating sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy. NRG is the owner/operator of the 250 megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch in the California Valley, San Luis Obispo County.
Economic Vitality Corporation, Energy Cluster
The Energy Cluster is a cluster of industry supported by the county’s economic strategy project, and managed by the EVC. The Cluster is committed to helping San Luis Obispo County region be an innovative community that supports the County’s history of energy production while fostering the need for a growth in renewable energy sources. These efforts are supported through evaluating new technologies, innovative generation projects and policies that contribute to a comprehensive portfolio of reliable, affordable and clean energy sources. The Cluster supports reliable, sustainable and cost-effective energy resources and the infrastructure to deliver them.
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